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Thread: Radioactive iodine therapy

  
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    Radioactive iodine therapy

    Isn't radioactive iodine therapy for Gravesí hyperthyroidism specifically or is it applicable to other treatments as well?

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    What is radioiodine treatment?

    Radioiodine treatment uses a form of iodine that is radioactive. Iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland, so only a small amount of radioactivity is needed.

    Where else does the radioactivity go?

    The thyroid takes up most of the iodine. The rest of the iodine mainly passes out of your body in the urine.

    Can radioiodine treatment cause cancer?

    No. Radioiodine has been used for over 40 years to treat thyrotoxicosis. Radioiodine does not increase the risk for cancer in general. The risk of cancer of the thyroid remains low.

    Are there any side effects ?


    Radioiodine can occasionally cause slight neck and face discomfort and a temporary increase in thyroid activity that goes away within 2 weeks and usually within a few days. There is a high risk of developing an underactive thyroid that will require life long thyroxine replacement tablets.

    Are there any risks in having children afterwards?

    No. Forty years of experience of using radioiodine shows no effect on the health of the children of patients who have had radioiodine. However, it is essential that you avoid pregnancy, breast-feeding or fathering children for 6 months after radioiodine treatment.

    What about my tablets?

    Your hospital doctor may have given you instructions about the tablets you are taking. Some may need to be stopped several days before the radioiodine treatment. At the clinic this will be explained to you. It is also recommended that you do not eat fish or seafood for 2 days prior to the therapy day.

    Will there be any danger to my family?

    No, but please take the simple precautions which we tell you about. These are merely to avoid any unnecessary radiation to your family members and friends.

    Will I need to see a doctor after the radioiodine treatment?

    Yes. Your doctor should see you a few weeks after the treatment and have blood tests taken. These are to check how your gland has responded.

    Before the Treatment

    If you are on Carbimazole tablets, your consultant will usually ask you to stop taking them about five days before the treatment.

    How is the Iodine given?


    On the day of the treatment you will be asked to attend Ninewells hospital. We will send you an appointment letter with instructions about where to go when you arrive.

    You will be given a tablet containing iodine that you will be asked to swallow whole along with some water. The tablet will have no taste to it. It will not make you drowsy. You may drive afterwards.

    The amount of radioactivity in the tablet can be varied. The consultant referring you for the therapy will decide how much you are to receive.

    Should I take any precautions afterwards?

    After the tablet your body will contain a small amount of radioactivity therefore it is important that you take some simple precautions to restrict the radiation dose to people around you, especially children and pregnant women. The easiest way to reduce the radiation dose to others is by reducing the time spent close to them e.g. do not sit close to a person unnecessarily, especially if there is a free seat further away.

    The lengths of time that the precautions will last depend upon how much radioactivity we give you.

    Each patient coming for a therapy receives a leaflet detailing the precautions and the length of time each precaution applies.

    What sort of precautions will the leaflet ask me to observe?

    Special arrangements may be required for your transport home

    If you will use public transport we will ask you to limit the time you spend travelling by bus, train etc.

    You may travel home by private transport, with a maximum of one other person in the car. You may drive yourself. If you are travelling with someone else, please ensure that you are seated diagonally opposite to the other person.

    Travelling on public and private transport

    For the two weeks after your treatment, please avoid travelling on public transport as much as possible. This is to avoid being next to the same person for too long. The precautions leaflets will tell you the maximum time you can spend on a bus or train for any one journey.

    You may use private transport. However, in the first few days after your treatment, if sharing a car with a friend or member of your family, keep journey times short.

    For advice on air travel, please speak to your consultant.

    Contact with your spouse/partner

    We will ask you to make arrangements to sleep apart from your partner for a period.

    Contact with family and friends at home

    For the first few days you should limit contact with pregnant women and children under 18 years of age to that which is essential.

    The leaflet will give the length of time for which you should avoid close or prolonged contact with adults and a longer time for avoiding close or prolonged contact with pregnant women.

    Contact with children


    It would be a good idea if you could arrange for your children to stay with relatives/friends for the first three days after your treatment if this was at all possible.

    The precautions leaflet will specify periods of time to avoid prolonged close contact with children.

    By close contact we mean to be at a distance of less than a metre or 3 feet. It is safe to be in the same room as children but do not hold them close to your neck or sit next to them for long periods. Do not let children sleep beside you.

    General hygiene in the house

    As all your bodily secretions contain small amounts of radioactivity you must take the following precautions:

    Increase your fluid intake. Set aside a toothbrush, a set of cutlery and crockery for your own use and wash these separately for three days following treatment;

    If preparing food for children or pregnant women, hands should be thoroughly washed beforehand and extra care taken with general hygiene for 3 days following treatment.

    Places of entertainment

    In order to avoid being next to the same person for too long we will ask you to avoid going to places of entertainment or other places where people are gathered.

    Returning to work

    It would be best if you did not return to work for a few days. Again the leaflet will specify the period. Although this is recommended, it is not essential in every case, (please read further). If there are problems in doing this, please discuss this with the doctor or physicist.

    We will ask you to stay off work for a longer period if your work involves:

    * Close contact with children or pregnant women
    * Prolonged close contact with adults (e.g. if you stand within 1 metre of the same person for more than one hour each day) or
    * Preparing food

    If your employer is involved with any type of work which might be affected by radiation, you should notify him/her that you are undergoing treatment with radioactive material.

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    Wow, you really know how to answer a question. I can't imagine having something that is "radioactive" in my body. It is like taking a 'Hulk' drug.

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    The amount of radioactive substance they use is probably too minute to make a difference. You probably get more from getting an X-ray.

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    That is a good point about the x-ray, maybe I just get paranoid when I think about all these things being added to your body. My friend won't like it either, she is particular about anything that goes in her body.

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    Did anyone read this...

    take some simple precautions to restrict the radiation dose to people around you
    This means it is no small dose if you have to worry about something like that!
    Struggling to get my life back!

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    Re: Radioactive iodine therapy

    Once you have taken RAI, you have to restrict yourself within a room for a few days OR if you live with someone, make sure they are a few metres apart from you all the time.

    Toilet needs to be flushed twice/thrice as well. Not a tiny dose so could affect other people around you and they say it's SAFE

 

 

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