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Old 08-04-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
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Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

I am having a radioactive iodine scan in two weeks, and I am wondering if I have to take any precautions afterwards with the radiation. I have read a lot about precautions to take after getting treated with radioactive iodine, but I have not seen anything about after receiving the small dose involved with the scan. My concern is that the evening after I take the pill I have a class, and then the day after I take the pill I have a small group meeting and there is a woman in the group who is about 2 months pregnant. Is it okay for me to go to these events? I'll ask the person who is doing the test, but I was just wondering if anybody here has had the test and knows the answers already. Thanks.

 
Old 08-07-2004, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

you shoud be fine it is just a small amount that doesn't effect anyone, just you. So have fun at your meeting and class.

 
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Old 08-07-2004, 04:43 PM   #3
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

Why are you having the scan done?

If it is to diagnose Graves disease then it is completely UNNECESSARY exposure to ionizing radiation. The most definative test for Graves disease is a lab test for the autoantibody that causes Graves....TSI....Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin.

If you have nodules, a thyroid ultrasound can tell if they warrant further investigation such as a FNA biopsy.

(Can you tell I am not a fan of the radioactive iodine uptake and scan? *grin* )
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:18 PM   #4
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

I am having the scan to find out why I am hypo. My thyroid is enlarged. You can't see a huge goiter on the outside, but I have had problems feeling like I am being strangled on and off for several years. I kept getting my thyroid tested (just TSH) and it was normal (really, it was, not just the lab saying it was). Sometime within the past 6-9 months, I started having bad hypo symptoms (I'm not sure exactly because I wrote most of the symptoms off to recovering from surgery). So I am seeing an endocrinologist (member of the AACE, so he agrees that my TSH of 3.14 is a problem). I saw him for the first time about 2 weeks ago. He did the whole history thing and felt my thyroid and looked at my labs that were about a month old at that point. So he decided to do the scan, an ultrasound, and more bloodwork. I see him again on the 20th. I am glad that he is doing the tests, though, because I would much prefer a doc that tries to find out why I'm hypo before treating it over a doc that just gives me drugs without trying to find out what the problem is. I did get tested for antibodies, but they didn't find any. So that's why I'm irradiating myself. :-)

 
Old 08-07-2004, 06:24 PM   #5
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

It is HIGHLY unusual for anyone to have an uptake/scan when hypthyroid. It is normally a test for HYPERthyroid folks to determine if the hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves disease or a hyperfunctioning nodule.

I'm no doctor, but from my 5 years of reading about all forms of thyroid disease, there is nothing in the uptake and scan test that can tell them anything about hypothyroidism.

A thyroid ultrasound will tell them the size of your thyroid gland...and that will tell them if it is enlarged or not.

Have they tested you for thyroid autoantibodies yet? More specifically Hashi antibodies? (TPO)
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Dx Graves 4/99, tx w/Tapazole & Atenolol - Remission 7/03; Relapse 1/06, back on Tapazole, remission & off meds again 11/06.

 
Old 08-07-2004, 07:56 PM   #6
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

there is nothing in the uptake and scan test that can tell them anything about hypothyroidism.>>>

I agree, I had the scan done too. I am not against it per se', but it won't tell you anything that you are looking for. I had it done to further evaluate nodules. If he is willing to start treatment, I would just go with that, and most likely, meds will shrink your thyroid down, it did with me.
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:28 PM   #7
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

Yeah, they tested me for the antibodies and I didn't have any. I don't really know what else it might be that he is looking for with the scan. Perhaps it might not be necessary, but just having one won't scar me for life, right? If it will put the docs concerns to rest, then I won't have to worry about anything weird. Maybe I'm just being foolish and this guy isn't really going to be able to help me. But my insurance doesn't really cover many doctors out here (it is a Michigan-based insurance, and I am in Arizona...), and a lot of the docs I called first weren't taking new patients until November or later. My plan is to just go ahead and get all the tests and see what he says. If I think he's nuts after my next appointment, there is a doc at they Mayo clinic (which is conveniently located right here...) who has been highly recommended to me. My friend who has Hashimoto's saw him until her insurance changed, and one of my professors sees him. Unfortunately, they don't take my insurance. But if I think my current doc is nuts I will go see this other dude for a second opinion and then have him recommend a doc who isn't nuts. At least I know from reading these boards that if this one doesn't work but I find a good doc on my second attempt that I'm actually doing better than most!

Last edited by kehorner; 08-07-2004 at 10:37 PM.

 
Old 08-08-2004, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Radioactive Iodine Scan Precautions?

Here's my thinking on the uptake/scan and your situation....

Ingesting the radioactive iodine will expose yourself to ionizing radiation and in your case, for no good reason. There is no useful information to be gained from this test in your specific case. Ionizing radiation damages tissue AND mutates genes.

If your concern is the feeling of fullness, something in your throat then why are they not doing a endoscopy and looking down your throat with a camera?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis causes the thyroid to swell up in an attempt to trap more iodine and make more thyroid hormone. It is the bodies natural defense to try to get what it knows it needs. Once the Hashimoto's is treated (with replacement hormone) the swelling goes down.

We all have to make choices regarding our treatment, you need to do whatever you feel is right for you. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that this test was not going to give useful information in your case and it will also expose you to unnecessary radiation.

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Dx Graves 4/99, tx w/Tapazole & Atenolol - Remission 7/03; Relapse 1/06, back on Tapazole, remission & off meds again 11/06.

Last edited by K9Mom; 08-08-2004 at 07:00 AM.

 
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