What is RAI Treatment for Graves’s Disease?
Radioactive iodine treatment treats the problem of hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease by shrinking the thyroid gradually and thereby, destroying the gland ultimately i.e. radioactive thyroid ablation. Doctors perceive this therapy much safer than other options, as the treatment is a permanent one and as a reliable cure to deal with hyperthyroidism.
Radioactive Iodine Ablation
Radioactive iodine is able to destroy a specific part or all of the thyroid. Even though there are some of the instances when you do not require destroying of the gland completely to alleviate the symptoms of Graves’ disease/hyperthyroidism, total destruction of one’s thyroid often becomes essential among patients. Doctors refer this as radioactive iodine ablation, ablation term implies to erosion or destruction of the thyroid.
Radioactive Iodine Test
According to the prescribed dose by your doctor, radioactive iodine is able to kill a particular portion of your thyroid or destroy it from its root. The doctor will order for uptake of radioactive iodine and scan to determine the dose you require, while simultaneously, identify the exact cause of your hyperthyroidism problem (whether because of Graves’ disease or not) and collect other related information about the patients’ thyroid tissue.
To conduct this test, endocrinologists or doctors ingest radioactive iodine in a small dosage and observe the activity level of patients’ thyroid by simply measuring the exact amount of iodine a patient absorbs. Scanning of thyroid displays both diseased and healthy tissues properly. To determine the best possible dosage, size of one’s thyroid gland based on physical examination and results obtained from uptake test act as two significant factors. Dosage of radioactive iodine depends solely on exact size of the thyroid gland. Indeed, higher iodine uptake indicates small dose.
Working of Radioactive Iodine Treatment
Since radioactive iodine is easily available in the form of oral pills, you do not have to hospitalize for it. Once you intake the pill, doctor recommends you increase your water/fluids intake to prompt the release of respective dosage via urine.
Radioactive iodine pill only affects the thyroid gland of a patient. These cells act as main cells in the human body for absorbing iodine. Because of this, it causes less possible radiation exposure in remaining cells of your body. Whenever thyroid cells in patients absorb radiations, they suffer damages or destroy.
About 90 percent of hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease’ patients require a single dosage before they cure from the problem. Even though, you need only one dosage, you have to wait for 6 months before the medicine destroys a specific part or the entire thyroid gland. Positively, many patients experience reduction in their symptoms after completing one month of their treatment procedures. In case the symptoms persist for 6 months or more after treatment, you should take a second dosage to get proper cure of your disease.
After Radioactive Treatment
After your radioactive iodine therapy, you have to take specific precautions to avoid the exposure of the respective radiation to any other people. These include-
- Depending on the strength or your RAI dosage, you have to sleep alone for about 3 nights or 5 nights after you undergo with the treatment.
- You should strictly avoid personal contact with your children, such as kissing or hugging for about 3 days to 7 days according to your intake dosage.
- Next, you should make sure to stay at the safest possible distance from other people (maximum 6 feet) at least for initial 3 days after your treatment.
- You should strictly avoid visiting any public place and drink water in sufficient amounts to trigger the easy removal of radioactive iodine pill via your urine.
- For initial 3 days, you should never share any of your items with any other individual. These include personal items, including towels and beddings.
- You should perform your laundry as well as dishwashing separately, while wipe/wash the toilet after you use each item.
- Lastly, you should make sure to wash the hands often and take shower on a daily basis.
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