Radioactive iodine therapy

How does radioactive iodine therapy work?

Radioactive iodine is an effective type of treatment for cancer of the thyroid gland. This is because the radioactive iodine from the drink or capsule is absorbed into your body and picked up by the thyroid cancer cells, even if they have spread to other parts of the body. The radiation then destroys the cancer cells.

What are the side effects of radioactive iodine therapy?

Some side effects from radioactive iodine treatment include: Metallic taste in your mouth. Dry mouth . Sore throat. Neck pain. Nausea or vomiting, which is usually mild. Constipation or diarrhea. Fatigue. Unusually low (hypothyroidism) or unusually high (hyperthyroidism) thyroid levels.

How long do you have to be in isolation after radioactive iodine?

Depending on state regulations, patients may have to stay isolated in the hospital for about 24 hours to avoid exposing other people to radiation , especially if there are young children living in the same home.

Is radioactive iodine treatment dangerous?

Findings from a study of patients who received radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment for hyperthyroidism show an association between the dose of treatment and long-term risk of death from solid cancers , including breast cancer .

Can I touch things after radioactive iodine?

Your body will slowly eliminate the radioactive iodine through body fluids such as your saliva, sweat and urine. As this happens, things you touch or people that come near you will be exposed to radioactive iodine , which is unsafe.

Why do you have to be isolated after radioactive iodine?

Your body will give off radiation for some time after you get RAI therapy. Depending on the dose of radioiodine used and where you are being treated, you might need to be in the hospital for a few days after treatment, staying in a special isolation room to prevent others from being exposed to radiation .

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Do you lose hair with radioactive iodine?

Radioactive iodine does not produce hair loss . Nevertheless, hair loss can be associated with changing levels of thyroid hormone, and may be experienced by some patients with hypo or hyperthyroidism.

How do I clean my house after radioactive iodine treatment?

To decrease the spread of radioactivity : If possible, use a separate bathroom. Flush the toilet two times after each use. Men should sit down when urinating. If urine should be spilled/splashed, wash and rinse the affected area three times, using paper towels or tissue.

Do you gain weight after radioactive iodine treatment?

Weight change was analyzed in only 228 patients and 84% gained weight by 1 year after radioactive iodine therapy .

What can you not do after radioactive iodine treatment?

You will be advised to sleep alone for the first few days after your treatment . During this period, you should avoid kissing or sexual intercourse. Also avoid prolonged physical contact with others, particularly children and pregnant women. If you have a baby, be sure to get instructions from your doctor.

Can I go to work after radioactive iodine treatment?

In other cases, patients who work closely with others or with children, or those who are not tolerating the hypothyroidism well may decide to start work days or several weeks after treatment . 3. When can I resume my normal diet? You can resume a normal diet 2 days after your RAI treatment .

How much water should I drink after radioactive iodine?

Clearing the radioactive iodine from your body Follow these guidelines to help the radioactive iodine leave your body quickly. Drink lots of liquids. Starting right after your treatment, try to drink at least 1 cup of low- iodine liquid every hour while you’re awake. Keep doing this for 2 to 3 days after your treatment.

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How fast does radioactive iodine work?

The effect of this treatment on the thyroid gland usually takes between one and three months to develop, with maximum benefit occurring three to six months after treatment. Usually, a single dose is successful in treating hyperthyroidism.

How many times can you have radioactive iodine treatment?

You may only need to have this treatment once. But it can be repeated every 3 months if needed, until there is no sign of any thyroid cancer on your scans.

Can a thyroid grow back after radioactive iodine?

If you have thyroid cancer and you are treated with radioactive iodine , it may take from several weeks to many months for your body to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. Your thyroid nodule is unlikely to grow after being treated with radioactive iodine .

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