Health and Fitness

Avoiding radioactive iodine therapy for Graves Disease

The surgeon must be careful not to damage or r...
Image of a thyroid gland | The surgeon must be careful not to damage or remove the parathyroid glands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About 13 years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, which is also commonly referred to as hyperactive thyroid. I saw an endocrinologist who sent me for testing and then immediately sent me for radioactive iodine therapy treatment. I was only 23 at the time, so I did as my doctor told me without asking many questions.

It wasn’t until later when I occasionally ran into someone else with the disease that I found out there were other options. I also learned far too late that radioactive iodine therapy can be very dangerous and have a negative impact on your health, leading to long-lasting health problems, and even cancer.

This morning, I stumbled upon a blog post from Natural Endocrine Solutions that discusses how radioactive iodine therapy should be used as a last resort.

I know this website is kind of sales-pitchy, but I agree with what this doctor says. I feel like I was pressured to jump straight to the radiation without trying anything else first, and it has had an impact on my health in other areas. For example, I suffer from perpetually dry skin, dry eyes, dry everything.

The discomfort level varies, but in the winter, I often slather my hands with lotion and wear gloves even in the house to protect my skin. My lips are always chapped, and my eyes do not seem to produce sufficient tears to protect them from dust particles in the air that never seem to bother anyone else as much as they bother me. My sinuses are also constantly dry, and I suffer from all sorts of issues due to that. And that’s just the abridged list.

So, if you find yourself with a Graves Disease diagnosis, please be sure to educate yourself on the dangers of radioactive iodine and try other methods of treatment first. *While you may find that you eventually DO need to undergo radiation on your thyroid, it should not be your number one option. DO NOT let your doctor pressure you into something you do not feel comfortable with.

Do you or someone you love suffer from Graves Disease? What treatments have you tried? What do you recommend? Please comment below.

~Mandy Webster

*Please note, I am not a doctor or other medical professional. Do not take this blog post as medical advice. I am merely encouraging you to educate yourself on your options and discuss all options with your doctor before choosing the course of treatment that is best for you.

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