Okay, I have been dealing with this see-saw game with my thyroid drama since 1994, when I was first diagnosed. And you know what? It is FRUSTRATING with a big fat F! I don’t know if you or one of your loved ones feels the same way as I do, but it makes me sick at times. One week I am feeling free and fabulous, the weight is in check and I am looking great and the next two weeks, I am feeling sluggish and have put on an additional 3 pounds despite eating all the right things. What is really going on? It shouldn’t be this way. After all, I did have the radioactive treatment back in 1995; I thought it was supposed to eliminate all of this up-and-down crap! Yes, I am not a happy camper right at this moment and I need to blog about it so that it can make me feel better to know that I am not alone.
So What Happened?
- I believe in my personal opinion and from articles that I read that I got this thyroid disease due to my traumatic stress. After all, I was perfectly fine in college. When I started my first year in graduate school to work on my PhD in Electrical Engineering, I was stressed out and I was a very long way away from home. After being diagnosed, I was put on PTU and synthroid for a year before going to another doctor who introduced me to the idea of this radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment. It is an outpatient treatment whereby the doctor gives you a dosage of a radioactive isotope of iodine (I131) for you to drink. This “cocktail” is interesting to say the least. He said that if I was tired of going round and round that I should just have the procedure. What he failed to tell me was the percentage of likelihood that it would not work long term. He said that it could be a chance that I develop hypothyroidism (see my previous blog entry on the basics of thyroid disease, http://rhondascooking.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/do-you-have-a-thyroid-problem, but he never said how much was that “chance” and because I trusted him, I said okay, let’s just do it! I later learned from various sources online that it was a 75 – 100% effective, so I guess I represent that small percentage of those that the RAI treatment didn’t work.
What is RAI treatment?
- According to mythyroid.com, RAI treatment results in destruction of thyroid tissue, there is often a transient period of several days to weeks when the symptoms of hyperthyroidism may actually worsen following radioactive iodine therapy. Many patients are able to tolerate the initial few weeks without any problem whatsoever. Others may not be so successful and will likely become hypothyroid and will continue to have to take meds to manage this!
So, just in case you may be thinking about having it done, PLEASE talk to someone first before deciding to do it. See what happened to them and then make your decision. I do have an opinion about it—let’s just say that if I had to do it over again, I would have not selected that option because after about 12 years later, I am back on the see-saw with the up and down, hormonal imbalance.
Sources that discuss the RAI Treatment:
Photo credit: Bill Casselman