vitamins and minerals

How Graves’ Disease Sufferers Can Avoid Radioactive Iodine Treatment

If you have Graves’ disease or any other form of hyperthyroidism and are considering treating your condition with radioactive iodine, you may want to look into other types of treatment methods first. Many people do not realize the potential consequences of radioactive iodine treatment. As a medical professional and someone diagnosed with Graves’ disease, I can tell you that avoiding radioactive iodine was one of the best choices I ever made.

To better understand why you should avoid this type of harsh treatment, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of what this treatment does, as well as the potential consequences if you choose this method of treatment. The thyroid gland contains iodine, which it needs to make thyroid hormones. Radioactive iodine is usually given orally to the patient. It then travels through the bloodstream to the thyroid gland and essentially destroys many cells in the thyroid gland to prevent it from producing thyroid hormones.

If you go to Google and type in “radioactive iodine”, one of the first articles listed explains that there are few side effects when taking radioactive iodine and that these side effects do not occur too frequently. But then the author casually tells the reader the following: “Once the thyroid becomes underactive, a single daily tablet of thyroid hormone, T4, should be taken for life. Although most patients are completely cured, a few people will need a second treatment.”

Radioactive iodine is NOT a cure for Graves’ disease

To summarize what this doctor said, by receiving radioactive iodine, you will be completely cured of hyperthyroidism, but will become hypothyroid for the rest of your life, and will be forced to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormones daily. .. as long as you live. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a cure to me. And when treating a disorder like Graves’ disease, you have to keep in mind that radioactive iodine does nothing to treat the immune system component of this autoimmune disease, which is extremely important.

So when a person with Graves’ disease receives treatment with radioactive iodine, he will most likely succeed in stopping the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Of course, this will get rid of your hyperthyroid symptoms. But here are the following disadvantages of receiving radioactive iodine for Graves’ disease:

1) You will probably become hypothyroid for the rest of your life. So, again, that means you’ll probably have to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormones daily…forever. Now, to be frank, not everyone does, because while some people will have to take thyroid hormones daily, others who are told they will have to take them forever might be able to restore their health if they followed a natural treatment. protocol. Of course, this depends on the extent of damage to the thyroid gland.

2) It does nothing to treat the immune system component. Although radioactive iodine should help reduce or stop the production of thyroid hormones and therefore relieve symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it will do nothing to help boost your immune system. This will make you more susceptible to future autoimmune diseases.

3) It does nothing to treat the underlying cause of your disorder. In addition to not treating the immune system component, if other areas of your body have led to the development of your condition, such as your adrenal glands, gastrointestinal system, etc., receiving this type of treatment will not nothing to solve the problem. cause and/or contributing factors of your disorder.

If you have hyperthyroidism but not Graves’ disease, then even though you don’t have to worry about the immune system component, you should understand that receiving this treatment can still have serious consequences. Of course, I will admit that most cases of hypothyroidism are generally not life threatening like a severe case of hyperthyroidism can be. On the other hand, when you understand how the thyroid gland affects every cell and tissue in our body, you should still think twice before receiving this therapy.

When is radioactive iodine really necessary?

I am not saying that the RAI is never necessary under any circumstances. What I am telling you is that this is an extreme form of treatment and in most cases should be considered a last option. After all, once your thyroid gland is destroyed, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to undo the damage. There are undoubtedly situations where someone might need radioactive iodine treatment, such as in some cases of thyroid cancer. Others may need this type of treatment when symptoms are severe and they have not responded to any other type of treatment.

Around the time of writing this article, a major league baseball player was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (not Graves’ disease). Fortunately, her doctor recommended rest and a change in diet. Although his condition is considered mild at this point, don’t think that mild cases of hyperthyroidism are always treated conservatively. As proof, I recently saw a person who many years ago was given radioactive iodine for a mild case of hyperthyroidism, even though she had no symptoms. Since then, she has been taking synthetic thyroid hormones daily, when a conservative approach might have initially worked.

What other options do you have?

So what other treatment options are available besides radioactive iodine for people with Graves’ disease, or just hyperthyroidism itself? There are basically three options:

Option #1: Antithyroid drugs. Methimazole is a common antithyroid drug recommended by some endocrinologists. Many will also recommend a beta-blocker, such as propranolol, to help control symptoms.

Option #2: Natural treatment methods. Most people with Graves’ disease are unaware that there are natural treatment methods that could simply restore their condition. Of course, not everyone can be helped with natural treatment methods. And due to the severity of this condition, many people should still use prescription medications to help control symptoms when first starting the natural treatment protocol.

Option #3: No treatment. Choosing not to receive any type of treatment when diagnosed with Graves’ disease can be quite risky. This condition can become life-threatening, so you must choose an effective type of treatment, whether it is conventional treatment methods or a natural treatment protocol.

It is of course up to you to decide which treatment method is best for you. When I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, I knew the potential consequences of radioactive iodine treatment. Fortunately, I had a somewhat conservative endocrinologist, as she recommended that I take methimazole, plus a beta-blocker to help control my symptoms. And even though I was considering taking the medicine, I decided to consult a natural doctor first.

Long story short, I decided not to take the prescription drugs and started a natural treatment protocol. And I finally got great results. Not only did the treatment protocol relieve my symptoms, but my follow-up blood tests (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, etc.) looked great! I also had my adrenals tested early on and those levels (which weren’t good to begin with) also improved.

And although I’m a natural health professional, like many people with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism in general, I was skeptical about whether or not natural treatment methods would help in such a serious condition. . And I’m in no way suggesting that you don’t take medication for your disorder, because some people with very severe symptoms need to take the prescription medications to control the symptoms. And as I mentioned earlier, some people will even need to receive radioactive iodine.

The purpose here was simply to make you aware that there are other treatment options besides radioactive iodine, and that at the very least, you should receive a second opinion before receiving this extreme treatment. After all, you only have one thyroid gland, and so before receiving this treatment you want to be 100% sure that this is what you really need.

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