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Definition

Some thyroid diseases or thyroid cancer is treated with radioactive iodine treatment. And the element iodine of a radioactive form is the procedure that is truly needed. Radioactive iodine annuls cancerous cells and in the process of radioactivity does not expand for further on, in the body.

The Procedure

A procedure is designed to cure hyperthyroidism, over-activity of a thyroid gland and different types of cancers. But there are side effects of radioactive iodine therapy, because radioactivity may be really harmful. Side effects such as neck pain, sore throat, nausea, flushing, tiredness, dry mouth, metallic taste, a tight throat and extreme levels of thyroid hormone (low or high). Pregnant women are at the especial risk for possible complications and radiation should postpone breastfeeding for a week minimum.

But before going to a treatment, it is better to have special diet that includes taking food with low iodine. Taking any medicines for thyroid hormone is also ceased during that period. Drinking or eating for at least two hours before the procedure is necessary, but taking water is allowed. The procedure follows with iodine radioactive tablets. With orally taken tablets, thyroid will absorb radioactive iodine right away. The treatment carries no pain and it takes only couple of hours, but it requires certain procedure to follow.

Radioactive iodine passes through the urine and may be still active discharged in the toilet bowel. And it is not allowed to eat solid food 2 hours before treatment, while it is allowed to drink plenty of water instead. After the treatment, it is recommended to empty the bladder from the extra iodine.

However, it is not good to lie or stand near anyone for 48 hours after the treatment because of the radioactivity involved in the treatment. Also no sharing food, drink or bed for 48 hours at least. Always clean hands or flush toilet very thoroughly at that period for some time.

After 48 hours it is allowed to take usual thyroid medicines. A thyroid levels are getting back to the track, in a period of 8-12 weeks. But sometimes, there is a need for second treatment with radioactive iodine which is luckily not too often. Consulting doctor should be 4 to 6 weeks after the treatment. But be aware, cause radioactive active iodine treatment can cause a low thyroid function or hypothyroidism. In such case doctor needs to verify thyroid status every month for some time until the state or patient approves.

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