Radioactive Iodine Therapy: Pros and Cons

Radioactive Iodine TherapyRadioactive iodine therapy can be a very effective treatment for thyroid problems and conditions, but before you choose this treatment option you should be aware of all the pros and cons that this treatment has. There are other options you can choose, including medications and surgery, for hyper thyroid symptoms, but each treatment will offer specific benefits and drawbacks.

One of the benefits that radioactive iodine therapy offers is that there is less chance of damaging other tissues. Some other treatment options do not have this benefit, and may cause accidental damage and side effects that are not intended. Your thyroid gland will absorb the radioactive iodine and this substance will destroy overactive thyroid tissues without damaging other crucial tissues nearby.

You can follow a diet for hyperthyroidism, but this method has many drawbacks at times. If you do not manage your diet properly this treatment may not be as effective as radioactive iodine therapy, and can lead to further medical problems and worse conditions. Your thyroid pulls iodine from your body, and cells which are producing too many hormones will pull in more of the radiation in the iodine, and be destroyed in the process.

The opposite end of thyroid issues are underactive thyroid symptoms. In this case your thyroid is not producing enough hormones. One benefit of radioactive iodine therapy is that underactive thyroid cells are not affected at all. Because these cells are not pulling in much iodine they are not really affected by the radiation in the iodine, and will not die off. One of the drawbacks is that this treatment will not relieve the symptoms of low thyroid function.

The biggest drawback to radioactive iodine therapy is the fact that you are radioactive for up to a week after you receive this treatment. You must use precautions so that you do not accidentally expose others to the radiation you are releasing. You must sleep alone, and use specific towels, dishes, and clothing that no one else uses. You also need to drink plenty of fluids and wash your hands frequently, along with taking other precautions.