Radioactive Therapy: What’s Next?

After following with my endocrinologist, I was sent to the hospital to get more extensive tests done before going into radioactive iodine treatment.  For three days, I underwent a series of testing; ultrasound, MRI of the neck, and additional blood work.  All this was done to find out the appropriate treatment. I followed the doctor’s recommendations and opted for radioactive.  Radioactive Iodine TherapImage result for radioactive iodiney (RAI or I-131) is taken as liquid or capsule form. The radiation is used to destroy the thyroid cells that are using too much iodine instead of surgically removing the thyroid gland.  After a couple of days later, I underwent the radioactive therapy.  I was given a radioactive capsule and approximately three hours preceding the treatment; I was sent home. I was giving specific instruction to minimize immediate close contact for a minimum of seven days, specifically of contact and body fluids such as saliva and other excretions. The hardest part of being isolated for seven days is seeing my son’s little face (he was then six years old) trying to open the door and asking me why he couldn’t come in or if I was sick. That broke my heart, but I explained the situation to him, and he became the best nurse a mother can ask for.

A month later, my body began fighting against me.  It began with hives and red spots all over my body, my lips swelling. These symptoms resulted in another hospital visit for an unknown allergic reaction.  Then I blow up like a blowfish.  My face swelled, my eyes protruded, and I gained weight.  In three months, I gained approximately sixty pounds and went into a deep depression.  For the next five to six months, doctors didn’t know what was going on with me. That’s when it all began: my doctor started changing my medication trying to find something suitable to give some balance to my thyroid activity because my thyroid was not acting properly.  I continued explaining to my doctor that I felt that my body was intoxicated from the radioactive therapy which not an easy task getting him to listen.  Interestingly, my doctor was reluctant to listen to my concerns.  Recently, one of my co-workers underwent the same procedure that I did, and no medication worked until she went to a rejuvenation spa and had a series of tests and thyroid therapy. I decided to speak with my current doctor to see how that, or a similar treatment would work for me.

I have been searching for someone out there who has experienced the same symptoms as my case after radioactive therapy.  Just recently, I found a Natural News article of a woman who underwent radioactive therapy.  The dosage she was given caused her to be highly radioactive. Because of this overtreatment, she had to be isolated for three days in a lead-lined room.  If interested in reading more, follow the link:

http://www.naturalnews.com/054671_cancer_overtreatment_radiation_treatments.html.

The lesson learned here: prior to receiving treatment, research and prepare a list of questions for your doctor.  The worst place to be is in the dark when experiencing the trauma of a debilitating illness.

 

Work Cited

Z., Isabelle. Woman overtreated for thyroid cancer was isolated in lead-lined room for three days because she was emitting so much radiation. Natural News Network. 15 Jul. 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/054671_cancer_overtreatment_radiation_treatments.html. Accessed on 19 Feb. 2017

Milas, Kresimira.  Radioactive Iodine for Hyperthyroidism. Vertical Health LLC. 27 May 14.      https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hyperthyroidism/radioactive-iodine-hyperthyroidism . Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.

The Journey and Prevailing Against Hypothyroidism

I always dreaded going to the doctor, but this time it was different because my life was about to change and I didn’t even know it.

            I went to my doctor’s appointment for a yearly checkup.  Everything was going very well, until I noticed my doctor, Dr. Rivera, looking at me differently and asking questions she generally didn’t ask me. She began checking my throat and stood quickly for a moment. Later, she asked me if I had rapid palpitations, tiredness or fatigue, hair loss, weight loss, and had trouble concentrating. Finally, I asked her what was going on. I was shocked everything that the doctor was asking me I was having these symptoms. However, I never noticed or paid attention to it because I have a crazy hectic lifestyle. Dr. Rivera even noticed I was having a rapid weight loss which mind you it was great. The same day she did some bloodwork and week later I returned to her office to find out I had a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  Unfortunately, my goiter was a size of a tennis ball and needed to be removed.  After a month, I underwent a radioactive iodine therapy, which then left me with hypothyroidism.

         First, what is your thyroid gland?  It is common that most people do not know what thyroids are because it’s rarely mentioned, but if you only knew the importance of the thyroid’s function.  The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland slightly below the larynx (voice box) and in front of the trachea (windpipe).  It controls your metabolism and the thyroid aids as “speed control of the cell.” The thyroid uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones. Any small change of the thyroid hormone can affect the function of the body cells. Thyroid hormone relies on the pituitary gland (lies under the brain) to regulate the temperature of the body’s hormones. It is crucial to keep the thyroid hormone regulating. 

What are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism? 

        Hyperthyroidism (www.hyperthyroidism.com ) is an overactive thyroid or produces excessive thyroid hormone where it causes an enlargement of the thyroid gland called goiter. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a high amount of iodine, inflammation the thyroid gland, which makes thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) to come out from the gland.  It causes the metabolic rate increase rapidly or excessively.  Hypothyroidism is health condition where your thyroid gland is not producing thyroid hormones or another name for it is underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism is caused by certain misuse of drugs, a congenital birth defect, pregnancy, radioactive iodine treatment to treat goiter, and surgical removal of the thyroid gland. About estimated 20 million people have some thyroid condition.  Woman are about five to eight times more likely than men to have a thyroid problem. Image result for Thyroid Disease Chronic Illness Quotes

       I had to keep my negative emotions under control. I had to learn to cope and educate myself about this condition and from that day on my life was going to change not knowing the challenges I was going to come against and encounter.

 

 

Word Cited

Ain, Kenneth B. and Rosenthal, M. Sara.  The Complete Thyroid Book. McGraw-Hill Professional. 2011. Electronic Book.

Lights, Verneda, Solan, Matthew, and Fantauzzo, Michael. Hyperthyroidism. Healthline Media. 29 June 2016.  doi:http://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism?m=0&rw1#Overview1 .  Accessed on 16 Feb. 2017.