ABOUT THE THYROID GLAND
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located at the base of the neck. It fuels a wide range of key functions including metabolism, development, growth, body temperature, cognitive ability, digestion, and the way we breathe. The thyroid gland makes it possible for the body to convert nutrients into energy.
ABOUT RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY
Radioactive iodine therapy is a type of treatment used for hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. The main cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Iodine is important for making thyroid hormones and is naturally collected by the thyroid from the foods we eat.
Radioactive iodine treatment is the most commonly used hyperthyroidism treatment in the U.S. The thyroid gland absorbs nearly all of the iodine in your body. When radioactive iodine therapy, also known as I-131, is taken into the body in liquid or capsule form, it is concentrated in thyroid cells. The radiation can then destroy the thyroid gland and any other thyroid cells after taking up the iodine, with minimal effect on the rest of the body.
HOW IS RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY USED?
This method of treatment is intended to destroy any thyroid tissue not removed by surgery or to treat types of thyroid cancer that have spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Radioactive iodine therapy improves the survival rate of patients with follicular thyroid cancer or papillary thyroid cancer which has spread to the neck and other areas of the body. While undergoing radioactive iodine therapy doctors will typically recommend the patient follow a low iodine diet for 1 or 2 weeks before treatment.
WHO SHOULD NOT USE RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY?
For safety reasons, some people should not use radioactive iodine therapy.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women or those planning to become pregnant in the next six months
- Young children who have not tried other treatment options first
- Some people with Graves’ disease ophthalmopathy (thyroid eye disease)
- People who are unable to follow radiation safety precautions
HOW IS RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY ADMINISTERED?
This treatment is given by mouth in pill form and is safe to use in individuals who have had allergic reaction to seafood or X-Ray contrast agents. Patients will then be educated in radiation safety precautions following treatment to avoid radiation exposure to others.
At Palm Beach Diabetes & Endocrine Specialists, P.A., patients have access to our radioactive iodine laboratory located in West Palm Beach. This laboratory will help to integrate thyroid care throughout our offices in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Wellington, and West Palm Beach. To learn more about radioactive iodine therapy treatment available at Palm Beach Diabetes & Endocrine Specialists, P.A., please contact us today by clicking here.