Radioactive Iodine Side Effects In People With Graves’ Disease
Radioactive iodine causes a number of different side effects in people with Graves’ Disease, as well as other types of hyperthyroidism. While some people do need this treatment, most people with a hyperthyroid condition do not need radioactive iodine. I personally was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, and not only did I restore my health back to normal without receiving this harsh treatment method, but I also avoided taking Methimazole, beta blockers, or any other prescription drugs.
Before I discuss some of the other options you have besides receiving radioactive iodine, I want to discuss two huge risks of this treatment method:
Risk #1: Radioactive iodine treatment can make you hypothyroid for the rest of your life. This is the primary side effect of radioactive iodine, as many people end up taking thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives after receiving this harsh treatment method. The reason is because this treatment damages the thyroid gland, which of course will affect the ability of this gland to produce thyroid hormone. So while radioactive iodine can effectively eliminate your hyperthyroid symptoms, it will most likely leave you with hypothyroid symptoms.
And while these symptoms can usually be controlled by taking thyroid hormone daily, why receive a treatment that can damage your thyroid gland, especially when most people with hyperthyroidism have other options to choose from? Since the thyroid gland affects every tissue and cell in your body, you at least owe it to yourself to get a second opinion and look into other treatment options before you receive radioactive iodine.
Risk #2: Radioactive iodine treatment does nothing to address the actual cause of your condition. What I’m about to say might surprise you, as in most cases the malfunctioning thyroid gland is not the actual cause of your condition, even though it is the main reason behind the symptoms of Graves’ Disease or any other hyperthyroid disorder. What this means is that receiving radioactive iodine won’t do anything to address the autoimmune component of Graves’ Disease. This compromised immune system is most likely what led to the malfunctioning thyroid gland in the first place.
So those who just receive radioactive iodine and then take thyroid hormone daily without addressing the actual cause of the disease have a good chance of developing other conditions in the future. In a person with Graves’ Disease, this can lead to another autoimmune thyroid disorder such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or even other autoimmune conditions, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, etc..
But besides the immune system being affected, often times other systems of the body are either directly causing or contributing to the malfunctioning thyroid gland. For example, many people with Graves Disease have stressed out adrenal glands, which in turn can lead to a weakened immune system, eventually causing the thyroid gland to malfunction. So once again, radioactive iodine might help prevent the thyroid gland from secreting thyroid hormone, but it won’t address other bodily components.
Why Don’t Endocrinologists Address The Actual Cause Of The Disorder?
You might wonder why endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors don’t address the underyling cause of these conditions, and instead just manage the symptoms by directly treating the thyroid gland. In fact, most endocrinologists label Graves’ Disease as being incurable. I’m not trying to convince you that there is a cure for Graves’ Disease. All I’m trying to say is that most medical doctors, regardless of their specialty, do not try to get to the underlying cause of the condition. Most of them simply try to manage symptoms, and it’s no different with Graves’ Disease.
When I was initially diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I considered myself as having a thyroid disorder. But after consulting with a holistic doctor and doing some research of my own, I began to realize that in most cases, the thyroid gland is not the primary cause of the condition. I’m not suggesting that it’s a bad idea to manage the symptoms of the thyroid gland, as in many cases it is important to do this. But if this is all you do, and take extreme measures to do this through the use of radioactive iodine, then you are not doing anything for the actual cause of the disorder, which can lead to the development of other serious problems in the future.
What Options Do You Have Besides Radioactive Iodine Treatment?
If your endocrinologist recommends that you receive radioactive iodine treatment, here are some of the other options you can consider:
Option #1: You can take anti-thyroid drugs. This is not a bad short-term option for managing the symptoms, as prescription drugs such as Methimazole and/or Propranolol can often times do a good job of temporarily controlling your hyperthyroid symptoms. However, you need to keep in mind that these drugs are also not doing anything for the actual cause of the disorder. This is why many people who begin taking these drugs eventually receive radioactive iodine.
Option #2: You can begin a natural treatment protocol. More and more people are choosing natural treatment methods for their autoimmune thyroid condition. Even so, most people with Graves’ Disease are unaware that a natural treatment protocol can potentially restore their health back to normal. The truth is that not everybody is an ideal candidate for a natural treatment protocol. On the other hand, many people can be helped through such a protocol.
One of the most important factors is choosing a competent natural endocrine doctor to consult with. Some people make the mistake of trying to self-treat their condition naturally. While it might be tempting to visit your local health food store and purchase some nutritional supplements and/or herbal remedies, doing so can be dangerous, and in most cases, does not lead to optimal results. The reason for this is because restoring one’s health doesn’t just involve taking a few supplements or herbs, but frequently requires a change in lifestyle as well.
Don’t get me wrong, as nutritional supplements and herbs can be an important part of a natural treatment protocol. But in addition to taking the right supplements/herbs, you also need to make sure they are of high quality, and take the proper dosage. And since everyone has different needs, most will need to take different types and dosages. As a result, it is best to play it safe and consult with an expert.
Option #3: You can choose not to receive any type of treatment. Not choosing any type of treatment isn’t a wise option, as Graves’ Disease is a serious condition. Whether you decide to take anti-thyroid drugs, receive radioactive iodine, or choose natural treatment methods is of course completely up to you. But you really do need to get this condition treated.
In summary, radioactive iodine is a harsh treatment method that has long lasting consequences. And while some people do need to receive it, due to the extreme side effects it really should be a last resort in most cases. At the very least you should get a second opinion before receiving such a treatment, and consider consulting with a natural endocrine doctor to see if you are a candidate for natural treatment methods. By consulting with multiple doctors you can get the information you need in order to make an informed decision, and be completely comfortable with the treatment method you choose.
For more information on how to treat Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease through natural treatment methods, please visit my facebook fan page, Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism: Natural Treatment Solutions (and don't forget to Like the page while you're there!).