How Long After Radioactive Iodine Treatment Will I Feel Better (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 2 to 3 months

Different serious thyroid infections are treated with Radioiodine. The Radioactive Iodine Treatment uses this Radioiodine to destroy or reduce the thyroid cells to a larger extent and also used to treat few specific diseases related to the thyroid. As it targets only the thyroid cells, it is completely safe, does not cause much pain, and a reliable treatment where there is only little exposure to other cells of the body.

The thyroid is the most efficient organ which requires much iodine to generate the needed hormones. There are plenty of ways to reduce the symptoms and improve thyroid function like practicing proper medication or eating the right amount of nutrient food, but when these do not help, it leads to thyroid cancer where RAI treatment helps.

How Long After Radioactive Iodine Treatment Will I Feel Better?

People usually feel better and changes may be noted from the fourth to eighth week of treatment but in cases where the infection is severe, it takes much longer than expected time to cure. The time it takes to shows its result, usually varies from person to person and relies on the type of hyperthyroidism caused and few other factors.

Radioactive iodine is the only treatment where your respective physician could give you surety on the permanent cure of hyperthyroidism. Even in few cases, people choose antithyroid medicine but when hyperthyroidism comes back, RAI is the best option to choose for good results.

85% of the thyroid patient takes only one dose as a permanent remedy for hyperthyroidism. It can take from a couple of weeks to several months to resolve. But doctors recommend taking a second dose if it has not been resolved even after six months of post-treatment.

Depending on the type of cancer, the dosage of radioactive iodine is increased such as for thyroid cancers like follicular and papillary, it is much larger in amount when compared with hyperthyroidism treatment. Like other treatments, RAI also has its potential side effects but generally relies on age and side effects such as pain in the neck, nausea occurs rarely to few patients, where a small pill is given to recover from it.

People undergo this treatment once the thyroid gland is removed to vanish the extra thyroid cells. If you still have a large part of the thyroid gland during the RAI treatment, You may expertise swelling in the neck for the next few weeks.

In summary,

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Severity of diseasesNumber of dosesTime takes to feel better
Stage 1 and 213- 6 months
Stage 3 and 42-312 months

Why Does It Take That Long To Feel Better After Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

After the RAI treatment, you will radioactive and this will continue for few days. Other cells of the body also tend to receive this radiation but due to the small amount, it does produce any adverse effects. This treatment can be repeated once in three months until there is no sign of thyroid cancer in the scans.

It takes too long to recover because your thyroid needs time to regenerate enough amount of iodine and minerals for proper functioning. When your diet contains a large amount of iodine, it prevents your body from reacting to radioiodine treatment like only some amount of radioiodine can be absorbed by thyroid cells.

Few measures should be strictly followed before treatment like low-iodine treatment should be followed at least before one week of treatment as it makes the radioactive iodine therapy more worth and effective. You should take care when you are trying to treat the goiter with radioactive iodine because rarely do people develop Graves’ disease after the treatment.

 This therapy does not make it weak or cause any change to the immune system. Depending upon the rules and regulations of the hospitals, patients may tend to stay in hospitals for 24 to 37 hours due to the presence of radiation content in their bodies.

Most people may suffer from hypothyroidism after RAI but it more easily curable and does not cause any risk of thyroid cancer. anti-thyroid medications must be stooped before three to five days of treatment and should be resumed only after consulting your respective physician. 

Conclusion

Normal diet can be resumed after 2 days of RAI treatment. Make a practice to drink more amount of liquid and at least 1 cup of low-iodine liquid once each hour. You should follow this for nearly 3 to 4 days to feel comfortable. In almost all cases, people get recovered and thyroid hormones get back to normal level or slightly below normal.

Women are likely to get thyroid cancer three times faster than men. It reacts faster for younger people when compared to adults. It is suggested to drink a large quantity of water to get rid of radiations.

References

  1. https://www.birpublications.org/doi/abs/10.1259/0007-1285-57-676-323
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2004.02152.x
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