Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

Radioactive iodine is currently widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of many thyroid diseases. However, there are very few patients (patients) who fully understand this method, leading to excessive anxiety or vice versa, failing to adhere to the requirements after radioactive iodine treatment, causing harm to themselves and others. people around.
Iode's role in the thyroid
Iode is an essential ingredient for synthesizing thyroid hormones. Every day a normal person should be provided from 150 - 300μg of Iode


The thyroid gland has the ability to capture and move Iode atoms into cells for use in hormone synthesis. That's why when I have hyperthyroidism, Iode will focus more quickly and more on the thyroid.
What is radioactive iodine?
From normal Iode can use the accelerator to process into two types of iodine capable of releasing radioactive rays (radiation) used for medical purposes: I-123 (harmless to gland cells thyroid, commonly used for diagnosis) and I-131 (which can destroy thyroid cells, used for both diagnosis and treatment)

Radioactive iodine can be used safely for people who are allergic to seafood or iodine-containing contrast material because they actually react with a compound containing iodine, not iodine.

Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

How is radioactive iodine used in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease?
Thyroid scan
After oral administration (I-131) or injection (I-123), Iode will focus on the thyroid to show the appearance of the thyroid, detected through a recorder.
In addition, Iode's focus on the thyroid gland more or less also reflects the active or weak thyroid. Because I-123 has a shorter half-life, it is safer and is preferred in thyroid scans, including for nursing mothers. I-123 also has another advantage is that it is completely harmless to the body and does not need to be special noted after a thyroid scan.
Thyroid scans are often indicated in the diagnosis of thyroid goiter, diagnosing residual thyroid tissue after surgery for thyroid cancer or for preparing for hyperthyroidism ..

Treatment of thyroid disease
I-131 is used to remove overactive thyroid tissue (hyperthyroidism) or reduce the size of an overactive thyroid.

Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

These patients must comply with a number of radiation safety requirements. Note that it may take several months for this method to work.

In thyroid cancer, high-dose I-131 is used to kill all thyroid cells that remain after surgery. Due to high doses, patients will be isolated for about 24 hours in the hospital to avoid affecting others, especially children living in the same family; Often there will be inflammation of the salivary glands due to located near the thyroid, with symptoms such as pain, swelling ... to minimize it, drink plenty of water or rinse with lemon juice
Prevention of complications when treated with radioactive iodine I-131
Because I-131 is radioactive, patients should try to avoid radiation exposure to others, especially pregnant women and young children. The amount of radiation exposure will decrease significantly if the distance from the patient to others increases.

Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

Patients traveling on airplanes immediately after taking I-131 should bring a doctor's letter as the radiation alert system at airports can detect radiation from your body (even if it is at a safe level). security) and security personnel may prevent you from flying.
Patients who require high doses of I-131 (Basedow, thyroid cancer ...) need to stay in isolation for 3 - 7 days and can return home only when it is considered safe.
What are the risks of treating thyroid disease with I-131 in the long term?
Overall, I-131 treatment is safe and highly effective. Despite concern, long-term follow-up studies have not shown any serious consequences.

Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

The risk of thyroid cancer and other risks remains controversial and, if present, is very low.
Doctor taking notes

However, patients on I-131 need to be checked regularly for early detection of complications, including cancer. The most common complication is hypothyroidism but luckily it is very easy to treat. Other complications may include dry mouth and loss of appetite due to destroyed salivary glands.
Special notes
For women: Never use radioactive iodine, whether I-123 or I-131 to diagnose or treat pregnant women.
Women who want to have children must wait at least 6-12 months after I-131 treatment, as the ovaries are also at risk of radiation exposure.
So far there is no evidence that radioactive iodine treatment can cause infertility, but it can cause premature menopause.
For men: Male patients treated with radioactive iodine may experience decreased sperm count and temporary infertility for about 2 years.

Note When Treating Thyroid Disease With Radioactive Iodine

Therefore, patients who have received radioactive iodine treatment (for example, thyroid cancer) should send sperm to the sperm bank.
Guideline for time isolation after I-131 treatment
Limited appearance in public
Do not travel by public transport
Do not travel on long transports with other people
Maintain the warehouse.

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