• What is the recovery like for radioactive iodine treatment?

    Asked by bigjan on Saturday, March 23, 2013

    What is the recovery like for radioactive iodine treatment?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I have had radioactive iodine twice (30 years in between). I found the lead up to the last one the hardest since I had to go 3 months without thyroid. I had dry skin and hair for a couple months but not bad. Make sure that you have sour lemon to keep your saliva glands active and protected during the treatment. My glands were burned each time so I have bad dry mouth, this has caused dental issues (and lots of annoyance). They didn't know about this the first time I had the treatment.
      They will give you a paper explaining that you have had radiation in case you need to fly or go across the border, you will set off radiation alarms (it stays in your body for 3 months).
      You should be able to do the treatment at home with instructions on how to wash the plates and silverware. I had my first treatment in the hospital behind a lead shield - its gotten much easier! If you have questions or need to talk give me a shout - Tracy

      over 3 years ago
    • emsavard's Avatar

      I had 5 treatments. My biggest challenge with the RAI treatments was the loss of saliva. My salivary glands were badly affected. Now if I am doing anything strenuous such as exercise I have to be chewing gum or else my mouth very dry. My tear ducts have also been affected and my eyes water and leak very easily for no reason. It is difficult to say exactly what all has happened because it just becomes the "norm" in your life.

      over 3 years ago
    • spunky's Avatar

      I had it last August. I was fine the first 24 hours. Then I had a loss of appetite for about a week with mild nausea. The dry mouth was bad. I was told to suck on lemon drops which helped tremendously. The worst for me was having to stay away from my 2 small grandkids for a week. And not being able to go out in public for that week. The diet I had to follow leading up to the treatment was a pain! Trying to find all salt free, iodine free products was very difficult. I lost weight on that diet because there was just not enough food that I could tolerate. I never found salt free bread in my area. I love my bread!There were restrictions on medication, prescription and non-prescription.

      over 3 years ago
    • hiho's Avatar

      It is different for everyone. You will either sail right through it or you will struggle with issues like swollen face and glands. metallic taste in your mouth, fatigue and other symptoms. Tracy described it pretty much like my experience. I too lost the use of my salivary and tear glands and since have discovered that I actually have Sjogren's Syndrome. So caused from radioactive iodine? Who knows.

      over 3 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      I think everyone’s experience is different. My first round was difficult as I was fresh 1 month post surgery so my endo put me on cytomel and everything just was up and down and achy, heart palpitations, night sweats, just plain yucky time. I had side effects swollen neck, salivary glands, loss of taste or metallic taste for about 2 months. My taste somewhat changed after recovery. The second time around I did thyrogen shots before radiation and that was the most difficult for me. They said it would be easier but it has been a harder recovery, hormone wise so you may want to talk to your doctor about post radiation side effects apart from the normal radiation side effect. I was not aware of the hormone imbalance, and medication regulating would be so difficult the second time around. So I would say talk to your talker about regulating your thyroid meds and what suppression is right for you. Also not to be to personal but if you are at that time in a females life where our hormones begin to naturally change to less you might want to bring that up with the doctor also because it plays apart in the way your body uses the thyroid hormone post radiation.

      over 3 years ago

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