by Elaine Moore
RAI was first used to treat hyperthyroidism in the 1950's. Recent long-term studies show that RAI causes an increased risk of thyroid and small bowel cancers.
Why is RAI still used most often to treat GD? Because it's the least expensive method, requiring few follow-up visits...only annual checkups for the resulting hypothyroidism. Radioiodine, usually I-131 taken orally, works by destroying thyroid cells, thereby reducing the amount of thyroid tissue capable of producing and releasing thyroid hormone. However, the thyroid is the victim in GD, not the cause. An immune system defect is responsible for symptoms in GD.
Radioiodine can damage your salivary glands, causing symptoms much like those in Sjogren's syndrome. RAI can also damage your parathyroid glands. RAI is also known to trigger fibromyalgia.
© 11 Mar 2006 Copyrighted by Elaine Moore