What is radioactive iodine treatment and how is it administered? As part of your treatment, your physician has deemed it appropriate for you to undergo radioactive iodine therapy. Radioactive iodine therapy, also popularly known as “atom therapy”, is a treatment method with recognised efficacy and safety that has been used worldwide for more than 60 years. Radioactive iodine, administered orally as capsule or liquid, is retained in the thyroid gland (goitre gland) cells after being absorbed from the digestive system and the radiation it emits destroys the fast working cells in the thyroid gland. The dose administered may not be sufficient to control the disease. In this case, the treatment may need to be repeated after a while. Rules to be followed in preparation before radioactive iodine treatment: 1. Fasting is required for 4-6 hours before the application. However, you can drink water. 2. Avoiding the use of some medicines containing iodine or affecting thyroid metabolism for the following periods before treatment will increase the effectiveness of your treatment. * Drugs used in goitre treatment (propycil, tiramozol) (5 days) * Rmiodarone (12-24 weeks) * Ask your doctor about other medicines you are taking. How is radioactive iodine taken and what should be considered when taking it? Radioactive iodine is given to the patient in capsule form or in liquid form in a glass of water by the Nuclear Medicine doctor. If it is administered in liquid form, care must be taken not to spill even a drop of the medicine. If your medicine is given in capsules, you must swallow it with water without chewing. Tell us if you vomit after taking radioactive iodine. What should be considered after taking radioactive iodine? Half an hour after taking the medicine, you can eat and drink whatever you want, especially liquid foods. In order to prevent your salivary glands from being affected by radioactive iodine, it will be appropriate to suck lemon, sugar and chew gum for a day or two. Take care to consume plenty of water, fruit juice etc. You should go to the toilet frequently and pour plenty of water into the toilet after going to the toilet. Wash your hands with plenty of water after the toilet. Take a shower every day, wash the bathroom with plenty of water after showering. Change all your clothes including underwear, socks and head coverings after every shower and wear clean ones. You should follow some rules to protect people around you from unnecessary radiation. You can live in the same house with adults and use the same bathroom. If possible, it is preferable to use a separate toilet. You should keep a distance of at least 2 metres from adults, especially children and pregnant women, for one week. We recommend that you avoid close contact with other people in your neighbourhood for a long time and that you do not use public transport (minibuses, buses, subways, trains, etc.) for a week. After drinking radioactive iodine, you should sleep alone in your room for one week. You can cook and other family members can eat the food you cook. However, it is recommended that you wash your hands with plenty of water before you start cooking. Wash your laundry and dishes separately for one week. What are the side effects of radioactive iodine treatment? Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) may develop after treatment. In this case, you may need to take thyroid hormones from outside for life. In rare cases, there may be a temporary increase in neck pain, tension and hyperthyroidism complaints after treatment. There is a possibility that ophthalmopathy (prominence of the eyes outwards) may develop after treatment or that existing ophthalmopathy may worsen. How is radioactive iodine excreted from the body? Radioactive iodine is excreted from the body mostly in urine and to a lesser extent in saliva, sweat and faeces. A significant part of the iodine taken by mouth is retained by the thyroid gland. The amount of iodine retained in other parts of the body is low and no harm to tissues has been reported. Who cannot receive radioactive iodine treatment? PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN RADIOACTIVE IODINE TREATMENT. Breastfeeding mothers can only be given radioactive iodine after breastfeeding has stopped. Pregnancy is not recommended for at least 6 months after radioactive iodine treatment. Since the harmful effects of radiation on male reproductive cells will disappear after approximately 6 months, male patients are also not recommended to have children for 6 months. Explanations Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when excessive amounts of hormones are produced by the thyroid gland. In this case, the body’s metabolism is accelerated and various symptoms may occur, such as weight loss, palpitations, sweating, irritability and fatigue are common. Iodine therapy is a method used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Iodine is a mineral that regulates the normal function of the thyroid gland and keeps hormone production under control. Iodine therapy is usually performed using the radioactive iodine-131 form. Since this form has radioactive properties, it targets the thyroid gland cells and reduces hormone production by destroying overactive cells. Iodine therapy is used to treat Graves’ disease or overactive thyroid nodules, which are the cause of hyperthyroidism. This treatment method helps to control hyperthyroidism and helps relieve symptoms. In addition, iodine therapy can help prevent the re-occurrence of hyperthyroidism following surgical treatment or drug therapy. Iodine therapy is used especially when other methods, such as surgery or drug therapy, have failed. This treatment method is safe in most cases and serious side effects are rare. However, it should not be used in pregnant women, nursing mothers and people with certain medical conditions. Iodine therapy is an important option for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and is considered an effective treatment method for many people. However, the most appropriate treatment method for each patient is different and it is important to learn more about options such as iodine therapy before consulting your doctor.
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