Radioactive Iodine Therapy For Thyroid Cancer
Your thyroid gland absorbs nearly all of the iodine in your body. Because of this, radioactive iodine can be used to treat thyroid cancer. The RAI collects mainly in thyroid cells, where the radiation can destroy the thyroid gland and any other thyroid cells that take up iodine, with little effect on the rest of your body. The radiation dose used here is much stronger than the one used in radioiodine scans, which are described in Tests for Thyroid Cancer.
This treatment can be used to ablate any thyroid tissue not removed by surgery or to treat some types of thyroid cancer that have spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
Radioactive iodine therapy helps people live longer if they have papillary or follicular thyroid cancer that has spread to the neck or other body parts, and it is now standard practice in such cases. But the benefits of RAI therapy are less clear for people with small cancers of the thyroid gland that do not seem to have spread, which can often be removed completely with surgery. Discuss your risks and benefits of RAI therapy with your doctor. Radioactive iodine therapy cannot be used to treat anaplastic and medullary thyroid carcinomas because these types of cancer do not take up iodine.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Taking Iodine
The main benefit of taking iodine is ensuring you have enough iodine for proper thyroid function, including hormone production, metabolism, and energy levels.
In fact, iodine is essential to T3 and T4 hormone production, so the thyroid needs this mineral for enzymatic activity, protein synthesis, and metabolic activity.
Also, iodine supports brain development, especially during pregnancy, and minimizes the risk of thyroid disease by maintaining optimal thyroid health.
Zhou Nutrition Thyroid Support
Zhou Nutrition supplements maintain healthy thyroid functioning for optimal metabolism and energy levels.
As a natural alternative to thyroid medications, these support supplements are full of B vitamins with 100mcg of vitamin B12 to help with energy, mood, and focus.
Every serving also has 300mg of L-tyrosine, 200mcg of copper, and 150mcg of iodine to support ideal thyroid hormone levels.
These vegetarian capsules also contain natural ashwagandha root, bladderwrack, cayenne pepper, Schisandra, and magnesium to help you wake up feeling rested with sustained energy throughout the whole day.
Read Also: How To Control Thyroid In Female By Food
Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
The sample is prepared in a microwave nitric acid digester. Once the sample is dissolved, it is introduced into the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for analysis. All components of the sample solution are broken down to elemental ions in argon plasma. This plasma is created by alternating radio waves, and electron liberation is assisted by an electrical spark. Once the sample has been broken down into its elemental ions, these ions are then introduced into the mass spectrum analyzer for analysis based on their mass-to-charge ratio. The ions can be quantified by comparison with a standard solution or event occurrence.
What Are The Dietary Sources Of Iodine
Iodine is found in the following foods 35:
**Depending on the season, higher value in winter
Its also found in iodized salt, sea salt, seaweed, kelp, foods that contain carrageen, agar-agar, algin or alginate, many prepared and/or cured meats , dried fruit, margarine, canned vegetables, commercial bakery products, chocolate, molasses, soy products, any vitamins or supplements that contain iodine, FD& C red dye #3, cereals wheat etc, .
However, if this is not possible for you to eat these foods or you remain deficient there are iodine supplements available:
- kelp tablets available from most health shops
- iodized salt available from some supermarkets
- potassium iodide tablets available only on prescription
- Lugols iodine a solution of elemental iodine and potassium iodide in water used on the skin as an antiseptic can be toxic if too much is taken
- nascent Iodine iodine in an atomic form rather than a molecular form and supposedly more bioavailable no research articles could be found on this product
The Department of Health advises that you should be able to get all the iodine you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take iodine supplements, dont take too much as this could be harmful. Taking 0.5mg or less a day of iodine supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Recommended Reading: Dry Skin And Thyroid Medication
How Iodine Is Essential
Iodine is a pretty unique mineral, in the sense that it only serves one known purpose in the body: the formation of thyroid hormones. When you hear about thyroid hormones, like the T4, the T3, the T2, all of those relate back to the thyroglobulin protein a certain number of iodine atoms.
Honestly, that is all that we know about iodine and what it does in our body. If you think about other minerals, like magnesium, selenium, or zinc, thats going to sound pretty weird. Thats because all these other minerals have anywhere between dozens to hundreds of roles in the body.
Early on in the evolutionary past, humans simply did not have a lot of exposure to iodine . This means that we had the ability to pump it, at a great concentration, right inside the gland.
Because of that, we have had the ability to get by on a pretty good range of iodine intake in our system. But what if we have too little? It could get to the point where there is not enough iodine to get the thyroid to work.
It would seem intuitive to think that, if your thyroid needs iodine, and that too little makes it not work, that more iodine should help your thyroid perform better than before. The problem is that more iodine is not always better for the body.
Bottom Line: The way we are able to pump in and concentrate iodine also makes us vulnerable to getting too much. Thats a total paradox, and is why I have dubbed iodine the goldilocks mineral. Too little is bad, too much is bad, you need it to be just right.
Preventive Supplementation When You Have Thyroid Disease
Some healthcare providers are almost knee-jerk in their insistence that anyone with a thyroid problem requires iodine supplementation alternative healthcare providers may recommend iodine-containing herbs, like kelp or seaweed.
This can be particularly risky, in part because iodine supplements can interact with several types of drugs, including anti-thyroid drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism. Taking high doses of iodine with anti-thyroid medications can have an additive effect and could cause hypothyroidism.
If iodine deficiency isn’t the cause of hypothyroidism, then iodine supplements won’t be helpful.
You’ll want to be very careful about upping your iodine intake unless you and your healthcare provider have some very strong evidence that you’re deficient. This is especially true if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Don’t Miss: What Color Ribbon Is For Thyroid Cancer
Is A High Iodine Dose Ever Appropriate
There are times when a high dosage of iodine might be appropriate. These include:
- Thyroid Storm1, and
- Pre-Surgery for Graves Disease2
Key Insight: A high dose of iodine is the single-most effective treatment for stopping a dangerously overactive thyroid gland which is specifically why we see them used in the above situations.
We might also see a large dosage of iodine in a case of radioactive iodine exposure . If a child, or an adolescent, is going to be exposed to radioactive iodine in the coming days, a high dose can close the receptor to stop their thyroid and prevent their gland from absorbing radioactive iodine.3
Bottom Line: While we might see certain instances where a high dosage of iodine is helpful, it typically only occurs in emergency situations that we want to avoid in the first place. It is more of a break glass in case of emergency tool.
Are You Getting Enough Or Too Much
While iodine can be detected in urine, relying on such a test is not helpful, since 90 percent of the iodine you ingest is quickly expelled. Rather, healthcare providers use thyroid tests to determine if your iodine intake is concerning or not.
In addition, iodine deficiency is typically suspected based on the development of goiter, hypothyroidism, or congenital hypothyroidism .
Be sure that any adjustments you make to your iodine intake, whether you have a circumstance that seems to call for them or not, are cleared by your healthcare provider first.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Thyroid Problem
Can People Have Reactions To Ki
In general, most people who have taken KI have not had any reactions . If people did have a reaction, it did not last very long. In a few cases, babies had a reaction in their thyroids. Adults who had reactions had stomach problems or a rash. The federal government thinks the benefits of taking KI are much greater than the risks.
Heres What You Need To Know About The Thyroid
It may be small, but your thyroid is a mighty organ that is responsible for many important functions that can make a huge difference in your health. Metabolism, hormones, digestion, brain, and so much more are all affected by how well the thyroid is functioning. When the thyroid is not working well, you may feel pretty miserable. Thyroid disorders are common, affecting 20 million Americans every year, and even more common in women . And iodine is a huge player in thyroid dysfunction.
Don’t Miss: Can T Lose Weight Thyroid
How Does It Work
The thyroid gland will absorb iodine that is in a person’s bloodstream it cannot tell the difference between radioactive iodine and non-radioactive iodine. The absorption of radioactive iodine can be prevented by taking KI before or soon after its release into the air. Taking KI will saturate the thyroid gland so that there is no space left for the radioactive iodine to be absorbed. Over time, the radioactive iodine will undergo radioactive decay and be harmlessly excreted in urine.
Preparing For Rai Therapy
For RAI therapy to be most effective, you must have a high level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood. This hormone is what makes thyroid tissue take up radioactive iodine. If your thyroid has been removed, there are a couple of ways to raise TSH levels before being treated with RAI:
- One way is to stop taking thyroid hormone pills for several weeks. This causes very low thyroid hormone levels , which makes the pituitary gland to release more TSH. This intentional hypothyroidism is temporary, but it often causes symptoms like tiredness, depression, weight gain, constipation, muscle aches, and reduced concentration.
- Another way is to get an injection of thyrotropin , which can make withholding thyroid hormone for a long period of time unnecessary. This drug is given daily for 2 days, followed by RAI on the 3rd day.
Most doctors also recommend that you follow a low iodine diet for 1 or 2 weeks before treatment. This means avoiding foods that contain iodized salt and red dye #3, as well as dairy products, eggs, seafood, and soy.
Read Also: Weight Loss After Thyroid Surgery
How Much Iodine Is Too Much
By Amy Norton, Reuters Health
5 Min Read
NEW YORK Iodine deficiency is a major health problem worldwide, but a new study points to the potential downsides of too much iodine.
Iodine is a mineral found in iodized salt, seafood, eggs, dairy and some breads. It is used by the thyroid gland to help regulate metabolism and development, especially in babies and children.
Iodine deficiency during fetal and early-childhood development is a leading cause of brain impairments in much of the world. So most research has been directed at the effects of inadequate iodine.
Less is known about how much iodine is too much. So for the new study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Chinese researchers randomly assigned healthy adults to take various doses of iodine supplements for four weeks.
They found that at relatively higher doses 400 micrograms a day and up study participants began developing whats called subclinical hypothyroidism.
That refers to a dip in the bodys thyroid hormone levels, but with no obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism which include problems like fatigue, depression, dry skin and weight gain.
In this study, people taking 400-microgram supplements were getting around 800 micrograms of iodine per day when diet was factored in.
So the findings suggest that people at least in China should get no more than 800 micrograms a day, according to the researchers, led by Wanqi Zhang of Tianjin Medical University.
Selenium Supports Tpo Antibodies In Thyroid
Important for autoimmunity balance in the body. Selenium has been researched and found to impact the levels of TPO antibodies, as well thyroid hormone conversion a key in getting well if youve been ill for many years.
Priming the body by taking selenium for a few weeks seems to cut down on iodine-related reactions.
Symptoms of low selenium include depression, muscle weakness, anxiety, confusion and infertility, hair loss, and a weakened immune state. Most inferior forms contain a type of selenium that is hard on the gut, and poorly absorbed, but this form of selenomethionine is the type of selenium that works optimally. Each capsule contains 200 mcg.
Read Also: Thyroid Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Should People With Thyroid Problems Avoid These Foods
Soy: If you have hypothyroidism, yes. Eating too much soy causes problems only for those with hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones, Dr. Nasr says.
The main problem is that soy may hinder absorption of the hormones that such patients take.
Some studies show that if you eat a lot of soy, or drink a big glass of soy milk, within one hour of taking a thyroid hormone, it might affect absorption, Dr. Nasr says. Many individuals depend on a consistent absorption of those hormones to achieve a steady state.
Generally, expertsrecommend that people who have a borderline thyroid one thats a littleunderactive but youre still trying to preserve thyroid function do not toconsume large amounts of soy every day, he adds.
Turnips and rootvegetables: No. These vegetables aresometimes thought to cause thyroid problems, but thats not the case, Dr. Nasrsays. They are good for your diet, regardless of any thyroid issues.
One root vegetable that is the exception is cassava, a common staple in certain parts of Africa. This plant is known to produce toxins that can slow an already underactive thyroid, especially in the presence of an iodine deficiency, Dr. Nasr says. But thats not relevant here in the United States, unless you cook cassava and you eat it every day.
Recommended Reading: Best Thyroid Cancer Hospital In Us
Where Is Iodine Found
“made up of diverse elements or ingredients” are extracted Extracted “to withdraw by physical or chemical process also : to treat with a solvent so as to remove a soluble substance” from the ashes of burnt seaweed and found in salty oil well brines, Chilean saltpetre, seawater and solid rocks that form when seawater evaporates. Seaweed concentrates large amounts of iodine from ocean water and it is also found in some types of soil.6
You May Like: Does Thyroid Cancer Require Chemotherapy
Not So Good: Processed Foods
If you’re thinking about upping your intake of salty, processed foods just to fit more iodine into your diet, think again.
“Manufacturers don’t have to use iodized salt in their products,” said Ilic. And according to the NIH, they “almost never” do.
The upshot: You may be taking in too much sodium , minus the iodine.
Use Ki Only If Instructed
Do not take KI unless you are instructed by public health or emergency response officials or a healthcare provider. KI can cause harmful health effects. KI is helpful only in specific situations for certain groups of people.
KI should be used only as directed.
- Do not use table salt or foods as a substitute for KI. They do not help with radiation poisoning and eating large amounts could be harmful.
- Only use KI products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration . Dietary supplements that contain iodine may not work to protect the thyroid and can hurt you.
Radioactive iodine contamination is mainly associated with nuclear power plant accidents. In other types of nuclear emergencies, such as a nuclear detonation, the biggest risk is external exposure to many types of radioactive materials. It is best to shelter in place for protection. Learn More
Recommended Reading: How Does Thyroid Cancer Affect The Body
Best Pregnancy Formulation: Glow Prenatal
- Cost: around $30 for 60 mini capsules
- Type: mini capsules
- Iodine dose: 290 mcg per 2-capsule serving
As well as iodine, these capsules contain 25 nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Ingredients include various vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc. According to the company, the mini capsules are vegetarian.
- The company operates in an FDA-registered facility.
- These are third-party tested.
Holistic Healths Impact On The Thyroid
When thyroid hormone levels are off, the consequences can feel devastating for individuals, like an extreme overall sluggishness, slow metabolism, and weight gain despite doing everything right, says Caroline Hoeffgen, a health coach with Parsley Health. Symptoms can range from severe fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, to more severe PMS, mood swings, and more. The most common thyroid issues are autoimmune driven like Hashimotos thyroiditis and Graves disease, says Hoeffgen. Not all thyroid conditions are autoimmune driven, but a large percentage of conditions are driven by Hashimotos thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. Although the exact number of people who have Hashimotos is unknown, 5 in 100 Americans have hypothyroidism, which is commonly caused by Hashimotos.
Luckily, we are now understanding more and more that most thyroid disease is a process and not a permanent condition, says Hoeffgen. Thyroid conditions can be managed through medical intervention, but also diet and lifestyle are major factors for treatment and ultimately success in managing conditions and reducing symptoms. Lifestyle plays a huge role in thyroid health, with : Diet is the single biggest controllable risk factor of thyroid disease that has been identified, says Hoeffgen. We now know that thyroid disease is much more reversible than previously thought. Diet plays the biggest role in that reversal, says Hoeffgen.
Don’t Miss: Treatment Of Medullary Thyroid Cancer