Question: I have been recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I am currently taking 10 milligrams of Inderal while awaiting treatment. My endocrinologist has recommended that I undergo radioactive pill therapy since I have what is called toxic multi-nodular thyroid disorder. Do you feel this is the best choice for me? I am 59 years old a white female who has always been very healthy until the past few months when this condition hit me out of the blue.
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
When toxic goiter and hyperthyroidism come along, the one-time customized radioactive drink treatment is by far the most preferred option for most people. Until you have the treatment, you are bound to take a B blocker such as Inderal and likely other medication to control thyroid hormone production indefinitely (and not without side effects in some) to maintain a life free of complication and discomfort.
In the long term you will be much happier with what your doctor has advised. The other options available come at a cost of inconvenience and need for daily medications and yet you still carry a risk of development of a “thyroid storm” — a complication that is undesired and may indeed be deadly to some.
It can be sudden and unpredictable, but is often associated with illness or when sudden changes or discontinuation in medications occur. The worst-case scenario for the drink is that the dose may totally wipe out your thyroid and once-daily thyroid supplementation may be needed. But this is a far better prospect than suffering a thyroid storm.
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