I have Rheumatoid Arthritis & currently been diagnosed with (mild to moderate) Graves disease.
My endocrinologist has given me the 3 options for treatment:
1. Take a medication for about 1 1/2 years with a 20% success rate to return the thyroid to correct status, but with significant potential side effects.
2. Kill the thyroid with radioactive iodine & then synthetic supplementation for the rest of my life.
3. Surgical removal of the thyroid &then synthetic supplementation for the rest of my life.
My question is: Has anyone on this board have both RA & Graves simultaneously & what was their experience if they chose to kill the thyroid, how did it affect their RA condition?
I'm afraid that being a "autoimmune type" that if my thyroid is killed or inactivated, the ongoing overall autoimmune response might attack yet another organ such as the heart or whatever & might cause the RA, which is currently relatively dormant, to flare up.
The three choices given to you are standard and goes with most cases of Graves patients.
RAI could potentially put the RA is a worse situation because when clinically HYPOthyroid after RAI - joint pain and aches are very common until levels are brought into balance for you by medication for life
It very difficult to make a decision - but since you have been given the opportunity to try PTU or anti thyroid medication - maybe see what that will do for you.
Side effects of PTU are more commonly addressed when a Grave's patient is on them for a very long period of time.
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