Doc, I have had hyperthyroid for almost 3 years, and I was able to use ATD(Methimazole) to control it. But my doctor mentioned that I should not take ATD for long term (more than 2 or 3 years), and suggested RAI treatment. but he did not give me the details of what kind of problems the long term ATD can cause. Can you tell me more about this ? Also, I read from internet, says U.S. doctors choose RAI more, but European doctors prefer ATD, Why such difference ?? Thanks.
The concern with ATDs long-term is liver damage and low white blood cell counts. There was a recent study however suggesting that up to 10 years is safe if closely monitored. RAI is more definitive and ultimately would require less monitoring once you are on stable thyroid replacement dosing. There is not one right answer, but I usually will try methimazole for 12-18 months and if the patient has a side-effect or it is not working, then suggest I-131 but I have a few patients who choose I-131 from the beginning and others who do well with low dose (2.5-5mg/day) methimazole on a more long-term basis.
You might want to consult with some non-traditional MDs who do not use maintstram techniques only but other alternative ways to do things. There are things you can do that can control and slow down your thyroid. Some foods, drugs and probably other things do this. I think there is always another than the conventional way. RAI = hypothyroidsm, which is a miserable place to be even if you are controlled and medicated. I mean it took me 2 years to feel good - I have hashimotos and hypo but the road to get here was miserable and hard - any hypo patient will tell you this. It is possible to live well with hypothyrodism but it takes a lot of effor, a good doctor, good dosage, good lifestyle and good health control to do it. I say you do your research and decide what you want - instead of blindly listening to mainstream doctors. Protect your thyroid and keep it until you can especially if there is no cancer or goiter or nodles that are dangerous. I know there are ways to control your thyroid and RAI should not be the only option. Some choose this - to get the hyper symptoms over with, but it is not the only way. I wish you good luck!
I have been on methimazole for about a year and a half. Doctor took me off to see if I would regulate independently. Three months later I am hyper again. Doctor rec. radioactive iodine, but it seems so severe. I would like to give my body another try to see if it will stablize itself before I kill my thyroid. I have only heard horror stories from people who have taken the iodine. Is it wise to hold off on the iodine treatment and take another stab at stablizing?
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