This is a condition resulting from an overactive thyroid gland, which is the “pace-setter” of all organs in your body. With hyperthyroidism, bodily processes are speeded up, which can result in many symptoms including nervousness, weight loss, diarrhea, hair and skin changes, palpitations, and tremors. Hyperthyroidism can be treated surgically or medically with various drugs, as well as with low-dose radioactive Iodine-131.
If it is determined that radioactive Iodine-131 is the best treatment method for you, a special pill will be ordered, which normally takes two to three days to arrive. You will swallow the Iodine-131 pill orally, just like any other. Over time, the thyroid gland function will slow down because the treatment slowly destroys thyroid cells. In some cases, too few thyroid cells are eliminated, leaving you still hyperthyroid, and a second dose of radioactive Iodine-131 may be required. In other cases, so many thyroid cells are eliminated that your body will not produce enough thyroid hormone, causing you to be hypothyroid. In this event, you will need to take a thyroid supplement medicine daily for the rest of your life.
Radioactive iodine can adversely affect pregnant women and their fetus. It is important not to be or become pregnant for at least one year after the pill is administered.