Treat Thyroid Disorders with Nuclear Isotope Therapy

Endocrinology Center- Bone Health, Thyroid, Diabetes Treatment - Baltimore

The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore offers innovative diagnostic and treatment options for thyroid disorders. Mercy’s expert team of endocrinologists uses nuclear isotope therapy to treat disorders such as hyperthyroidism.

What is Nuclear Isotope Therapy?

Nuclear isotope therapy is a procedure that utilizes radioactive materials to gauge and treat certain thyroid disorders. In this case, patients are administered radioactive iodine. Since the thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones, the radioactive iodine is absorbed into the bloodstream and concentrated by the thyroid gland. An X-ray will help determine the thyroid’s intake of radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine can cause the thyroid gland to shrink and slow activity. Nuclear isotope therapy is generally an outpatient treatment for hyperthyroidism.

NEXT: How is Nuclear Isotope Therapy performed? ›
How is Nuclear Isotope Therapy performed?

A single dose of radioactive iodine is administered either by swallowing a capsule or drinking the dissolved radioactive iodine in water. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, or overactive bladder, begin to disappear within two weeks. 

NEXT: What are the results of Nuclear Isotope Therapy? ›
What are the results of Nuclear Isotope Therapy?

Nuclear isotope therapy, used to treat hyperthyroidism, stops the thyroid from producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. Eventually, however, the radioactive iodine could force the thyroid to under produce thyroid hormones, known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may be treated with a daily thyroid medication.

NEXT: How should a patient prepare for Nuclear Isotope Therapy? ›
How should a patient prepare for Nuclear Isotope Therapy?

Patients being treated for hyperthyroidism using nuclear isotope therapy should:

  • Stop taking any anti-thyroid medications for at least three days prior to treatment
  • Not eat prior to treatment or for a few hours after treatment