Posted 2/15/2014 5:01 PM (GMT -8)
I had radioactive iodine treatment about 20 years ago. It's very easy, just take some pills, then come back the next day (or two, I don't remember exactly) for another scan. They may tell you to stay away from babies and young children for a few days, although not all doctors feel that is necessary.
The pills you take contain irradiated iodine. Because virtually all the iodine you ingest naturally (in salt, seafood, whatever) is taken up by your thyroid, this is a good means to get the radiation to your thyroid and only to your thyroid. That radiation will destroy all or part of yout thyroid gland, but will not affect you otherwise. No burns, no hair loss, no sickness as you see with radiation for cancer, because it specifically targets the thyroid and the dose is very small.
After this treatment, you will slowly become less hyperthyroid and eventually you will likely become hypothyroid because the destroyed gland can't produce hormones. Then you will be prescribed replacement hormone to take in a pill every day. For most of us life continues unchanged after the levels are regulated. This can take six months to a year in some cases, so be prepared to be patient. The important thing is that you will gradually be feeling better and better.
Good luck, and feel free to ask any other questions you may have.