Letter Re: Advice for a Post-Thyroidectomy — Potassium Iodide?

Mr. Rawles,
I have read your blog for awhile, I would like to know if you about the following: I was diagnosed with Graves Disease over two years ago. They cured the Graves Disease and the way that was done was to completely remove my thyroid gland, If the main concern with radiation is thyroid cancer, without a thyroid what would radiation do are what organ would it damage the most. I would like to also know if there would be any need for myself to take Potassium Iodide (KI).

JWR Replies: There would be no need for you to take KI, since it only serves to “load” a thyroid gland with iodine and hence prevent the accumulation of radioactive isotopes that would otherwise accumulate there. Beyond that, in terms of “internal emitters”, all that you should remember is to avoid fresh dairy products (since isotopes like Strontium-90 tend to accumulate in milk), and to drink a regular quantity of fluids, to keep your kidneys flushed.

Since you are post-operative, you can jokingly refer to yourself as partially “radiation proof.” (At least you don’t have to worry as much as the rest of us about radioactive iodine isotopes.)

From a preparedness standpoint, you should look into stocking up on your regular hypothyroid (glandular replacement) prescription, (assuming that you have one). Do so as much as possible, up to the maximum shelf life. And of course you should consistently rotate this supply, using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method.