If you have been exposed to RAI (Radioactive Iodine) due to your Thyroid Cancer treatment, or due to the ablation of your thyroid because of an autoimmune disease like Graves Disease, then you know all too well what the “short term effects” of RAI treatment may include.  You may have experienced neck tenderness and swelling, nausea, vomiting, and swollen and tender salivary glands.  After receiving RAI, dental issues can increase, salivary pain and swelling can be experienced frequently, and the skin on your body might peel off like sunburn.  You may have experienced a loss of sense of smell for up to 3 months or longer.  You may now experience digestive problems, constipation, malabsorption, diarrhea, a sudden onset of food sensitivities, Iodine deficiency, adrenal fatigue, compromised immune system, and your tongue can feel like it’s on fire.  

If you are not familiar with RAI, it is a type of internal radiotherapy for the treatment of Thyroid Cancer.  RAI uses a radioactive form of Iodine, called Iodine 131 ( I-131), which after swallowing will circulate throughout your bloodstream. The thyroid gland is the part of your body that is the most sensitive to Radioactive Iodine.   The RAI is absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract and then concentrated by the thyroid gland, where it begins destroying the gland’s cells.  All other thyroid cells in your body will also pick up the Iodine, and thus be destroyed.

RAI is one form of radiation that, unfortunately, many (most) Thyroid Cancer survivors or Graves Disease patients have had exposure to during their treatment.  It is even more crucial for these survivors to reduce their exposure to further radiation throughout the remainder of their lives.  

Whether you have had your thyroid destroyed by radiation, or you want to prevent that situation from happening, the key is to address your unique deficiencies and to detoxify your body.  And then find the root cause of your immune system imbalance through testing.  Below are some further suggestions for all to keep in mind when creating a lifestyle plan going forward:

The thyroid is particularly sensitive to radiation, and excessive radiation exposure is a known risk factor for thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.   When you must get dental X-rays, or X-rays of your head, neck, or collarbone area, be sure to demand that the X-ray technician use a lead collar, or “thyroid collar” on your thyroid area.  The thyroid collar is a small collar that looks like a turtleneck, and it’s lined in lead just like the rest of the vest.  Most radiation offices have them now.  Otherwise, your thyroid is being needlessly exposed to radiation.  

EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field.  Electromagnetic radiation is the energy projected from the EMFs, which can be described as invisible areas of energy, produced by the movement of electrons in the act of electricity.  Power lines, wiring, appliances like shavers or hair dryers, radio and television signals, radar, MRIs, microwave ovens, cordless telephones, cell phones, cell towers, computer screens, wifi, and smart meters, are some sources of EMFs.  So, obviously our modern lifestyle brings us into close contact with EMFs on a regular basis.  This issue is one that is creating profound effects on human lives, even down to considering parental exposure and risk in unborn children, both during pregnancy and even before conception.

Put distance and shielding between you and radiation whenever possible. Try to avoid as much radiation as you possibly can.  You can try to reduce your exposure to these EMFs by changing your habits and rearranging your environment.  You could try using a  grounding mat to reduce your absorption of EMFs.  To get a look at what a grounding or “Earthing Mat” looks like, click this link:  The mat goes on the floor under your chair as you sit and work on your computer.  Get a battery powered clock for your bedside table, rather than electric.  Unplug electrical devices within 6 feet of your sleeping area.  

Cell phones have an erratic type of signalling, and this creates a disruption and interference with DNA repair.  Don’t keep any part of your body any closer than 6 inches from the cell phone’s emitting antenna.  Your pocket, under your pillow, or close to your ear are all areas to avoid with the use of your cell phone.  Act wisely with technology, be aware of the repercussions, and use good judgement.

Keep your cell phone on airplane mode when not in use.  Use the speakerphone option on your cell phone, rather than holding it up to your ear.  A wired headset is better than holding it next to your ear,  and using a bluetooth is ok, but EMFs are still being emitted.   When not using your phone, turn your headset off.  Keep your cell phone away from infants, children, pregnant women.  When talking on the phone, try placing the phone on a table several feet away from you, and point the antenna away from you, and remember to keep it off when not in use.  Try to use the phone when you have the maximum number of bars, and don’t use a cell phone in elevators, trains, cars, or planes.  It is best to keep your wireless router in a little-used room and never in the bedroom.  Using wired printers are better than wireless, and keep in mind that the smart meters being installed by utilities around the country are coming under suspicion of high EMF.

Electric blankets create a magnetic field that can penetrate about six inches into the body.  Electric blankets are unfortunately linked to increased incidence of miscarriage in women.   It is true that an electric blanket is a less expensive alternative to cranking up the heat, but rethink this, and act wisely when using an electric blanket.  If you do use an electric blanket, turn it off and unplug it before getting into bed.  The high electric current in hairdryers generates high EMFs, and when held close to the head, may reduce melatonin.  So, don’t use hair dryers after 7 pm, in order to prevent the EMFs from affecting your sleep cycle.

If you still have your thyroid intact and would like to help protect it, Potassium Iodide (KI) is a non-radioactive Iodine that can help block radioactive Iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, therefore protecting this gland from radiation injury.   Immediately after exposure to radiation, the Potassium Iodide can be given orally.  This helps protect the thyroid from the effects of the radioactive iodine if an accident occurs, for example at a nuclear power plant, and it can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer developing. “Shielding “ refers to the use of an absorbing material to cover a source of radiation, like lead sheets in the wall of a technician room where X-Rays are performed.  This protects both the technician and the patient from radiation exposure.

It’s ironic that we as humans try so hard to avoid radiation, and yet the victims of thyroid cancer are seen to benefit from that very same radiation!  My heart goes out to anyone who has had to endure radiation treatments for thyroid cancer treatment, and it is my mission to support these survivors throughout their healing journey.  Let’s move on to the next chapter in the book, as well as the next chapter in your life, where we will be discussing some healing techniques.

As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, I am fully trained in how to help you, and I have the compassion and understanding you are looking for.  If you would like to have a complimentary session to find out what I can do to help you, please sign up at the following link:

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