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synthroid and low iodine

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2005

I am on the diet for two weeks before my scan . It seems as though everything has iodine ? If I were to make a mistake and get iodine in my system what is the worse thing to happen ? Also , I ran out of my synthroid and the pharmacy took three days to get it filled . I was scared , being told you have to take it for the rest of your life , but I was fine and had no problem . So my question is , Could I take my synthroid every other day to strech out my persciption and save on all the copays I make monthly for my other meds ?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2006

From my understanding, to prepare for the scan, you need to not only be on low iodine diet for about 2 weeks but also stop taking synthroid. The purpose of the scan is to let your remaining thyroid tissues absorb as much I-131 as possible to show up on the screen. Both iodine in food and synthroid will interfere with the absorbing process. A mistake getting iodine in your system is not serious though undesirable. After all, it is the LOW iodine diet not the NO iodine diet. But stopping the synthroid at least 2 weeks before the scan is important. Check with your doctor or nurse.

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 123
Joined: Mar 2005

Worst that can happen with too much iodine in your system? The scan (and/or I-131 treatment dose) would be ineffective - a 'false negative' is possible - showing nothing, but not because there is no cancer there... so best to be very dilligent over the iodine; it is important to be able to have confidence in the outcome of the scans.

On the 'every other day' for synthroid issue - absolutely not! Under 'normal' circumstances, it is critically important that you take your hormones exactly as prescribed, every single day. If you miss even 1 day, your dose for the week would be 1/7th lower than what it should be... this is why they even suggest we take a dose immediately if we have forgotten.

An important part of our cancer treatment is 'suppression' - look up 'thyroid carcinoma suppression' in any search engine. If you do not take enough hormones, the TSH 'feeds' any remaining cancer cells - a very dangerous situation indeed. Please always make sure to take your hormones exactly as prescribed (or stopped exactly as recommended for treatments and/or scans). This is part of your cancer treatment, and is really important... all the best.

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