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My niece was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 3 years ago, and it is gradually getting worse.
The doctor gives her 3 options, take medicine for whole life with side effects, radioactivity iodine
or undergo surgery to remove her thyroid gland but surgery will affect her voice.
So, I am just wondering if anyone knows about or has hyperthyroidism, or has undergone that surgery etc, and could tell me their experience.
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I have hypothyroidism, i know its the opposite to your niece, but because of the treatment i met lots of people who had the hyper version, not one of them had the whole thyroid gland taken out, it usually a laser cut off part of the gland, the more hyper the more they take,
out of the dozen or so that i met who had laser treatment, one went completely the other way to Hypothyroidism as too much was cut off. and as far as i know the others are all ok, i still see some of them, and they look well.
In any of the options she is likely to need to take medication throughout her life. Take the surgery for example: first, the impact on voice is in my limited knowledge usually associated to accidental damage caused to the nerves that control the vocal chords - I have always thought of it as a potential side effect of the surgery, and not a absolute certainty. However, regardless - the removal of part or the whole of the thyroid often leads to the reverse problem 'hypothyroidism'. This is more easily treated by the giving of thyroxine.
I very suddenly had hyperthyroidism diagnosed last May (2011) - it could've been worse as I thought at first I had suffered a TIA - and for the last twelve months or so took Carbimazole tablets and visited the hospital regularly for specialist consultations and blood tests, scans etc. At the end of April this year I had radioactive Iodine Treatment which was a little bit unnerving but that is all!! No problems whatsoever in taking it and side effects at the time were minimal - this apparently kills off most of the gland and makes you Hypothyroid. Hypothyroidism is far easier to treat than Hyper and will usually mean being on Thyroxine tablets for the rest of your life - but small price to pay for not putting up with the unpredicability of Hyperthroidism. The risks with Hyper's unpredicability are far more than the risks of being Hypo apparently. Whatever happens your niece really needs to get sorted because the thyroid gland controls so much of the bodies functions - also my mum had her thyroid removed some 15+ years ago because hers was very enlarged but she has been onThyroxine tablets ever since then with no problems whatsoever. Go for the RadioActive Iodine - it's quick and straightforward - and that will be fine I would say! PM me if you want any more insight into it,
Hope she soon gets sorted, Lou
About 2 years ago I noticed a lump in my neck. I was referred by my GP to a specialist who was 99% sure I had a cyst in my thyroid gland. However, the only way to be absolutely sure the cyst was not a tumour was to remove the affected thyroid lobe and then check for cancerous cells.
So far as affecting the voice is concerned I was told this was a minor risk only. I don't know what age your niece is but if she is young then I would suggest further discussion with her specialist to establish the level of risk since the impact can be a significant deepening of the voice and so would be more of a problem for a young female than a middle-aged man like me.
I duly underwent the surgery and I have to say it was remarkably pain and trouble free. Your thyroid gland is in a very vascular area and so new laser scalpels are used to minimise bleeding during and after surgery. I arrived at hospital early in the morning because I was first in the queue for that day. Despite no longer being in the first flush of youth (55 years old) I was home by tea-time. I needed absolutely no pain killers at all and was basically back to normal the next day.
For me the good thing was that it turned out only to be a cyst. The bad thing was that my left thyroid lobe has failed to make up the deficiency caused by the loss of the right lobe and so I am now on Levothyroxine tablets for life. Basically, like frenchie44, I too have hypothyroidism. Not so bad really - no side effects - and just getting on with life.
I suppose what I am saying is that modern surgical techniques have made thyroid removal much less problematic than it was even just a few years ago when a stay in hospital for several days was the norm. If your niece is otherwise fit and healthy the surgery itself should not be too much of an issue (bearing in mind all the usual caveats about surgery and general anaesthetic). Post-surgery the issues will be about regulating her drug regime and monitoring her for side effects. Again, her specialist will be able to provide specific advice.
HTH. Wish her good luck from me.
She is 19.
I will direct her to here and read it for herself. I have absolutely zero knowledge on things like this, so I can't offer her any advice. But I think trying the medication option first and see if there is any side effect before considering the other two options might be the way to go for the time being.
I had radioactive iodine treatment about 12 years ago, the first treatment failed (it happens), the second time around all went well.......I've been on Levothyroxine ever since, my condition affects my eyes (Graves Disease) not good for a photographer, also I'm always battling with my weight.......
I don't have problems with my voice.
So watch the food intake, have yearly blood tests, take the tablets and enjoy life........taking the tablets everyday becomes routine.
Another good point is that the medicine for the condition is free for life and any other medicine is also free for life...........which I didn't know until I had the problem.
Before I was diagnosed my weight dropped to under 10 stone and I was in a fairly awful state.........it took a long long time to gain the weight now I can't get rid of it easily.......
Once your niece is on the correct treatment and after 6 weekly trips to the hospital life will once again fall into a daily routine..........but it does take time..............
Hope this info helps in some small way..........
Julia @ Natures Haven
I forgot to mention that the condition prevents you from donating blood, I was one pint away from receiving my Bronze Award and I had to stop because of my weakened immune system.........I was really annoyed at the time.......but I've got over it...........
Looking at it from the medical perspective, as I do, the treatments do seem to work ok. It does depend on why your thyroid is overactive. Roughly 50% of people apparently who take Carbimazole, the medication, get better and stay better. That medication is comparatively safe.
If you become hyperthyroid despite that medication, or do not tolerate it then you go for the radioiodine or the surgery. The surgery may be chosen over the radioiodine if there is a reason you cannot have it, like pregnancy or breastfeeding (the radioactivity can affect the unborn or breastfeeding child). Both of these treatments can leave people with an underactive thyroid, meaning they need to take thyroxine tablets, probably for their lifetime.
Hope thats helpful.
Both hypo and hyperthyroidism are common, and are a couple of the most treatable endocrine disorders you can get. I know there are different reactions to the most common drug treatments, and also linked disorders or related side effects, but I know when I was investigating it (as tested at risk) there is a lot of information on the internet, and it was on the whole reassuring as to how many people live quite normal lives with one of these disorders.
Quote: My niece was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 3 years ago, and it is gradually getting worse
What condition has she got that is causing the Hyperthyroidism Col.
Quote: or undergo surgery to remove her thyroid gland but surgery will affect her voice.
So, I am just wondering if anyone knows about or has hyperthyroidism, or has undergone that surgery etc, and could tell me their experience
These days its pretty rare for the vocal cords to become damaged through surgery, there are other more common risk, few are life threatening. Nuclear medicine is very safe for most people, but if you have graves disease there`s a slight increased risk to developing TED.
This was me a few hours after surgery, just before I discharged myself, I needed a pint
sore and full of air, surgery left me bloated with gas
Col I spent years advising people on all thyroid conditions and treatments, PM me if you want to know more, I don`t feel this is the place.
Quote: there is a lot of information on the internet, and it was on the whole reassuring as to how many people live quite normal lives with one of these disorders
Plenty of information and also plenty of misinformation.
Quote: Both hypo and hyperthyroidism are common, and are a couple of the most treatable endocrine disorders you can get
Not in all cases.
I am a retired (ten years) GP and saw many cases over the years of both.
With hyperthyroidism, the better results I feel come from either radio-iodine or surgery which both tend to result in under-active thyroid activity, then needing replacement thyroid medication.
However, the best approach is for your niece to discuss the options with her GP and then again with the consultant to whom she is referred.
She should ask about any pros and cons and then she will have the knowledge to make a rational decision.
Quote: With hyperthyroidism, the better results I feel come from either radio-iodine or surgery
Yes I agree, I had a year of constant problems with Carbimazole, they were for ever upping and downing the dosage, so in the end I requested surgery, a total thyroidectomy.
I could of had radio Iodine but preferred a quick fix, sometimes one dose is not enough and it can take a while to kill the tissue thus bringing your levels down.
She needs to know all the ins and outs, and agree with Ronnie about getting professional advice.
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