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Radioactive Isotope Uptake test - 2.5 yr old nursling - help!!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a nodule on my thyroid and am having some pretty severe symptoms of thyroid problems so they want to do a radioactive isotope uptake test to determine if it is possibly cancerous. My 2.5 year old is still nursing quite a lot. I don't have a huge supply due to breast reduction but she is still nursing whenever she wants during the day and night. All of the websites I've found say that radiation can sometimes be okay but the radioactive isotope uptake test is NEVER okay with breastfeeding. Does anyone have any info on this? Weaning is just NOT an option, she has special needs and is not ready to wean. What am I going to do???
post #2 of 8
I am curious about this, too. They have found nodules on mine, but my bloodwork is normal. I can not do any further testing until after I have this baby, and I will be BFing her at that point. I know you can not take the radioactive medication if have a hyperthyroid, but I do not know the details for testing with the radioactive isotope uptake.
post #3 of 8
This is a good place to start: http://www.kellymom.com/health/thyro...treatment.html Look for the scan info.

Hale has a big chart with all the different radioactive isotopes. Some have a shorter time to wait to breastfeed again 12 hrs - 48 hrs and some the recommendation is to stop breastfeeding completely. Sometimes the milk itself can be tested after a long while to see if it is ok yet.

Knowing which isotope will be used and maybe even working with your docs to choose a test which will not interrupt the breastfeeding relationship as much or doing some different tests until you are ready to wean.

Feeling like you have to choose between taking care of your own health and allowing your baby/child to nurse is never an easy thing. It often seems unfair to affect your child also. Looking for ways to find a happy medium if possible can be the both of best worlds. Also, if you do need to do a test where weaning is important, giving yourself and your child a little extra time to get there can be helpful (if possible). Children are amazing and can rise up when necessary.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
It is this one: "I-131 concentrates in breastmilk and high levels in breastmilk can suppress baby's thyroid function (or even destroy the thyroid) and increase risk of thyroid cancer. Therefore it is important that breastfeeding be discontinued until breastmilk levels are safe (this depends upon the dose and ranges from 8 days to 106+ days). The half-life for I-131 is 8.1 days. Hale recommends that when I-131 is used, breastmilk samples should be tested with a gamma (radiation) counter before breastfeeding is resumed to ensure that radiation in the milk has returned to safe levels. Lactation Risk Category is L4 (possibly hazardous)."

I really do not want to wean her, she is just not ready and neither am I. I am going to have to go in and talk to the doctor again and see if there is another test they can do. I know she will not be impressed with me because she has already advised me to just leave her to scream to help her sleep so its obvious she is not AP.
post #5 of 8
The iodine scan is not the only test, & in fact is NOT going to tell you whether the thyroid nodule is cancerous or not. It may tell you that it is very unlikely to be cancer, but <10% of nodules get this result. There are other tests that are more useful to start with (have you had them already?), including "FNA" = fine needle aspiration which is a simple test.

Have a look at this link for some reliable information that you can take with you to your next doctor's appointment: http://www.uptodate.com/online/conte...docrin/11828#9
post #6 of 8
Hey, I cant help you but I just wanted to offer you some support.My advice is to talk to a lactation professional, they might know more on the subject then we do and they might be able to offer advice on weaning if weaning is needed.This must be heart breaking for you

Either way, your daughter was breastfed for two and a half years and that is wonderful.
post #7 of 8
I sadly don't have any advice but want to offer my support and hope you can find a way to keep nursing. Is it possible for you to pump and dump for a time until it's safe to nurse again?
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I have a nodule on my thyroid and am having some pretty severe symptoms of thyroid problems so they want to do a radioactive isotope uptake test to determine if it is possibly cancerous. My 2.5 year old is still nursing quite a lot. I don't have a huge supply due to breast reduction but she is still nursing whenever she wants during the day and night. All of the websites I've found say that radiation can sometimes be okay but the radioactive isotope uptake test is NEVER okay with breastfeeding. Does anyone have any info on this? Weaning is just NOT an option, she has special needs and is not ready to wean. What am I going to do???
I've had annual FNAs since my dd was just a few weeks old. They are rather uncomfortable, but I've avoided having to use radioisotopes. I have several nodules on my thyroid, so it takes a while and it can be painful, but since I've been breastfeeding and/or pregnant without a break for the past 7 years I prefer the FNAs to the radioisotopes. I hope you've found something that works for you.
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