I was treated with RAI 19 years ago for Graves disease. In July I found out that I had hyperparathyroidism (for atleast the last 9 years according to my past blood tests), and just got a very large tumor removed last week. The endocrine surgeons told me that RAI is linked to hyperparathyroidism and that I should have been informed of this risk, and had my calcium levels monitored on a regular basis. Today, when I look at the Graves Disease and Thyroid websites for the risks associated for RAI treatment, this is not mentioned at all. However, when I go to the parathyroid websites, RAI is known to be associated with elevated risks of parathyroid tumors called adenomas. The surgeon told me that his practice operates on and removes adenomas from 1-2 people a week that had RAI.
I think this is unfortunate that this risk is not mentioned. I am posting this in the off chance it helps someone else like me. My health has been deteriorating for years and my slightly elevated calcium levels have been ignored, because they aren't “that high”. Dr.'s have been treating my low D for years sometimes with 50,000 IU. One simple PTH test many years too late, identified the problem. Hopefully my body will fully recover from all the damage the tumor caused.
Also please note that calcium should never be above 9.9 in anyone over 35. The lab ranges that go above 10 for the upper limit are not for older adults.
One last bit of advice…It would be nice if dr.'s would explore out of range blood tests instead of rationalizing it away….Be your own advocate. Get your blood tested with every physical, and do your own research on your out of range test results. Its the information age. Make your doctor have an educated and even challenging conversation with you. Don't assume they are researching anything beyond the common ailments of a general practice.