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In my early 30's I worked as an adm asst in the Dept of Nuclear Medicine at a University Hospital nearby.

I started having symptoms of hypothyroidism after I got married and was trying to have a baby. I had symptoms

of hypothyroidism, in hindsight, but at the time, I wasn't aware that dry skin, tiredness, and lots of other

things were signs of hypothyroidism. I was tested with TSH and was 11 and put on Synthroid. I got

pregnant a couple of months later. Anyway, I worked right down the hall from a "hot lab" I was never on

Lithium for more than a few weeks. I don't know how long it takes for lithium to mess up the thyroid gland

but I will never know whether or not my working in close proximity to radioactive nuclear isotopes made for

my hypothyroidism to go full throttle. I still take Synthroid 137 mcg and will, of course, have to take it the

rest of my life. So, with bipolar and hypothyroidism, I have had my hands full, not to mention hypertension, and

osteoarthritis.

I wish I knew if working where I worked caused the hypothyroidism, or whether it was a coincide, but I guess I

will not ever truly know the answer.

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Yeah, radiation and Lithium can both mess with the Thyroid.. though I believe radiation is more likely to cause a goiter moreso than Hypothyroidism. It was probably already in the genes and both contributed. I'd grown up with Hypo symptoms without being diagnosed.. but the lab range was higher than it is now when I had my tests done. So it's quite possible I was borderline anyway, and the Lithium just made it more pronounced. I got up to a 9 and couldn't function. Now I medicate with Aurmor Thyroid to around 1.5ish. I'm just glad it's easily treated and that I can pretty much ignore it now.

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Yeah, radiation and Lithium can both mess with the Thyroid.. though I believe radiation is more likely to cause a goiter moreso than Hypothyroidism. It was probably already in the genes and both contributed. I'd grown up with Hypo symptoms without being diagnosed.. but the lab range was higher than it is now when I had my tests done. So it's quite possible I was borderline anyway, and the Lithium just made it more pronounced. I got up to a 9 and couldn't function. Now I medicate with Aurmor Thyroid to around 1.5ish. I'm just glad it's easily treated and that I can pretty much ignore it now.

Funny how we always look for something to blame things on. I've never had a goiter, TG. Probably was already in my genetic makeup. I believe that we are more genetic than nurture, IMO, anyway.

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Yeah, radiation and Lithium can both mess with the Thyroid.. though I believe radiation is more likely to cause a goiter moreso than Hypothyroidism. It was probably already in the genes and both contributed. I'd grown up with Hypo symptoms without being diagnosed.. but the lab range was higher than it is now when I had my tests done. So it's quite possible I was borderline anyway, and the Lithium just made it more pronounced. I got up to a 9 and couldn't function. Now I medicate with Aurmor Thyroid to around 1.5ish. I'm just glad it's easily treated and that I can pretty much ignore it now.

Funny how we always look for something to blame things on. I've never had a goiter, TG. Probably was already in my genetic makeup. I believe that we are more genetic than nurture, IMO, anyway.

It's not saying it's 100% to blame. It's that it is a documented problem that your Thyroid is sensitive to radiation. This is why they now cover that area when you get an X-ray. It's not far off to say that this link is something to consider as a reason, however much. It doesn't make sense to completely discount it.

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From what I can gather, radioactivity only really affects the thyroid (disproportionately) if you ingest radioactive iodine. The thyroid takes up and stores iodine, which is obviously a problem if your drinking water is contaminated with I-131. I agree with Stacia that you almost certainly weren't even exposed, but if you were, brief exposure to radioactive residue on someone's clothes isn't likely to be damaging. A chest X-ray would expose you to far more radiation than that.

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I'm gonna throw my marker on 'genetics".

It takes quite a dose of radioactive iodine to destroy the hormone producing cells in the thyroid.

If that lab was so sloppy as to give you that much exposure, (through ingestion), or exponentially more thru external radiation, then their survey meters would have been pegged and alarms would have been going off. Unlikely.

As I discussed in a post last week, Jamison & Goodwin note that numerous studies show that people with bipolar disorder have about a 30% incidence of thyroid disorders, far above the normal population. And this number is firm, regardless of Lithium usage. Lithium can/may have some effect on hypothryoid, but clearly there are underlying disorders in the gland.

Recommended solution: Choose better ancestors. :)

a.m. I went hypothyroid within a month after starting Lithium, but in hindsight I was having symptoms well beforehand.

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