The Wellness Q&A with Elaine Moore

Welcome to the Wellness Q&A where members can ask Elaine Moore any health-related question. Moore is a medical writer and retired clinical laboratory scientist with over 30 years experience in immunology. Get started by selecting Member Questions. This is a question-and-answer forum, and each thread represents a member question or set of questions. The question will only appear once it's answered. Thank you for joining.


Are you familiar with radio frequency ablation for thyroid nodules?
Last Post 29 Aug 2023 05:00 PM by Elaine Moore. 1 Replies.
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CyndalaUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:
16 Aug 2023 11:42 AM
    Hello Elaine~
    I've been taking Methimazole for hyperthyroid symptoms caused by thyroid nodules since 2017. Though I take a low dose of methimazole -- 7.5 mg daily -- I still have a few ongoing side effects such as itchy skin, occasional rashes, and overall fatigue. I've read that methimazole also causes liver damage.

    Additionally I also have to take 40mg daily of propranolol for the hyperthyroid symptoms, which tires me out and causes insomnia. I would really prefer to deal with the thyroid nodules without taking these drugs for the rest of my life. My endocrinologist doesn't seem to be concerned, as long as my labs are within range. But I worry about the drugs.

    I recently read about a new treatment for removing nodules called radio frequency ablation -- which removes or shrinks the nodules without removing the entire thyroid. It sounds relatively simple compared to RAI -- and sounds almost too good to be true. My endocrinologist has never mentioned this as an option, and he seems to want me to stay on my anti-thyroid drugs indefinitely. Again, I don't want to do that for many reasons.

    Are you familiar with radio frequency ablation for nodules, and do you know if it's commonly done now? If so, I might try to find another endocrinologist who's willing to discuss this option.
    Thank you and I hope your summer is happy and healthy,
    Elaine MooreUser is Online Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:4032
    29 Aug 2023 05:00 PM
    I haven't heard about radio frequency ablation in years. I wrote yeas ago about a lady who went to another country, I think China, to have the procedure done but the nodules grew back after a few years.
    From the symptoms you're mentioning you might be on doses of methimazole and propranolol that are too high. 40 mg of propranolol is a moderate to high dose and you'd want to make sure that your heart rate is't falling too low. You want to look closely at your FT4 and FT3 levels to make sure they're not too low. You also want a lower TSH because TSH causes thyroid cells including nodules to grow. You may just need a dose reduction.
    Best, Elaine
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