Before receiving RAI or getting an Iodine scan done, women should tell the doctor if she is pregnant or breast-feeding. After RAI you are not supposed to stay in the same room with children for 10 days.
As such the amount of RAI given for therapy of overactive thyroid does not cause significant damage to the family members. But just to be in the safe side the following are recommended.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after you use the bathroom. Dry your hands thoroughly with a towel that only you are using.
- Separate all towels, washcloths, and bed linens. Wash all of these items separate from the family wash.
- In order to dilute the amount of radiation in urine and faeces, always flush the toilet at least two or three times after using the bathroom.
- Wash the bathroom sink & shower after each use.
- Separate your plates and drinking cups. Better yet, use paper plates and plastic cutlery, so you won’t have to wash your dishes separately from the rest of the family.
- Sleep in a separate bed from your partner. Avoid sexual contact.
- Radiation exposure is directly related to the amount of time you spend with another person as well as how intimate and close your contact is with them. Avoid prolonged intimate physical contact with babies, children and pregnant women.
- In order to flush out the radiation faster, keep yourself well hydrated (preferably with water) so that the radioactive iodine will be passed out of your body through your urine.
These precautions should be followed for three days after the RAI test. After this period of time, the radiation exposure to other people is negligible and you do not need to follow any additional precautions.