Sour Candy/Gum Products Used After the RAI

At the RAI appointment.  Yes, that is the 100mc capsule of radioactive iodine in the vial.  It arrived in a small lead-lined thermos-like container---the container weighed about 15 pounds!

The following pictures show the sour candy products approved by his doctors for use 24 hours after the RAI.   Use of the sour candies is supposed to help minimize discomfort and increase salivary production.  Of course, the products selected should be sodium-free and not contain Red Dye #3- and ideally, be sugar-free!

Note:  Below are the ones my husband plans to use- he likes the ones with sugar... You may want to look in the diabetic candy section.  We could not find a "sour" sugar-free gum.  You should have see his "Halloween bag" of sour candy and gum- enough to make a small child cry!


As with all issues regarding your LID & RAI treatment plan, discuss this with your physician regarding their recommendation for you.







Sugar Free!  Purchased at Dollar Tree- highly recommended by a friend who is 6 mo. post-RAI.  She continues to use these for "dry mouth."


My husband's physician gave him this bag of sour lemon drop candy.  She approved the following non-sodium, Red Dye #3 free candies to also use:


















These are SUGAR-FREE! Purchased at Wal-Greens Pharmacy.
Note:  Some of the sour candies did not agree with his stomach...switched to slices of fresh lemon.


Dry Mouth:  If you are having issues with dry mouth after the RAI- and it seems many do, consider Biotene Dry Mouth Mouthwash.  You can find it in the mouthwash section of drugstores and many grocery stores.  It provided relief to my husband on several occasions.  It was recommended by my husband's dentist, physician and a friend who also had a RAI treatment a few months before my husband's.


 

January 7, 2014:  
Salivary Gland Issue-

My husband has recently experienced the dreaded salivary pain/swelling we have heard so many post-RAI patients discuss.  At around 15 months after his RAI, he began to experience extremely painful sensations in his jaw area- this was soon followed by swelling.  It seems that many experience episodic salivary gland pain due to scarring after the RAI treatment.  The treatment is massage of the salivary gland area, applying heat compresses and use of yes, more sour candies to re-open the salivary ducts.  

After trying many of the candies listed above that he had previously used following the RAI, he found that Lifesavers is now making a sour gummy candy that was even more "sour" to him.  Sour is what he needed to open the salivary ducts and these are the ones that ended up working better for him.  See the picture below.  He ordered a case from Amazon and has been using when he starts to experience symptoms and has been able to get relief using the gummies and massage. Note that this gummy sour candy does not contain Red Dye#3.   Best to you.

18 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this! Today is the first day of my diet and not only have you helped me figure out what to eat but you have helped me know what to expect after the RAI. Best wishes to you both and thank you again so much!

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  2. Sigh...my endo told me not to use any sour candies after RAI treatment. He said that that by stimulating the slavery glands, the iodine would go there to, making them have problems in the future. Don't know what to think anymore.

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    1. Hi- It does seem that physicians in different regions of the US and around the world have differing opinions about the use of sour candy after the RAI. My husband's physicians are located in North Carolina and they did recommend the sour candy. I agree that it is confusing and frustrating when you are trying to follow every guideline and there is conflicting information. Even with using the sour candies, my husband did lose his sense of taste for awhile and also had a salivary blockage about a year after the RAI- Even the ThyCa website states some physicians recommend sour candies and others do not- http://www.thyca.org/about/pap-fol/rai/#after I wish you good health- Sonya

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  3. I used sour lemon sugarless candies after my RAI and they produced saliva all right...however, my mouth was all cut up due to the sharpness of the candy and the sourness. I'm going to have a Full Body Scan and will start LID today and I'll find those Gummy Bears - at least they are soft. I'm not a real fan of "sour" candies, but oh, well.

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  4. Hi - I had a complete thyroidectomy in July 2014 and then RAI Sept 2014. I have followed your blog throughout my journey and it has been SOOO helpful and soothing to know that others are experiencing the same. I am back on now as I am getting pain in my jaw and wondering whether this is indeed the salivary gland issue. It sounds like it but am wondering if anyone has had tooth issues like needing root canals or whether that is just a coincidence. Thanks for your help.

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    1. Hi Maria- Thanks for your note. I am sorry you are experiencing salivary and dental issues. It does seem several people do after the RAI. My husband's flare up was about 15 months after his. He did see an ENT- several at our local medical center specialize or have interest in salivary duct issues. He was told to use warm compresses, sour candies and regularly massage the area with firm pressure. He has not had dental issues but, I know many have gum and cavity problems after the RAI.
      Here is a link to the massage his ENT recommended after his flare up- it is the same used by Sjogren's patients. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/157977899406374293/
      I wish you good health! Sonya

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  5. I am going for my RAI treatment in a couple weeks and was wondering why the candy recommended is sugarless. I understand why it should be sour.

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    1. Hi Necco. Choose with or without sugar sour candies. Some have dental concerns after the RAI and prefer sugar free. My husband used both. Best health wishes to you. Sonya

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  6. Thanks for this information, I start the RAI treatment on 8/3/15. Question did your husband stay in the hospital for the treatent or was he allowed to go home?

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    1. Hi- in our area, patients are sent home after swallowing the radioactive iodine capsules. My husband stayed alone in the master bedroom with adjoining bathroom for a week. We delivered his meals to the room on paper/plastic plates. He read, slept and watched television most of the time. He had quite a bit of nausea so typically he just tried to sleep. He did have puzzles and video games in the room but, I do not think they were used.
      Good luck to you and best wishes for good health- Sonya

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  7. I had thyroidectemy and neck dissection in Aug 2015. I start LID tomorrow, and if all goes well, I go for RAI the first week of Nov. In my state the law is that you have to be in hospital in the lead lined room for 3 days, then they tell me I have to stay at least 5-6 feet away from others for an additional week. We have an apartment over our garage that my college age daughter is away from home so I will be staying there for the week in order to sequester myself. When they told me about the in hosp stay, they suggested wearing a hospital gown, instead of 'ruining' my own clothes... and they said only bring stuff that can be thrown away afterward, like cheap books and toothbrush, etc... and suggested not to bring things like electronics, etc. I had heard that some people after going hypothyroid before the RAI, that they were in the brain fog and had a hard time concentrating enough to read books, so I had planned to take movie and tv series on disks with me, and my i pad, etc... but the nurse seemed to discourage that. I just wanted to know your opinions and experiences with this. Thanks in advance! And thank you so much for your blog I need all the help and encouragement I can get.

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    1. Hi Wendy and thanks for your note. It does seem that many areas require folks to stay inpatient after their RAI for a few days. In NC, they are sent home after ingesting the capsule. My husband did have low level nausea, sore throat and fatigue after his RAI. I had puzzles, word search, Sudoku puzzles and books for him in the bedroom where he stayed after treatment. He didn't really feel up to puzzles and didn't read much either- and he is a voracious reader. He mostly slept and watched tv/movies. His doctors instructed us to cover the remote control in a baggie or plastic wrap. Everyone's experience is different- you may feel clear headed enough for reading or other activities. I suggest just putting a box of options together in the event you want them and then no problem if they go untouched.

      He did wear older pj's and clothes during his week of seclusion. He used our older towels and bedding also. I discarded all of those items afterwards.

      I wish you good health and a smooth LID and RAI. Best to you and your family. Sonya

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    2. Also, meant to mention- if you want other LID food ideas- see my LID Pinterest board- I have additional food options posted there- Best to you.
      https://www.pinterest.com/wssonya/low-iodine-diet/

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    3. Sonya, Thankyou for your response. I found you from something on pinterest. :) all of this info ans support is so helpful! I read on one place you ought to cover the bed with a plastic sheet under the bedding, and also wrap your pillow with saran wrap. Is this stuff really necessary?!?!?!

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    4. Hi- For your peace of mind you may want to follow whatever directions your doctor gives. Since you are staying inpatient the first few days, a large part of the radioactive iodine will be excreted by your body (urine/sweat/etc.) before you get home. It seems like every region of the US has a different protocol.
      We did discard his bedding and pj's after his seclusion period (they were old).

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    5. Hi- For your peace of mind you may want to follow whatever directions your doctor gives. Since you are staying inpatient the first few days, a large part of the radioactive iodine will be excreted by your body (urine/sweat/etc.) before you get home. It seems like every region of the US has a different protocol.
      We did discard his bedding and pj's after his seclusion period (they were old).

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  8. I've had a complete thyoridectomy , and two radical neck dissections completed so far , took my thyorid , parathyroids and 87 lymphnodes ranging from the bottom of the left to the right ear and down into my chest . A little background information on my experience so far , I'm a 21 year old male college athlete and was diagnosed the day before thanksgiving in 2016, surgeries weren't bad for me , although I was extremely sick after my second . The LID has absoutely destroyed me . I'm 6'2, 240 and was eating like a horse to supply my workout energy and practice energy and then when I went into the LID I've lost nearly 27 lbs in a week and have been struggling horribly . I take RAI tomo and am supposed to be cleared by April 6th 2017, I just want people who read this to understand and prepare themselves . I'm not going to sugar coat how horrible the adventure has been . When I first started everything I always heard this was the Cadillac of cancers to have . I was dead wrong . This is awful , I am not trying to scare anyone but people need to be aware of what they are getting into . My case (at this severe) of a level is extremely hard . I hope everyone is going strong and beating cancer as we all will.

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