What to Expect After Thyroidectomy: 5 Things You Should Know

What to Expect After Thyroidectomy: 5 Things You Should Know

Thyroid removed? Now What? 

Have you recently had your thyroid removed?

Are you suffering from symptoms AFTER having had your thyroid removed?

Maybe you are gaining weight or losing your hair?

If so, then this is the article for you!

In this article, we will take a deep dive into 5 things that I think every patient who has had their thyroid removed should know. 

We will touch on topics including what you should be expecting once your thyroid has been removed, why it’s so difficult for patients to lose weight without a thyroid, how to naturally improve your thyroid function even after it has been removed, and more!

If you aren’t sure what to do after thyroid removal then you are in the right place. 

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5 Things you should know if you have a thyroidectomy

I’ve treated hundreds (probably more than a thousand) of thyroid patients in my clinical practice and I’ve run into many patients without a thyroid. 

These patients are certainly more difficult to treat than run-of-the-mill thyroid patients but I’ve learned much in my years of treating them. 

While they are more difficult, it’s still possible to help them lose weight and feel better. 

It just takes the right approach… 

With that in mind, here are 5 things that I think you should know if you’ve had your thyroid removed based on THIS experience. 

#1. You are now HYPOTHYROID. 

This is probably the single most important thing that you understand if your thyroid has been removed. 

Once your thyroid is removed you are now considered to be HYPOTHYROID. 

It doesn’t matter WHY your thyroid was removed, once it is removed you now have a sluggish thyroid. 

I don’t care if your thyroid was removed because you WERE hyperthyroid (the opposite of hypothyroidism). 

Thyroid removal is considered to be a cure for hyperthyroidism but once your thyroid is out you’ve effectively traded hyperthyroidism for hypothyroidism. 

What does it mean to be hypothyroid?

It means that you are reliant upon thyroid medication. 

And because doctors do a terrible job at replacing lost thyroid hormone once the thyroid has been removed, you will probably always feel a little bit hypothyroid (there are ways to get around this of course, but it requires a different approach than what your endocrinologist is willing to do). 

This is so important because many people will read my blog posts and if they’ve had their thyroid removed they will ask if it applies to them. 

If your thyroid has been removed then 99% of the information I put out IS relevant to you (In fact, you can see it all here)! 

It is true that it will always be tougher for you than for someone who has something like Hashimoto’s but you both are technically in the same position in that your thyroid does not function very well. 

This ALSO applies to people who have had their thyroid ablated with radioactive iodine, by the way!

Never forget that once your thyroid has been removed you are NOW hypothyroid. 

#2. T4 isn’t enough by itself for you. 

Another important point, which will fly in the face of the information that your endocrinologist gives you, is that T4 thyroid medication is NOT enough for patients without a thyroid. 

Let me back up so this sinks in. 

Once your thyroid is removed you are placed on thyroid medication. 

The medication that your doctor will use will either be Synthroid or levothyroxine. 

Both of these medications contain the same active ingredient which is known as T4 or thyroxine. 

But what you probably don’t know is that T4 is NOT active in your body. 

In order to be activated, it must be converted to another thyroid hormone known as T3. 

And we know from certain medical studies that patients without a thyroid, who take T4 medications like Synthroid and levothyroxine, NEVER achieve a normal level using these medications! 

This has been proven in studies (1) that compare patients without a thyroid (people like you) to people WITH a thyroid gland. 

They found that these medications are NOT enough to normalize free thyroid hormone levels. 

Which probably accounts for the hypothyroid symptoms (such as weight gain) that patients experience once their thyroid has been removed. 

What’s the solution?

The solution is to use COMBINATION thyroid medications which contain the active thyroid hormone T3 in addition to the inactive thyroid hormone T4. 

You can do this by taking two separate medications or by taking one which contains both (such as Armour thyroid). 

Either way, you will probably feel much better once you get them both in your system. 

#3. You will probably gain weight and weight loss will be difficult. 

This is a sad fact that many patients will experience if they have their thyroid removed. 

We know from medical studies (2) (and just from patient experience) that about 80% of patients will GAIN weight once their thyroid is removed. 

The average amount of weight gained post-thyroidectomy is somewhere around 15 to 20 pounds. 

It gets worse when you realize that some people gain MORE weight, especially those who were already a little overweight before their operation/surgery. 

Okay, you get it, but why does this occur?

It occurs because most patients, once they have their thyroid removed, don’t get adequate treatment (see number 2 above). 

join 80,000 other thyroid patients who have used dr. westin childs' thyroid support supplements.

As frustrating as it is for patients who fit into this category, this is just the current situation. 

Does it mean that you will be overweight forever?

Not at all! In fact, there are definitely ways to lose weight once your thyroid has been removed. 

If you are interested in losing weight be sure to check out my tips and tricks designed to help thyroidectomy patients lose weight

Part of this includes getting on the right type and dose of thyroid medication. 

But you should be aware that it will ALWAYS be more difficult for YOU to lose weight (if you don’t have a thyroid) compared to people who have a thyroid even if it is sluggish. 

It’s not impossible, though, so don’t let that get you down. 

But it does mean you will need to be more aggressive and potentially use medications in addition to vitamins, supplements, diet, exercise, and so on. 

#4. Thyroid supplements can and SHOULD be used. 

This is another HUGE point of confusion among patients without a thyroid. 

They often think: 

“Well, if I don’t have a thyroid then I don’t have to take thyroid supplements”. 

And you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Remember, I just told you that doctors often prescribe only ONE medication (levothyroxine) and that THAT medication is not even active. 

Guess what activates it?

Certain nutrients in your body such as zinc and selenium (as well as many others). 

So even if you DON’T have a thyroid you can STILL benefit from using thyroid support supplements!

It doesn’t matter that your thyroid has been removed because you are STILL receiving thyroid hormone (otherwise you would be dead). 

The difference is HOW you are getting that thyroid hormone. 

People without a thyroid get it from their medication. 

People with a sluggish thyroid get it from both their medication AND their thyroid gland. 

This also applies to IODINE as well. 

Most doctors will tell you that you don’t need iodine if your thyroid has been removed. 

Can you guess if that recommendation actually makes sense?

The answer is a big nope. 

While it is true that MOST of the iodine is stored in your thyroid gland there are still plenty of other tissues that REQUIRE iodine for proper function. 

Skin tissue and breast tissue immediately come to mind. 

And because humans can’t create iodine they MUST consume it (either through iodine supplements or from food). 

So don’t fall for that one either. 

It may sound crazy that your doctor doesn’t know this stuff but trust me when I say that they don’t. 

If you don’t believe me you can always ask them as well! 

#5. You will be on medication FOR LIFE. 

Lastly, and this one shouldn’t come as a big surprise for most of you, if you’ve had your thyroid removed then you will be on thyroid medication for the rest of your life. 

Thyroid hormone is required for life. 

If you don’t have enough then you will go into a coma and die. 

So that means once your thyroid has been removed you must take medication forever to keep your levels up. 

Most people without a thyroid are aware of this but some people were never told or didn’t realize this. 

It’s important because in some of my other articles and videos I talk about how it might be possible to get off of medication for certain people. 

This information does NOT apply to you if you don’t have a thyroid because you have no other source of thyroid hormone production in your body. 

Final Thoughts

I’ve listed what I believe to be the most important things that you should be if you have your thyroid removed!

Preferably, you should be aware of these things BEFORE you get your thyroid removed but I know most people won’t see this until after their thyroid has been removed. 

I want you to know that as a thyroid patient just because your thyroid has been removed doesn’t mean you need to stay feeling poorly for the rest of your life. 

It is possible to not only feel better but get pretty close back to your normal self with or without a thyroid. 

It will take some work on your part, and manipulation of your medication, but it is possible!

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you had your thyroid removed?

Are you struggling with symptoms related to your thyroid being removed?

Were you not aware of these important points?

Leave your questions or comments below to keep the conversation going! 

#1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3148220/

#2.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229816/

what every thyroidectomy patient should know about their thyroid

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

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68 thoughts on “What to Expect After Thyroidectomy: 5 Things You Should Know”

  1. Hi Dr Childs,

    Here are my latest blood test results:

    Free T4:11.0 pmol/L ( 7.0-16.0 )

    TSH:<0.01 mU/L ( 0.3-5.0 ) L

    FT3:13.5 pmol/L ( 3.6-6.5 ) H

    In NZ the medics don't check RT3!

    Does it matter that my T3 level is High?

    How can I prevent putting on weight if / when I am on a lower level of my T3 medication?

    Reply
  2. I had my thyroid removed in 2011 and it has been a nightmare roller coaster ride ever since. I went into a tetany seizure; my periods became so heavy that I would become anemic every month, and I gained a lot of weight over the years even though my appetite has waned and I eat healthier than I used to. I have tried different doses of Levothyroxine and it’s still being adjusted. I have recently had an endocrinologist add T3 pills to my daily list of meds. I have been taking that for about 6 weeks and honestly, don’t feel any different than I did prior to it. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      And yes, you will want to focus on bringing up your Free T3 levels (your endo won’t like this but it’s probably the only thing that will help). Put less focus on the TSH and more on your free T3 and free T4 levels. Again, your endo will say they don’t matter but you are the one feeling terrible so you may need to seek out a second opinion from a more knowledgable doctor. You can learn more here: https://www.restartmed.com/normal-thyroid-levels/

      Reply
  3. Hi Dr. Childs,
    My thyroid was removed in June 2019 due to cancer. My recent lab test results are below. I have been on Armour since day one.
    TSH .01
    Free T4 .09
    Free T3 4.5
    Because my Free T3 is high my doctor wants to lower my 2 grains a day dose. I feel pretty good on this dose and do not want to lower it. She feels that my Free T3 is high because of the dose I am taking.
    Any advise?

    Reply
    • I find difficulty with the lab tests because all my Drs, for the past 30 years, seem to try to do is fit my numbers into the bracketed ranges. We are entire bodies, not just a set of numbers to fit into normal ranges… PS: all they wanted me to take was levothyroxine, T4. So glad to see this thread.

      Reply
  4. I had my thyroid removed 1 year ago biopsy showed very high probability that it was cancer I had nemesis’s thyroid modules and I should also say I have been an ICU nurse for over 40 years finally my results post thyroidectomy was not cancerous I have been on only Levothyroxine and current dose 100 mcg monday thru Friday and 88 mcg on Saturday and Sunday due to my last level being 0.067 need repeat level now have not felt well since thyroid removed my Dr refuses to give me a T3 supplement because they say t3 and t4 normal have gained wt inspite of vigourous exercises every day no wt loss asked about taking Advanced Serovital but because of HGH they were not sure I need to say I am 65 and very active can you help me I am tired of weight gain and not feeling well none of my clothes fit have been size 4 for 40 plus yeArs and now size 6 please help me I also take vitamins daily

    Reply
  5. I had my thyroid removed in July of 2012 due to suspected cancer. Turned out I had undiagnosed Hashimoto’s for years. Never had any antibodies or labs that indicated it. Within 6 months of removal I actually lost 25 pounds and lost another 15 over the next 6 months for a total of 40. I had never felt better in my whole adult life. I did fine on Synthroid alone and then went thru a very stressful time along with menopause and slowly gained 10 to 15 pounds back. I never felt as bad as prior to my thyroidectomy but I wasn’t feeling as good. I began seeing a functional doctor and found that I had a pretty high level of RT3 and she put me on NP Thyroid along with bioidentical hormones (estrogen, testosterone and progesterone). After a few years with optimal levels of hormones, no matter what I did the extra weight wouldn’t come off. Recently she switched me to Tirosint and added Cytomel (at a lower dose of 5 mcg). Now the weight seems to be coming off. I can’t help but wonder if I have a sensitivity to desiccated porcine thyroid and/or T3. I guess I will always be the weird case.

    Reply
  6. Hashimodo here.

    FYI, I would NEVER allow some hack to remove my thyroid gland UNLESS it had a giant malignant tumor. Period.

    Dr Childs, can you explain this to me I’m a bit confused. If a patient is hyperthyroid, why remove the entire gland? I mean why not remove 1/3 or 1/2 of it? Or whatever proportion to restore normal values? It sounds absurd to remove the whole gland if you could remove 1/2 of it.

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      They believe that replacing lost thyroid hormone is easier and safer than leaving even a portion of the gland in place. It all has to do with how physicians view hyperthyroidism as thyroid replacement hormone. This is also why they don’t seem to care even if people suffer tremendously after their thyroid removal. A normal TSH = a normal patient, at least in their mind.

      Reply
  7. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I had my second thyroid removed in January 2019 the first one back in the 1970’s. I have had a horrible year in my health but not due to the thyroid. Fortunately, due to circumstances, my ENT turned out to be more knowledgeable on the thyroid than any other doctor. She knows to do the five blood tests and also to take T3 along with T4. I have to say that I have not had any problems with my current level of medications and my thyroid is the least of my problems! I love your newsletter which is how I knew the ENT was the smarter doctor in treating my thyroid. I am overdue for blood tests but thanks to the Covid it will be put off a little longer. Thanks for all your information and I hope my “non problems” with no thyroids continues.

    Reply
    • Hi Barbara,

      Glad you found someone who is knowledgable and knows their stuff! Unfortunately, it’s all too uncommon nowadays.

      Reply
  8. I had my thyroid removed in Sept. after a diagnosis of an aggressive and rare variant of thyroid cancer. I had a high dose of RAI in Nov. and so far things are okay.I have to get my levels tested every month for at least the first year because of how quickly the cancer could come back.
    I was put on levothyroxine the same day as my thyroidectomy. The dose was high but has been lowered over the last 7 months as my TSH is suppressed and Tg is at a good place.
    So far I’ve been lucky enough to have no discernible negative effects from being on just levothyroxine. I’ve been able to keep my weight where I want it and lose if I gain a few, and I feel fine. Considering how hard it is to worry about the cancer coming back, this is a blessing.
    I think if it weren’t for the cancer I’d be more open to trying an addition of T3 based on what you write as well as what I heard from my naturopath and friends who are on Armour. But if there are any concerns about changing things and cancer, for now I’m going to stay conservative and remain on the protocol that’s worked so far.

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      Some people do very well on T4 only so there’s no need to change if you are feeling great. Just be aware that it might not last forever and you may ultimately have to look into the option. It’s not uncommon for thyroid needs and medication needs to change over time.

      Reply
  9. I had my thyroid removed by ablation. I’ve only felt like a human once in 14 years. I had an endo that put me on Synthroid (88 mcgs) and Cytomel (10 mgs). When I went for a checkup to see how the dosage was doing, I told her that I had never felt better in my life. I was able to drop 4 lbs of the 20-something lbs I had gained. I had energy, slept well, my hair and nails were coming back. Well, you guessed it-because TSH was low, she took one Cytomel and cut the Synthroid dose. Within a week, I was a mess. Gaining weight, anxious, not sleeping, etc and etc! I have been unable to find a dr that will listen completely. And I’m miserable. I feel that I will never be well. And I’m really scared of that. I hate how I look and feel. I take supplements to try to help but it’s just not cutting it. I don’t know where to turn or where to seek out a better dr. With insurance limits, it is extremely difficult to go out of the area for help.

    Reply
    • I had a very knowledgeable doctor and was doing great for 10 years when I moved to another state. My new doctor wanted to reduce my medication when he saw my low TSH. When I returned home I sent him a series of Dr. Child’s videos via computer. A few weeks later he emailed me and told me he saw the videos and he’ll keep me on the dose that has been working for me.

      Reply
  10. Hi Dr. Childs, I have a swelling on my neck and recently was feeling very weak and I did a thyroid function tests and the t3 and t4 results were within normal range but my tsh was 0.02 slightly below normal range, I saw an endocrinologist who said I would repeat the tests and would eventually have to remove my thyroid and i am confused, please advise me. Thanks.

    Reply
  11. I have learned so much from all your resources! I had thyroidectomy due to Graves, about 8 weeks ago, was on 100 mcg Synthroid. As of two weeks ago, my t4 was just out of range high, my ft3 was low end of normal, my rt3 was crazy high. So my endo put me down to 75 mcg Synthroid, and added 5 Cytomel per day. I have put on 5 pounds in the 8 weeks since my surgery. I have been taking your Leptin resistance supplements and take Selenium, Iron, Calcium, Zinc.
    Here’s my big mystery though. I am still having heart poundings during exercise and am now not sleeping as well. I am so confused as the heart palps are supposed to be associated with a high t3 isn’t that correct? Is it possible my heart palps are due to something else? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Liz,

      Heart palpitations are not always from high T3 and they are rarely ever dangerous. A heart palpitation is just a sensation that your heart is beating, it doesn’t mean or guarantee that your heart is beating fast or hard in any way and is generally a benign occurrence.

      Reply
  12. I have no thyroid and am taking levothyroxine. My hair is falling out again. And it’s almost been a year! What can I do? I take my meds everyday!
    Im Scared! I’m going bk to my Dr. Soon I hope. With the Corona virus I have to wait!

    Thank you for your knowledge and input

    Reply
  13. Hi, I feel like I have flu all the time ,need an answer as it’s making my life not worth living. Had RAI in 2012 tried natural thyroid hormone also co bination T 3T4 and am now back on oroxin a T4 only. Please answer why I have Flu like symptoms. Thank you. Kay.

    Reply
      • Hi Kay and Dr. Childs,

        Kay, you may I have developed CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome)and/or fibromyalgia. I started with chronic fatigue syndrome, then polycystic ovarian syndrome, then fibromyalgia and then Hashimoto’s and had my entire thyroid removed July 2015. From what I’ve read, autoimmune disorders tend to morph into new auto immune disorders. But of course none of the doctors I’ve never seen him comment on any of this. I was first diagnosed in 1995 was CFIDS (through a timer test) at the age of 32. It was so frustrating to be so young and have no answers from doctors, and I couldn’t wait for time to pass and for Medicine to catch up with these autoimmune diseases. But here we are now in 2022 and doctors still hardly seem to know how to treat thyroid disorders. I wish you all the best Kay and thank you so much Dr. Childs for actually taking the time to explain and educate those of us who suffer from this life ruining disease.

        Reply
        • Hi Rebecca,

          Happy to help! In regards to your question, it’s not so much that autoimmune diseases morph into other autoimmune diseases but that once you have one autoimmune disease you are much more likely to develop a second and a third and a fourth, and so on. Whatever predisposes you to develop the first autoimmune disease, if not treated, will predispose you to further autoimmune diseases. Hope this clarifies!

          Reply
  14. HI Dr. Childs, Thank you for the clarifying article. I ended up with ablated thyroid, the Dr. was not knowledgeable, which has caused more struggles in my life. Now that I have been learning more these past years it pains me to find out I did not need be ablated had I been treated appropriately with meds, I would have seen a more positive outcome. my latest Dr took me off Levo and switched me to Tirosint with which I have lots of hypothyroid symptoms, loosing hair, brain fog, sluggish, etc. I decided to start taking otc Thyroid supplements and will order my own test soon to see where those #’s fall. I have less hypo symptoms Now than I have had in many years. I will update my Dr on the next visit – I did tell Dr. that if not onboard with NT med for me it is a deal breaker for them to treat my thyroid and I would seek other for that. I have to become knowledgeable to know how to tend to my body that no longer has a thyroid. I have little ‘belief’ left in the Dr knowing how to listen to me about my thyroid symptoms and their willingness to treat me as a whole person. I will add I am pleased with other areas my new practitioner has helped with – such as adrenal support.

    Reply
  15. My 15 year old daughter had thyroid removed because of Graves’ disease. It’s been a year and a half and she has zero, I mean zero energy. Her t4 andt3 are in normal range, her tsh is .006. It’s been a year and a half and she is missing her life. She has headaches everyday. She has lost weight. I have taken her to several doctors. Could it be a pituitary gland tumor?

    Reply
  16. Hi Dr. Westin, great article. Thyroidectomy 1.5 years ago, on T4 and T3 because of your article! But my T-SHIRT is still .001 (suppressed). Luckily my doc in Germany is treating my symptoms. But why the TSH value? Been the same since the surgery. I was Hypo for 8 years then went Hyper and antibodies for graves and that is why had full. Thanks!!! Jen

    Reply
  17. Hi,

    I had a thyroid completion operation early this year. My question is;

    What is the ideal TSH level for someone with no thyroid and a history of papillary thyroid cancer.

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  18. Hi Dr Childs. Thanks for this article. I have learned so much from you but finding a doctor to help has been impossible to date (in Australia), also when I lived in the UK. Tomorrow I have an appointment and hope the doctor will consider Armour Thyroid -I checked with the local compounding chemist and it is available. Since having a thyroidectomy some 45 years ago, I have never been able to get the medical support I need (even had to diagnose hypothyroidism myself!). No-one ever tested RT3, so two years ago I asked to have it done. Free T4 was 22.9 pmol/L (9.0-19.0); Free T3 was 4.4 pmol/L(2.6-6.0); TSH<0.01 (0.3-4.0). My TSH has been the same for very many years and doesn't change. My RT3 was 950 pmol/L (140-540) – clearly way too high. I have no doubt from symptoms, including being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, that RT3 has been a problem for many years. I was given no advice. Test results a month ago were Free T4 23.5 pmol/L (9.0-19.0); Free T3 4.6 pmol/L(2.6-6.0); TSH<0.01 (0.3-4.0). RT3 821 pmol/L (140-540). I was taking a little more levothyroxine as I got fed up with breaking tablets and not feeling any better. The doctor I saw this time decided I was hyperthyroid, based on my appearance (!), maybe because I had lost some weight through catching a virus. With a pulse of 49-50 before getting up and as low as 59-60 when resting, I am not hyperthyroid. I believe the RT3 is more than likely responsible for some palpitations (missed beat) I have had a few times when doing fairly strenuous physical work. Based on your article, it would seem Armour would be worth trying. Thank you.

    One question I have is.. how to transition from Levothyroxine to Armour? With Levothyroxine still in your system… is it safe to immediately start taking Armour?

    Reply
  19. Hi Dr. Childs. Thyroid removed 21013, due to rapidly growing multiple cysts, non-cancerous. Im now seeing third doctor, taking
    Synthroid .112 mcg and 5 mg Cytomel. Stopped Cytomel recently due to excruciating headaches. Gained weight, can’t come off. Hair stopped falling out for now. My current doctor will help me with any tests or meds I need to take. Is there another T3 med I can try and what about supplements to take ? Im so done and frustrated with all the different meds (armour, thyroid NP, generic cytomel) I’ve tried. Appreciate any help.

    Reply
  20. I needed this article for sure. Can you give me any suggestions?
    Thyroidectomy 2014
    Hysterectomy 2011
    On Armour 180
    Cytomel 5mg 4tabs per day
    Progesterone micronized 1-400 a night
    Testosterone cream at night
    Estrogen 1mg a day

    Last labs
    Progesterone 1.75
    Estradiol 27
    TSH .01
    Free T4 .97
    Free T3 4.41
    DHEA 125
    Testosterone 9.3

    I cannot lose weight. I am active and try to eat healthy. I keep adding it on my hips and thighs. Nothing helps. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  21. Thank you so much for addressing those of us w/no thyroid. Great article!! I will be 60 soon. Do to Grave’s disease I had my thyroid removed Oct. 2016. I gained 40 pounds in the few years after. I kept blaming it on the removal. I did join Weight Watchers last year and lost 45 pounds. So I was thrilled to see it can be done. I was never told to be on T3 as well. I to am losing hair like others, have more hot flashes now then I ever did through menopause. I did not know about the iodine and other things you mentioned I should be taking. I was told Synthroid is better than levo. Is there a difference? I am on synthroid 88 and lately my energy is out the window. I was told to take magnesium yet recently read do not take w/thyroid meds. I take it at 5:00 am every morning and wait for 4 hrs. I am on losartin and metformin. Would any of those combinations affect hair thinning, constipation and hot flashes? My endo told me to see a regular dr once my thyroid was removed. Should I go back to an endo? Thank you!!!

    Reply
  22. Hi Dr. Child’s
    I had my thyroid removed due to a goiter which had papillary carcinoma after biopsy. It was completely removed in 2000. I have had ups and downs but the worst thing is my hair thinning and breaking. I have weight issues but not as bad as the hair. I take vitamin D3, selenium 200, and I also take a pill with biotin 2000 mg but no matter what I do it just keeps getting worse. I also take Synthroid 100. I’ve always had issues and had a hard time getting doctors to help me. I am praying you can give me some answers.
    God Bless and thank you,

    Reply
  23. Thank you for considering the group of people without a thyroid.

    I’m hormonally challenged in a number of ways:
    -no thyroid, “suspected” PCOS, insulin resistance, high estrogen, zero progesterone, hormonal acne in my 40’s, cortisol issues, elevated leptin and liver labs to name a few.

    I am desperately trying to lose weight. I was 130 lbs for 3 years after my thyroidectomy, and then BOOM. It was like overnight I packed on 30lbs and I cannot drop a lb no matter what I eat.

    Oddly, I did a test at the holidays because my trainer told me to eat more. So I did a test, I ate whatever I wanted for the month of Dec. and I did not gain weight, I actually lost 4 lbs.? I even had desert daily, which I haven’t done since I was a kid?! I was drinking a lot of booze too!

    Then I went back to my normal diet: modified paleo diet, no sugar, no fruit, slow carb, with intermittent fasting, 1200 calorie/day with macros about 30/40/40 and exercising daily with 30 mins of weights, 30 mins of yoga and 10k steps per day. And I am gaining weight –> 10 lbs.

    How on earth is this possible?

    Reply
  24. Hi Dr. Childs, Thank you, thank you! Your videos are clear and understandable; more than any of my doctor’s.

    I’m allergic to Levothyroxine (the fillers specifically) and my doctor wouldn’t let me try Synthroid; said I needed to be regulated on Levo first. He was fired…I now see a Naturopathic Doctor.
    I’m taking 40mcg of desicrated bovine/porcine Thyroid glands. ( GTA Forte II from Biotics Research)…my Thyroid Panel is now somewhat normal…I added your T3 Conversion Booster. Awaiting next blood work to see if T3 is up.

    My question is: Is the desicrated thyroid glands only T4 ? (Like the levothyroxine you stated in your video) AND Will the T3 Booster work the same to balance out my T3/T4?

    Also will this balance ever bring me out of Hypothyroid to Euthyroid?

    Thank you again!
    Kelly V.
    Thyroidectomy 9/19

    Reply
    • Hi Kelly,

      If you are referring to NDT when you say “desicrated thyroid glands” then that medication contains BOTH T4 and T3. I’m not sure if you are referring to NDT medications or supplements, though.

      Reply
  25. Hello Dr. Childs,
    I had my entire thyroid removed 1990 due to a large mixed follicular /papillary carcinoma. Had I-131 treatment following. Now I am 61 and find my symptoms of weight gain, brain fog and low energy worse . I tried Nutrisystem and Medifast and only lost 1 pound on 1100 calories a day. My doc says exercise more and eat less. I have gained 20 pounds in 30 years and weigh 160 pounds. I have developed large hepatic liver cysts in he last 3 years. I am on NP Thyroid 60mg -twice a day. My latest labs show : TSH -0.20, FT4 -1.04, FT3-4.4.
    I just stared your supplement plan for post thyroidectomy patients.
    I have never had a Reverse T3 lab done. I have been to many endos over the years and they were all very addicted to TSH level and very little else. I currently see a PCP who has agreed to the NP Thyroid , as Levo I was on was making the liver problem worse.
    I am very used to heart palps and breathing issues after 30 years. I just want to feel better and decline less.
    Thank You, Juliann

    Reply
  26. I had a partial left thyroidectomy when I was 19. I was not put on medication until my 30’s and my Dr. was very surprised they didn’t put me on anything. I’m now in my 40’s and was never told to NOT stop it. My levels were always normal so I took myself off. Well, that found a nice sized nodule on my right side now and I’m scheduled for a biopsy on 2/17/21. Praying it’s not bad news.

    Reply
  27. I was 22 yrs old when diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Had thyroidectomy and right neck dissection at 22. Have been on Synthroid 100mcg since then and now I am 54 yrs old. I have been having abnormal TSH for past couple of years. TSH would be low, then ok again. Went thru menopause 49-50 yrs old. Gained weight then and cannot lose it, 20lbs. My hair falls out in clumps for past 3 years. I have lost 2/3 of my hair. (I had a lot of it). I am on the go, my eating habits have not changed my entire life. I walk 2+ miles everyday and gain weight. My joints and bones are starting to hurt. OK, I am on synthroid 100 and another doc told me to try armor. Armor is 60 at first then moved me up to 90 within a month. I knew it wasn’t enough. After about 2 weeks I still feel like hell. I add my synthroid with it. Couple of days a week for about 2 weeks then everyday. My other doc does test and I get a call that TSH is way to low, very scary low (I didn’t get that number) and reducing my synthroid to 80. (Didn’t tell her about the armor-doing self test) I knew it would be high. Now, I was feeling great, no more freezes my butt off all the time, hair started slowing down falling out and so on. This was only for about a month because the 80mcg messed me up. I knew it was to low so what did I do, took synthroid 80 with armor 60. Been taking for about 2 months. This is lower than what I was taking. I told doc also about taking both meds. My test came back today, TSH .02 and T3 and T4 are in the normal range, high side but normal she said. She sounded confused because she said it was so much lower (TSH) then the test 2 months ago. I am taking less meds and it is lower with normal T3/T4 levels. I am getting a little nervous at what this could mean. Any ideas and/or suggestions? I hope I made some sense of what is going on with me. Thank you so much. Lisa

    Reply
  28. Hi, I’m Paula, I had a thyroidectomy in 2010 I started out on synthroid and was later switched to tirosint. My current dose is 125 and I take it 6 days a week only, because we have been having trouble getting it to stay in the normal range, I either go hyper or hypo. I was hyper that is why we switched to 6 days a week, now I’m hypo for sure, my latest lab showed my TSH as 8.03 and my free t 4 at 1.1. I also have a pituitary adenoma called a prolactinoma, my levels are actually lower now, that I’ve gotten older, I’ve had trouble with the medications they give me for this, but they do keep an eye on my tumor. My doctor will not test the free t3 or t3 levels, I ask but she refuses, I saw an ENT a few times and asked about getting on Armour, I’ve even asked my current endo and she says no too. I want to try something different. My thyroid was removed because I had a nodule on my isthmus, but it turned out to be nothing, but they did find when they got into remove my thyroid that my thyroid has multiple nodules all over it and I was told I had hashimotos. I wonder at times if I still have this after no thyroid because where my thyroid glands were are always tender and hurt. Anyhow, My Mom had to have radioactive iodine 3 different times, once when she was younger and again when she was in her 70’s and her thyroid levels kept increasing. All my Mom’s sisters had thyroid issues and diabetic issues, and two had goiters and one had thyroid cancer. Any input or suggestions how I can get my levels to stay in the mid range?

    Reply
  29. Forty years ago I had all of one half and two-thirds if the other side due to a benign tumor. I take .150 Levothyroxine. If I quit taking it would my body slow down and the organs fail?

    Reply
    • Hi Linda,

      If you still have at least some thyroid gland left then you probably wouldn’t die but you definitely wouldn’t feel very good. I can’t say I would recommend such a course of action, though.

      Reply
  30. Dr. Childs, with our crazy world right now, I am fearful of not being able to get my thyroid medications at some point (total thyroidectomy in January 2019). Is there really no other means of T4 and T3 outside of the medications listed? It’s not like I can stock up on several years’ worth of meds…

    Thank you for this article–it’s very helpful for those of us without a thyroid!

    Reply
  31. Dr Childs, a very elderly relative had a thyroidectomy about 50 years ago. I don’t know if it was partial or full but she was never given any thyroid medication afterwards. Although she (obviously) survived, her health has been awful, I would say classic hypothyroid, and led to a great deal of suffering with all the associated symptoms, plus other autoimmune disorders. However her TSH has always been within UK ‘normal’ range and she has largely been treated with painkillers and psychiatric meds & told she was hypochondriac. How can this happen? How can someone have normal TSH after a thyroidectomy, and receive no treatment with such obvious symptoms?

    Reply
    • Hi L Moss,

      Unfortunately, that situation is the norm right now. It has to do with the standard of care and how doctors think about thyroid management.

      Reply
  32. Good Morning

    Joe Nuben here i had my thyroid removed in April 1973and basically am doing ok . my problem is when i have to change a Dr for some reason the new Dr always wants to change the amount of meds ia am taking i am only taking levothyroxine at 0.2mcg My thyroid was removed due to cancer. Hang in the folks losing your thyroid is not the end of the world.

    Reply
  33. I had my thyroid removed in 2014 due to papillary thyroid cancer.
    My last mammogram showed that I had breast cancer and in my frantic concern about weight loss with thyroid removal and now breast cancer I discovered a medical journal stating that synthroid causes breast cancer as well as other cancers.
    My endocrinologist put me on T3 only. I was on 137 mcg of tyrosent/t4, which lowered my TSH greatly (although I still suffered from always being cold, brain fog, constipation, my bladder feeling like it would never completely empty, incredible weight gain on 600 calories a day or not eating at all I would just gain weight, and on and on and on), however due to the recent findings about breast cancer and my breast cancer diagnosis she switched me to 20 mcg of cytomel/t3.

    I’ve been on it for 6 weeks I feel like crap again. I am 5′ 10″ & 260 lb (up from 190 in 2014) my most recent blood work last week
    TSH 76.52
    VITAMIN D. 24

    So now my endocrinologist wants to put me on 100 MCG tyrosent/t4 and 10mcg Cytomel/t3.

    i have given up everything to drink except water and unsweetened decaf iced tea with stevia, no carbs, no beef, no pork, no sugar, no dairy except once in awhile cheese, no fruit except blueberries…
    My diet consists of scrambled eggs with onion and salsa and sometimes chicken breast and a salad and I continue to gain weight and I feel terrible today I need help so bad I can find nobody who will listen to me and I’m more than frustrated.

    Reply
  34. Hi Dr Child’s,
    I have been without my thyroid for 10 years now (8, 8mm tumors with two types of cancer). I happen to be knowledgeable about what you have written, but can’t get my endocrinologist on board. My question to you is, if for some odd reason, if we, as a thyroid less community, can’t get our medication to survive, is there a way to get it from nature? Such as Insulin plants etc. for my T1D son. I understand the supplements but would like to know if there is some sort of alternative than pharmaceuticals.
    Thank you for your time,
    Kate

    Reply
    • Hi Kate,

      Sort of but not exactly. You can get thyroid hormone from pigs but it still comes as a pharmaceutical (natural desiccated thyroid). Thyroid hormones are probably found in other animals as well but none in plants to my knowledge. As far as I am aware, the only source is either synthetic or from the thyroid gland of an animal.

      Reply
  35. Hi, I was hyperthyroid before my surgery Jan 6th 2022. I had a total thyroidectomy. I am on Levothyroxine 112 mcg as of yesterday my dose was adjusted. I was told after surgery I’d become hypo and start gaining weight. I am still currently losing even though I am now hypo. My endo says weight loss isnt connected to my thyroid or lack of. He says its connected to something else and that my reg dr can help me with that. But my reg dr has run many other tests and everything has come back good. My blood test from 6/7/22 came back and my T4 was in range and TSH was 8.359 but those were the only labs tested. I feel a lot better since I’ve had my thyroid removed, my concerning issue is the weight loss. I am at a loss with endos as this is my second one, reviews I’ve read for others are horrible and ones I have called say they won’t do full thyroid panels. I never had weight loss issues before my thyroid issues started so it’s hard for me to believe that my weight loss isnt connected to thyroid issues. Please, any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. There isnt a lot on the internet about thyroid surgery and weight loss unless it concerns thyroid cancer and my pathology came back clean.

    Reply
    • Hi Danielle,

      Just based on what I am seeing here, it does seem like your weight loss is likely unrelated to your thyroid. I usually don’t agree with endo’s but it does seem that your primary care doctor should evaluate other potential causes of unexplained weight loss. I’m assuming you meant weight loss and not weight gain because if you meant weight gain then everything makes sense based on what you’ve shared.

      Reply
  36. I recently had a partial thyroidectomy for suspicious nodule. Endo wanted TT but I opted for partial. The nodule turned out benign. Endo won’t see me for 4 months but I am extremely fatigued. My primary did labs today. What levels should I look for?

    Reply

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