Cindy Vine had a thyroidectomy and learned about what it was like to recover and live with the results of the surgery.
Why Is the Thyroid Important?
Most people don't realize that the thyroid is one of the most important parts in human body. I discovered this only after I no longer had one.
Your thyroid is a small gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. Although small in size, it is one of the largest endocrine glands in your body. The thyroid gland consists of two small, cone-shaped lobes roughly the size of your thumb nails. It lies against the trachea and larynx. The thyroid is involved in the following tasks:
- controlling how quickly the body uses energy
- making proteins
- controlling how sensitive the body should be to other hormones
- regulating the metabolism rate in your body
In other words, the hormones produced by the thyroid are directly involved in supplying energy to every cell in the body. This is an over-simplification, but it's how my doctor described it to me so that I could understand why it was so important for me to take my thyroid medication. Imagine if the cells in your heart and cells in your brain no longer received energy? What would happen to you then?
There are two main disorders of the thyroid that sound very similar but are quite different: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
- Hyperthyroidism is an over-active thyroid, which means your body produces too many thyroid hormones. This can cause an enlarged thyroid commonly called a goiter, protruding eyes, weight loss, sweating, diarrhea, palpitations, and sore, weak muscles. This tends to affect more women than men and can be an auto-immune disease called Grave's Disease. This is usually treated by the patient drinking radioactive iodine.
- Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, resulting in weight gain, palpitations, fatigue and lack of energy, baldness, and intolerance to hot and cold.
As you can see, neither disorder is pleasant. In addition to these two disorders, one can develop nodules on the thyroid that are mostly benign, or thyroid cancer, which mostly affects women. You can also develop a goiter from an iodine deficiency or a bacterial or viral infection.
My Thyroid Story
All my life I've struggled a bit with my weight, having to eat way less than anybody else to not pile on the kilos. Of course, to a twenty-something year old this was never fair. You just read the label on the food item and you put on weight. A couple of times over the years, doctor's had looked at my thick neck and thought I might have a problem with my thyroid. They took blood, but my thyroid hormone levels were always within the normal range so they never pursued it.
In 2006, I developed an irritating cough. Every time i started to talk, I'd start to cough. This got worse and worse, until I was actually choking and unable to breathe when I spoke. As a teacher, gagging in front of the class with your eyes nearly popping out as you tried to breathe was not a good look. I went to my doctor who felt my neck, looked at my throat and thought that I had an enlarged thyroid. However, blood tests still put my thyroid hormone within the normal range. An ultrasound showed that I had tumors on my thyroid. A fine needle biopsy was inconclusive. I was referred to a thyroid surgeon to investigate it further. It was thought that somehow my cough was related to my thyroid.
The thyroid surgeon looked at the ultrasound of my thyroid and decided that he was only looking at the tip of the iceberg. He felt that the bulk of my thyroid was sitting in my chest. Nobody had checked my chest cavity before, as a thyroid doesn't usually belong there. When I'd had all my drama with breast cancer, nobody then had noticed a thyroid in my chest cavity. The MRI on my chest showed that my thyroid was severely enlarged, covered in large tumors, and the weight of it had caused it to drop into my chest cavity, pushing itself in between my heart and lungs and compacting on my trachea. In effect, it was slowly suffocating me to death. The surgeon said if it wasn't removed in the near future, I'd be dead within a year. Charming. He also said it was a hereditary disorder, and I've since found out my late uncle had a goiter removed when he was sixteen.
Apparently, I'd been growing this thyroid since I was eighteen, hence the struggles to maintain an ideal weight. I did not have hyper- or hypothyroidism. My TSH levels were normal. Another doctor said it was an auto-immune disease where your thyroid fights itself and against the body. I was confused. I didn't appear to fit any of the textbook thyroid disorders.
The date for the operation was set. The surgeon said it would be a very tricky surgery, as if they damaged my vocal chords I wouldn't be able to speak again. Also, as my thyroid was so large he wasn't sure they'd be able to remove it through my throat. There was a good chance they'd have to crack open my chest cavity and remove it that way. He was also afraid that my trachea would collapse once the thyroid was removed and he warned me that there was a good chance I'd have to go into ICU after the op.
With those encouraging words, I was ready for the surgery. The surgeon took eight and three-quarter hours to remove my thyroid in a total thyroidectomy. He also had to transplant my parathyroid glands. He was determined not to crack open my chest, and rather persevered through a small incision he'd made on a crease on my neck. Eventually, he used obstetric forceps to remove my thyroid.
It took a while to get my TSH levels right in my body. The TSH is the different thyroid hormones your body needs to work. Since the operation, I have put on 20kg. When my levels are a bit low I get tired, lethargic, depressed and sometimes I get a tingling feeling on my face and leg cramps or back muscle cramps. When I feel good and energetic, then my TSH levels are too high. Then my nails break and teeth chip, and I get palpitations - a result of having too much thyroid hormone.
Read More From Patientslounge
So you have a choice. Low energy and good nails, or normal energy and broken nails. However, I'm not very good at taking medications and I often forget. When I don't take my thyroxine for a few days, my memory starts to go, I start to slur my speech and I feel very tired, it is almost an effort to sit up straight. Maintaining my weight so that I don't pile on even more kilos is a real challenge.
If you are scheduled for a total thyroidectomy, be prepared for weight gain. Doctors will tell you that if you maintain your TSH levels you will not put on weight. Unfortunately, this is what science tells them should happen. In reality, this is not what happens even if you take your thyroxine diligently. For some reason, you still put on weight, you still get tired easily, even if your blood work shows that this should not be happening.
Doctors will refer you to Weight Watchers and other weight loss programs. You will be told to exercise to lose weight. But no matter how hard you try, nothing will work and doctors will not understand and will make you feel as if you are not trying hard enough.
As far as they are concerned, you have enough hormones in your system—so weight should not be an issue. (Doctors will make you feel inadequate and bad about yourself.) They will not accept that even with the right levels of TSH you are gaining weight. Your metabolism will never recover, even with thyroxine. I know that I sound negative, but this is the reality and you need to be prepared for it.
However, after the initial weight gain following the thyroidectomy, you can maintain your weight or slow down the weight gain by doing the following:
- Exercise. Keep up an exercise regime. It won't make you lose weight but will stop you from putting on more.
- Diet. Cut down on the carbs and try and eat healthy foods in moderation. Once again, you won't lose weight by doing this, but you also won't gain so rapidly.
- Sleep. The most important thing to do for you to be able to function properly is sleep. You have to sleep a minimum of 8 hours a night. This definitely recharges your energy levels more than anything else.
Someone once told me that it can take up to 5 years after a thyroidectomy for your body to return to a normal state. Plus your pituitary gland goes into overdrive thinking you still have a thyroid. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do until the pituitary gland returns to normal.
The tragedy is that people don't understand what is happening to you. They associate being overweight with over-eating and not exercising. They don't believe you when you tell them that you watch what you eat and that you have a regular exercise regime. They'll tell you that anybody can lose weight.
People who have had their thyroid removed struggle to lose weight—and that is the reality. Doctors don't even get it. They believe if you take your medication then you should not gain weight. The science of it doesn't fit with what happens in real life. Obviously, you thyroid is more important and does a lot more than even doctors know. After your thyroidectomy, even when your TSH levels are right, besides the weight gain you will still experience periods of low energy, memory loss, brittle nails, dry skin, muscle cramps, and depression. There are many medical forums on the internet where you'll find people who've had a thyroidectomy begging for advice on their weight gain.
If you have had a total thyroidectomy and have found something that stops weight gain and helps lose the weight, please post it here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Susan Hazelton from Summerfield, Florida on July 11, 2019:
I have been going through this for the last 3 years. I have gained weight, felt exhaustion, and all the rest of what you have described. I also had to have my thyroid removed because of tumors and the fact that it was growing around my esophagus. I think your hub is excellent in describing and explaining the pitfalls of having a thyroidectomy. It is so sad that you have to have a procedure that will do this to you.
JoAnna on July 02, 2019:
Went into early menopause at 42 years old. Went from weighing 110 to 130. No biggy. A few years later I started having problems with gagging and breathing without strain. Ultrasound showed huge nodules on left side. Had partial thyroidectomy. Less than a year later the nodules took over the right side so had to have total thyroidectomy. I was the one everyone hated because I could eat whatever and not gain weight. My weight always returned to 110 within two months of giving birth to my five children. Those days ended swiftly. I've had massive memory loss. Tested for dementia. Severe depression and anxiety. Advanced osteoporosis with major broken bones to include a stress fracture and massive spinal issues rendering me disabled and unable to work. And I now weigh 180 lbs. Most of it in my belly, butt and thighs. Nothing I do helps with my weight. Nothing. I am 49 years old. My rheumatologist said I have the bones of an 80 year old. I'm in constant pain and live a life of physical and mental misery. No one tells you this. So I am.
Julia Davies on April 10, 2019:
I had partial thyroidectomy in August 2014 since then I have gained 3 stone. I eat healthy snd in fact I am eating less now than I ever have and yet my weight will not shift. My thyroid levels show as normal. I have discussed my weight gain with my doctor and she says there is no evidence to support weight gain following partial thyroidectomy. I am beginning to feel depressed about my weight gain. Is there any advice you can give me please.
Sheree on April 01, 2019:
Hello, I had my thyroidectomy 6 months ago and i've been gaining weight nonstop ever since. I recently started going to the gym 4 times a week and hoping that it helps control the weight gain. Its very upsetting and i'm glad im not alone in this.
Grace on February 17, 2019:
Lost my thyroid to cancer 2 and half years ago and during this I also developed Psoriatic Arthritis that has left me house bound.....death would have been better then walking about limping and shuffling like I'm 90 yrs old.....I regret my decison everyday..Boo!
Elaine on December 17, 2017:
Ice! Ice melts fat away. Try it on a double chin, or on your tummy. Make sure you protect your skin. I use Saran Wrap on my ice pack.
Joycellyn on November 09, 2017:
Wow...I feel like your story is a mirror of mine. Total thyroid tony four years ago due to modular thyroid. The thyroid had grown three times the normal size because of nodules.
Weight gain like never before ever since. The GP doesn’t believe me...thyroid specialist says the thyroid doesn’t have an impact in weight - he actually told me that all the published works are wrong. Lost for words...
Sad and tbyroidlezz on August 28, 2017:
Thank you! You could not have explained better. im going thru the same...it has been less than 4 months and removing my thyroid was tbe worst mistake of my life. Im just balooninģ up. very sad!
DMBerlin on July 29, 2017:
My thyroid was removed 20 yrs ago due to nodules & goiters. My tests go up and down. There is no such thing as normal. My endocrinologist that I see every six week either increases my medication or decreases it. It's like a yoyo. Now that I'm a senior citizen, it is harder to control my weight and keep my energy level up. A year ago I was hospitalized off & on for 2 months and the doctors couldn't figure out why I wasn't eating. I kept telling them it is my thyroid and no one was listening. Finally, after 7 months of not eating various stomach issues constipation & diarrhea. When I was released from skilled nursing, I googled thyroid & gut. Guess what - there is link between our gut and thyroid. Now I am lactose free, gluten free, no pteservatives, no sugar, no liquor, I didn't smoke anyway, more exercise, lots of fresh fruits & vegetables organic chicken & grass fed beef, some fish. I don't eat out because I don't know what is in the food in restaurants. I have a thyroid diet posted on my refrigerator so I know what to buy when grocery shopping. This is to let other people know that doctors don't know everything. That it is very important as thyroid patients we know what affects our body. Be aware of your symptoms and be aware of the connection between your gut, digestion and your thyroid. I am eating now, have gained weight but I still lack energy,still have thyroid brain fog and get fatigued very quickly. I do feel lucky that I'm better and trying to lead a "normal" life. It's better than being in the hospital. Hypothyroidism is a chronic disease and we just have to adjust as best as we can. Others just have to be patient when we don't have a "good" day.
Ruth Barron on May 26, 2017:
Thank you for posting with such honesty. I thought I was in this all alone, but you have described my situation precisely. I have wondered about my energy, sluggishness and weight gain thinking that maybe I have just become lazy. Sometimes it angers me to hear my husband criticize my weight gain and then say to me, " I care about you and I'm going to tell you the truth" It only sounds insensitive to me. There are days when I feel like I lost a pound. There are days when I buy clothes in "the next size" because the one I am wearing is fitting tight only to fit tight in the new clothes too.
But you have been very helpful with your advice. I know now what to expect. And by the way, you are also correct about doctors attitude towards your situation. Sometimes I feel like there was nothing so wrong with my thyroid that couldn't be fixed another way but they took it out anyway because it increased their bank accounts and gave practice to the intern. So many days I wish I had taken back that very moment when I made that decision. You have helped me. Again thanks.
SmokieC on January 28, 2017:
Iodide supplements, I hear iodide supplements help people with Normal thyroid function shed incredible amounts of weight. Now if you're taking your thyroxine and the doctors say the levels are normal than why wouldn't iodide work for us now as well? Pls repost if get the chance to try before I do. And you're right doctors must have no idea of what all the thyroid functions truly consist of. We are all sadly their lab rats the only difference between us humans is everything! There are no two of us the same...
Mary Craig from New York on July 01, 2015:
Hope things have straightened out somewhat for you. I just had my thyroid removed and yes, I was told it shouldn't effect my weight because I will be taking medication to simulate the thyroid hormone. We'll see.
My thyroid was low, behind my clavicle, no where near as low as yours!
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Voted up, useful, and interesting.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on January 25, 2015:
My goal this year is to lose the weight I put on post-thyroidectomy.
Mary on October 01, 2014:
I did go to another dr. in OK, a neuro/chiro. He did all kinds of tests. I am gluten sensitive and very depressed-even tho my sugar was 86-90 all the time, my AC1 was high and other things. He put me on a strict/basic diet and taking his supplements. In a couple of weeks or less, I lost 5 pounds but it was inflammation from swelling. It has been almost a mo. I haven't gained or lost but he assures me that I will lose. Like Debra said, no wheat/oats/barley, no soy products, fresh or frozen veggies & fruits, no packages foods at all, no pork and little beef (grass-fed & hormone free) just to name a few. I do not get hungry or crave anything plus you are getting your health back before you had all these problems. I still have a long way to go but this seems to be helping.
Stacy on August 03, 2014:
I had my thyroid removed 2 years ago. In the past few months my voice has been cutting in and out throughout the day. If I hollar it cuts out. Not sure why this is happening now. Any thoughts??? I was thinking scar tissue but if that's the case how bad can this get.
Mary on August 02, 2014:
I've had heart palpations for over 20 years thinking I was going to have a heart attack each night, fear set in which made it worse; finally went to a Endo dr., after tests he said I had 2 bad parathyroids but nothing is required to do for now, just keep an eye on them; after a couple of years of this I went to another dr., he did an US and needle biopsies and found out I also had thyroid cancer; 2 months later I had my thyroid out and the 2 parathyroids that were inside my thyroid and that took him an extra 1.5 hours digging around. I was put on 100mcg of Synthroid and was doing real good but 4 months later I had to take the Radioactive Iodine pill to kill off the remaining thyroid and since I've put on 20 + pounds, hair still thinning, paper thin nails, severe back cramps, feet/legs swelling, the list goes on and on. The dr. upped my Synthroid to 112mcg then; 8 months later still the same symptoms-he said I got hypothyroidism after the thyroid was taken out and my weight gain had nothing to do with my thyroid (????) and I am hyper too. My TSH is just below the low side and said he wants to keep it there so the cancer cells won't return. So now I am going to try another dr. in another state-hopefully he can do more-will let you know.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 22, 2014:
I agree, doctors only go by the blood results not by the signs that missing a thyroid is critical for your general health.
StuartJ from Christchurch, New Zealand on March 16, 2014:
I have a hypothyroid problem and while a regime of levothyroxine has gotten my weight down -- it had ballooned up -- other symptoms are still present despite my test results being OK. It seems I am far from alone in not being happy with the results of my treatment. My Doctor, of course, takes the fact that the test results are OK as meaning there cannot still be a problem. I'm not so sure. The medical profession is convinced that throwing thyroxine at the patient until his or her test results are "right" solves the problem. But, while I'm not against orthodox medicine -- quite the opposite -- I think there might be a bit to be learnt about the treatment of thyroid problems.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on July 11, 2013:
Diane the trick is finding a doctor who does listen to you. I have finally found the time to start exercising now I am on holiday. I go to the gym every day and after 3 weeks of it I don't think I've lost weight, but I have back my pre-thyroidectomy energy levels!
dianenothyroide on June 18, 2013:
2.5 years ago I had a complete thyroidectomy because I had several large nodules. I had severe chest pain, high blood pressure (188/92) and I was gaining weight despite following a low carb diet and walking 4 miles a day. My blood tests were reporting normal thyroide function but it was determined that the thyroide should be removed. So it was. My blood pressure is great now at 120/70. My weight has gone up 12-15 lbs. My endo says my readings are in range but I have been suffering with muscle, bone pain and extreme exhaustion. I'm now on 175 mcg levo and my pain has gone away except now I have a lot of palpitations. I couldn't convince my endo that my meds needed to be changed so I went to my family doctor and begged him to check. Blood was drawn and tests were done. All my levels were way out. That's why the family doctor increased my synthroide from 150 to 175 and switched me to levo. I'm not happy with severe constant palpitations so I am going to see my family doc again tomorrow. I think I will ask for t-3. Why don't doctors listen?
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on June 10, 2013:
I hear what people say about the importance of exercise. I'm at work by 6.30am and only get home after 6pm each day. By then I am too exhausted to exercise and have to cook dinner. I know it's all relative.
Jane on May 26, 2013:
Cindy, I sympathise greatly with the difficult time you have had after your thyroidectomy. I read your story before I had my thyroidectomy & RAI for thyroid cancer, and it really scared me. But I want to reassure others that your unfortunate experience is not always the case. I weigh exactly the same now (18 months after surgery) as I did beforehand. Sure, you will gain weight (mostly fluid retention) during the brief spell when thyroid hormone is withdrawn before RAI, but as long as you eat sensibly and take the hormone medication correctly and get the correct dosage, this will slowly go. I just want to offer a voice of hope to those reading this website that a thyroidectomy does not always mean uncontrollable weight gain.
RandiSusan from Austin Texas on March 23, 2013:
Oh my gosh! I am an old Pharmacologists daughter and remember when medicines were made the natural way, with herbs and a mortar and pestle. My heart goes out to you all. My mother too had her thyroid removed, but Daddy used to concoct natural remedies with herbs to keep her healthy. She was never overweight. Today the problem is compounded because of all the Growth Hormone and Antibiotics in the food chain along with harmful chemicals in the food chain (thanks to Monsanto). That being said, there ARE natural remedies and such that will STIMULATE the body to repair and rejuvenate. I've found one called Laminine. It Re-awakens OUR OWN stemcells and then nourishes them with the 22 Essential for Life Amino Acids. Once that is done our OWN Stem Cells can repair and rejuvenate whatever needs fixin' in our body. I had Adrenal Fatique that mimicked Thyroid. Gained 20 lbs in 11 months, black/purple circles under my eyes, couldn't sleep, bad skin, brittle nails, breaking hair... you will all notice those symptoms. 3 months on Laminine and I dropped 18 lbs (didn't do even finger exercises, lol) and all the other stuff went away. In fact, I have to cut my nails every 2 weeks and they are the strongest they have EVER been. If you are interested in learning more OR to see how Lammie might help you all, I found it at http://BackToAHealthyFuture.com Remember, Doctors do not always know or want to know natural ways to help us. We must learn to put ourselves in charge of our own health!
blossom41 on January 28, 2013:
Hi everyone and Cindyvine...thought I would just give you an update as its been a year. Well I still have ovarian cancer in Feb/march my onc said 3 yrs so One year has passed by. I sorted my dosage myself and told my GP that I now take 100 thyroxine (told him after he told me my results were 18 which he approved of) BUT my weight is still 91k..I have dropped back to 89 when I have been nauses with the Chemo....I am on my 3rd recurrance and currently having chemo.. I feel ok..I do notice my moods go up and down and I get energy spurts or tired all the time..but its livable and the weight is good to have there for back up when the chemo makes me sick..and when you have terminal cancer its just good to wake up and take in the beauty of the day.....my best to all you people out there..I dont believe Doctors are gods..I do a lot of research on the net..print it up and take it to them..they have busy lives too. Bye from Australia. Maureen.
Katrina on January 26, 2013:
I am due to have a TT next week and have been doing a lot of research on the whole weight loss/gain situation. I have come to the conclusion that if you have ANY thyroid problems, the only way you are going to lose weight is by diet and exercise (that's life). You are going to need to cut out refined sugars and carbs. You will also need to muster up enough energy to exercise 30 mins a day for 5 days/wk. That is the ONLY way it's going to come off. Please stop depending on medications to do the dirty work for you!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on October 16, 2012:
Alison it sounds like you had a torrid time, hope things get better for you.
TN, just make sure if the doctor removes your thyroid, they put you on both T3 and T4.
Patty, please keep us posted. I seem to have leveled out. Hopefully it stays that way.
Pattypty on October 06, 2012:
Hi, Ive been reading your post before my surgery because I have always been overweight and the fact that I might gain more weigth after my surgery frigtened me to the point that I ran to my surgeon office last week and almost cancel the operation. Well , I got operated last thrusday ( a week ago) went in weighting 226lb and its been a week and I have lost 5 pounds. I think its becuase of the fact that the first 3 days i only ate liquids , I have been eating normally now, I wont hide the that I have been eating whatver I like and i am not watching my food like i should. I am take eutirox 200 mg a day plus calcium. My first appoitment with the doc after the surgery is this monday ( in 2 days). I will keep you guys posted about my weight. I am planing to start exercising ( walking) this week and watching my diet. But so far no weight gain which is encouriging.
TN on September 30, 2012:
Tough time getting pregnant to find out I had Hyperthyroid. Already have Celiac (which has been fine controlled with diet). IVF with ICSI first try resulted in ectopic and emergency surgery with tube removal. Second try and I now have a wonderful baby boy who put my thyroid in check and remission. But, it's back, thyroid levels going nuts and I have to have surgery. I'm 5'2" and 104 pounds --- petrified I will be even more exhausted and gain a ton of weight!!!
Alison80 on September 29, 2012:
I had a total thyroidectomy in Dec 2011 after 18mths on neomercazole, 9 tablets a day! I have Graves Disease and my thyroid had enlarged so much that i had trouble breathing and because of that and the fact my levels were not going down even with the large amounts of meds i had the surgery.
I had a thyroid storm during surgery which it was still happening in recovery, i was packed in ice! 1 of my parathyroids was attached to the thyroid and had to be implanted into my neck muscle. I was sent to a high dependency ward and closely monitored.
I remember telling a nurse that i had a slight pain like heartburn, it really wasn't bad but i was mostly worried about vomiting after surgery so i told them every little thing that i was feeling! She gave me a heartburn tablet, BAD IDEA i found out a few days later in intensive care!
Because of the parathyroid having to be reattached i had to be very closely monitored for calcium levels (the parathyroid controls calcium) if it gets to low it can cause "Hungry Bones syndrome" which is where your bones suck all the calcium out of your blood and without calcium in your blood it can lead to heart attack, severe cramping ( which i had) etc
After a day of blood tests every 2 hours, covered in needle marks, including feet OUCH!! i was sent to intensive care to be closely monitored overnight.....i stayed there 5 days! I ended up have an attack which my whole body cramped up, my hands looked like a crab all curled up and turned purple! It turns out they worked out later on i should never have been given the heartburn tablet as it stops you absorbing meds, the calcium! You need acid in your stomach to help absorb meds. A picc line was put in my chest which is what a cancer patient has to get there chemo etc and i was pumped 24/7 with calcium/magnesium.
I put on 20lbs in 5 months after and my weight has stayed the same for the past 5 months. Honestly i haven't really tried losing the weight, its taken 7 months to feel closer to "normal" or better than before surgery anyway!
In the end it was completely worth doing even with my complications.
Im taking vit D and large amount of calcium, which will be for quite awhile.
I know this forum was about weightloss after the surgery, and the reason i told my lonnnnggggg story is just to remind you, the surgery takes a huge toll on your body and it takes quite awhile to get your body to get back to a new "normal". i am the biggest i have ever been my whole life, i didn't even weigh this much having my 10lb babies!! It wont be forever and I'm hoping that by letting myself get better, the exercise and weight loss will will be easier later. Im just happy to be feeling better mentally, thats the worst part of the whole thing i think!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on September 23, 2012:
Thanks Jessica, I'll definitely look that up!
Jessica on September 19, 2012:
I was diagnosed wwith thyroid cancer 6 months ago, I had a total thyroidectomy and a session of radiation to kill all of the cancer cells. I gain about 22 pounds and I was feeling really unhappy. A friend of mine recommended the 17 day diet book and I am trying it. I am not loosing as much weight as a normal person would but in 10 days I lost 5 pounds on this diet, and I am feeeling better then ever. The book mentions a diet that is also refer to as the natural thyroid, it is just food and exercise no pills. You should try it.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on August 18, 2012:
Jam and Kylesmom, best of luck to you both. Just out of hospital, was admitted with breast cellulitis. Since getting my thyroid removed, the medical issues are numerous and varied.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on August 18, 2012:
Jam and Kylesmom, best of luck to you both. Just out of hospital, was admitted with breast cellulitis. Since getting my thyroid removed, the medical issues are numerous and varied.
Kylesmom01 on July 31, 2012:
So just diagnosed with hashimotos today along with 3 nodules. Endo will do biopsi to appease me but is convinced its all right.......oh and I'm fat because it's really all in my head or something it's not related to hashis at all and I quote " even the fat people in the holocaust got skinny eating less then 200 calories a day" even now my family is convinced its all my fault and nothing medical :....( I said to the dr soo hat happened to treating the patient in front of you with the symptoms instead of the computer screen that shows everything is perfectly normal......
Kylesmom01 on July 18, 2012:
Sorry to hear of ur troubles jam68 thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery
Jam68 on July 16, 2012:
My NP felt a lump on the right side of my neck @ the end of april; ultrasound showed a less than 2 cm nodule (apparently more than one nodule noted later??). 1st biopsy inconclusive - wanted surgery anyway & my 1st doctor didn't get back to me. 2nd doctor did another biopsy (diff hosp) & found cancerous approx 3 wks ago. Having Surgery Wednesday. Both docs don't think that my small nodules are the cause of my gagging issues, or food getting stuck towards the back of my neck. Who knows? I've had weight issues all my life & with other medical problems & medications, I've gained over the years. FUN FUN. Glad to be getting it out, but not looking forward to what's to come. Good luck to you all!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on July 01, 2012:
I think you need to see a doctor who puts your needs first.
Kylesmom01 on July 01, 2012:
I wish I knew they said that was the next available . I feel like I'm getting the run around again. In the meantime I feel so drained and exausted all the time ...
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on July 01, 2012:
Kylesmom why is your doc waiting until the end of July to do the ultrasound?
Kylesmom01 on June 29, 2012:
Well my anthroid antibodies are high but my tsh is in the normal range my endo said he believes I have hashimotos but is waiting till I have my ultrasound the end of July to actually diagnose and treat me :(
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on June 12, 2012:
Hope it goes well!
Kylesmom01 on June 08, 2012:
Aww thanx for the encouragement I'll post my results :(
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on June 07, 2012:
Kylesmom best of luck with the endo! It seems like a carbon copy of what happened to me! Sounds like you have a goiter that's dropped into your chest cavity.
Maysee your endo does seem onto it and I'd follow his advice. Sorry to hear about further problems though!
Kylesmom01 on June 07, 2012:
I got a call from my endo today ....he wants to see me to go over my test results and discuss things with me....they never give you good news in person soo now I'm even more worried .
Maysee on June 05, 2012:
saw my endo today and all my levels look normal and he gave me a print out to prove it. He said I am obviously tired as I have been very sick and my body is trying to rest as much as it can. He also said the weight gain is good as it means my body is getting back to normal. He said it will reach a level in a bout a month and that will be the bench mark and i should not put on any more after that. He did say to just let it happen and not to diet as while my body is recovering it needs all the foods i normally ate, such as carbs and dairy.
I am also dangerously low in vitamin D so will be starting 2 tablets a day for a month and then down to one a day. I also have to drink a glass of milk every morning too. I looked this up and vitamin D deficiency can cause weight gain so this may be another cause.
My blood is now also showing Celiac disease so have to get tested for that now too as he said most who get an autoimmune disease (I had graves disease) tend to get more than 1. Not sure if anyone else has had this problem.
Just wanted to share in case this helped anyone else. My endo is highly recommended by many so I'm going to take his advise as I'm sick of being miserable and just hope for the best.
Kylesmom01 on June 02, 2012:
Since 2009 I have been having symptoms of hypothyroid only to be dismissed by my pcp I gained 40lbs in 2 yrs with no change in my diet or exercise . My pcp did general bloodwork she said everything is normal I was advised to "drink caffeine for my exhaustion " and take sleeping pills to sleep more then 2hrs a night and my favorite "eat less and exercise if I don't like being fat" I eat 900 calories a day and exercise 4 -5days a week with no movement on the scale....I burst into tears in her office and was advised to see a shrink....ru kidding me finally to apese me she sent me to an endo 10 min into apps he looked at my bloodwork and said everything seems normal and was ready to send m on my way ....decided oh le me listen to your lungs and fel your thyroid before you go.....hmmm then he said wow you have a pretty big goiter and your lymph nodes are enlarged .....so I was sent for more in depth bloodwork and was set up for an ultrasound of my neck....still waiting on blood test results and ultrasound isn't for 2months......ughhhh
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on May 29, 2012:
Best of luck Mandy and Blossom in your search for medical answers and support. I'm seeing a dietician soon and will post on here what plan she comes up with!
mandy57 on May 29, 2012:
Hi Cindyvine. My Levels were borderline normal after my HT and was advised to go on the Thyroxine. The new specialist told me I probably didn't notice much when I was on them.
I have to go back in August to see him. Meanwhile going to see alternative practitioner to see what she says. Especially regarding my heart its jumping all over the place so to speak.
blossom41 on May 29, 2012:
sorry about that--hit the wrong key and I hadn't finishedhave been on the meds for about three weeks after the fainting fits I dropped back to 50g the fainting went(never actually fainted but very clos) anyway seemed to handle the 50..but just had 2 days in hospital with chemo,and saw doc..who was cross..he says I have to get up to the 150 so on 100 from tomorrow then next week 150..now I have put on 3 kilo in 3 weeks..my cancer is terminal--but the avastin will keep me going with extra time..but weight gain will NOT help..what is T4 can I but without a script..the chemist said if I take the meds and stabalise the weight will come off..my hubby has just been upped to 100 because he has lost so much weight...it seems weird...I have read all your stories and it is unreal..my weight is now 91..I was 85 pre cancer in dec 2011..surely there is an answer somewhere---sorry I rave on so much..but am a bit upset..hope someone can help--good diet--or t4..I am from Perth Australia..
blossom41 on May 29, 2012:
hi Cinyvine and all,I wrote a while back that I was having a hemithyrondectomy..and I am in middle of ovarian cancer 1st reoccurance, and I am a young 70-like to think so....so had the surgery--he took half my thyroid--it was not cancerous yaaaa..so now into chemo for the overian--big chem..avastin plus 2 others..had bloods done for thyroid couple of weeks ago..he sent me a letter and a script my thyroid is now underactive and he gave me script for 150g--so I thought no way..so started out (after ringing my gp) with 100gr..well, embarrassing,, I go into cold sweats the room swims..so far its been the library,target, home and the chemist..who took my blood pressure and it was up..my sugar levels are all over the place because of chemo (gemzar) but that was up too..the chemist,the doctor and the thyroid doc all say it is not the thuroxine
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on May 28, 2012:
Maysee it sounds like you are not getting enough meds. You need to get another opinion.
Mandy I'm not sure why that specialist told you to go off thyroxine when your levels were borderline normal?
Thanks for the tip RT!
RT on May 27, 2012:
I wanted to add to Debra's excellent comment above. For those of you who are hypothyroid or have had partial thyroidectomies, also be careful about consuming too many raw goitrogenic foods.
More details about this can be found in this excellent post: http://peaceinmyvalley.wordpress.com/gluten-free-b...
If you have had a total thyroidectomy, goitrogenic foods should no longer pose an issue.
mandy57 on May 27, 2012:
Hi very interesting read. I has a HT left side in 2004 and even though my hormone levels were borderline normal according to the endocrinologist he put me on thyroxine 50mcg a day. I didn't really notice any difference, but do suffer dry skin and feel the cold etc. I recently relocated to another state and saw a new specialist and he suggested to go off the medication for 3 months. He said if I get really lethargic and put on weight to start taking it again. I lost 9 kilos doing the dukan diet then decided it wasn't healthy and quit sugar, try and eat healthy was thinking of trying Paeleo diet as my daughter who is big boned looks fantastic lost all the puffiness in her body. Anyway I think its now 3 weeks since I went off meds and now get heart palpitations intermittently during day and night also along with hot flushes. Not sure whether to resume medication or not. And no I don't notice any difference and haven't put on weight as yet and was pigging out on junk food. So back to healthy diet. I agree with the comment that sugar is poison low fat food is full of sugar so don't eat that. I drink homogenized organic milk, on Dukan you have to eat low fat. Which i feel is unhealthy I also broke my ankle and was scared of putting on weight but actually lost it while being laid up with a cast. Hope everyone gets the help they need.
Maysee on May 26, 2012:
4 weeks ago I had a TT and have been sluggish, tired and gaining weight. I was ok to start and have gained 4kg in the last 2 weeks even though I have not eaten over 1200 calories a day which is pretty much what all diets recommend. I am told by my endo not to exercise as my voice isn't back properly since surgery. I am so upset all the time that I will just continue this weight gain. If anything maintaining weight is not enough for me, prior to getting sick I was working really hard and losing weight. I cannot be happy how I am. At my last appt 2 weeks ago my endo said putting on post op weight is normal, but more since then is weight more than post op weight. I am on thyroxine, only 75, that seems so much lower than everyone i talk to who are on double this, could this be the reason for my weight gain and other sympoms, anyone know?
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on May 20, 2012:
Good luck with your June appointments, Ozziekim!
ozziekim27 on May 18, 2012:
@cindyvine, thanks so much for your and other's comments - I've learnt so much from reading all the posts!
I had my thyroid removed last year - first half they discovered a 4cm papillary tumour, they took what they thought was the 2nd half later that week, & my surgeon proclaimed it as being "pathetic". In June 2011, I was due for radioactive iodine treatment, but they discovered a large portion of thyroid still remained, high up in my throat....
Another operation and radioactive treatment later (Dec 2011) I was told there was still a remnant of thyroid remaining, so I am due for more radioactive treatment in June.
My journey is somewhat complicated because I also have Lupus, an auto-immune disease. Taking the porcine-based Armour T3 is not an option because those with lupus cannot eat too much pork. I am grateful for the information provided here, after my treatment I will discuss further options, because like so many others, I have noticed a weight gain and feel that there must be other options!!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on May 11, 2012:
Thanks so much for those tips, Debra! I had no idea about Soy and Fluoride. I need to take a look at my toothpaste!
Debra on May 08, 2012:
Hi everyone., it is great to read your posts knowing that there are many others out there with the same problems I have since a partial (3/4) thyroidectomy in 1992. I am on adequate thyroxine & still can't lose the 20 kg I put on in the first 8 months following surgery 20 years ago in August! My surgeon failed to do a post op thyroid blood test and recognise that I had Hashimoto's which is an auto immune condition. After 6 months I went back to my GP begging for an explanation as to why I had put on so much weight. No joy there just an accusation I must be eating too much!! My top weight had only ever been 70 kg. I am 5
ft 9 so a good weight ( BMI 22). I now weigh 92kg ( BMI 30) My doctor is still at me to eat less and lose weight. He is going 'by the book'. Adequate thyroxine does not mean you return to your normal weight. Why the weight still sits there is beyond me! You would think the medical 'professionals' could explain but they can't. So ... if you aren't seeing an endocrinologist-you should be. Regular blood tests every 6 months are mandatory to monitor your meds. Diet? Consider the following:
1. Cut your carbs right back to one or two serves per day maximum. Your cells have lost most of the hypochondria ( organisms that metabolise carb) so your body just stores it!
2. Keep your fat intake low for the same reason as above.
3. Keep your sugar intake as low as you can. Sugar feeds cancer. It also gets stored if your body is getting too much, & it makes you leptin levels go out of whack.. or do you want to get Type 2 diabetes?
4. Take your thyroxine tablet early in the morning at least an hour before food. Take calcium and any other vitamin supplement at night. Thyroxine and calcium tabs don't mix!
5. Use a non flouride toothpaste. Flouride diminshes the effect of thyroxine.
6. Stay off anything soy -same reason as 5.
7. Eat protein at every meal including breakfast.This is good dietary advice for everyone. Eat a boiled egg, a cheese omelette, a nut bar, yogurt! Anything but.. cereal milk & sugar!
8. Limit wheat. The longer you have no thtroid ( or as good as none) your system will become more sensitive to lactose and gluten. Eat rice based products instead, including rice milk or lactose free milk.
9. Exercise-a little every day. Gentle exercise such as walking
10. Limit your calorie intake to @1200 cals per day. My Fitness Pal is a great app for recording your daily food intake. It tells you if you are having too much or not enough of anything-fat, sugar, protein, vits & mins. Fantastic!
11. Drink lots of water to kerp your bowels moving (& eat a couple of pieces of fruit per day for fibre).
12. Finally. THE most important thing- get lots of sleep! At least 8 hrs a night( minimum). Ideally 9. Otherwise you just won't function! PS. If you wake up in the early hrs like I have today because you're too warm in bed ( lovely thing about Autumn & Spring with the changeable weather!) .. take a multi-vitamin at night so you don't get run down due to lack of energy and appetite. Wishing everybody all the best. Follow your gut feeling about your meds-doctors don't know everything! Only God!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on May 06, 2012:
Marilyn I am so sad to hear your story! You have had such a terrible time and makes the rest of our stories pale in comparison. All I can say is hang in there!
Brenda, I think you need to change doctors and get a second opinion!
brenda ryhal on May 05, 2012:
hopefully someone can help me i got more then half of my thyroid removed and since then i have been gaining weight the doctor does not have me on any medication and will not put me on any at all cause some how my tsh and other levels are comeing back normal. but in the meantime i went from 120 to 148 in a few months . what can i do since they refuse to put me on a med since my results are so called normal
Marilyn on May 04, 2012:
Sorry Cindy... (Spelled seriousley wrong tried to correct it and hit post)(you guys are probably honing to hate me but it feel so good to be telling my story I will try to shorten it) ...So I have surgery next morning go home...I was told no problems, just go home get better and be positive. I won't even go thru all they agony I went thru and how crazy my head went let's just say my husband is a saint. I went after the months. I woke up in middle of night insolvent much pain couldn't feel my hands, or feet my face was drooping on left side and was numb I went to ER after few days of test was told, my calcium was too low. My parathyroids are probably swollen from trauma and not working properly I get IV calcium and start to get better they send me home on calcium pills. I go see ENT Dr he says everything will be fine in a few months. Let just say it's two years later. I have found out all 4 of my parathroids were accidentally removed. I have been hospitalized so many times for IV calcium..they put a port in my chest and I get IV infusions three times a week or I did.. I had a falling out with my oncologist this week and he is discharging me from practice. I am on so many pills a day. I have been thru so much. Weight Gain, night sweats, extreme bone pain, I go days sleeping to where I can't get out of bed, can't walk on my feet,chronic cough, to where can't breath pull all the muscles in my body and feel like my head will explode, I pass out, I have days where I vomit all day, I have been off work on disability some many times. I wish I could tell all of you all the meds I am on, all the Drs I have been to and all the problems I have but this post is to long already. I will just say the dr's put me on all kinds of meds, with all kinds of side effects, they don't care about symptoms or aligments, just blood work.. When put on pills that make me horribly ill, I am told take they anyway. I take my pills as diligently ad I can . I have so many there has been confusion I run out and forget to fill them(I also didn't mention I get what they call brain fog so I can't think straight , can't focus, can't remember things) anyway a year ago I went to my Dads for a month. I went to a resort with him three hours from his house forgot one of my pill bottles, called my dr got no return phone call , was without this med Calcitrol 0.5 m.c.g. I was taking 2 tablets 3 times a day.. I should have continued to call my dr but I felt so good.. I did research on Internet this medication is vitiam d3 the side effects are weakness, fatigue , bone pain, and some many more, can get it by certain foods. I never filled the med again. I should have told dr but he takes my blood every week and never said nothing for a year. Never asked me if need refill reading my medical records now he notes every week that I take It and it was delivered to pharmacy whatever that means. Well he didn't tell me he was contacted by disability because I haven't filled that script for year. They called me and I lied , I am not normally a liar but was scared I didn't want him to acuse me of not taking my other meds. I told them I filled the med in NY and when I got back was hospitalized which I was and that ER dr wrote script for mail order. Well he has researched and caught me in this lie. When I went for treatment , he told me if I don't have a script # he is discharging me from the practice as a non-compliant patient and a disability fraud that the calcitrol is for absorbtion and by not taking it I caused all of this and did it to myself. This is only a small portion of my story, sorry I rambled but I had to get this off my chest. Thanks everyone, I am sorry you are all going thru this . Just know I understand what each and everyone is going thru, everyone hang in there and take care and be your own advocates do your research and don't stop till you find a dr that listens to you. The weight gain issue is horrible, but you all know that.
Marilyn on May 04, 2012:
So Frustrated..I have been going thru a nightmare for 2 years. Cindy thank you so much for these post..I search for info all the time.. And was a surgical technologist for years and thought I was educated.
I went to E. R. For two years with a chronic cough that was and still is so horrible. I was diagnosed with bronchitis, laryngitis, given breathing treatments. I was having heart palpation was sick and sleepy all the time basically got to where I would work and go home and go to bed... On the weekends would not get up at all. I have a husband and 10 kids... I feel so bad for them.
I finally got sick in oct 2010 went into the hospital with a bad kidney infection, I needed 5 blood transfusion and all kinds of other things... I got discharged after 9 days.. Three days later I was back in the ER with the horrible cough... Finally ER Dr. Says there is something in your throat making you cough like that. He did a CT of my throat I was admitted..they did needle biopsy it came back begin, but needed to be removed. E.N.T. Dr comes to see me in hospital and says he will send me to a surgical center.. We tell him no we pay so much for our ins... And ER co-pay is 200.00 once I'm admitted they do everything then bill me 20%..we tell the Dr please I need this surgery..he says he will see what he can do. The next day the nurses try to have me check myself out of the hospital they tell me ... It is not cancer, it is not an emergency.. I tell them no I will go home when the ENT Dr discharges me. They send in the charge nurse she tells me they think I just want pain medication, didn't I work for surgeons, have them do the surgery. I told her with being a charge nurse she should have a better standard of care, the surgeons I work for are oral maxillofacial surgeons to get out of my room... they left me in my room all day.. No medication, no information, at 6:30 they tell me. I am on surgery schedule in am.. I was so happy. Little did I know my nightmare was just beginning.. I thought this surgeon was my savior. As a surgical tech I know to do research on Drs but I felt good about him. In morning he told me nothing to worry about, except after surgery just need to be watched for low calcium for few hours and my voice could be damaged but no big worries.. I wake up go home three hours later... I am home for three days go to see him for Post-op visit and am told I have stage 1 papillary cancer, it's the cancer to have, they will operate in the morning. He said I should have no complication from surgery. I will be left off thyroid medication for few months after surgery and will need to do radiation, that I will feel and be a crazy person, literally for my husband to get the guns out of the house and hide the knives, he kind of laughed the dr told him no seriousley
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on April 25, 2012:
Cindy, your scar will virtually disappear. You can't see mine at all as the surgeon cut across my natural crease line.
Tracey, good luck at the specialist!
Skyway, thanks so much for the exercise info and such an encouraging comment!
skyway2ls on April 24, 2012:
I had a tumor on my thyroid gland when I was 19 and had the tumor removed, leaving half of my thyroid remaining. The doctor told me I would need to take nothing to supplement my thyroid, as the other half would sustain me. The medicine changed on this, but none of the doctors I went to were aware of this change. Now they know that if they remove half of your thyroid gland, the other half will only last about 10 years and must be supported post-surgery and from then on by thyroid medication to prevent it from going bad. I was a naturally thin girl and went on into my thirties until I started gaining weight and having energy problems. I went to the doctor and said maybe they should take a look at my thyroid, but they looked at my blood results and said there was nothing wrong with me, I was just fat and needed to exercise and diet to lose weight. I went to six different doctors and they all said the same thing. While my friends wore gorgeous outfits, I wore a tent. While my friends and relatives wore nice swim suits at the beach, I didn't go to the beach. I stayed away from the camera, not wanting my photo taken at over 200 lbs, so there aren't as many photos of me in our family album. I would go up and down in weight. Today I know that during the up years, my thyroid was acting up and during the down years, my thyroid was functioning properly and I could keep my weight off. I would be going through a bad phase, then suddenly my brain would start looking at food normally again and I would start losing weight. I finally reached the point, at 53, that I could not function. I went to the doctor and forced her to get an ultrasound on my thyroid, which showed lesions, but the doctor said not to worry about it. I insisted on going to a specialist over her strong objections. The specialist gave me four different prescriptions to take, including human growth hormone shots for my pituitary, blowing me up another 53 lbs. My thyroid began to turn into a goiter and I forced the specialist to give me another ultrasound 6 months later. He still wasn't going to do anything for me even though I could barely function and was down in bed or on the sofa all day. My husband finally got upset and insisted on going with me to the doctor. The doctor was so intimidated by the mere presence of my husband that he went into overdrive trying to figure out what to do with me. He ordered a battery of tests and it was determined that I needed a radical thyroidectomy. I, too, had been choking for a few years at this point and it was difficult to eat because it was so hard to chew and breathe at the same time. It has been almost two years since my thyroidectomy and I have lost 53 lbs since the operation. I still need to lose another 50-70 lbs. I hurt my knee as soon as I started exercising in a water aerobics class, so I turned to - drum roll - SWIMMING LAPS. Swimming laps in the pool at my gym is a God-send. I swim between a half a mile and a mile five nights a week. I go during the last two hours of the gym's operating hours and there is nobody there to see me in my swim suit. It is a heated outdoor pool and I swim rain or shine. After swimming for about five or six months my knee was considerably improved, so now I have begun to walk in the afternoons. I walk for about 45 minutes 3 or 4 days a week. I am eating the Dr. Perricone anti-inflammatory diet, which I find to be perfect for my body. Dr. Perricone is a dermatologist and he promises 10 years off your face in 30 days eating his diet. He has several books out, such as Healthy Aging, The Acne Prescription and The 30 Day Face Lift. His theory is that a cell is a cell is a cell and we are eating to feed our cells - whether it is a skin cell, a blood cell or a brain cell, we are eating to feed those cells. Our bodies have a ph balance that needs to be in balance in order to be healthy on a cellular level, so we need to eat foods that don't inflame our cells. Go into the search engines and dig around by typing in Dr Perricone's anti-inflammatory diet and you can find a list of the foods to eat and not to eat for free. You don't have to buy the book if you can't afford it. When you think about eating the anti-inflammatory diet you may think, "Oh my gosh, I would rather die than eat like this the rest of my life." I did, but if you just try it for two weeks you will find that the food itself, which at first you may not like, will begin to call to you the same way bad food calls to you now. You get to where you can't wait to eat oatmeal with blueberries in the morning and have a nice piece of chicken and a piece of fruit. You may have never heard of butternut squash soup before, but now you'll drink it down because it is so delicious. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, green tea, water, fish and foul, nuts and grains - its a yummy diet once you get used to it. Finally, I think the main thing is to keep up your spirits and decide that, darn it, I am going to get my body completely to normal! I am going to get into tip-top shape again - no matter how far down I've gone! I'm willing to go to any lengths to get myself on the road to recovery and I'm going to make it!
Tracey on April 23, 2012:
My scar also bothered me. It does get better tho, it's been one year since I had mine taken out and can barely see scar. I still feel blah all the time and weight still adding up. I finally got a call from the specialist and I have an appt on may 25!!!! I really need answers and new med to help this!!!! It's frustrating and I don't want to live my life like this!!!
cindyb on April 22, 2012:
This is a great place! I had half my thyroid out on March 7,2012 and have so far been having total exhaustion, lack of interest in everything, a lot of nausea along with hot flashes and freezing spells. I also think the scar is the pits - its all puffy above the incision. Will that go away?
My friends all think I am making a mountain out of molehill, but I don't even have the energy to go to a part time job!
My house is a mess and so am I. I have not gained weight but I think that's because of the nausea.
I also have celiac disease but after 5 years of guten-free, my weight is stable, but I also look 6 months pregnant! I do not exercise because of severe back pain, but I do eat healthy.
I hope we all get the help we need.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on April 22, 2012:
Laura, it's great that you found a decent doctor! I swear by T3, I feel much better, have more energy, but the weight still sits there!
Laura on April 21, 2012:
I can't believe how many of us aren't getting the medicine we need when it's out there! I had thyroid cancer and had it removed a little over a year ago. I gained 20 pounds during the process and have lost 15 of it. What made the difference was that after being totally exhausted on a high dose of synthroid, I found a doctor who explained I was missing t-3 and put me in Armour thyroid. I could not believe how much better I felt in 1 hour. It was so marked that I was angry the regular endocrinologist didn't know it could help so much. My new doctor explained that a normal thyroid produces the t-3 itself but if you don't have one --- you just can't make it from just getting t-4 (as in synthroid) and need it. It seems that doctors are trained only on newer therapies and don't realize the older products (Armour and Nature Thyroid) are better at times for this.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on April 15, 2012:
Wendy I am blown away by how many of us have the exact same problems! Great news on your 30 pounds loss!
Michele, the depression is definitely connected to the thyroidectomy and tells me that they haven't got the dosage right.
Michele on April 15, 2012:
I am S/P thryoidectomy 1 mo and am severely depresed, anxious,and fatigued. So at this point not worried about my weight. Tried to talk to my surgeon about my depression and they don't really seem to think anything about it. It was so bad today decided to search post thyroidectomy and severe depression and am shocked at all the blogs I am finding. Will be talking to someone come Monday about adding to my synthroid-know I am hypocalcemic after surgery and am taking calcium. I am desperate at this point since I thought I would be helping myself to have thyroid removed due to large multinodule cysts.
Wendy Lou on April 12, 2012:
I had my thyroid gland removed in 2009 and yes was told by my consultants that due to the high dose of thyroxine that I'm taking that the weight gain was not due to the thyroidectomy!
I gained approx 36 pounds post op and took the bull by the horn and joined the weight watchers plan I have lost 30 pounds of the weight that I put on post on post thyroidectomy and feel great so much so my dose of thyroxine had been reduced........but it is hard I really have to watch what I eat and have to exercise daily.........carbohydrates are the devil!
Glad to hear people are in the same boat as me but I have to face facts that i will have eat and exercise sensibly for the rest of my life.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on April 12, 2012:
Eva, we are all in the same boat. What we need are some endocrinologists to do more research and find out why with normal levels on thyroxine, we have all the symptoms of an under-active thyroid.
Tracey, I am getting frustrated as well, especially seeing that because of the extra weight, I know have high blood pressure and diabetes!
Amy, it sounds like we had the same thing, the thyroid slowly strangling the trachea. Luckily, they didn't damage my vocal chords.
JB, my thoughts exactly. They're not fat so they don't understand. They tell you ton exercise, but I don't have the energy after a full day at work!
jb on April 11, 2012:
I cried as I read your article. I too had my thyroid removed and nobody warns you, nor do they care? Gave up going to doc's two years ago as they are so ignorant and rude...frustrates me IT IS NOT MY FAULT I AM NOW FAT AND ALWAYS SAD!!! I never had trouble shedding kilos before operation? "But oh no apparently my levels are in the range " Pfft who's range exactly?????????
Amy on April 05, 2012:
Hi I had a tt after 6 years of going back and forth to my levels were always normal,in the end I couldn't sleep without feeling I was being strangled I couldn't cope anymore I was constantly getting chest infections and losing my voice.. I went back to dr and she sent me for MRI scans and nuclear scans, they found my thyroid was strangling my trachea so decided to operate.. I went in and that's where it went all down hill, I too had rectral sternal growth it was growing down into my chest and size of grapefruit, I come out in recovery and couldn't breath and when I tried to speak I grunted.. Ent dr come in and looked thru a tube up my nose( just what you need after waking up) and my vocal cords had paralysed and weren't moving so got rushed back in to have a tracheostomy tube inserted in my trachea.. Had that in for 8 weeks.. Was so happy when just right side cord moved so I could have it out. I had 4 kids to take care of I couldn't be like this for long, that was almost 2 years ago and I still struggle to breath sometimes and my voice gets a bit croaky I haven't put much weight on I tend to stay same.. But Im here and happy so that's all that matters :)
Tracey Hawkins on April 04, 2012:
finally went to my doctor and asked about the t3 and t4, she said she would like to try me on armour thyroid but wants to wait till the thyroid specialist calls her back. she is trying to get me an appt in to see him. still very discouraged and i even explained that to her!!! she did labwork and found out my iron, vitamin d and b12 are very low and IGM level is really low so she wants more tests done. i just feel like a pin cushion and rat that they are doing experiments on and i am to the point i told her i cant take it anymore. there has to be someone out there somewhere that can help me. trying not to get to discouraged but its really hard when i keep gaining weight and feeling so blah!!!! thank you for listening and giving feedback. this page has been my only support to stay sane!!!
Evaijai on April 04, 2012:
Iwas done partial thyroidectomy in july 2011 due to nodules on the thyroid gland.histology was done and showed anormal goitre.since then i have experienced increased weight gain which is bothering me too much since the nature of my job doesn't allow this.please help
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 28, 2012:
Jeloyer, I'm not sure how it affects getting pregnant. My friend had the radioactive iodine therapy and that seemed to work for her. It depends on how big the nodules are I guess. You need to tell your specialist that you want to have kids and get them to advise you. As for the scar, a good surgeon will cut along a crease in your neck so that the scar is almost unnoticeable. Good luck!
Jeloyer on March 27, 2012:
I was just wondering if everyone on here has had thyroid surgery or radiation therapy. I guess what I'm asking if you had the choice would you have surgery or would you have radiation iodine therapy? I'm trying to figure out which is the lesser of the two evils. My history is at 14 I had a partial thyroidectomy due to hot nodules. After the surgery everything was great, I didn't have to be placed on thyroid replacement and I did gain some weight but I attributed that to just growing. I am now 27 and have just found out that I have nodules on my remaining thyroid. I don't know what to do because I don't want to gain weight and now I'm worried because me and my husband want to start a family in the near future. I know I don't really want to have surgery again and go through the recovery and scar again. Has anyone had Radioactive iodine therapy and had good results?? Also have anybody after having either treatments been able to get pregnant easily or normally?
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 23, 2012:
Tracy, get the doctor to put her on T3 and T4 straight away. She should also start watching her diet and exercising regulary.
Tracy Jean on March 22, 2012:
My daughter is 19 and needs a TT (2nd dr. opinion same conclusion as first). Weight gain will be a huge concern for her so if you can summarize what I should be asking the dr for in terms of meds to stabalize her metabolism and energy after the TT I would be very appreciative.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 22, 2012:
Tracey, will hold thumbs the specialist contacts you! We really need to find the one doctor in the world that looks at our symptoms and not the lab results!
Tracey on March 21, 2012:
I have changed my diet over and over. Tried every plan my friends told me to try. I did have doctor today and I requested to be sent to a specialist. It is very discouraging and I try to stay positive but when all u do is gain weight and feel sluggish it's hard. Hoping the specialist calls this week!!! I thank you all for the support and ideas. I felt so lost
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 21, 2012:
Theresa, I haven't gone down the celiac path, but I do now suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes!
Robert could you please tell us what herbs to take?
Carolyn, maybe you are just carrying the extra weight in the tummy area?
Angela, it does seem the doctors only look at the lab work and not the symptoms. They definitely need to do more research on the thyroid and the impact on a person when its removed.
Angela on March 20, 2012:
i appreciate all of the great input. my story is this....i had thyroiditis about 14 yrs ago. it resolved and i never had any more problems. my lab work was checked annually which was always normal. i was having some problems with my neck about 2 years ago and had an MRI of my neck which showed i had numerous nodules on my thyroid. this was sent to my primary doctor who sent me a letter saying he wasn't concerned about it. well about a year ago I switched to a new doctor who wanted to pursue this further. An ultrasound revealed I had a goiter, which led to a visit to an endocrinologist and a needle biopsy. I was told the biopsy showed to be highly suspicious for papillary cancer. I had a TT 5 months ago and the pathology showed that it was in fact negative for papillary cancer!!! I was quite angry for awhile. I have since gained about 5 pounds and feel very frustrated about the weight gain. The thyroid gland as previously noted is an extremely important gland in our bodies and i agree that my symptoms don't correlate with the lab values either! i am going to look into adding T3. I am just now starting to exercise after taking an almost 2 year hiatus (went through a divorce at the same time!) I feel discouraged after reading all of your stories of weight gain and not being able to lose weight even while exercising. Good luck to all of you! If you have any other advice for me, please share it : )
Carolyn16 on March 20, 2012:
I had my thyroid removed 2 months ago. My levels are fine and I have always been underweight. But now I look like I'm 6 months pregnant. Seriously, I don't look fat I look pregnant and even get asked questions about my pregnancy. I cannot be pregnant. Anyone else have this problem and what did you do about it?
Robertr04 on March 20, 2012:
Tracy there a number of herbs that may help your HBP and lymphedema. Why not try changing your eating regime.
TheresaVisa on March 18, 2012:
Hi Cindy, Thanks so much for posting about your experience. I too had my thyroid removed - in 1998, my weight has been creeping up ever since. I've had 2 children (with much difficulty in getting pregnant) and have not lost the weight from either pregnancy. I've tried just about everything, the only thing that has ever worked is the hcg diet. I stopped that when my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (all autoimmune problems!!) I regained the 30 lbs I had lost quickly and have since been diagnosed with celiac disease. I have lost 6 lbs in the last couple of months because of being gluten free but now my endo believes this is the key to my weight loss. (I'm still carrying +/- 50lbs extra) I'm not convinced as she has always given me the usual lecture re. working out vs. calorie intake. I have told her until I'm blue in the face that I don't sit on the couch stuffing my face all day long! They are all cut from the same cloth - make you feel like a liar. Anyway, I take levoxyl with cytomel - when she added the cytomel last year it didn't make any difference to my weight. I still get swollen ankles, exhaustion etc. But it's good to know that I'm not alone! Has anybody else gone down the celiac path?
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 15, 2012:
Tracey I also have high blood pressure which only started after removing my thyroid. Before that I suffered from low blood pressure. After they removed my thyroid I started with odema in my lower legs, ankles and feet. Some days it was so bad I struggled to fit on shoes. I am now on a diuretic which seems to have cured that.
Tracey Hawkins on March 14, 2012:
so far i am only on the synthroid. i also have high blood pressure so am on meds for that (3 diff. ones) and have lymphedema in my legs. I just feel like i cant catch a break. i do exercise but with the lymphedema it makes it hard cause my legs swell and get painful. they switched my synthroid to name brand instead of generic because they said some ppl just dont register with generic as well. i do feel like i am getting the run around and it is aggrevating. This is my life and body and i tend to feel there is no help anywhere. Thank you for posting this cause it did make me feel good that i am not alone.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 13, 2012:
Tracey, you are welcome here! Have they prescribed you T3 as well as T4? It definitely makes a big difference!
Tracey on March 13, 2012:
I cannot tell you how happy I was to find this article from you!! I had my thyroid taken out a year ago this month and everything you said happens does. I am gaining weight like crazy and it sucks. I cry all the time cause I know I am doing all I can. I have even gone to a nutritionist and all I get is " your taking the right steps". I am so tired of hearing that cause I know I am. I cry at every doctor appt but all I get is "it takes time to get you to your synthroid level". I have been trying to find support sites where I can talk to people and am at a loss. Would love any help with that. It's just so hard to talk to friends who just don't understand. I'm constantly depressed and tired cause you eventually get to the point of not caring anymore. I feel like it was a bad surgery to have done but they said if I didn't I would eventually choke. Thank you for making me feel so not alone. And if anyone knows of sites that I can talk to others dealing with the same I would greatly app it!!!!!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 12, 2012:
Will be thinking of you!
blossom41 on March 12, 2012:
Thanks cindivine,will post again after Wednesday..will know more then.
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 12, 2012:
Wow Blossom! You are having a rough time of it! Hopefully somebody reading this will be able to give you some tips. It's hard to give advice until you get your results back. Am praying for you that it's all good!
blossom41 on March 12, 2012:
Hi I am in Perth Australia,I have 3c ovarian cancer.which reoccurred last November..thyroid mass showed up on my pet scan and last week had half my thyroid taken(they had done 3 needle biopsies..which were very painful and no good.I see my endo on Wednesday to see if thyroid is cancerous..I admit I am 70..very vain..and in middle of uni study to get my BA..my OC is classed as terminal (chemo is all they can do) my weight has gone to 89k with cancer-but I am 5ft 7 and very fit so no no no to more weight gain..and I am so scared he is going to say it is cancer on Wed. I cant take much more...my chemo is on hold while I wait for thyroid to be sorted..so cancer is growing..I am going on greens supplements and selenium as soon as this is over. He said he will operate again within the week if needed...any advice ????
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 08, 2012:
Sharon, T3 changed my life as well, am so pleased you are loving it!
sharon on March 08, 2012:
i had a TT in 2009. for over a year i could bearly walk due to the fatigue. it was like i had a ton strapped to my body.my mind was always in a total fog. i couldn't focus, my memory was shot...i finally had enough and had to get ugly . he finally prescribed me t3....holy cow what a difference. it pulls me out of the fog and for the first time in a year and a half i actually felt human again. my energy levels were higher. i have not lost any weight but i have not been exercising or dieting. this is something that i am fixing to start. i am 47 so age is also working against me. before the surgery i wieghed 137 i am now at 180. i might add that most of this weight gain was prior to the surgery because i was on anti thyroid (as high of dosage as they could go) and high blood pressure to keep me from having a heart attact. i had graves disease.i have only gained 10 pnds. since the surgery.i recommend anyone to at least try the t3s. what can it hurt.?? lots of luck to all on this page and i will keep you posted on my situation as i am going to lose this weight.!!!!!!!!!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 06, 2012:
Melissa that is terrible, my heart goes out to you! I do think that you need some counseling to help you get through this, otherwise it is going to take over your life. I've just been diagnosed as a diabetic and am now on diabetis meds and that seems to be helping me to lose weight.
Melissa A. on March 05, 2012:
Finally! Reading this article sounds like me talking to my endo about my issues...
Total thyroidectomy in March 2008 (follicular carcinoma), no weight gain until Radioactive Iodine in Oct 2008 (had to save up vaca time to take off work). Then steady weight gain of up to 30+lbs despite strict diet and rigorous exercise (weights, crossfit, spinning, etc). Then came the big problem - premature ovarian failure (menopause) at the age of 32. So then the depression REALLY set in...
I feel like this "disease" has truly ruined my life. I have lost friends, boyfriends, etc. I live a very lonely life with just my dogs, never want to go out b/c of my weight. Can't even think about getting into a relationship with someone - really, who wants an over weight girl who CANNOT have kids...I've tried anti depressants, but they cause me to be more depressed and gain more weight (even Wellbutrin).
If I would've known then what I know now, I would've opted to not have the surgery. At least my quality of life would still be good & not what it is now!
Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on February 23, 2012:
Kelly it's terrible to have something like that happen to you when you are still so young! Hopefully someone will be able to come up with some good tips!