Life after thyroid removal - what follows?
When you are first allowed home
We must remember that a full thyroidectomy ( removal of the thyroid ) is major surgery, and that our life will in fact never be the same after the operation, although we will be able to lead a normal life, and our life expectancy should not be shortened as a result of having the operation.
As mentioned in my earlier articles, the thyroid is one of the most important endocrine glands in the body, controlling the rate of our metabolism, and without it, in simple terms, our body will gradually shut down.
So, as we no longer have a gland to make the hormones necessary to control our metabolism, we must take them in tablet ( chemical) form. This all sounds very simple, and indeed can be if you are lucky enough to be suited to the type and first dosage given to you by your doctor... but be prepared...
Your medication and possible side effects
You will be prescribed sodium levothyroxine. This will be in tablet form, 1 tablet taken everyday preferably an hour before breakfast.
The strength of dosages range from 50mg, 75mg, 100mg, etc up to around a maximum of 250 in one tablet.
Your doctor or endocrine will start you off on what he or she considers to be the right level, but , unless you strike gold so to speak, you will find this is followed by a series of blood test, upping or downing the level of medication, until results of T.S.H, T3 and T4 are that of a person with a perfectly functioning thyroid.
The most common side affects that you will experience whilst your dosage is being played around with, are those of underactive thyroid. If you already had underactivity, then you may notice little difference, possible more severe fatigue, or episodes of depression.
Of all the people I spoke to prior to my surgery, I was told to expect rapid and huge weight gain, and have spoken to many people who are apparently on the right dosage of medication, but still can't shift the extra weight, and are palmed off by diet sheets by the dietician.
We all know that if we have a slow metabolism, then we need to consume fewer calories per day, than a person of normal metabolism, and being given diet sheets may help a little , but I think in the case of many pacients is not the answer, and there is still an underlying problem, or the medication levels are still not suitable.
i am now one month into my recovery from my surgery, and although i am indeed suffering from severe fatigue, and other symptoms of underactivity of the thyroid such as problems with memory and concentration, I have not managed to gain any weight at all, and still tip the scales at under 50kg!