Thyroid Disorders Community
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822804 tn?1298229902

what happens with your weight after having your thyroid removed?

I am having my thyroid removed the 25th of this month and was wondering what i should expect weight wise.I have had issues with my weight since being diagnosed with a hypothyroid,It is extrememely difficult for me to lose weight.I have a multinodular thyroid and due to that,they are removing my thyroid after trying to biopsy it twice.Do you lose weight after having it out? what should I expect?
23 Responses
Avatar universal
If you have a good endo who is willing to treat your FreeT3/T4 levels until you feel strong again, then you definitely can lose weight. If your endo focuses mainly on your TSH and ignores you if you still feel tired, then you will have more difficulty losing weight.

Many endos treat patients with straight T4 drugs. Some don't test or treat FT3 levels. Ideally, we convert T4 into T3, so some docs think we don't need any T3 drugs. Ideally. Many of us are just not 'ideal' thyroid patients. We need the T3 drugs. If FT3 levels are low, despite the T4 drugs, then it's time to add the T3.

Some thyroid patients don't do well with either the synthetic T4 or T3 drugs, and their bodies respond better to natural drugs like Nature Throid.

As long as you have an endo who works with your levels and listens to your symptoms, you should lose the weight. Be an advocate for your health. Demand wellness!

I am on my fourth endo because the others ignored my frees and symptoms and only treated my TSH.

Best of luck with the surgery!
:) Tamra
139126 tn?1255040591
I think the weight loss thing really has more to do with you as an individual rather than the meds that you are taking.   I have heard from people who take T3 drugs that swear it helped them lose weight; others say it makes no difference.  I would think that if you were hypo before your surgery that you'll be facing the same issues with weight after the surgery.   I don't think the surgery should make it worse.   I had lost a lot of weight right before my TT in June.   I was not hypo beforehand.  Have since put about 10 of the 20lbs lost back on but everything appears to now be stablizing and that's probably because all my levels are just about where they should be.    I have noticed, however, that I do have to pay a little more attention to what I eat and when.   I'm also trying to walk more.   Good luck with your surgery.
219241 tn?1413541365
Hi there. I had two surgeries 5 months apart. One to remove the left side the other to remove the right side. I was very overweight prior to surgery and undiagnosed with a thyroid disorder. It was only due to the fact it was choking me to death that it was removed. THEN they discovered I had Hashimoto's disease. Grrrrrr, made sense as to why I was overweight previously. BUT! Even though I was undiagnosed I still managed to lose a ton of weight by myself. I was scared of getting diabetes which runs in my family.
   After going on replacement thyroid medication after my 2nd surgery, my weight did slowly come down on its own. Mind you, I was still following a good eating and excersise plan as well, and I think that helped enormously.
  There is a lot of concern with many undergoing surgery that they will put on weight. It is often due to the fact they are put on a too low  a dose of replacement thyroid hormone medication, creating a hypo effect. It will take time for you to adjust to getting a dose that is right for you as an individual. You may find that the dose you take early on will need decreasing or increasing after 6 weeks or more. Only you will know if it is right for YOU, there is no magic number or milligrams that will give the results you require, it all takes personal experience.
  I hope the surgery goes well for you!
334400 tn?1276897913
My Endo suggested that I have my thyroid removed and I am afraid of the weight also.
I am over weight. I have nodules, goiter, and hypothyroidism. I did have the large nodule biopsied and it was benign. I have small nodules that cannot be biopsied because of their size. I have been thinking about this. I am still undecided.
Avatar universal
i had my thyroid removed, what is FT3 and T4? im taking levothyroxine is that the same thing?
Avatar universal
i have gained weight hun im at 150 i hate it trying to loose no success im on a 50 microgram and a 25 mcrogram  of l thyroxine im on one of reach of those back to the doctors for me monday afternoon b/c i think my levels are off cause im experiencing headaches really bad
Avatar universal
From my understanding there are four primary potential causes of weight gain.  They are 1. excessive calorie intake/inadequate exercise, 2. low metabolism due to inadequate levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, or excess level of Reverse T3, 3. insulin resistance, 4. PCOS.

When you go to most doctors for weight issues, they tend to automatically assume it is caused by number 1.   Infrequently they will test for TSH and then diagnose by that alone.  That is totally inadequate, since TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that at best it is an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also levels Free T3, Free T4, and Reverse T3.  

When patients already have a thyroid issue, such as you two, before considering number 3 or 4 potential causes, you need to convince your doctor that you do not have a problem with the number one potential cause and that you need to be adequately tested and treated to eliminate number two as the potential cause.  It the weight issue is due to low metabolism due to a thyroid problem, then trying to lose weight is very difficult and trying to maintain the loss becomes almost impossible.  

So you need to get your doctor to test for Free T3 and Free T4, along with Reverse T3.  The Frees are the small portion of thyroid hormone not attached to protein molecules and thereby, being "free" are biologically active.  Free T3 largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate at all.  If the doctor resists doing these tests then you should insist on them and don't take no for an answer.  

Assuming you are successful, then when test results are available, please get a copy of the lab report and post results and their reference ranges and members will be glad to help interpret and advise further.  Be aware that even though you are already taking thyroid meds, hypo patients frequently find that their body is not adequately converting the T4 med to T3, resulting in Free T3 levels in the lower end of the range, consistent with being hypothyroid.  Many of our members, myself included, say that symptom relief for them required Free T3 adjustment to the upper third of its range and Free T4 adjustment to the middle of its range.

When you get your Free T3 and Free T4 levels properly adjusted, the higher metabolism will help you lose excess weight that is associated with being hypothyroid and having the resultant low basic metabolic rate.  Along that line I think you will find this previous post from a nurse to be of interest.  She had weight problems, along with other symptoms, and was unable to get multiple doctors to recognize that she was hypo and treat accordingly.  By using results from a basic metabolism test, she was able to show that her metabolism was way below normal for her weight, height and age.  Finally she was able to get a doctor to prescribe thyroid med adequate to eliminate hypo symptoms and raise her metabolism to normal.    

"I was having some major problems with my metabolism.  I am a nurse and I thoroughly researched all the scientific research on the internet and at the medical library.  I, too was going to see doctors who would not help me.  Fortunately, I found a doctor who gave me Armour thyroid despite "normal" levels. I brought him a RMR test that showed my BMR in 750-900 range which is very low, I was cold all the time. I was fatigued. When you have to get in the tub 2-3 times a day to warm up your body, you got a problem  I have fake nails and suddenly I wasn't needing to go as normally to have them filled they had really slowed in growth. I put together my own research on my body.   I started taking the medication as prescribed and he adjusted accordingly until I was free of symptoms.  I documented all the thyroid lab work before and after treatment.  I went and had metabolic testing to test my BMR and it measured normal for my age and weight and I was symptom free.  I then tapered myself off the thyroid and within 2 months all symptoms returned and metabolic testing once again was done, and BMR was extremely low. Back on meds. normal. You know your body best and I am not afraid to put the research in front of a doctor's face.  The human body is not black and white."

One thing further for now.   Keep in mind that a good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting Free T3 and Free T4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.  You can get some good insight from this letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he sometimes consults with from a distance, after an initial first hand evaluation and testing.  The letter is then sent to the participating PCP to help guide treatment.  

very helpful, thanks
1139187 tn?1355710247
FYI i had my thyroid out in February and am still very very hypo.   I weighed 178 at time of surgery.  I am now at 176.   In the past 7 months my primary weight has gone down by two pounds.

There are days that i have weighed myself after being at the hot zoo drinking tons of fluids etc where it will fluctuate by 1 pound or so, but 75% of the time my weight is less than it was before i had the TT.
Avatar universal
Are there any people out their who regret having their thyroid removed?
Avatar universal
Had mine removed on 10/30/14.  I was having problems with no energy and breathing and had multiple nodules were toxic (producing hormones)  Really had no thyroid left.  Goiter was made up of nodules.  I felt much better as soon as surgery was over.  It seemed to have something to do with my breathing.  
before surgery I could not keep my OX level up to 90%.  After surgery it was up to 94-96%.  I now have more energy but think that could be due to having more oxygen in my blood.  I am obese and am hoping I will be able to lose weight now.  Will have the first test on my TSH etc tomorrow since going on levothyroxine.  I am hoping they keep it on the upper side of norm for me.  Should also get my biopsy result tomorrow on the complete thyroid.  They had biopsied one nodule that was toxic before surgery that was benign.  Not too worried about that but do worry about thyroid levels.  If you are hyper and have toxic nodules I would opt for removal.  I have a great surgeon who does 300 of these surgeries a year.  Just make sure you have a very good surgeon.
Avatar universal
Since you are going to the doctor tomorrow, I wanted to make sure you have a chance to read this link, which was written by a good thyroid doctor.  The link will give you some good insight into the best way to test and treat a hypo patient.  A good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting Free T3 and Free T4, as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results.  


Don't know what to expect for you in the way of testing tomorrow, but you should always make sure they test for Free T3 and Free T4 (not the same as Total T3 and Total T4).  If the doctor resists just insist on it and don't take no for an answer.  It is that important.  While there it would also be a good idea to test for Vitamin D and ferritin.  Both are important and a deficiency can cause symptoms similar to hypothyroidism as well as affect how thyroid hormone is metabolized.  

Since you had the TT relatively recently you may not yet be noticing much in the way of symptoms; however, if not, then it is only a matter if time.  So you may want to get the doctor to start you on a low dose of thyroid med and then return for re-test in about 4 weeks.  You will need to continue with this until you get your Free T3 and Free T4 high enough in their ranges to relieve hypo symptoms.  
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and surgery is scheduled for 12/16.  Those who've had their thyroid removed, what should I expect.  How did you feel afterward?  How long did it take before you was up and around? Please, please tell me your experiences!  I know everybody's experience is different I'm freaking out here!
I had a partial removal 11-10-2015. I go 12-08-2015 to remove the rest because of cancer. I am short and do not have a long neck. They had to stretch and tie my arms down for better access. If they do this to you demand a muscle relaxer. You feel like you got hit by a bus. Also they brought me solid foods right after surgery! It hurt so bad and took three days after to eat solids. It still hurt after a week to swallow. I had the drainage tube in for two days. This is too bad and when I had to shower I hooked it to a lanyard. The worst part was when they removed it. It was about 4" of tubing in the neck. Be prepared to not be able to lift. 4 week recovery period after surgery. I'm stubborn and lifted. Big mistake. Pain and light headedness. Also they have your head tilted back for the surgery. When you come out they might try to put an ice pack on your incision. I kept fighting them to the point of tears and they finally stopped trying to put it on. The ice pack felt way better on the back of my neck because my head had been tilted back so much. After surgery for at least three days you have to sleep sitting at a 38° angle so be prepared for that. I am 26 years old and am recovery well. Still have trouble sleeping because my muscles/tendons still agravated from being tilted/stretches. Good luck!
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