Can Natural Thyroid Treatment help me after I have had thyroid surgery or Radioactive Iodine treatment. This is a question I get asked- almost daily. Today’s article, we are going to tackle this question as well as review the unfortunate symptoms of Thyroid surgery, and what Natural Medicine can do to help you get back on track.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It is primarily function is the release of thyroid hormones. Hormones produced by the thyroid act on every system in the body, influencing energy production, metabolism, basal metabolic rate (BMR) and body temperature, as well as affecting heart rate, respiratory rate, cardiac output, gastrointestinal motility and absorption, bone absorption and remodeling, reproductive health, cognitive function and neurological function.
Cancer remains the most common reason for thyroidectomy and rates continue to rise. The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2022 are: About 43,800 new cases of thyroid cancer (11,860 in men and 31,940 in women) About 2,230 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,070 men and 1,160 women).Cancer is not the only cause for Thyroid surgery, other reasons for the removal of the thyroid gland include goiters, that can obstruct breathing or swallowing, and thyrotoxicosis caused by Graves’ disease (Autoimmune HyperThyroidism) or Hashimotos (Autoimmune Hypothyroidism)- Pay attention to the Autoimmune part of that sentence.
Different Kinds of Thyroid Removal
Keep in mind that removal of the thyroid will immediately place the patient in a hypothyroid state and medication will be required to replace hormones generated by the gland.
- Total thyroidectomy- complete removal of the whole thyroid gland.
- Lobectomy also known as hemithyroidectomy- removal of half of the thyroid (ie. one lobe).
- Isthmusectomy- removal of the thyroid isthmus, the tissue connecting the two lobes of the thyroid.
What Are The Side Effects Of Thyroid Surgery and Radio Active Iodine Treatment (RAI)?
After a total thyroidectomy, you will need to take lifelong thyroid hormone replacements. Because your entire thyroid gland is removed, you no longer have a way to control many of the metabolic processes your thyroid gland once controlled. In addition to thyroid replacement hormones, it becomes essential to monitor your calcium levels as well. In the weeks after your thyroid surgery, you may have neck pain, soreness of your vocal chords or a weak voice.
These symptoms are usually temporary. For patients who have partial thyroidectomy or undergo Radioactive Iodine treatment (RAI) because of Graves autoimmune thyroid disease, they too often become hypothyroid. Consider natural thyroid treatment methods if after thyroid surgery you are still struggling with thyroid symptoms.
Common Symptoms After Thyroid Surgery, Thyroidectomy, or RadioActive Iodine Treatment
Keep in mind that removal of the thyroid will immediately place you in a hypothyroid state and medication will be required to replace hormones generated by the gland. But outside of taking thyroid medication for the rest of your life you may be winding what you can do regarding some ore all of the symptoms you see below. If these symptoms seem all to familiar, then natural thyroid treatment methods should be considered.
What this treatment methods consists of, depends largely on what the original cause of your thyroid removal. Thyroid gland don’t just go bad. What was your health like years before you had your thyroid gland, what were the events that led up to your thyroid failing, what was your health like as a child? These are all important questions that I ask patients who have had their thyroid gland removed. But again, take a look at these common post surgical thyroid symptoms that could benefit from a natural thyroid treatment approach.
- Muscle Weakness
- Shortness of Breath
- Nerve Injury to vocal cords. Even when performed by experienced surgeon, injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve can occur in 1%-2% of thyroidectomies. Injury can be permanent or temporary.
- Hypoparathyroidism. Damage or removal of the parathyroid glands can occur during surgery
- Low Calcium levels also known as hypocalcaemia (hypoparathyroidism)
- Abnormally high serum phosphate levels called hyperphospataemia. (hypoparathyroidism)
- Lack of energy or drive (Fatigue)
- Daytime sleepiness
- Weight gain
- Water retention or bloating (also known as myxedema)
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Can Natural Medicine Still Help Me If My Thyroid Has Been Removed?
If you’ve had your Thyroid removed, you know how difficult it can be to balance your post-surgery hormone replacement medicine. We often have patients reach out to us who are taking Levothyroxine, Synthroid, Armour, Tirosint, Cytomel, Naturethroid and still experience symptoms hypothyroid symptoms. What we need to keep in mind and what we need to come back to is what was The Original Cause Of The Condition?
Let’s say that the reason you needed to have surgery was because you had Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Having a thyroidectomy won’t address the immune system which is the ROOT CAUSE of Graves Disease and Hashimotos. Sometimes other factors are responsible for the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. Let me illustrate this with a existing patient named Kelly.
Kelly was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease when she was 14, She was started out on an antithyroid medications Methimazole and PTU. Both of these according to Kelly and her mother caused horrific reactions and symptoms. The doctor then recommended RAI treatment which stands for Radioactive Iodine treatment. She underwent the RAI which she was told would fix her problems. Sound familiar? about 6 months later she has to repeat the procedure and about a year later she was told she needed to have a total thyroidectomy. Kelly was put on Synthroid.
Years go by taking Synthroid, Levothyroxine, and even Amour. Her levels would be good one month, then the next month she was under-medicated, the next month she was overmedicated. She was riding the Thyroid medication Roller Coaster. Nothing helped. She gained close to 65 pounds, she began experiencing anxiety, she began having daily headaches and with all of this she ultimately developed depression. She found herself crying every day feeling trapped in a body she no longer recognized. Out of desperation she turned to antidepressants and was on those for the next 10 years.
Despite all the changes in dosages and kind of thyroid medication and antidepresants she continued to go downhill. We have hundred of patient stories similar to Kellys. But here’s the problem no one in conventional medicine wants to tell you.
What her doctor NEVER told her was that the radioactive iodine treatment (RAI) does nothing for the ROOT cause of her problem which was Graves’ Disease. Graves Disease is an autoimmune disease. Just because we remove the organ in which the immune system is attacking does not mean we have addressed the Autoimmune component. She still had a compromised immune system which could then turn on other parts of her body and begin to attack those as well. It wasn’t until we began addressing the many aspects of her immune system, her gut, her sex hormones, her diet did she begin to feel good again. This success didn’t happen overnight but it shows how important it is to address to address the root cause despite having surgery. It also highlights why many people remain symptomatic despite having surgery. If this patient story resonates with you, I encourage you to consider looking at the BIG picture. If you are still struggling with your health after Radio Active Iodine treatment or thyroidectomy contact our office today and Schedule A Free Phone Consultation. While I cant promise I can help you, I will listen to what you are struggling with and If I feel I can help, I will let you know.