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Hi all,

I am having a thyroidectomy soon and I am concerned about weight gain. I am petite and have not had any problems losing weight in the past, and really like the way I am right now. I am not hypo or hyper at the moment, but because of a really large nodule that is suspicious for cancer, it needs to be taken out. My endo tells me that weight will not be a problem, but when you read the message boards it seems like weight problems are a side effect for some. Can people with POSITIVE outcomes to their thyroidectomy please post? If you have gained weight, please don't reply, I've read too many of those stories and need some stories about those who are just fine to make me feel a little better. I'm very nervous!

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Also, I'm not trying to discount anyone who has gained weight...I realize that this is a huge struggle and I feel so much for anyone who has had this side effect. However, I just need to hear some positive stories right now so I don't feel like this is a gloom and doom procedure!
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Hi there,

I am meeting with a surgeon soon myself to discuss options regarding suspicious nodules and a very large goiter. I share your concern about the long-term effects of such a dramatic change in metabolism.

I have two positive experiences to share with you, both from people in my life who have had a total thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine treatment. The first, my father, had a total thyroidectomy including removal of the lymph nodes in the neck due to cancer. He was diagnosed as stage 3, and the doctor recommended he not take T3 during the period before the I-131. This caused his TSH to skyrocket and he suffered all the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. He was not allowed to begin taking Synthroid following the RAI due to the classification of his case as risky. By the time he was scanned and authorized to take Synthroid, his TSH was extremely high. He gained between 5 and 10 pounds during his extremely unusual course of treatment. During the 3 months that followed, he lost those 5-10 pounds through a combination of pilates, yoga, and strength training. He also changed his diet fairly dramatically and began to carefully watch his portion sizes and work to ensure proper fiber intake. He is still technically hypo (TSH is still high) but he manages his weight just fine through exercise and keeps other symptoms in check by carefully crafting his diet (fiber, nutritious high-energy foods). I think given the seriousness of thyroid cancer for a man of his age, he views these dietary changes as being a small price to pay for being able to see his grandchildren grow up. He is not depressed or overweight. In many ways, he seems healthier and happier than he has ever been.

A classmate and friend of mine was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a little over two years ago. She has been a dancer for nearly all her life and has always maintained a very thin and strong figure. Following a total thyroidectomy and treatment with radioactive iodine, she began taking synthroid (or levoxyl or...?). She has been able to maintain both her weight and her dancer's strength and flexibility by carefully watching changes in her appetite and energy levels. She has related to me that she needs to watch her energy levels, as sometimes she tires after long hours dancing that never used to bother her, but she has not experienced weight gain. I think this is due in part to her her very healthy eating habits, her very active lifestyle, and her strong body.

Both my father and my friend have followed a lot of the advice you can gather on Mary Shomon's site, and neither of them ever felt that their diagnosis sentenced them to a lifelong struggle. They both sought out endocrinologists who could treat them based on symptoms and not just numbers (although my father's cancer diagnosis limits that somewhat), and maintained their healthy lifestyles. Maintaining a healthy weight after thyroidectomy is possible, but it seems like part of the key to it is focusing on overall health. Diet, activity and proper medication seems to be key.

Hope their experiences give you some positive thoughts...
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Are there seriously only 2 people with positive results?
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Hey! Dont be discouraged. I had a total thyroidectomy when I was just 19 and I did put on weight but its not permanent! Also, remember everyone's body is different and so will react differently to the thyroidectomy.. I know that I was super down after my thyroidectomy so me and food got real close.. Diet and exercise not so much.. So just eat right and take your medication and the minute you start to feel a little tired you're more then likely gonna need to up the dosage on the thyroid medication so just have an open communication with your doctor and voice all your concerns. I put on 30lbs but I lost it within the year. Remember your body is undergoing a trauma and a lil temporary weight in the long run of a healthy life for yourself shouldnt be an issue. Good luck and I hope its nothing serious.
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My 22 year old active son with a baseball scholarship to a major University experienced a greatly swollen & hyperactive thyroid 2 years ago. It was so severe and his heart rate was so high that after a great deal of research and opinions from several Doctors, he went on a temporary medication to calm down his thyroid and then he underwent Radioactive Iodine treatment. The results from all these different treatments took months not weeks and he ended up with a Medical Redshirt that year. After the Iodine treatment he was put on Synthroid and the task of establishing the right dosage began. He returned to the playing field in his junior year, as strong as a mule and proceeded to have the greatest season of his life and received many conference honors for his performance. The problem is, he has slowly but surely continued to put on weight, just gradually, but steady. He is 6'2 and his playing weight should be around 220 pounds, all through last year he sort of maintained at 230 and by the end the season he was about 235. He has never put on weight during the season in his life and in fact, usually drops down to about 205 to 210. Over the summer he has been very active and has played 3 to 4 nights a week in the Collegiant Wood Bat league, as well as working out with a trainer 3 to 4 times a week. He has continued to slowly put on weight and is now about 245 and looks like he has a little belly developing. It is incredibly frustrating for him, because no matter what he does it seems ... the weight keeps coming. His Synthroid dose everyday was up to 200 milligrams and because his TSH levels were low, his endocrinologist just dropped his medication back to 175. He is strong and feels otherwise great, but his metabolism it seems, has never returned to normal for a 22 year old active male. I have several older friends who have also gone through this exact situation and they have not put on weight. My Mom had the same exact problem and had her thyroid removed back in 1963 and has been on the same medication her whole life ... she's 89 now and going strong, she never put on weight either. Any ideas of what the problem is and is this common ???
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Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has had a complete thyroidectomy without having a biopospy or fine needle aspiration done??????
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Hi. My thyroid was removed in 2005. My weight is stil the same. It will take sometime to get the correct medicine correct, but hang in there it will come right. You must look on the inernet for the correct way of eating and foods to eat. Hold you weight down with some exercises. It helps you also feel beter. You dont have to be nervous.
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Diet! And by that I mean look into reducing simple sugars eating more complex less processed foods. Yeast in the gut and intestines can slow food processing down dramatically. Reduced consumption of wheat products can be a good place to start. Look into pro-biotics to build good bacteria in the gut as well, it may be worth looking into doing a cleanse which is as simple as taking a few pills a day for a few weeks.
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Hi Everyone!

I'm so sorry it's been several years, but this is the original poster (Leigh77) and I just wanted to let you all know that the surgery really isn't that bad at all!!!!!!!!!!  The worst part of all of it was the breathing tube, it makes your throat a bit sore.  I was off pain pills by the next day and was out and about after a few days or so.  Once the incision healed up a bit (but still red), I began using Mederma and Palmers Vitamin E serum, and now you can barely tell where it happened!

I gained only a few pounds, but I pushed to get on a higher dose of synthroid and after that I went right back to normal.  No big deal!

I am not trying to marginalize anyone who had a problem, but I just want to encourage those who are about to have this procedure done that it really isn't that bad!  You can do it and you'll get through it and it'll be a distant memory before you know it!

And thank you for all those that responded!  I'm very grateful.

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Thank you for your response!!! I am scheduled for TT 4/25 and am freaking out!! There are so many negative stories. Prior to this diagnosis I worked really hard to achieve my goal weight by summer and am so worried about gaining the weight back. I understand there are "more important" things to be worried about but going into this reading about exhaustion and weight gain is creating a poor outlook.
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I had a complete thyroidectomy without biopsy or needle aspiration due to compression and difficulty swallowing.
Despite increasing meds goiter continued to grow. Biopsy revealed papillary carcinoma. Follow up tests indicate
cancer free. Now researching healthy ways to shed weight gain despite healthy diet and active lifestyle.
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I am on the fence with my thyroid and I am scared of gaining weight too because I am probably already 15 pounds overweight. I try to read the good posts. Have you maintained your weight? I may only have to have one side done
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Did you have your surgery and did you gain weight? Don't forget to post the good things
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Leigh77 how did it turn out. Did you gain weight? I am facing it now and scared of the same thing and getting tired because I have high energy and I am active and I don't want to be grumpy and tired.
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