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Side Effects After Thyroid is Removed

| By Susan Kaye
Side Effects After Thyroid is Removed
Side Effects After Thyroid is Removed Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

The thyroid gland is considered a master gland in the body, having domain over the metabolism and production of hormones that maintain the body's energy level. When the thyroid gland is removed, usually due to a disease state, a rapid decline occurs in metabolic functions. This results in a hypothyroid state. Lack of a thyroid gland may also occur as a result of an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The gland is destroyed by the advancement of the disease, with similar symptoms of hypothyroidism the outcome. In both cases, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are the primary effect of having no thyroid gland, with a huge array of symptoms and side effects.

Lost Thyroid Hormones, Rising TSH Levels

The initial effect of losing the thyroid gland is the absence of thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for keeping the metabolism running properly and helping the body produce enough energy to survive and carry out daily activities, says EndocrineWeb.com. They are also responsible for signaling the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). With the lack of response from the thyroid hormones, TSH levels climb, potentially causing pituitary gland dysfunction due to improper stimulation and overproduction of TSH. This is corrected by taking man-made thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of a person's life. Regular blood tests are necessary to check thyroid hormone levels, says the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).

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Hypothyroid Symptoms

The absence of the thyroid gland produces severe hypothyroidism and a wide range of symptoms throughout the body, as well as mental and emotional states. The onset of symptoms is mostly sudden due to the lack of thyroid hormones--which, when replaced, relieve many of the symptoms. The Women to Women website explains in detail about hypothyroidism. Some of the side effects you may experience after loosing your thyroid gland are sluggishness, chilliness, feelings of weakness, depression, and chronic fatigue. In addition, you may have problems with cognitive functions and thinking clearly. There may be difficulty breathing, muscle cramps and joint pain, food cravings, sweating, uncontrollable weight gain, chronic constipation, menstrual problems, PMS, dry skin, hot flashes and increased menstrual flow. There's also a possibility of miscarriage or of being diagnosed with infertility.

Myxedema Coma

Loss of the thyroid gland makes a person more susceptible to developing a very serious side effect: a life-threatening condition known as myxedema coma, the UMMC says. Due to the sudden onset of hypothyroidism from the lack of thyroid hormone present in the blood, a person may become excessively chilly due to an extreme drop in body temperature. The heart rate slows; seizures and stupor may develop; there may be fluid buildup in the body causing swelling of the feet, ankles and lower legs; lung function may lessen, and eventually coma develops. Hospitalization is necessary, and the mortality rate is 30 percent to 60 percent.

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author image Susan Kaye
Susan Kaye writes about alternative health care, the medicinal value of foods and natural remedies for healing body, mind and spirit. She is currently retired from an active classical homeopathy practice and enjoys sharing her passion for alternative medicine in her writing with those seeking health care freedom.
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