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Can You Lose Weight After a Thyroidectomy?

author image Heather Topham Wood
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.
Can You Lose Weight After a Thyroidectomy?
Can You Lose Weight After a Thyroidectomy?

A throidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of all or a portion of the thyroid gland. The surgery may be performed if a person suffers from goiter, thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, so its removal can make it difficult to lose weight. You may actually gain weight as a side effect of the procedure. You should speak to your doctor if you wish to lose weight following a thyroidectomy.

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Step 1

Make an appointment with your doctor to go over your current medications. Patients who undergo a thyroidectomy are typically giving thyroxine as a way to replace the hormone that is produced by the thyroid gland.

Step 2

Request a blood test from your doctor. Your thyroid hormone levels should be measured to ensure that they are in a normal range. If the levels are too low, you may not be able to lose weight. The dose of your medicine will then need to be increased by your physician.

Step 3

Reduce the number of calories that you consume. Thyroidectomy patients will lose weight by eating low-fat and low-sugar foods. Most of your calories should come from healthy protein sources, like skinless chicken, turkey breast, tofu and egg whites. In addition, eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables including lettuce, broccoli, onions, pepper, green beans and asparagus. Include a small amount of healthy fats, like olive oil and nuts. Fruits can be consumed for snacks. Also, your diet should should be low in carbohydrates. A low-carb diet is important because patients with the thyroid gland removed, you will not be able to metabolize carbohydrates as quickly, which could raise blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar can make you feel hungry and cause you to overeat.

Step 4

Work in time to exercise. You need to be physically active in order to burn calories after a thyroidectomy since your metabolism may have slowed due to the lack of the thyroxine and triiodothyronine in your body. These hormones are produced by the thyroid and control metabolism. Wait until you have recovered from surgery and you have received your doctor’s okay to start working out. Low-intensity and prolonged periods of exercise will work best for patients with thyroid conditions. Spend 45 minutes to an hour each day participating in activities like walking, jogging and cycling.

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