Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

how long can a body survive without thyroid hormones?

By Anonymous January 10, 2010 - 9:51pm
Rate This

I am being screened for recurrance of thyroid cancer. Thyroid removed last year and radioiodine treatment completed. Have been off synthroid for 3 weeks; 3 weeks left before screening. Feeling cold and tired. Was wondering how long the body can sustain life without hormone therapy. How does it take in nutrition meanwhile without the homones?

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I was to my Dr. in January, I was to go back in February for more blood tests, I was only given enough pills for a month, I wasn't sure at that time if I could afford another office visit, so I haven't gone back for another tests, but in the mean while I'd asked my Dr to call in another prescription just to get me by for another month or so, and he refused... It's now going on 4 months without pills and I'm wondering how much longer I can go on... my Dr. should know better, but he says it's procedure, Always some kind of office politics with him, I need my thyroid pills, I've been noticing a weight gain, puffiness in my face in the mornings and just not feeling well. I will be going in for tests this coming week, as we can afford them again, but for him to refuse me my medication, should be unethical, if not illegal. Disappointed

May 30, 2016 - 11:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My doctor has done the same to me, I lost my coverage recently and because I have not gone in to a check up recently they won't refill me. The irony there is, ever since I've been diagnosed hypothyroid ( and believe it or not my THS results were 200.0! Not twenty, but 200.0 by the time I got treated I couldn't walk a block, I was so constipated I looked nine months pregnant and my whole body was swollen, I even fell asleep while out for dinner with friends in mid sentence, it was bad! But after three months I finally started feeling better, she says my tag was too high now, so she lowered it and I have not felt well since. But even though random tests are still as high as 80.0, she refuses to adjust my meds because most of the time my tests say I'm " cured" . I asked her how that's possible if I'm having all these symptoms and she just pointed out how bad I was BEFORE treatment!!! Then I decide to read up on my own, I asked if she could give me a full thyroid panel four or five times over several appointments and she just ignored me, I asked her superior finally and she claimed it was a @ waste of money" I couldn't believe it. Until I have my health coverage fixed I'm just concerned with getting my meds period, but once I do, I'm not sure if I should just try taking more on my own to see if I feel better, even if risky, or I've even debated going off them since I still have so many symtoms and try natural therapy, but if I could only get someone to do a full thyroid panel, is there a certain way I should request it? Is it truly going to help?

I too have been told my tryglicerides are high and I know it's thyroid related, same with my cholesterol but my doctor doesn't seem to believe me. And knowing how hypothyroid I was and am, how can she not even tell me if I'm Hashemoto hypothyroid or if it's something else? Is there a way to know?

But for now, I just want to know how long I can go without my meds, because it's been a couple weeks and I already feel week and sleep most the day, I wonder if I should go get stuck with a ER bill just for a refill or wait the 6 weeks until the local clinic can see me?

July 8, 2016 - 5:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I was without mine for 4 months, finally went to a new Dr. and she could not believe that my other Dr. would hold out on calling in a prescription. Your best bet would be to look for a different clinic, or go to the ER. I've had other problems ... asked my old Dr to send me for MRI ... he never even acknowledged that e-mail.. if ya don't coverage, it seems like you get the run around and ignored. It shouldn't be allowed to happen, but it does all the time. Good luck Hun, hope everything works out for you. Try something natural, if it works, let me know! Thank you!

July 11, 2016 - 12:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

My thyroid ceased to function (my doctor believes it was killed off by my own white cells, due to auto-immune issues) some time in 1991. Not sure how long I was without the hormones the thyroid produces, but can tell you I ended up in the hospital in November that year, unable to walk, for five days before the problem was diagnosed. I have been taking synthroid or levothyroxin ever since. I recently went ten days without levothyroxin, due to problems getting a prescription filled. I began noticing numbness in my hands and feet after about seven days. Due to the aforementioned hospitalization, I wouldn't want to have to find out exactly how long I could go without medication, before finding myself semi-paralyzed again.

December 17, 2015 - 10:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have no thyroid , from thyroid cancer , had it removed in October and am not on any medication , bc they want to wait till after radiation, and they pushed my radiation back till January bc my specialist is teaching a conference in Australia and won't be back till January, so I'm wondering the same thing

November 9, 2015 - 8:36am


Here's our response from Theodore Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., the Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine (and chief of the Endocrinology Division) of UCLA:

"What most endocrinologist do is to follow your thyroglobulin. If it's low, then you don’t have to worry. If it's going up, then you can do a thyrogen-stimualted WBS plus thyroglobulin. This avoids you having to go thru hypothyroidism.

"Withdrawal for monitoring is no longer being recommended. If you need treatment, your endo can put you on Cytomel (T3) 6 weeks before ablation, then nothing for the last two weeks . You can survive for several months without thyroid hormones, but will feel miserable. Your reaction time will be low, so I wouldn’t drive."

Does this help, Anon? Could you talk with your doctor about why she or he believes you must withdraw from the Synthroid before your screening?

January 13, 2010 - 9:24am


This may be a question best left for your doctor, who knows your history and can answer you personally. Can you tell us what she or he told you?

However, if you can hang in there for a few days with us, I would like to submit your question to one of the experts on our Medical Advisory Board.

January 12, 2010 - 9:16am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Thyroid Conditions

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!