Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest
Q: 

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 Comment19 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

To the original poster; it's my understanding that without a thyroid gland and no medication the human body will start shutting things down gradually and death would occur after about 3 to 5 months of misery and illness. So don't stay off the medication for too long!

To everyone else, I fully sympathise with all of the responses here. I have hypothyroidism and luckily have not had thyroid cancer so I still do have a thyroid gland, though it barely functions. I take 150mcg of Levothyroxine every day and have done for about 30 years. For the past five years I have also taken Sea Kelp capsules, which I read about on a blog. I take one along with my thyroxine and one mid-way through the day, as a top-up. They are amazing and really help with the chronic tiredness. It never completely goes away and I am still weary and can't lose weight, but the Kelp really does make a difference, especially in helping with concentration.

I went for years of my adult life feeling completely ill and exhausted before I was diagnosed on my very first visit to a new doctor whom I had randomly selected when I changed jobs and had to change to their health coverage. He likely saved my life.

He knew what was wrong before he even ordered the blood tests and said he was amazed that I was even able to get myself into his office - and I'd actually gone in for something completely unrelated. My blood pressure was so low he said he'd not seen anyone ambulatory in that state before. I am angry at the doctors mentioned on here that will not even write repeat prescriptions when they are needed. This brilliant doctor actually gave me free sample packs of thyroxine if some months I couldn't afford my prescription co-pay, which was a ridiculous amount of money. He said I needed it to function and it would be unethical and cruel not to give them to me when he had them right there in the cupboard. He was one of those very rare doctors not in it for the money, as the majority of doctors seem to be in America.

Seventeen years ago I married an Englishman and moved to the UK. The care here is not based on profit and it still stuns me. Not only am I covered by the NHS for any health needs, because hypothyroidism is a chronic condition I get my Levothyroxine free, and because I have this one chronic condition all of my other prescriptions are free as well. I am automatically sent a letter every January to come in for a thyroid blood panel to monitor my condition. Because my eyelids were starting to droop due to Graves Disease my GP asked me if I'd like them sorted and referred me for surgery. This would have been considered non-essential plastic surgery in the US and I never even thought to mention it, it was my GP's suggestion all the way. The difference this made to my field of vision was brilliant and enabled me to wear contact lenses. And not a penny left my pocket for this. Not having to worry about being able to afford healthcare is a huge weight off my mind. I work and it comes out of my pay as a tax, that anyone who works pays, but regardless of financial circumstances everyone here is covered from birth,

I'm not meaning to be on a soapbox here but having lived in both America and England I have experienced healthcare in both countries and want to encourage Americans to fight for universal healthcare. You deserve it! It should be the responsibility of your government to implement a plan that actually takes care of people, rather than lining the pockets of Big Pharma, insurance companies and HMO's, etc. Every citizen has the right to healthcare, shelter and affordable food - that's pretty much the ethic in every major country except America, where folks are left to either make it on their own or they don't. If you haven't seen Michael Moore's film 'Sicko' please watch it. It will open your eyes to healthcare available to citizens in other countries, which you are being denied.

April 15, 2018 - 10:10am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I've been without a thyroid gland for 26 years, and the creepy side effects of jitters, fatigue, and lack of concentrating are real. And even though this is one of the ailments that qualify for disability, you will be denied. I have other medical issues, but this one is the worst. Denied 4 times. I haven't worked in 6 years, and it looks like I may have to get my levothyroxine from abroad, without a prescription, since my husband is about to retire, and I will not have any insurance. My son, went to a doctor in Poland, way cheaper than America.

August 6, 2017 - 6:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Walmart has a list of medications that you can get for only $4 for one month if you get the 3 month supply it is $10 levothyroxine that's the generic for Synthroid is $4 not sure if you can get the name brand on the $4 list but the generic brand works fine it's much better than having nothing so I am on disability and I even get my meds at Walmart a lot of them for $4 each so get to Walmart and get that medication

October 17, 2017 - 4:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks! That will be helpful for many. I just found out I have a very low level of T-SHIRT at .05. Today is April 28 th, and I am scared out of my wits because my appt., with an Endocrinologist isn’t until July 31. Isn’t that a stretch?
Thanks to all who can give me some information that would ease my mind.
Arlea

April 28, 2018 - 5:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

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)

You really need to get to a health food store and get some iodine or seek help by not taking your levothyroxine or Synthroid thyroid medicine. It the thyroid pretty much regulates the other organs in your body. I didn't have mine for like 2 weeks and I had a stroke. The doctor told me that the very reason could have been because of not taking the thyroid medicine. I am 62 years old so get to the health food store and at least get some sea kelp and or iodine they can tell you what to get but don't keep doing without you're putting your life in danger

October 17, 2017 - 4:26am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have been without my thyroid sense April 2011. I stoped taking medication in 2013 after I finished Chemo for breast cancer . It's now the end of 2017 and I am in the best health ever . I spent years trying to get Wright off and couldn't . The meds gave me mood swings depression . I think them unregulated gave me breast cancer at 27 . I did a gut rebalance and it seems to have made the difference. I actually have energy. I runs 150 miles a month or more now .

September 29, 2017 - 12:34am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

It's great that you're feeling well but it's dangerous to go without thyroid hormones. Maybe you were misdiagnosed from the beginning because anyone not taking a thyroid hormone isn't going to feel 'great' at all. That tiny gland plays a crucial role to all organs and to live without it or a synthetic med of some sort will leave the person feeling horrible......on a DAILY BASIS.

November 28, 2017 - 2:33pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

You're mistaken. The body cannot live without any thyroid hormone. They must have left part of your thyroid when they did the surgery, or else you left something out of the story.

November 11, 2017 - 6:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Both the World Health Organization and the FDA classify thyroid medication as ESSENTIAL, so you should now get a lawyer and sue for malpractice while also contacting your hospital ombudsmen, your insurance company, and maybe consider suing your insurance company as well.

July 30, 2017 - 2:37pm
Image CAPTCHA
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!