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Why am I feeling bad after thyroid surgery?

By Anonymous March 5, 2009 - 12:45pm
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I had my left thyroid removed in December, 2008 because of a nodule. It was benign.
All my TSH levels are in normal range. I take 50mcgs. of Synthroid daily.

I suffer from severe depression. I am on 60 mgs of Cymbalta daily.

I am still feeling miserable. I am extremely tired, even more so since the surgery. I sleep 10+ hours daily and I am STILL tired. I have absolutely NO energy to do anything. Just getting dressed is an effort!

I am in need of some answers as to why I am still feeling so tired. My get up and go has "gone up and went."

Please, please help...I don't know what to do. Any information you provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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EmpowHER Guest

I had the right half of my thyroid removed on 04/10/2016 due to a benign Hurthle Cell Adenoma. My thyroid function tests were normal prior to the surgery. I recovered fairly quickly from the surgery and my scar is healing nicely. The past couple of weeks though I've been experiencing sudden exhaustion during the day or chronic fatigue even after hours and hours of sleep. I am only due for my post surgery check up on 28/11/2016 and am not currently on any Thyroid meds.

November 7, 2016 - 9:28am
EmpowHER Guest

I am 7 years after TT. I haven't been the same person. Mind u I also have only one ovary. I crash almost every night. Sometimes my whole bosy hurts during the day and it feels as if I am coming down with something. I do get all kinds of symptoms. My periods have gotten very symptomatic. Depression and anxiety a lot. I am on Levothyroxine. I always get angey when doctors tell me that I should be like new with the therapy. Well I am not. I have tried eating better. I am trying to move more but it is not easy. I need my energy for my 2 kids. I need stable moods too, but my body just does not work well:(

July 19, 2016 - 7:45am
EmpowHER Guest

I relate with you all. I had a total TT in july last year. Im struggle with exhaustion and no energy. I have never felt so weak and low.
I just dont know what the answer is to feel better

February 11, 2016 - 3:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

Good Morning everyone.
I had a total thyroidectomy 4 months ago and I am still struggling with energy levels.I fake it when I have to and then I flatline for a week or so after a big job.I am no way what I used to be and I go to bed at 9 or 10 and 8 last night.Thank God my 14 year old does all the garbage and heavy lifting for me. Anyway for anyone trying to bounce back ,the best thing I did was to cut out all carbs and sugar.Coffee I cut out and added back and it has made me more tired but it is such a pleasure.
Once I cut out sugar and carbs and rice and corn the results in my energy was almost immediate and I really slimmed down in a nice way not a stringy way.(I am 55 or so).Several months later I am still tired but functioning and I really wish I had more energy but that initially improvement in energy was so intense I will never include carbs as a regular part of my diet again.I have read that Hashimotos (which I found out I had after the surgery) is vastly improved if carbs are immediately cut out of the diet.

November 12, 2015 - 6:45am

Most people do not understand what it is like to be on thyroid hormones, and assume since you are replacing it that you should just " be back to normal". I thought I would share my analogy that I give my patients when we discuss thyroid issues, I case it helps someone else explain their fatigue/memory fog/ disinterest better.
Pretend your body is a high end motor vehicle like a Lamborghini that requires the 93 or higher gasoline to run. This is the kind of gasoline your body can make-93 high octane. Now if you are hypothyroid (normals tsh range 0.5-4.5 and your tsh is on the high end of this range, think sub clinical hypothyroidism. meaning you do not make enough thyroid hormone for your body but in the law of averages (ranges) you are still within normal limits. we measure TSH -thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It has an inverse relationship with the gland. Ie a high tsh means you are stimulating your thyroid to make more. So if you do not make enough thyroid then you must replace it with a pill. Seems logical right? Ok so here is the rest of the analogy. You require a specific amount of thyroid to function in your body, you replace with synthroid (brand ) ..this is the equivelant of 91 gasoline not the 93 your body expected to get. So yea you function but 91 and 93 are not quite the same so you are more susceptible to sleeping time changes, weight gain, depression etc. and if your insurance company has put you on the cheaper alternative of levy thyroxine then it's like putting 87 gasoline into a car requiring 93. All the studies have been on brand synthroid, while the generics use different fillers to make the pills (can be metro lied differently), do not have the same amount of thyroid hormone (could be 5-10% difference between one pill and the next, generally have a lower efficacy rate.
Recap: thyroid fro your gland ,Rams 93 gas in a 93 requiring car. Synthroid is like 91 in a 93 reqiuring car, and generic is 87 gas in a 93 gasoline requiring sedan. This is why if you supplement thyroid you can still feel crappy. So take home is that your own hormone is best, then brand (request this if you are generic and not feeling 100%) then generic. Make sure you are waiting at least an hour before ingesting any food/drink/ proteins. If you can't get brand then try different generic manufacturers until you find a pill that works best for you. Everyone metabolizes differently and each company has their own fillers, etc to for, the pill.
Now if you have also had a total Thyroidectomy - as I have - you are now stuck in your beautiful body/Lamborghini in third gear. When your body is in an acute stress or infection, etc you need to be able to shift into higher gear...you can't because you take the same dose each day of the wrong kind of gas (87 or 91 when you need 93!) and when you don't need the extra gas ...guess what you are on the same dose of the wrong gas for your body/car. This is why we tend to take longer to recover from scedule changes, infections, stressors. We are in the wrong gear with the wrong gas. Yea we move, but not like we are designed too.
Some people asked what happens if you miss a dose...you can but it is not recommended. We can keep about 3-4 days worth of hormone stored I our gland or in blood stream (harder with total thyroidectomy) however, the longer you go without the thyroid replacement the higher risk you have of a condition called myxedema coma. This is when you become severely hypothyroid .. I have had patients come in with a tsh of 110 and crump on me. Your body shuts down, your heart rate brady's down, facial swelling, etc. this condition once diagnosed and even with IV synthroid/glucocorticoids/vented in the icu has over a 50% mortality rate. Bad news.
Depression is common in hypothyroid patients. I have used and recommended a supplement by Thorne pharmaceuticals called deproloft with great success. Now remember every person is different. What works for one person may not work for the next.
Also please keep that in mind with lab values and make sure your clinician is treating you and not the lab values! I personally never had a TSH above 6.6 even with the cancer. Most clinicians would look at the number and not think it very significant at all. For me it was devastating to my ability to function. Even at a TSH of 5.5 (normal at that time- ranges were higher back then) I gained 60 pounds, slept easily 18 hours a day, etc. so each person is different and sometimes you need to remind the doctor of that. And make sure they are testing your t3 (active form, free and bound) and your free t4 ( inactive form) plus the thyroglobulin proteins etc if you aren't feeling right. Sometimes you need to be on a combination of t4 and t3. Sythroid is t4.
So 1) use brand name if possible
2) find where in the ranges you feel best and treat the symptoms not the numbers
3) depression, try the deproloft (Amazon), seasonal affective light therapy, psychotherapy, weighted blankets (google it) , eat healthy foods (cut out the high fructose corn syrups, etc) and exercise. Be aware that ssri/snri antidepressants can be very very difficult to get off of. So if you are out on one please plan on how you are going to taper off- I took six months to get off mine after being placed on one 12 years ago! And I still get discontinuation symptoms.
4) don't miss pills.
Hope this helps!

October 6, 2015 - 8:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Drhoffy)

Thank you, I am new to this and feel miserable. My husband doesn't believe me. Tired of being tired.

July 2, 2017 - 3:49am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I HAD TO DOUBLE UP ON MY THYROID MEDS. NOW I FEEL FINE. U MUST TAKE THYROID REPLACEMENT!!!!! I am quoting what my endocrinologist to me. I had the right lobe removed. And IRON MUST BE CHECKED! GOOD LUCK

January 23, 2019 - 11:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Drhoffy)

Synthroid is just levothyroxine. So a generic is just as good.

June 2, 2017 - 3:21pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am an RN who also has had a total thyroidectomy plus parathryoidectomy. While Levothyroxine is the major ingredient in Synthroid, not all generics contain the same amount of the rx. Synthroid- the brand name is made by only 1 manufacturer while Levothyroxine the generic is made by over 26 and you may not be getting the same amount of the rx in each refill. Your pharmacy could use different manufacturers or what they have on hand. This can have a profound effect on your TSH as well as T4 and T3 lab results. Please consult your MD if your numbers are not under control. Some people are sensitive to the fillers and dyes in the generic. I myself use the brand Synthroid because I want the same dosage each time I refill

June 25, 2017 - 10:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Drhoffy)

Excellent article. I just had my thyroid out a month ago and am experiencing most of these symptoms. I feel like maybe the doctor is just treating my lab results. You mentioned that t4 is synthroid, but I didn't see what subs for t3
Any thoughts there? Thanks
Stacey Heath

April 25, 2017 - 6:35pm
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