Your metabolism is balanced by the hormones your thyroid gland generates. Your metabolism partially determines your weight, which turns food into energy. Your metabolism will be disturbed if the thyroid gland is removed during a thyroidectomy procedure because thyroid hormone production is reduced. You may therefore put on weight following the surgery.
The key to maintaining or shedding weight is following your doctor's instructions and making independent efforts to maintain a healthy weight after thyroidectomy procedure.
What Is A Thyroidectomy?
During a thyroidectomy, the thyroid gland is removed surgically, either completely or partially. The thyroid hormone, produced by the thyroid gland at the base of our necks, controls several physiological processes, including metabolism, heart, digestive, muscular, and brain health.
This procedure is typically used to treat thyroid malignancies or non-cancerous enlargements resulting from thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid is overactive and produces excessive thyroid hormone, it is said to be hyperthyroid.
You need to take additional daily thyroid medicine to ensure optimal thyroid hormone levels following complete thyroidectomy, which frequently happens in thyroid cancer instances.
Reasons Behind Weight Changes Following A Thyroidectomy
Most of our metabolic processes, crucial to maintaining a healthy weight, are controlled by our thyroid gland. Our bodies must adapt to its absence for it to work.
Following the thyroid removal, you will need to take medicine to replace or control the function that your thyroid gland formerly performed. You will need to perform relevant tests, and your physician will choose the best course of action for your drug regimen and dose.
Your medical care provider will likely adjust your dosage after a period of adjustment during which they will check your hormone levels. Your body will be adjusting throughout this time to the new thyroid functionality. Your metabolism will fluctuate if you don't have a functioning thyroid gland. The absence can cause weight gain in certain patients following a thyroidectomy treatment.
You may develop insulin resistance if your thyroid has been removed and the hormone levels have not been sufficiently replenished (may occur during the early adjustment period). Your liver, fatty tissue, and muscle cells stop responding to insulin. You may gain weight if the glucose in your blood is not converted to energy.
Dealing With The Weight Changes After A Thyroidectomy
Keep in mind that losing your thyroid gland might cause your metabolism to malfunction, which is why there are fluctuations in your weight. Take things daily and try not to be too hard on yourself.
Medications: Follow your doctor's advice and take your hormone replacement therapy as prescribed. You have to take them for the rest of your life and eventually figure out the best dosage. If not, you would have hypothyroidism, where you would be prone to weight gain and have insufficient thyroid hormone production.
Diet: Your body's energy levels will be better fueled if you eat a balanced diet (whole foods) low in simple carbohydrates and refined sugars. Choose nutrient-dense foods like dark leafy vegetables, lean meats, fresh seafood, fruit, and dairy substitutes. Incorporating these along with Weight Watchers on a regular basis will help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level and avoid developing insulin resistance.
Physical Activities: Try to constantly include movement or exercise in your daily routine. It doesn't have to be a challenging exercise routine. Do something enjoyable and simple to incorporate into your everyday routine.
Starting with yoga, going for a walk outside, jumping rope, or riding a bike is a terrific idea. Gradually go to more strenuous aerobic exercises like sprinting, running, spin classes, weightlifting, or even boxing. The thyroid and our metabolisms both benefit from exercise.
Foods To Avoid After Thyroidectomy
Avoid eating anything hard, hot, or challenging to chew and swallow.
- Avoid consuming rough or firm items, such as raw vegetables or chips.
- Avoid acidic meals that irritate the throat, such as orange or tomato juice.
- Avoid fried dishes, fish with bones, sharp cheeses, cold cuts, chunky soups like chowder, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals, and bread with nuts or seeds.
- Avoid all fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables, and fried veggies like hash browns and French fries.
- Avoid highly processed foods such as cookies, hot dogs, and cakes since they contain many calories.
Long-Term Diet After Thyroidectomy
A simple change in your diet, physical activities, and, very importantly, optimizing your thyroid medication will help you maintain weight in the long run.
- You must eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are abundant in health-promoting elements and low in calories.
- Add fiber-rich foods to keep you feeling full for a more extended period.
- Take high-protein foods to increase your metabolism and make you feel full.
- Always limit complex carbohydrates and added sugars as they contribute more calories to your body, leading to weight gain.
- Focus on whole grains that provide plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Also, take healthy fats to help with healthy functioning.
The Key Takeaway
Thyroidectomy can be frustrating, and its complications can be life-altering. The disruption of the body's metabolism can lead to fluctuations in weight which may be difficult to control in the absence of the thyroid. To keep your weight gain in control and maintain a healthy body, you must take thyroid medications throughout your life to balance metabolism and a balanced and nutritious diet and exercise.