What happens if your thyroid is removed?

You never really appreciate the little things your body does until one of them gets taken away. Like your thyroid gland, for instance. Sure, you may not know what it is or even where it’s located (I mean, who has time to learn the ins and outs of every organ?) but trust me when I say that this small-but-mighty organ plays a huge role in keeping you alive and kicking.

So what happens if your thyroid goes under the knife (or any other cutting instrument)? Let’s dive into some fun facts about living without thyroids.

First Things First: What Does Your Thyroid Do Anyway?

Before we get into all the zany side effects of life sans-thyroid, let’s first understand what exactly this mysterious gland does for us.

Located at the base of our necks (right around where those hickies were back in high school), our thyroids produce hormones that regulate everything from our metabolism to our heart rate. These hormones also help support bone health and play a role in brain development during childhood.

Long story short: You need your thyroid gland to function properly in order to live a healthy life (cue “the more you know” music).

When Removing Your Thyroid is Necessary

There are several reasons why someone might need their thyroid removed:

  • Cancer: The most serious reason for removing your thyroid would be if cancer cells are found within it.
  • Hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid produces too many hormones which can cause weight loss, anxiety, tremors or irregular heartbeat.
  • Hypothyroidism: Opposite to hyperthyroidism , this condition happens when there aren’t enough hormones being produced causing weight gain,reduced energy levels as well dry skin/hair

In cases where individuals experience any such issues., they require surgery resulting in complete or partial removal of the thyroid gland.

But What Happens to Your Body After the Big Snip?

Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging with just a list of reasons for removing your thyroid. Here’s what happens afterwards:

You’ll Need Hormone Replacement Therapy

Since your body will no longer produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine (the hormones produced by our thyroids), you’ll need to take synthetic versions of these hormones every day for the rest of forever. (Or at least until science comes up with a better solution).

It can be difficult monitoring how much dosage required but once tailored this helps avoid fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness as well hunger issues.

And Speaking of Hormones…

You know how our thyroid regulates hormone production and metabolism rates? Well saying goodbye means that there is an increased risk in developing diabetes type II due to disrupted insulin regulation The higher susceptibility results from hormonal messes happening being outside normal levels which could lead down also life threatening conditions such as Cardiovascular diseases..

And while women bear a little more burden with post-operative side effects ( menstrual cycle interruptions) , everyone may experience changes in sleep patterns or mental stability so talk therapy should always be considered if needed!

Bye Bye Metabolism Booster

Thyroid controls metabolic processes meaning that without it, food will just metabolize more slowly than before which implies slower digestion and conversion into energy required leading again common symptom especially amongst women : weight gain! #bodypositivitythough

On the bright side though, you won’t need quite as much pizza-and-ice cream fuel to keep yourself running🍕+🍦=😀

A Swollen Neck May Occur

Like when trying a new sushi joint that hasn’t yet been properly reviewed online /kidding/ . This swelling is known as edema and should only last a few days following surgery. However, if the swelling lasts longer than this or is accompanied by difficulty breathing, immediately contact the doctor.

Your Voice May Sound Different

Do notes from Frozen come out sharper? Well congratulations, you’re all set for your next audition.

But if your voice sounds less impressive post-thyroidectomy (GASP) that could be due to damage of laryngeal nerve during operation leading to paralysis and change in vocal fold position causing hoarseness . Most cases resolve themselves within a year but others may require speech therapy or even further surgical intervention.


The thyroid gland is definitely one we often take for granted until something goes wrong with it. But living without one isn’t as scary as it might seem ( With proper hormone dose regimens ,post-op checkups etc ) It’s just a matter of adjusting and giving our bodies some extra TLC.

So whether you currently have a perfectly healthy thyroid or live without one (#thethyroidlessexistance), remember to appreciate everything those intangible glands do for us every day – they deserve some serious props!

Who knows – maybe that little guy at the base of your neck will make an appearance in your next superhero comic after reading all about its superpowers!

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