Does a thyroidectomy cure Hashimoto’s?

Guest author; Christine Brenner.

For those of you diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, wondering if a thyroidectomy or TT will cure you of having Hashimoto’s disease, it unfortunately, will not.

Removing your thyroid is not a cure. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease.  If you have Hashimoto’s, you will always have Hashimoto’s. However, it is possible to slow the damage Hashimoto’s can create through diet and supplementing. If antibodies can be lowered and the inflammatory response be minimized, there’s a possibility that Hashimoto’s can go into remission.

A sonogram of your thyroid gland can definitively confirm if Hashimoto’s is present. It is possible to have the autoimmune disease without showing high antibodies in its early stages. Most patients will have the TpoAB blood test which may indicate the presence of antibodies. Above 30 by most labs standards, is indicative of being a Hashimoto’s patient. The higher your antibodies are and the more inflammation you have indicates how active your Hashimoto disease’s attack your thyroid gland has been. More dysfunction occurs as time goes on, causing your thyroid to produce less t4 hormones. This is why thyroid hormone replacement is needed, to supplement what your damaged thyroid is no longer producing at full capacity.

When Hashimoto’s continues to attack your thyroid gland some patients develop a goiter (an inflamed thyroid gland) and/or a nodule(s). The thyroid’s ability to remain functional becomes more difficult and more thyroid medication will be needed. Development of nodules also complicates the ability to stabilize thyroid levels even while medicated. Thyroid levels will begin to swing more frequently. Eventually, the thyroid gland can incur so much damage, that it can no longer produce any thyroid hormone. This is why it’s imperative to implement measures that will encourage your antibodies to lower and place your Hashimoto’s disease into remission prior to this level of damage. Once this much damaged has occurred, options become more limited and the patient is traveling down the path of removing the thyroid gland or opting for RAI. But by removing your thyroid gland, you have only removed the first victim of your Hashimoto’s condition. Hashimoto’s will find another part of your body to begin its attack again. This is where fibromyalgia or MS or some other autoimmune disease can manifest.
“…by removing your thyroid gland, you have only removed the first victim of your Hashimoto’s condition.”
Prior to all of this occurring, work on getting your antibodies down and calming your Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease so that it slows it’s attack on your thyroid or other parts of your body while taking your thyroid medication. If done early enough, a person may be able to encourage a better functioning thyroid gland. To optimize the chances of placing your Hashimoto’s disease into remission, you have to lower your antibodies, remove inflammatory foods that cause inflammation and replenish any vitamin nutrients that have become depleted by addressing deficiencies.  Many find it beneficial to omit both inflammatory foods as well as thyroid function inhibiting foods from their diet. Some have stronger reactions to certain inflammatory foods, while others do not.
The most common inflammatory culprit that most Hashimoto’s patients react to is dairy and dairy products and gluten/gluten products. The casein protein in dairy (http://www.avoidingmilkprotein.com/ReadingIngredients.htm) may cause inflammatory reactions such as nasal congestion, seasonal allergies, GERD etc. Gluten may set off other inflammatory responses perhaps IBS, Colitis etc. Other considerations may be nightshades, it depends on how sensitive your bodies own reactions to various inflammatory foods are. Patients may find it helpful to discover what their food sensitivities are through an IgG test or implementing a food elimination diet. At the same time that you are eliminating inflammatories, you also want to provide the proper support for your thyroid function. So here it is also important to omit thyroid function inhibiting foods. For example this would be soy and soy products, for some…peanuts, raw cruciferous vegetables. These may inhibit thyroid function, discourage optimal absorption of thyroid medication, and encourage goiter growth. http://lowthyroiddiet.com/foods-to-avoid.htm
Another consideration when it comes to Hashimoto’s disease is testing for vitamin deficiencies and supplementing to optimal (but still in) range for your own bodies benefit. It is very common for anyone, including healthy people without ailments to begin depleting important nutrients that help support our bodies. This is especially true, even more so for those with autoimmune diseases, deficiencies will have a greater impact on those with a compromised immune system.
A multitude of symptoms can occur from having low levels of vitamin D, B12, iron, etc. It is also a good idea to supplement with the daily recommended doses in general such as magnesium and zinc, unless your levels are elevated above range. Adding 100-200 mcg of selenium can be very effective in lowering antibodies. (Be careful to retest levels you are supplementing to confirm you have not gone into toxic levels.) Adding a fat soluable vitamin C along with your supplements may encourage better absorption. Adding a reliable live probiotic on an empty stomach can add healthy flora in the gut, further lowering inflammation & encourage healing. Just be aware of when choosing any of your supplements that you still want to read labels, just as you would with foods, for ingredients that are not thyroid friendly. You wouldn’t use a probiotic with L Casie, lactose, whey if you’re trying to avoid dairy. You also wouldn’t choose a supplement containing raw cruciferous vegetables, raw vegetables, soy, and gluten.
Becoming an ally of your thyroid to combat your Hashimoto’s disease is where your focus should be.  (This response is not covering cases that involve carcinoma/cancer nor does it cover the various options of thyroid medications).
About Christine Brenner,
Christine Brennen
My name is Christine Brenner. I’m a mother of three kids. My oldest daughter has had an array of medical issues, more mild as an infant but gained momentum with each passing year. She was finally diagnosed as Hypothyroid at age nine. The following year we were told she has Hashimoto’s. Currently her antibodies test does not reflect that. Over time, I’ve tried to do all I can to educate myself on this disease in hopes in improving my daughters well being for the better. It’s an ever evolving process.

30 thoughts on “Does a thyroidectomy cure Hashimoto’s?

  1. Thank you for publishing this. I was under the impression from doctors that removing the thyroid cures Hashimotos. I have a much better understanding now. I also thought dairy was OK because I don’t have a lactose intolerance but I see I need to go learn more about casein now. I wish my doctor was this well educated about my disease!

    • Thank you for your comment. Sadly, most doctors have be 8 total hours of nutritional training for their entire MD certification. Our medical world’s model is to address once diseased, not to help wellness once chronically ill. I do hope you find answers.
      IgG food tolerance testing for milk and casein would be a good next step. It would test your immune response to milk. A Naturopathic Doctor could do this test.
      May you have continued success in discovering the best path for you to wellness!

  2. Hashimoto only affects the thyroid and only the thyroid so please could you tell me from where you got that information. Unfortunately once you have an autoimmune disease there is a change that you could develop others and it’s not the hashimoto attacking other parts of your body.

    • This response is from Christine Brenner, the author of this particular post. Her experience with this particular aspect of Hashimoto’s exceeds my own. I do hope this answer helps to answer some of your questions!
      “Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. True, specifically Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the autoimmune disease attacking just the thyroid. But Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy although more rare, is the autoimmune disease attacking the brain. Also, the autoimmune condition is said to be in connection to a diagnosis of parathyroid disease or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. Complications of being Hashimoto’s isn’t limited to just impacting your thyroid when you look at the whole picture of the endocrine system in general and begin to connect the dots, so to speak. You are correct, these are considered different things like RA, PA, parathyroid disease however I’m suggesting not calming the Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease from its progression eventually leads to other issues or complications such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia. Below is various sources that can elaborate on this topic. Also for more information and research, please consider joining Thyroid Healing Journey (on Facebook). You will be able to receive more information and get your questions answered by well versed admins that throughly research topics surrounding the thyroid disease.

      https://m.facebook.com/groups/435596253286560?ref=bookmarks

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23865082/

      http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hashimotos-thyroiditis/hashimotos-thyroiditis-complications

      https://www.verywell.com/hashimotos-encephalopathy-3233151

      https://chriskresser.com/the-most-important-thing-you-may-not-know-about-hypothyroidism/

      http://www.diagnose-me.com/symptoms-of/chronic-thyroiditis.php

      • I know that removing the thyroid is no cure but for some it can be a reset button. My endo did not want me to have a thyroidectomy. After weeks of getting worse with a “normal” tsh on synthroid barely being able to get out of bed, I decided I’ve been sick far to long, I made an appointment to see a surgeon, he agreed it was time for it to come out. After my TT I found out it was so diseased it had shrunk to the size of a babies thyroid was not only not working but causing harm. It had formed a fibrous sheets around it and yes although my endo swore I did not, I did have cancer. After surgery I immediately felt better. Everyday is better and better I never knew I could feel this good. So while a TT may not be the answe for all for some it can mean a whole new life.

        • I am so glad you stuck to your gut and went with what was best for you. There are cases, like cancer, where it is best to remove it. There are just so many doctors who say “remove it” at the first sign of any issues with the thyroid… yet many can address the issues and heal their thyroid. That was definitely not the case for you and I’m so glad you are better! Thank you for sharing.

    • Speaking as a Hashimoto sufferer…removal of the throid DOES NOT stop the symptoms of Hashimoto. It is true is decreases many of the symptoms, but there are always many symptoms lingering in your body that makes you feel physically bad every day…some days worse than others. I´ve been thoroughly examined for other auto-immune diseases and I have none. One is enough!!

      • One is definitely enough. I’m sorry you are still dealing with so many symptoms. I must admit I still have days when I’m not my best.
        Thank you for your thoughts!
        Melissa

  3. I am 47 female and have recently had my thyroid removed due to yrs of noduals and my number were up and then they were down and just being so sick, i had several noduals both sides had all kinds of testing biopsy and nuclear uotakes never no answers and just stayed so sick all they could ever tell me was that I had a thyroid that was just out of whack so after yrs of pain from the noduals and not being able to swollow well I decided myself to meet with a surgeon and have it removed, after removal they found I had thyroiditis hashimotos disease which was pretty much destroying me when they removed my thyroid it crumbled into crystallized pieces where my body was destroying it , I do feel so much better still having issues adjusting my meds but my body over all feels so much better since removal , thyroid cancer runs in my family I was blessed not to have it , however I have delt with my issue of thyroid disease for 17 yrs and never had the right diagnosis and I had several miscarriages over the yrs and have been told that my thyroid may have played a roll in that , my advice is never give up on getting the right answers and if you have noduals in my opion it’s better safe and have them removed than not knowing if it’s cancer or what is making you so sick , so far best thing I have ever done , I know for the rest of my life I will still has Issues with med levels and the disease doesn’t go away but is better treated now . Best of luck to anyone dealing with thyroid issues.

    • Oh my! What a journey. Your removed thyroid crumbling! Wow! I can’t imagine.
      Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an ugly disease and it effects each of us so differently. Thank you for sharing.
      Since Hashimoto’s is an immune system disorder that is picking on your thyroid hormones. … addressing the immune system is the key. I recommend the books The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Meyers and The Root Cause by Izabella Wentz. Both books will take you to the next level of healing.
      Claiming your healing in Jesus name! Thank you for your comment.

  4. After living with Hashimoto’s undiagnosed for 3 years, until recently when I had thyroid cancer and the pathology of my TT diagnosed Hashimotos as well, I thought now my worries would be over and my hormone replacement would solve everything. What led me to this post was waking up this morning feeling (all over again) like a mac truck rolled over me in my sleep, and left me laying in a pile of ice. Your post inspired me to contact the rheumatologist I haven’t seen in two years. I thought it was hopeless, but maybe with my diagnosis they will help me now. Thanks for the information and your encouragement.

    • Hello!
      Thank you for commenting, I’m so glad you were encouraged.
      I am confused though, why would this post encourage you to seek a rheumatologist?
      Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition. When you calm the immune system your symptoms fade. May I recommend my post “I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, now what?” as well as The Autoimmune Protocol by Amy Meyers? These resources will guide you toward wellness and remission, the goal with Hashimoto’s.
      You are a survivor and I know you’ll be victorious!
      You can find me, and other amazing guides, at http://www.fecebook.com/faith&FoodforHealing
      God bless!

  5. I had tt 13 years ago after having cancer 1st in 1 side of my thyroid then after it was removed, the cancer developed in the other side. I had radiation. I have lived a nightmare for 13 years. A year ago I started seeing a natropath who changed my life. I’m working through the inflammation diet and being treated for sibo. Ive been off gluten, dairy, sugar, and soy for a year and I’ve lost 90 lbs. She looked at my labs which are drawn every 6 months and said I have hashimoto’s. My endo denies it. My antibodies have been elevated for the past 2 years so my endo says there’s no way to determine if the cancer is back. I get ultrasounds and I now have a tumor in my neck but she’s unconcerned. I’m still exhausted but feeling better. My endo says my hair falling out, the fact I’m freezing and my severe dry eyes and heart palpitations aren’t thyroid related. I’m thankful I have a great natropath! !! My endo said I’d never lose weight.

  6. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease years ago and I also suffer from cervical dystonia. It’s interesting that there could be a relation to the two. I get botox injections in my neck every three months for the tremors that I suffer from. I honestly thought that if I had my goiter removed, the Hashimoto would go away and maybe the tremors would too. It’s very discouraging on what is happening to my body. I am 47 years old raising two teenagers by myself. For years now, I have had so many scares about thyroid cancer. I just want it out. I do believe that once its out, I will feel better.

    • Hello,
      Only you can make the decision to keep or remove the thyroid. I have seen it go badly so often that I would lean towards keeping it, but everyone is different. I pray you find answers and find wellness. Have you gone to a functional medicine physician and discussed wellness protocols for you specifically? If not, I would highly recommend that be your next step.
      Please forgive my late response. Thank you for your comment.

  7. I pray for your daughter and wish her the best. I am sure that my daughter and myself suffered as children with this disease. I know that there is information to help your daughter and you have the diagnosis which took many years for me to receive. Follow the diets and find the triggers so she can enjoy a healthy life. It will be tough, but the alternative is a life in constant upheaval.

  8. 8 i was diagnosed with goiter, hypothyroid, hashimotos, EBVirus, and small tumors on thyroid..At age 10 , I had first of 7 surgeries to follow in life by removing only the tumors..
    I always felt sluggish, smart but slow learning, foggy and my body would not take thyroid . This was back in the 60s and we didnt know a thing about foods and effects..so life was hard but pressed on.
    In 87 a horrible female doctor removed my uterus with one fibro tumor and both my ovaries..It through me into early menopause and caused a elec seizure disorder, fibromyalgia and though they couldnt prove it blood wise I had lupus now. Nothing could help and body again rejected all hormones , even natural ones..estrogen progestrone and thyroid. I had to be put on klonopin to control all my side effects..If that wasnt bad enough people thought i was crazy, making up illness, bi polar etc..I wasnt any of those things..
    Years later I would find I devoloped degenortive disk disease, how one neck infusion and lower dystectomy where the doctor then hit my sensory nerve perm damaging it making my leg disabeled but back was better..My nerves went crazy from head to literally toes..pain, swelling in ankles face body weight now 30 lbs more , loss of hair and all kinds of more side effect.
    Another tumor grew in pancreas and spleen causing spleenectomy and 1/4th of pancreas to be removed..Now i was totally in pain and couldnt work.
    More issues flared up and found last year i had 6 tumors on thyroid and one was cancerous but incapsulated but thyroid and tumors all came out. The doctor hit and killed my one vocal cord and nerve for air wave making it harder to breath..I knew I could not take thyroid but HAD to..Since surgery I was found to have on blood work RA Lupus and now a blood disorder due to lupus..Or is it from the culprit hasimotos???
    My body has literally rejected ALL of the thyroid med including natural ones made from pigs…I do not know what to do..I also read that the body can begin making up to much hydrogen peroxide which goes against meds and causes inflamation in body.
    I cant take vit bs ds E due to causes depression, weight gain and inflamation as well..I know this is alot to process..but i come back to the beginning of where it all began in my body as a baby and child…
    I dont know where to go but have now now energy left to want to do anything..My hair is now fine, falling out more and i gained another 10 lbs making me over 200..I started out at 129 lbs…and never over ate a thing.
    obviously metabolizim is off with everything else…Im take CBD oil to help swelling…prednizone, pig thyroid, klonopin, blood thinner due to clots of autoimmune disorders…HELP ME if you can..I am so tired and yet I can still have a great outlook on it all and what I have learned about GOD my self, others and living life one day at a time…stress was not my killer but my diseases and surgeries have destroyed my body and life to reduce me down to being almost unable to live outside my home ..im too young inside me, my head and spirit ..but i am getting older…give any advise you have, or books to read…
    thank you..Kim

    • Hello Kim.
      Please, with my sincerest regret, forgive this late response. I am so sorry.
      Your story is heart wrenching. I am so sorry. Being I’m not a naturopath and am only able to comment from my personal story, and yours is far more intense then mine… I feel very inadequate to help you. If I were you I’d find a naturopathic doctor. one who can IgG test for foods that are causing an antibody response. This test will specifically let you know what foods trigger inflammation for YOU. It’s invaluable information. The I’d read the book the Autoimmune Protocol by Amy Meyers and systematically change things she recommends. Neurological disruptors can be in foods, cleaning supplies, soaps, you name it. They can be making your body feel like static and they are addressable causes. I would cut out all soy, corn, and wheat as they are genetically modified to withstand being soaked in poison to grow and are likely causing you to stay on high alert.
      Keep in mind, you may feel worse for quite some time before the clouds start to part.. your body will go through withdrawal and likely be very angry you are changing up what you eat. That’s okay. Your body doesn’t like any change, especially when they are addicted to it.
      Also, find scriptures that encourage and strengthen you. You are not alone sweet Lady. The Lord loves you so very much.
      Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
      God bless you and keep you. I can’t wait to hear a praise report! Give yourself at least 6-8 months to see positive results. It has taken me almost 6 years to be in remission but since it took me 30 years to get this ill, that’s a fast turn around and so worth it.

  9. I was born in 1951 and was one of the many newborns given a radi active treatment because the government was having it given to newborns. My parents weren’t asked permission or asked to sign a release, nor were they charged for the procedure. I have been sick a gray deal of my life. In the hospital a lot and Dr.s could not figure out my low temp. My normal temp is 97 but will go down with colds or flu. Started my period at age 9. In pain for the first 2 days. I have had miscarriages. I have fracture 37 bones over my life. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2003. My thyroid had nodules so it was suggested I have it removed. I thought it would help in my overall health, but that was not the case. I am also Diabetic and go to an Endocrinologist. She hasn’t shown any interest in the Hashimoto’s. Never given any info on diet or anything. Now I am in So much pain I can hardly walk so I’m hunting for what I can do. The depression from feeling so badly has me down. I feel like I have got so much well needed from this article and comments. I am certainly not alone, not crazy, I have something going on that can be causing me these problems. I never even heard the word remission used with Hashimoto’s. I’ve never had a Dr. interested in me having it. I’m going to get my hands on the books listed in here and see what I can do for myself. Does anyone know of any accupressure or reflexology points that help? Thanks to all for sharing!

    • First, I’m so sorry to hear of all your struggles… To start off life with such a thing done to you… Oh my gosh. 🙁
      My own doctor tested me for Hashimoto’s and then never told me I had it. Months after telling me I needed thyroid supplementation I discovered Hashimoto’s in my reading and asked him about it. His response was “You have it. I tested you for it.” and I was like “why didn’t you tell me?” and he answered “It doesn’t change my care for you. I can’t address autoimmunity”… I was sucker punched. Because there is no drug to give you to address an autoimmune disease, they ignore it. Doctors are not taught any nutrition in school. They can’t address food antibodies, leaky gut, or any other factors that inflame our system.. so they ignore it.
      The book to start with is The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Meyers. Try to find a functional medicine physician near you and go to them. They address the body working well as a whole instead of just addressing disease.
      I pray the you find answers and heal and that your story helps others in the future. Find scripture verses that lift you up, write them on post it notes
      and stick them all over. Read the note every time you come up to it. It will build you up. Google the scripture you need most like “scriptures on strength” or “scriptures on faith” and then chose the one that feeds your soul. God bless you.

  10. I have never been able to relate so well to any site as I have here. I am so grateful to you Mel, for sharing all this information, and for the personal responses by the people who wrote in. I also so appreciate you being an up front Christian, the verses and your comments are very up lifting. I have Hashimotos thyroiditis, and hyperparathyroid disease. I am having a total thyroidectomy and parathyroid operation to remove a bad node. All this will happen this next mo., in August. I am so sick with the damage being done by the parathyroid, I sleep 11 to 13 hours a night, plus just mostly sit in my chair, get a little energy up, do some easy house work, cook dinner, thats it. My thyroid has solid nodes that look cancerious, they kept trying for a good result with a fine needle biopsy, then did a larger needle that was a very hurtful procuder, still couldnt get enough cells for testing . They wanted me to have a biopsy before my surgery, but they will have to biopsy the thyroid when its taken out to see if I have cancer. God is good, and no matter what, things will be ok, I trust Him for my best. God bless you for helping us.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so sorry you have been so sick… It’s such a hard issue to deal with. I’m so glad the verses have encouraged you! God is so good. I’m only here because of him.
      I pray the surgery does far more then you could have hoped for and that you feel better so very quickly that a healing is the only explanation!
      Thank you so much for your comment and God bless.

  11. Is it still called Hashimmoto’s if you don’t have a thyroid? I know I still have a chance of developing another autoimmune disorder because I had it but Hashimoto’s is specific to the thyroid. So in theory when your thyroid gets removed you don’t have it, right? If I am mistaken please guide me to the right place to learn more about it. I had a TT in February of 2016. I was getting better but I am starting to feel cruddy again. Thank you!

    • Hello!
      Yes, even with a full thyroidectomy you still have hashimoto’s. There is always a few cells left behind. Also, some hashimoto’s suffered have antibodies to the actually hormones the thyroid creates… T3 or T4… Which you are supplementing because you need it to live. Also, TPO antibodies… Are based on the necessary transporter of said hormones… So your body still has all the pieces that you can have a response to.. without the actually gland.
      Remission, however, is very possible! The best thorough book on hashimoto’s is The Root Cause by Izabella Wentz. There is a new book the Hashimoto’s Protocol by Amy Meyers I can’t wait to read. It too may help.
      Don’t lose hope!!!
      Hugs to you. I hope this helps!

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