Category Archives: Q&A

Q&A – Post Thyroidectomy Depression

Happy Holidays! The holidays often bring about situational depression for many people. Losing your thyroid also leads to depression – don’t let post thyroidectomy depression sneak up on you and affect your life!

Here is a letter from someone that is suffering from Post Thyroidectomy Depression:
“Hey, congrats from one cancer survivor to another! I just stumbled upon your blog when I was googling about thyroidectemys. I had one a week ago and im worried about the outcome of it… My dr. removed my whole thyroid because of a pesky nodule. I was just wondering if you suffered from severe depression before or after the surgery? And I see you are over a year away from your thyroidectemy, I just would like to know, from another fighter, tberes a light at the end of the tunnel… feel pretty hopeless right now.”

My Answer:
I had severe depression before my thyroidectomy, but since the thyroidectomy it’s been quite a ride!!
I just passed my two year anniversary (wow!).

I have found that the #1 thing to keep in mind is paying super close attention to your moods. If you don’t normally suffer from depression, then feeling blue/depressed/hopeless is a strong indicator that your thyroid levels are too low. It’s only been a week for you, if I am reading correctly. You just had a MAJOR surgery, and lost a critical gland that controls everything from metabolism to moods.

If you have not had pre-existing depression, it could be depression from a major life change (situational) as well as depression related to low thyroid levels (biological). Give yourself a few weeks on your current dosage and if you still feel depressed, contact your endocrinologist right away. DO NOT let yourself suffer OR let it ‘creep up on you’ (very common). Keep a journal where every night you write down how you felt that day. If you see a trend of sadness/loneliness/hopelessness, please contact your doctor immediately!!!

If you had pre-existing depression, you might need to change up how that is being managed (ie different medications, etc). I ended up halving my current anti depressant since we run my thyroid levels high, and I am on cytomel (a thyroid hormone replacement) which helps with depression. I tried being on just synthroid and went bonkers. I became downright scary and scared my doctor with my crazy person emails! It’s funny now I look back on it but it was NOT funny or OK at the time.

So if you are already on anti depressants, please meet with the doctor that prescribed them to you (preferably before the thyroidectomy) to discuss, and keep a very close eye on how you feel (mentally and physically)!


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Q&A – Post Thyroidectomy Breathing

I get many emails from people with questions about living a life without a thyroid (such as post thyroidectomy breathing concerns), or what the thyroidectomy process is like. I figured it might be helpful if I made the questions and answers public (redacting the person’s information, of course) so others may find answers to their questions. Please click here if you would like to send me an email or share your positive post thyroidectomy story!

“Hi there ! I found your blog while trying to find something positive to read about having a total thyroidectomy. I am in Ottawa, Canada, and was diagnosed with papillary thydroid cancer. My surgery will be on January 2…You mentioned that it was difficult to breathe when you woke up from surgery – this has me quite worried. How long did the sensation last?”

My response:
It is a little difficult to breathe when you first wake up because you have a breathing tube inserted, so when you wake up it’s a VERY strange sensation! Also, you may have the ‘where am I, what is going on’ sensation. The nurse will immediately come over and take it out the breathing tube. In some hospitals, it might already be out and someone is actively waking you up. It’s important to stay calm (I started to panic which made it worse, as I was not expecting this). So if you are worried that panicking when you wake up is a concern, start fortifying your brain into knowing you should NOT PANIC when waking up after the surgery.
I had shortness of breathe during the evening of the surgery. The nurses made me blow into a little device (called a TriBall – it has three balls in it) to strengthen my breathing. When you blow hard enough, the little balls rise up. I hated it and was tired, but I did as told. Your throat will be sore and your neck will be swollen, but otherwise you should not have any issues breathing.


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