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Have you undergone a thyroid removal surgery recently or planning to go for one, then you should know some important things that should be kept in mind. After undergoing the surgery, it is essential that you should allow your body some time to recover. Your health care provider will educate you regarding the activities and exercises that can help in recovering from the surgery faster. It is worthy of mention here that the recovery process is dependent on the extent and type of surgery you have undergone. It would generally take a longer time to recover from traditional surgery than minimally invasive procedure.
What to do right after the surgery?
In the days following the surgery, you are required to take care of the incision area. You may or not be allowed to take a bath depending on the dressing on the wound. You are likely to experience slight swelling around the scar. Even though this is normal, you should report to your doctor without further delay. The scar may start feeling hard three weeks after the surgery, and you may apply an unscented moisturizer to prevent dryness while healing.
When to start daily activities after the thyroid gland removal surgery?
You are free to resume most of the normal activities the day following the surgery. But you should wait for at least 10 days or until your doctor allows you to engage in physically strenuous activities. Your throat is likely to feel sore for a couple of days. You can also take an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for relieving soreness. In case these drugs are not offering desired relief, your doctor may prescribe you to take narcotic pain medicine. It is a common outcome of the thyroid removal surgery to develop hypothyroidism. In case this happens to you, your doctor may recommend you to take some form of levothyroxine for bringing down the hormone levels.
Is there any physical restriction after the thyroid removal surgery?
Most surgeons recommend that patients should limit all sorts of physically strenuous works after the thyroid removal surgery. This is recommended for reducing the risk of postoperative neck hematoma and breaking open of the wound closure. These limitations are temporary and brief and are generally followed by a quick transition to unrestricted activity. You are free to take part in heavy lifting or swimming or other exercises two to three weeks after the surgery.
Is it possible to lead a normal life after the thyroid removal surgery?
Once you have recovered from the effects of thyroid surgery, you can do anything you feel like. Post-surgery your thyroid levels will be monitored through regular follow-ups. If the surgery were carried out for thyroid cancer, your doctor would also check for recurrence of cancer during your visits. It is essential to stick to this schedule and report if you notice any suspicious changes or experience discomfort so that proper care can be given and you can lead a normal life. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!
What you eat can affect your thyroid gland as well as your body's ability to use thyroid hormone. Learn which foods to avoid when managing hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can be a tricky condition to manage, and what you eat can interfere with your treatment. Some nutrients heavily influence the function of the thyroid gland, and certain foods can inhibit your body's ability to absorb the replacement hormones you may take as part of your thyroid treatment. There's no such thing as a "hypothyroidism diet" that will make you well, but eating smart can help you feel better despite the condition. Here are nine foods to limit or avoid as you manage hypothyroidism:
The hormone estrogen can interfere with your body's ability to use thyroid hormone, says Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD associate chief of endocrinology, nutrition, and diabetes at Boston Medical Center and an associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. Soy is loaded with plant-based phytoestrogen, and some researchers believe too much soy may increase a person's risk for hypothyroidism. People with hypothyroidism should moderate their intake of soy. However, because soy hasn't been definitively linked to hypothyroidism, there are no specific dietary guidelines.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, particularly people who have an iodine deficiency. Digesting these vegetables can block the thyroid's ability to absorb iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function. People with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy. Cooking the vegetables can reduce the effect that cruciferous vegetables have on the thyroid gland. Limiting your intake to 5 ounces a day appears to have no adverse effect on thyroid function.
People with hypothyroidism should consider minimizing their intake of gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains, says Ruth Frechman, RDN, a dietitian and nutritionist in the Los Angeles area and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Gluten can irritate the small intestine and may hamper absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Fats have been found to disrupt the body's ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines, Dr. Lee says. Fats may also interfere with the thyroid's ability to produce hormone as well. Some health care professionals recommend that you cut out all fried foods and reduce your intake of fats from sources such as butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat.
Hypothyroidism can cause the body's metabolism to slow down, Frechman says. That means it's easy to put on pounds if you aren't careful. "You want to avoid the foods with excess amounts of sugar because it's a lot of calories with no nutrients," she says. It's best to reduce the amount of sugar you eat or try to eliminate it completely from your diet.
"Processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium, and people with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium," Frechman says. Having an underactive thyroid increases a person's risk for high blood pressure, and too much sodium further increases this risk. Read the Nutrition Facts label on the packaging of processed foods to find options lowest in sodium. People with an increased risk for high blood pressure should restrict their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting enough fiber is good for you, but too much can complicate your hypothyroidism treatment. Guidelines currently recommend that older adults take in 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Amounts of dietary fiber from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes that go above that level affect your digestive system and can interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs. If you're on a high-fiber diet, ask your doctor if you need a higher dose of thyroid medication. Your maintenance dose may need to be increased if you aren't absorbing enough medication.
Caffeine has been found to block absorption of thyroid hormone replacement, Lee says. "People who were taking their thyroid medication with their morning coffee had uncontrollable thyroid levels, and we couldn't figure it out," she says. "I now have to be very careful to tell people, 'Only take your medication with water.'" You should wait at least 30 minutes after taking your medication before having a cup of joe.
Alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on both thyroid hormone levels in the body and the ability of the thyroid to produce hormone. Alcohol appears to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and suppresses the ability of the body to use thyroid hormone. Ideally, people with hypothyroidism should cut out alcohol completely or drink in careful moderation.