Thyroidectomy or complete thyroid removal is a necessary process for someone who has severe hyperthyroidism or thyroid cancer.
Sometimes hyperthyroidism does not respond to treatments and radioactive iodine ablation. During such times, surgery for the removal of the thyroid gland is the only option. Other thyroid conditions such as thyroid nodules and goiter call for thyroidectomy.
It is an irreversible surgical procedure. Therefore, if your specialist has suggested thyroidectomy you should talk to them about the pros and cons, life after thyroidectomy, and medication.
You can enjoy a healthy and high quality of life after thyroidectomy especially if you follow a diet after thyroid removal. You can speak to Jeevam Health functional medicine doctors and dieticians to find out more about diet after thyroidectomy.
What’s The Immediate Suitable Diet after Thyroidectomy?
Immediately after thyroidectomy, you can eat almost anything you want to have as long as it’s soft and spicy. After thyroid surgery, your throat may feel sore and tender. Here are some foods you can try immediately after thyroid removal surgery:
- Smoothies, soups, and mashed foods are best for a post-operative diet. Try to stick to food that's almost body temperature.
- When your throat feels particularly tender, try munching on plain ice chips. You can also make healthy popsicles out of freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices.
- If you feel like eating meat or hard veggies, keeping a food processor handy might help.
- Drink lots of fluids (water, juice, or non-spiced gravy) to soften the food
- If coughing becomes a problem during eating, try to thicken the foods.
Smoothies, soups, and even popsicles from fresh fruits and veggies are ideal for providing enough nutrition right after thyroid surgery. You can also include tender mashed veggies to include more fiber (bulk) in your diet after thyroid removal.
What Foods to Avoid After Thyroidectomy?
Immediately after thyroidectomy, you should avoid foods that are too spicy and hot. Avoid hard, chewy, and sticky foods. Here is a list of common foods to avoid after thyroidectomy
- Toasted breadChips
- Tough meat
- Hard and starchy foods like raw veggiesAcidic (sour) foods like lime, lemons, tomato, orange, and tamarind
- Spicy food that includes chili or pepper
These are some of the foods you should avoid immediately after thyroidectomy. Eating these can irritate the fresh scars and hinder the healing process. In the long term, you will need to avoid some foods since your body will no longer produce T3 and T4 naturally.
- Gluten Caffeine
- Ultra-processed food
- Goitrogens (includes cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts)
- Soy (soybeans, edamame, and soy sauce)
- Hydrogenated fat
- Deep fried foods
What Is The Importance Of A Proper Diet After A Thyroidectomy?
Hyperthyroidism generally causes rapid weight loss. After your thyroid surgery, you may gain some weight back within the first week. However, it may not be as rapid since for the first week you will mostly be drinking fluids and eating soup or mashed foods.
The recovery period after thyroidectomy always varies from patient to patient. Maintaining a recovery diet, following post-op care instructions, and taking your medication on time will augment the healing process.
Without thyroid medication and necessary supplements, you will develop hypothyroidism soon after the complete removal of your thyroid gland.
Thus, you will require a special hypothyroidism diet for the rest of your life even though you will be taking thyroid supplements to maintain a normal level of thyroid hormones. That will help maintain a normal level of metabolism. Nonetheless, you will need to stick to a diet after thyroid removal to minimize health complications and unwanted weight gain.
Your diet should resemble a hypothyroidism diet. Not following a hypothyroidism diet after thyroidectomy can lead to unwanted weight gain. It can also increase the stress on your digestive system and excretory system.
After your thyroidectomy, it is crucial to keep an eye on your nutrition levels. You must speak with your thyroid specialist and dietician to get a diet chart that is tailored for your nutritional needs and metabolism.
You can always talk to our doctors and dieticians at www.jeevamhealth.com to know which diets can help you heal faster.