If you have received radioactive iodine therapy or had a partial or complete thyroidectomy, then you might wonder if it is possible to restore your health back to normal upon following a natural thyroid treatment protocol. This depends on the individual, as while some people who have received RAI or a partial thyroidectomy can have their health restored back to normal, it really depends on the extent of damage done to the thyroid gland. Truth to be told, many people who receive these procedures can’t have their health restored and thus will need to take thyroid hormone. Those who have had a complete thyroidectomy will of course be unable to completely restore their thyroid health back to normal, but can usually still benefit from a natural treatment protocol.
But many people who have received radioactive iodine or thyroid surgery aren’t aware that there still might be hope. Many assume that RAI completely obliterates the thyroid gland, making it impossible to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone. Many times this is true, as there are times when the thyroid gland has sustained too much damage, and therefore can’t be restored back to normal upon following a natural treatment protocol. But we tend to underestimate the healing abilities of the body, as there are some people who receive radioactive iodine who can benefit greatly from natural treatment methods. Of course the sooner one follows a natural treatment protocol upon receiving RAI the better the chance of restoring their health.
The same concept applies to someone who has received a partial thyroidectomy. Once again, the body does an amazing job of adapting, and so it is possible to restore thyroid function even if the thyroid gland has been partially removed. But many people do become permanently hypothyroid and therefore need to take thyroid hormone. On the other hand, those who have received a complete thyroidectomy obviously won’t be able to have their health restored back to normal. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t receive any benefits at all. The same is true for those people who have received radioactive iodine and can’t have their health restored back to normal.
The reason for this is because in most cases, RAI doesn’t address the underlying cause of the condition. And the same concept applies for many cases of thyroid surgery. Most of these conditions weren’t caused directly by problems with the thyroid gland, but were instead caused by other compromised areas of the body. For example, a person who had Graves’ Disease and received RAI might no longer have hyperthyroid symptoms, but the compromised immune system was most likely never addressed. This means they will be more susceptible to other autoimmune conditions in the future. So even if their health can’t be completely restored back to normal, it is still important to address the immune system component.
Besides the immune system, other areas of the body can be compromised. The adrenal glands, steroid hormones, digestive system, and other areas can all directly or indirectly affect thyroid health. This is very important to understand, as most people focus too much on symptoms, and many people think that just because their hyperthyroid symptoms no longer exist that this in turn means their condition has been fixed. And this isn’t just about them becoming hypothyroid and needing to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life. By not addressing other affected areas of the body, this could lead to many other health issues.
How Can You Tell If You Can Benefit From Natural Treatment Methods After Receiving Surgery Or RAI?
Those people who have received RAI or thyroid surgery will no doubt want to know how they can tell if they will respond to natural treatment methods. As for whether or not they can have their thyroid health restored back to normal, this honestly is something that nobody can predict. If any doctor were to tell you they can guarantee a cure, they aren’t being honest with you. I actually received an email recently from someone who received radioactive iodine treatment, and was told by a holistic doctor that a cure for his hypothyroidism was possible if he were to follow a certain protocol for 3 or 4 years. The only surefire way of knowing whether or not your thyroid health can be restored back to normal is by following a natural treatment protocol and to see how it goes. And if it works, it shouldn’t take three or four years to accomplish this.
However, even though there is no way to predict whether someone who has received thyroid surgery or RAI will respond to natural treatment methods, through certain tests a natural endocrine doctor can have a pretty good idea as to whether or not such a person will receive some positive benefits. For example, if you received RAI or a partial thyroidectomy, a natural endocrine doctor won’t be able to predict whether or not your thyroid health can be restored back to normal. But if he or she determines through additional testing that you have compromised adrenal glands and estrogen dominance, for example, by correcting these problems it will definitely benefit your health, even if it doesn’t cure your thyroid condition. This in turn can help with many symptoms, and prevent other conditions from developing.
In summary, if you have received radioactive iodine therapy, or had a partial thyroidectomy, then there still is a chance your thyroid health can be restored through a natural treatment protocol. But even if your thyroid health can’t be restored back to normal, by correcting any adrenal issues, nutritional deficiencies, and/or hormone imbalances, you can at the very least optimize your health and prevent any other conditions from developing in the future.
V, DeLorme says
Have been taking various forms of synthroid since the early 90s after a diagnosis of graves disease and subsequent RAI. Now experiencing severe hair loss and weight loss. Tests indicate high cancer markers (CA-125, CA19-9) but after repeated tests MRI, Cat Scan, Endoscopic Untrasound, all were negative.
Could the thyroid disorder be tied in with these abnormal cancer markers?
Dr. Eric says
I guess it’s possible, although I wonder if receiving the RAI could be responsible for this. I’m not sure if anyone could give you a definite answer regarding this. It of course is great that everything came out negative, although I would of course still do everything you can to maintain, and of course improve your current state of health.
Marcia Strean says
Is there any research to indicate the possibility of not having RAI treatment after total thyroid removal>
Dr. Eric says
I’m not sure I understand your question. Did you receive a total thyroidectomy and were then told you needed to have RAI?
Yes doctors ask us to get total thyroidectomy for in my case papillary thyroid cancer and i had 3 lymph nodes involved as well and now they suggest RAI but they say everyone does this..im opting out and would rather not destroy whatever healthy thyroid cells i have left..has there been any research done on if RAI really changes something? Doctors say its done just in case there may be cells leftover after surgery and just in case there may be cancer..but lots of we dont know we will just treat…
I have a friend who had a throidectomy and is occasionally taking Salbutamol. She can not loose weight and seeks natural. What could she take to help? Kelp or a natural source of iodine? Licorice root for adreanal glands? Astragalus for her immune? Would this be safe after having the throidectomy?
Dr. Eric says
I’m not sure if kelp or iodine will help her to lose weight. She might want to get her hormones tested to see if there is an imbalance between progesterone and estrogen. Licorice root is good for low cortisol levels, although it’s contraindicated in high blood pressure. Astragalus can be beneficial for some people. I would recommend having her consult with a holistic doctor rather than just randomly take supplements and herbs on her own.
Michael Silverman says
Hello. My thyroid was recently completely removed and I am taking synthroid. I prefer taking natural things and avoiding side effects, Is there a protocol that I could do to keep my body healthy? I assume the synthroid is vital and taken forever. If not what can you recommend?
Dr. Eric says
If you had a complete thyroidectomy then natural thyroid hormone replacement is necessary to take on a permanent basis, although there are better options than Synthroid. You might want to look into desiccated forms including Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid, or Armour. Also, if your condition was autoimmune prior to the surgery then of course you still need to do things to improve the health of your immune system. There isn’t a single protocol that fits everyone, but of course you want to eat a diet consisting of whole foods, improve your stress handling skills, get sufficient sleep, etc.
Amanda Cloud says
I am 3 years post op TT and have been taking Synthroid with Cytomel. All due to Hashimotos. I’m tired of prescriptions and I feel none of this is working … I’m still not losing weight even gaining !! Can’t sleep good, arthritis is worse now in all my joints even making it painful to walk, hair loss is bad, … all this even with my lab values in the normal … would it help to see a Holistic ? Herbalist? I’m ready to try anything even if it means changing my way of life to naturalist …
Dr. Eric says
Amanda, I definitely would recommend seeing a functional medicine practitioner. Just keep in mind that if you had a total thyroidectomy then you will need to take some type of thyroid hormone replacement, but a natural healthcare practitioner can help to correct underlying imbalances, which hopefully will allow you to tolerate the thyroid meds. Also keep in mind that some people react to the fillers and artificial ingredients in these medications, especially Synthroid.
I am 30 years of age and had a hemithyroidectomy three years ago and since then I have struggled with extreme cystic acne, weight loss, and hair appearing on my face. All of which were never previous issues I have had my annual testing for my t4 T3 levels and the doctors state I do not need a synthetic hormone replacement I never received radi ion medication either after surgery as I refused it when I screened negative after surgery do you have any suggestions maybe a natural hormone replacement or any other suggestions to restore my body’s balance
Dr. Eric says
Candice, I’m sorry that you’re experiencing all of those symptoms. While the acne and facial hair would suggest that you have a problem with the sex hormones, I’m not sure why you are experiencing weight loss. It makes me wonder if you have something else going on, such as an underlying infection. Although there are natural herbs that can help with hormone balance (i.e. chaste tree), it’s difficult to make a recommendation without seeing what the sex hormones look like. I would recommend consulting with a natural healthcare practitioner, who will do the necessary testing to specifically find out what imbalances you have.