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-   -   Thyroidectomy and WLS (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-surgery/291403-thyroidectomy-wls.html)

gonzostar 01-08-2014 04:14 AM

Thyroidectomy and WLS
Hello 3FC members,

This is crazy to me. I just logged in and the sure told me my last log in was in 2007. I remember jiffypop from the 100 lbs to lose board too!

And if you can see in my signature (which I need to change!!), I had list down to 185ish pounds back then. My lowest weight was 168 sometime in 2009.

Well, then I got thyroid disease. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, to be exact. I got put on medications but the slow gain started. I had small nodules and they got biopsied. No cancer (yet).

By 2012 I was about 200 lbs most of the time. Constantly fighting that scale to stay under my scary weight. Little did I know how much scarier it was going to get.

In 2013, the growth on my neck started getting bigger. I didn't notice until the nurses in my nursing home started commenting on the huge bulge that was my neck. The director of nurses told me it was probably my causing my weight gain. I didn't think anyone had noticed.

I did a month long strict high protein diet. I lost 3 lbs. something was wrong.

In July 2013, I saw my doctor and he says two things:
1. The thyroid needs to come OUT
2. Have you considered WLS?

I was 240 lbs at that office visit. I hadn't considered it yet. But the wheels started turning.

I figured I needed to get my thyroid situation handled first though. So in August, I had a thyroidectomy. The growth on it was over 8 cm wide and looked like another heart growing on my thyroid. And guess what? It had cancer.

So I recovered from my surgery, but...it hasn't gotten better. It's gotten WORSE. No matter what diet I do, I gain weight.

I got a new job, and my new health insurance kicked in on Jan 1st. Saw the dr for a general plan of what to do. Bloodwork, transfer over my prescriptions and figure out what I need as far as thyroid meds... and he gave me information on WLS.

I was 280 lbs yesterday. Two eighty. As you can see from my old signature -- my highest weight before was 250.

Oh, and want to know the crazy part? When I last left you guys, I was an office assistant.

Today, I'm a REGISTERED DIETITIAN, and have been for 5 years. There's nothing more embarrassing than saying "hi, I'm your dietitian" and knowing they are looking at your morbidly obese body and wondering what the **** went wrong.

Luckily, my new doctor realized that sending me to a dietitian wasn't the next step, that we could skip that part. ::rotfl::

I have Kaiser health insurance, in California, and my plan covers the procedure 100%. I'd have to pay copays and a $250 hospital few. Very small price to pay.

And so here I am. Doing research. Trying to figure out which one is best for me. Looking at what my hurdles will be.

I'm an overeater in quantity. I get scared to feel hungry. I like snack foods and can kill a box of cheeze-it's in one sitting. Or triscuits and cheese. That can be a meal. But I'm also addicted to sugar. Cookies. Or a bag of gummy worms. Or Hershey's kisses. I'm not picky. It looks like I could go either way with gastric bypass or sleeve...and I think I'm leaving sleeve.

But also -- I have no thyroid and I still have hashimoto's disease. Anyone else done this with a severe thyroid disorder? Will it all be for naught?

- Holly, the older and wiser one, who promises she will change her signature eventually.

gonzostar 01-08-2014 04:15 AM

Oh wow. Look at my icon, too. Look
At that much slimmer face. This is so sad.

SnowAngel72 01-08-2014 07:48 PM

First some cyber hugs.

I have hypothyroidism. I had my surgery on Aug. 6, 2013. I had the RNY. My highest was 309 and I am now 226. I can't tell you the long term of having the rny and being hypo since I am only 5 months out. Watching what I eat. Making sure I get my protein in and exercising so far seems to be working for me.

jiffypop 01-08-2014 09:38 PM

Wow, it HAS been a long time! and i'm so sorry to read about your trials and tribulations, but congrats on becoming an RD. now, if you'd specialize in WLS, we'd ALL be happy! right off the bat, there are very few RDs who really and truly understand what's involved with any of the surgeries.

So, now back to you. I have hypothyroidism, but that's light years away from what you're dealing with. My suggestion [and I'm not sure you'll like it] is to make sure you're cancer free and on track with your thyroid BEFORE the surgery. rapid weight loss WILL affect your thyroid meds, so let's be sure you're stable before going into this.

the next thing is - after the gastric bypass especially - food becomes DIFFERENT. head hunger aside [a completely separate issue], you're really not hungry. foods you liked - maybe even craved - before surgery are just not appetizing afterwards.

HAving said that, dealing wiht your food issues NOW - even if you decide not to have surgery - will only help you. are you looking at what you eat and why? [notice i didn't say anything about changing your eating right now - it's enough to simply look at what you're doing and understand what's going on].

it's interesting that you're looking at one malabsorption procedure [the gastric bypass and one restriction-only procedure [the sleeve]. What does your doctor think? will Kaiser cover more than one surgery? it's possible to start with the sleeve and then have the malabsorption component added later if you're not getting the results that you need.

we're here for you, darlin. no matter what you decide. But please, think about dropping the self-shaming. you have real physical issues completely out of your control. NO ONE should work on changing habits out of shame or self-hate, but rather because of self-love and kindness.

yeah, i'm starting a campaign on this.

glynne 03-24-2014 06:32 PM

Holly and Jiffy ~ today has been kind of a trip down memory lane for me. I was working on cleaning off subscribed threads (which I didn't realize I had subscribed to and that I had accumulated such a lengthy collection of them). Anyway, I came across familiar names and wondered how the people were doing. Came across you all ~ glad to see that some of the familiar names are still around.

Holly ~ you will have to forgive me for this silly memory ~ that you carried a pickle in your back pack. Sometimes when I am grocery shopping and see pickles, it makes me think of that.

Jiffy ~ I remember that you were one of the ones who got together with a few of the 100 lb people ~ that must have been awesome ~ what great memories you all must have from that.

gonzostar 03-25-2014 06:38 PM

Glynne/Gayle - I totally remember you too. Here we are, 10 years later! (And I updated my profile pic, avatar, and signature. Yeah!)

So, I'm taking the first steps. Last night I attended the introduction class at Kaiser (which is my insurance and healthcare provider in one, here in California). My doctor then made the referal and I will attend a 3 hour orientation, hopefully next week. Then they will schedule me to meet with the surgeon to be individually evaluated.

Last night at 5 pm, I weighed 290... so, my BMI is about 47. I also recently developed high cholesterol (which my doctor said could be related to my thyroid issues because that affects receptors, but still. I got put on Lipitor). So I know I definitely meet the qualifications. It would then be fully covered by insurance (with a hospital stay deductible).

From the research I've been doing and the reading of lots of people's posts (here and on a Facebook group called "Sassy Sleevers"), I've decided I would like to go with the Gastric Sleeve procedure. It's got less issues with the malabsorbtion aspect, significantly less "dumping", and over 3-5 years the limited research they have done (because it is newer) shows the long term weight loss is similar to the RNY. We'll see if the surgeon agrees that I am a candidate for it.

Recently, with the last 30 lbs of weight gain or so, I've become physically miserable. I can barely get my own shoes fastened and once I do, I'm usually sweating. I can't always properly wipe myself (TMI, I know). One small flight of stairs kills me. Walking the dog hurts my back. I wake up with aching hips every morning.

This is no longer about vanity. It's about reclaiming my health. The Holly of 2006-2012 was running HALF MARATHONS. The Holly of 2013-2014 can barely walk one mile.

I used to get myself kick started by exercising first and the healthy eating would follow. Now I can't exercise like I used to. It's just not working for me anymore. Plus with no thyroid, just controlled by medication (which, it IS now controlled, at least the numbers say it is), I've got a resting metabolic rate that is pretty much tanked. The lowest of the low. I think I need a smaller stomach to match up with my very low metabolism.

My best friend asked me this week, "so this is what you want?" and my answer was "Yes. Except it's not that I really WANT it, it's what I NEED to get my life back."

Shancopp 09-04-2015 12:01 AM

Wondering if you had the surgery and how you are doing? I could have written this post....Hashis, TT, cancer, wt gain, inability to function normally because of it and 2 days ago went to a WLS informative meeting and now have a 3 hour consult scheduled for next week. Just curious if you had the WLS and how it went w/o a thyroid.

gonzostar 09-08-2015 05:28 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I'm so glad you commented for me to check in here! Because yes, I had the gastric sleeve surgery, and YES, it was a success!

I ended up starting the program officially on April 1st, and my starting weight was 302.3 pounds. I did the pre-op diet for a month and a half until my surgery date of May 16, 2014. I lost 18 lbs before surgery, at about 284 that morning. As of Sept 1, 2015, I was 206.2 pounds.

I've lost a total of 96.1 lbs in 18 months, which averages out to 1.25 lbs per week.

The upshot of it is that even WITH weight loss surgery, I lose weight like "normal" person because of my damaged metabolism and no thyroid. But that is totally okay. I truly believe that without the surgery, I wouldn't have lost it. And this is coming from someone who successfully lost weight before, is a Registered Dietitian, and was a fitness instructor. It was literally impossible. My resting metabolic rate is SO BAD, that I gain weight if I eat over 1200 calories. The only solution besides being miserable and starving all the time was to remove half of my stomach. And I am so glad I did.

I haven't been *perfect*, but I have been pretty darn close, if I do say so myself. ;) I have not had any of these things for over 18 months: pasta, bread, rice, cake, cookies, muffins, donuts, candy, soda... the list goes on and on. I try to stay gluten free because of my Hashimoto's, but I'm sure a salad dressing here or there has snuck in. I do eat gluten free crackers (sometimes a few too many), caffeine (my doctor says 1 cup per day is okay), and tortilla chips (gluten free but definitely not on plan).

My exercise level was pretty good up until I got rear ended really hard a month ago. I was back up to run/walking 3 times a week and could do 6 miles. I am now seeing a chiropractor and in physical therapy for my back, and I'm only allowed to walk and do my exercises, so for the past month I've only lost 2 lbs.

When I get under 200 lbs, I plan to book my consultation for skin removal/tummy tuck. Then the surgeon can advise me of my actual goal weight before he thinks it is time to put the finishing touches on. I'm guessing somewhere around 170 would be good (that's where I plateaued so many years ago), and then after the surgery I would hopefully settle around 160 in maintenance. I hope!

I attached some photos -- the before/after is at my highest weight of 302 and at ONE YEAR post op, which was May 2015. I was 214 lbs in the "after" photo. (I'll take another set of those photos in November). The before selfie was taken in March or April of 2014, not too long before surgery. The more recent selfie was in July, I think. I was about 209 lbs there.

I am SO GLAD I had the surgery, I wish I hadn't resisted having it for quite so long, but I did it when it was right for me. If you are thinking about it and your doctor says it is appropriate, DO IT. You won't regret it.

glynne 09-09-2015 10:44 AM

Hi Holly,

Thank you for sharing about your journey with us. I am happy for you. You are probably feeling so much better now.

Leenie 09-11-2015 08:50 PM

welcome back !!!

kamsmam74 08-30-2016 02:46 PM

First month weight loss
I do not have a thyroid gland and I had the sleeve on August 1. I was 240 before surgery and 231 when I left the hospital. I only got down to 223 by week three. As of today I am 225. I would like to know how many pounds do most people lose the first month who had a thyroidectomy prior to wls?

cyndie 09-18-2016 09:25 AM

WLS with no thyroid

I had my thyroid removed in 1998. It's been a battle with weight every since. I was sleeved on August 26th, 2016. My weight at surgery was down 8lbs from pre-op visit . At first post-op visit 2 weeks later down another 10. I was a little disappointed, but my surgeon said that was great. He said he is looking for slow and steady loss of 6-10 pounds a month. I think that's doable.

Good luck on your WLS journey. I only wish I had done it 15 years ago.

gonzostar 04-06-2017 04:40 PM

Checking in again! I am now almost 3 years post op, and 6 months post skin removal/tummy tuck! And I got married last weekend!


I've lost about 120 lbs (302 to around 179), and gained a husband and two stepchildren (who have been with me since before the regain). I'm happy and healthy, eating gluten free as well as for WLS, and running and working out regularly. This tool really works!

Hope all of you are doing well!

Wannabehealthy 04-08-2017 10:31 AM

Congratulations on your marriage and great weight loss. I never read your story before, so I went back and read the old posts now. It was very interesting. I did make me feel sad to read the post from Jiffy. Very dear woman. May she rest in peace.

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