Diet after complete removal of the thyroid gland: what you can eat and what is prohibited

The thyroid gland is a gland located in the lower part of the throat over the trachea. Its main function is the production of iodine-containing hormones. In oncology and other diseases that destroy the organ, an operation is performed to remove the gland. After the procedure, the person is prescribed hormone replacement therapy, as well as special nutrition after removal of the thyroid gland. The task of the diet is to make sure that the necessary nutrients enter the body and at the same time there is no load on the weakened endocrine system.  

Is it possible to do without a diet

Diet after removal of the thyroid gland completely eliminates the risk of postoperative complications caused by improper diet. If you do not follow the recommended diet, metabolic deviations increase, excess weight is gained, pathologies of the cardiovascular and nervous systems appear. If the cause of removal was an adenoma, an improper diet can provoke a relapse in other organs and systems. 

Diet Highlights

After the doctor has removed the gland, the metabolic processes in the body slow down. Hormone replacement therapy supports them, but does not guarantee the complete restoration of the functions of the gland. Therefore, food should be low in calories, easy to digest and contain auxiliary substances necessary for the production of hormones. Recommended table number 10 according to Pevzner.

A person without a thyroid gland until the end of his life will have to give up bad habits – smoking, drug use, the tradition of overeating before bedtime.

Important nutritional guidelines after thyroid resection

Before removing the gland, the patient is advised about the diet. Several days after the operation, they give water to drink, food is carried out through droppers. In the future, they return to the usual diet, taking into account the restructuring of the body due to the removal of the gland.

Early postoperative period

Until the consequences of the operation to remove the thyroid gland heal, patients are shown a liquid diet: mashed cereals, mashed soups, jelly and dairy products. After a month after the intervention, give solid food. After consulting an endocrinologist, a special diet is prescribed for the removed thyroid gland. The patient’s weight, the presence or absence of extra pounds are taken into account. During the recovery period, the diet is adjusted when contraindications appear.

Return to normal diet

Within a month after the operation, metabolic processes come to a state close to normal. Metabolism is slowed down, so you need to eat in small portions and judge whether the food is absorbed by the change in weight.

In the same period, hormone – containing drugs are selected that a person will need to take throughout his life. The diet for the removal of the thyroid gland is completely developed individually by the nutritionist and endocrinologist.

Do’s and don’ts after thyroid removal

In addition to alcohol and cigarettes, the following products are prohibited for a patient with a removed thyroid gland:

  • Legumes. They disrupt the assimilation of synthetic hormones, which are necessary for people to live after resection of the gland.
  • Smoked and fatty foods, offal, fast food . The fat in these foods will lead to rapid weight gain that cannot be shed with a slow metabolism.
  • Strong tea, coffee and cocoa. They retain fluid in the body, which also leads to weight gain.
  • Foods containing simple carbohydrates – sweets, pastries, baked goods.
  • Oxalic acid products. It also interferes with maintenance therapy.

Be sure to include in the diet:

  • Seafood – lean fish, seaweed, and other edible algae. They contain iodine, which the body needs after removing the gland that produces iodine-containing hormones. 
  • Cereals and whole grain breads. The main source of complex carbohydrates that provide long-term satiety and are absorbed without causing problems with extra pounds.
  • Lean meat. It is impossible to completely exclude meat from the diet, since it is the main source of B vitamins. You will have to give up pork and lamb, including lean beef, turkey, and chicken in the diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables. You need to eat at least 300 g of vegetables and 200 g of fruits a day, since they contain the necessary trace elements and vitamins. Products are selected according to the season.
  • Eggs and dairy products.

Sample menu for a week

Meals after removal of the thyroid gland completely include meals 5 times a day in small portions. A pre-compiled menu will help to diversify the diet. Example of a 7-day regimen:

  1. For breakfast, eat a portion of semolina porridge and boil a soft-boiled egg. For lunch, eat half a chicken fillet and a glass of vegetable soup. Afternoon snack – 120 g of fruit salad and 5 biscuits. For dinner, prepare a small portion of vegetable stew (180 g). Before going to bed, drink 2/3 cup of kefir.
  2. Prepare a casserole of cottage cheese with raisins (180 g). For lunch, eat a glass of borscht without meat and half a portion of buckwheat porridge with mushrooms. As an afternoon snack – a banana and a few croutons (no more than 40 g). Drink 2/3 cup low fat yogurt without sweeteners before bed.
  3. Steam 2 egg omelet with chopped tomato for breakfast. For lunch – 2 cabbage rolls and a glass of cabbage soup. Afternoon snack – a portion of cottage cheese with berries or dried fruits (120g). For dinner – mashed potatoes (180 g) and chicken soufflé (100 g). Before going to bed – 2/3 cup of fermented baked milk.
  4. Porridge with dried fruits (100 g), up to 40 g biscuits – breakfast. For lunch, a glass of kharcho soup and 100 g of steamed turkey. Snack – 100 g of apple jelly. Dinner with a glass of vegetable stew with meat, before going to bed, drink 2/3 cup of curdled milk.
  5. 2 cheesecakes with sour cream or berry jam, tea with milk – breakfast. For lunch, a glass of potato soup and a slice of boiled beef (100 g). Afternoon snack – 100 g of kelp salad. For dinner – stewed fish (100 g) with vegetables (150 g). Before bed – 2/3 cup low fat yogurt.
  6. For breakfast – 180 g of millet porridge in milk and a piece of bran bread (20 g). For lunch – chicken chop and 200 g of buckwheat soup. For an afternoon snack – 30 g of croutons with 120 g of fruit puree. Dinner with a serving of pumpkin-rice casserole (250 g). At night, drink 2/3 cup of kefir.
  7. Low-fat cheese sandwich and 1 soft-boiled egg for breakfast. Dine with a portion of noodle soup (180 g) and a steamed cutlet made from lean meat (chicken or beef). For an afternoon snack, consume 150 g of vegetable salad. Dinner with stewed potatoes (150 g), one tomato and steamed chicken breast (100 g). Drink 2/3 cup of low-fat milk at night.

Diet recipes

You can diversify your diet after thyroid surgery if you do not cook according to your usual recipes. Examples of dietary recipes:

  1. Finnish haddock. Peel a kilogram of fish, cut and put in a saucepan. Cover with chopped onions and carrots, add a glass of sour cream. Top with 100 g of seaweed and herbs to taste. Close the saucepan and simmer the fish over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cod liver salad. This ingredient is sold canned. You will need a liver jar, two chicken eggs and bell peppers. You also need one cucumber, apple, onion and herbs to taste. Cut and mix all the ingredients, mash the cod liver instead of slicing with a spoon. Add the juice of half a lemon as a dressing. Oil is not required as the canned food contains enough oil for this salad.
  3. Solyanka seafood. You will need squid (1 kg), dry seaweed (100 g), 50 g of tomato paste. Pour boiling water over the algae and leave for two hours, then boil and boil for 20 minutes. Peel and cut the squid. Throw them in a saucepan, add seaweed and tomato paste, simmer for 20-30 minutes over low heat.

What to do if you are overweight

Despite diet, some people become obese after having their thyroid gland removed. This can be prevented by a timely visit to an endocrinologist. After examination, the doctor will adjust the diet or therapy.

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