Vitamin D After Thyroid Surgery – Here is the Skinny on Post-Thyroid Vitamin D
There is nothing fun about having thyroid problems. First, there is the pain and discomfort of going through hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Or, there is the worry and concern about having been diagnosed with thyroid nodules, an enlarged thyroid (goiter), or even thyroid cancer.
But, then the thyroid problem sufferer often has to go through a surgery to get the problem corrected. While the surgery itself is not painful, it is inconvenient and maybe a little scary if the person has never gone through surgery at a hospital before. If you or someone you care about has gone through thyroid surgery, you may have heard about the need to take Vitamin D for life once the surgery has been completed. The news of this possibility is naturally a bit disconcerting.
Here are 3 points about the need for Vitamin D after thyroid surgery that will help you understand the situation better:
1. During thyroid surgery, the parathyroid glands can be damaged:
During surgery, a part or in some cases all of the thyroid gland must be removed in order to correct the underlying condition that the patient had been experiencing. Near the thyroid gland are small glands called the parathyroid glands that manage calcium production in the body. In some cases, these parathyroid glands can be damaged during surgery.
2. If these glands are damaged, Vitamin D and calcium supplements may be needed forever:
If the parathyroid glands are indeed damaged, this situation can lead to the body no longer being able to produce calcium in the way that it could before. For these patients, the surgeon may recommend that the patient take calcium and Vitamin D pills for the rest of their lives. In terms of dosage, of course it varies by patient. Some doctors report that 4-8 calcium pills per day is required, along with 2-3 Vitamin D pills per day. Of course, you should check with your doctor before taking any supplements or medications.
3. The likelihood of this occurring is extremely low:
Fortunately, the likelihood that a patient who has undergone surgery on the thyroid gland will have to take Vitamin D or calcium pills for the rest of their lives is very low – much less than 1%. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you or the person you know who has undergone this type of surgery will require these supplements. Again, check with your surgeon or endocrinologist to find out what is right for your situation.
These 3 points about the need for Vitamin D after thyroid surgery should serve to help you understand the possibilities of this being applicable to your situation.