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Can You Be Born Without A Thyroid

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I was born without a thyroid gland – STORYTIME with Jen Hatton

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How Often Shoud Blood Tests For Thyroid Hormone Be Checked

To make sure that a child is receiving the proper amount of the thyroid medication, a blood test is usually taken about 4-6 weeks after the first dose is given. T4 and TSH levels are measured in this sample. Some laboratories are also able to measure free T4. Once the right dose is established, blood levels of these hormones should be checked about every 3 months until the age of 3 years. This is to make sure that the levels remain normal for the entire period during which the brain is developing. After the age of 3 years, the testing can be performed every 4-6 months. As a child grows, the dose of the thyroid medication needs to be gradually increased according to the laboratory test results and the childs growth measurements.

Can You Live Without Your Thyroid

The short answer is yes. People can live full, long lives without a thyroid if they take medication to replace the absence of thyroid hormones in their body with thyroid medication.

People can live for a very long time without thyroid hormones, but they will develop symptoms that decrease their quality of life. A lack of thyroid hormones can also increase your risk for other health conditions that can shorten your life expectancy, including heart disease and obesity.

The most severe consequence of not having thyroid hormone in your body is myxedema coma or death. Myxedema is a term that generally denotes severe hypothyroidism. A myxedema coma is a rare, life-threatening resulting from long-standing hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism due to any cause can cause myxedema coma if left untreated.

However, long before this happens, you’ll start to experience other side effects which indicate that your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly. Many people live for several years without even knowing they have an underactive thyroid. Eventually, symptoms do develop, which prompts them to see their doctor.

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Reasons You Wouldn’t Have A Thyroid

People can lose their thyroid or have a poor-functioning thyroid for several reasons.


The most common reason people lose their thyroid gland is a surgical procedure called a thyroidectomy. This procedure usually occurs to treat thyroid cancer by removing some or all of the thyroid gland. Sometimes, a doctor will also do a thyroidectomy to treat thyroid nodules, goiter, or enlargement if it interferes with your breathing ability or is otherwise concerning.

Congenital malformation

Some people are born with a malformed thyroid gland or without one altogether. Although it is rare in developed countries, some babies are born with congenital hypothyroidism, leading to long-term intellectual and physical disabilities if left untreated.

There are some instances where you still physically have a thyroid gland, but it is under-functioning:

Radioactive iodine

RA is used to treat hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease. An overactive thyroid increases your metabolism, which can have damaging health consequences. Often, RA overtreats the thyroid gland, leading to an underactive state. In these cases, people go from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

This autoimmune condition is one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism. In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the immune system attacks your thyroid gland, causing chronic inflammation that eventually suppresses your ability to make thyroid hormones.


Watch Those Goitrogenic Foods

Certain foods, specifically cruciferous vegetables and products that have soy isoflavones, contain goitrogenic compounds chemicals that can interfere with thyroid hormones. A goiter is a swelling or enlargement of the thyroid, which can happen if the thyroid gland is functional and tries to grow more cells to keep up with the demand for hormones.

Because your thyroid is inactive, you don’t have to worry about a goiter forming, but you still have to account for the effect of the goitrogenic compounds on your supplemental thyroid hormones especially because you cannot naturally make more hormones to compensate.

Goitrogenic compounds in vegetables are often deactivated by heating don’t eat broccoli, cabbage or other cruciferous vegetables raw. Note that the goitrogenic effects of soy are lessened if the soy is fermented in products such as miso and tempeh.

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Newborns With Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital hypothyroidism is very treatable, though newborns with untreated hypothyroidism are at risk for intellectual disabilities. When newborns are diagnosed and treatment starts within a few weeks of birth, growth and development are usually very normal. Some children will still have problems in school and with speech. Taking the medicine every day protects intelligence, normal growth, coordination and the heart.

Graves Disease And Pregnanacy

Because of the effects of Graves Disease on you and your baby, we recommend that you plan your pregnancy and talk things over with your endocrinologist before you become pregnant. In addition to your usual obstetric care with your obstetrician, you will need to be monitored by your endocrinologist throughout the pregnancy. Even if you no longer have your thyroid gland because it was destroyed by radioactive iodine or surgery, you will still need to be cared for by your endocrinologist because your immune system may continue making TSI that can cross the placenta and affect your babys thyroid. If you are treated properly during your pregnancy, you can ensure your well-being and that of your baby.

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What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated

Hypothyroidism can become a serious and life-threatening medical condition if you do not get treatment from a healthcare provider. If you are not treated, your symptoms can become more severe and can include:

  • Developing mental health problems.
  • Not being able to maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Having heart problems.
  • Developing a goiter .

You can also develop a serious medical condition called myxedema coma. This can happen when hypothyroidism isnt treated.

Can Hypothyroidism Be Prevented

Getting PREGNANT with a THYROID gland disorder

Hypothyroidism cannot be prevented. The best way to prevent developing a serious form of the condition or having the symptoms impact your life in a serious way is to watch for signs of hypothyroidism. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider. Hypothyroidism is very manageable if you catch it early and begin treatment.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

The most obvious symptom is that the child has stopped growing. There are seldom other symptoms to notice. The signs and symptoms vary depending on the childs age and how much thyroid hormone is missing. They may be mild, moderate or severe. The same symptoms can be due to some other cause in the childs body or life. The disorder may progress for years until it is diagnosed and treated.

Low T4 And Elevated Tsh Values

A low total T4 or free T4 level in the presence of an elevated serum TSH level confirms the diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism. Replacement therapy with levothyroxine should be initiated as soon as confirmatory tests have been drawn before the results of the confirmatory tests are available. Infant with an elevated serum TSH level and a normal free T4 or total T4 is consistent with the diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism.

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Can Baby Born Without Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is an organ located at the base of the neck, just above the top of the breastbone. It is a soft, fleshy, flat piece of tissue shaped like a butterfly and is located in front of the trachea.

The thyroid gland is formed during the first few weeks of a fetus’ development and begins to produce its important hormone at the end of the third month of pregnancy.

The hormones secreted by the gland circulate through the bloodstream to all the tissues of the body. These hormones regulate many body functions, particularly those related to the body’s metabolism. During infancy, the most significant function of the thyroid gland is to ensure proper growth and development of the brain. It is also very important for normal growth of the body and skeleton as a whole, keeps the body temperature normal and helps ensure that muscle and fat are distributed normally in the body.

Babies born without a thyroid gland or with a thyroid that does not work properly, often appear normal at birth. They may show symptoms of jaundice such as yellow skin and eyes frequent choking and a large, protruding tongue. As the disease progresses, infants may have trouble feeding and may show abnormal growth. They may also be constipated, have poor muscle tone or be very sleepy. Finally, this disorder can lead to physical and mental retardation in infants.

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Other Problems Associated With Hyperthyroidism

Life When Youre Born Without a Thyroid Gland

When hyperthyroidism is untreated, the bodys metabolic rate is very high. During this period, a person can eat an incredible amount of food and usually not gain weight. However, once treatment for the hyperthyroidism has begun and the blood thyroid levels return to normal, the bodys metabolic rate decreases. If the person continues to eat voraciously, rapid weight gain occurs. This can be quite a problem, especially for adolescents. You may want to meet with our dietitian before and during treatment of the hyperthyroidism to learn ways of coping with this change in body metabolism.


Children with hyperthyroidism cannot concentrate on schoolwork, and their irritability can interfere with normal student-to-student and student-toteacher relationships. We suggest you talk with your childs teacher and school nurse about the effects that hyperthyroidism has on childrens behavior. Explain to the school personnel that, with proper treatment, your childs thyroid levels will return to normal and that his/her behavior also will improve.


If the hyperthyroidism has caused the eyes to bulge, the eyelids may not close completely. To keep the eyes moist during sleep, you may need to put lubricating eye drops in your childs eyes at bedtime. None of the treatment options listed above cures the eye disease. However, the bulging eye problem may eventually resolve.


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Importance Of Physical Activity

No diet plan would be complete without regular physical activity. Strength training exercises are especially important for people without a thyroid because building lean muscle mass will help burn more calories. Even at rest, muscle tissue requires more energy than fat. The greater your ratio of muscle to fat, the higher your metabolism. All forms of physical activity help to burn calories and anything that burns calories will boost metabolism and help keep you at a healthy weight.

The Management Of Congenital Hypothyroidism

Congenital hypothyroidism is one of the most common treatable causes of mental retardation. Studies have shown that the timing of therapy is crucial to neurologic outcome. Indeed, there is an inverse relationship between intelligence quotient and the age at diagnosis . Even when diagnosed early, neurologic development may suffer if treatment is not optimized in the first two to three years of life . It is therefore important for these patients to receive early treatment and close follow up.

The overall goal of therapy is ensure that these patients are able to have growth and mental development that is as close as possible to their genetic potential. This is achieved by rapidly restoring the free T4 and the TSH to the normal range and then maintaining clinical and biochemical euthyroidism.

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What Happens If Congential Hypothyroidism Is Not Treated

One of the main things the thyroid hormones do is to control the pace at which the body functions. If thyroid hormone levels are low, the body tends to slow down all of its functions. Some babies with congenital hypothyroidism have problems right after birth such as constipation, swelling of the tongue and other body parts, and poor feeding. Most babies with unrecognized congenital hypothyroidism seem to be normal at birth and only later develop problems such as abnormally slow growth and development of teeth, and very weak muscles. In severe cases, the brain does not develop normally and the child will be mentally retarded.

Sound Sleep Is Supportive And Stress Relief

Clare’s Story – Congenital Hypothyroidism [British Thyroid Foundation]

Though you are taking medication, you may still feel weak and lethargic. So, aim for proper rest and sound sleep.

Sleep at least 8 hours every day.

If you have trouble sleeping, consult with your doctor for sleep therapy.

In addition, do something relaxing like reading, painting, or meditation to keep yourself stress-free.

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What Does Thyroid Hormone Do

Thyroid hormone plays an important role in growth and development. Before a baby is born and up to 2 to 3 years of life, thyroid hormone is very important for brain development. After this time, thyroid hormone is important for growth as well as enabling the body to use energy and stay warm and to help the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs work as they should.

Mee Tooborn Without A Thyroid That Is

“If you want to play with the big dogs, you can’t piss like a puppy.”

  • 08-01-2010, 08:04 PM#20
  • Rep Power: 0

    Originally Posted by missalexxHey everyone – I was born without a thyroid so losing weight is a constant struggle for me. It’s really easy to gain weight but EXTREMELY difficult to loose it. I feel like if i ate the way my friends ate i’d be like 200 lbs. Thankfully I’ve lost 30 lbs on my own from it by diet and going insane at the gym for like 8 months. I would just like to loose about 13 more lbs. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and what if they take anything to help? I take thyroid pills to act as a thyroid, my levels are good but I don’t think its doing enough. like a lot of ppl on here noted ur results are VERY impressive even w/out considering ur situation. keep up the good work, gl

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    Reasons Why You Wouldnt Have A Thyroid

    There are a few main scenarios that could potentially result with not having a thyroid gland in its entirely, portions of a gland, deformed thyroid tissue or cells, or poor activity of the gland:

    Thyroidectomy Thyroid Gland Removal Through a Surgical Procedure Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure that is promoted by allopathic doctors as a treatment for thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, cysts, goiter and similar enlargement or inflammation of thyroid cells and tissue. The procedure of removing the thyroid gland may involve with removing the entire gland including the parathyroid glands which are located on the thyroid gland, or removing some bigger or smaller portions of the thyroid gland and tissue.

    Thyroidectomy is the most common reason why individuals lose their thyroid gland. This extreme and drastic procedure should never be taken lightly, no matter how many times your doctor did it before, and how many operations he/she does daily, its not an in and out simple procedure as many patients are led to believe. At the end of the day, you are going to be the one who is left to live with the results for the rest of your life, and therefore, you should take all the necessary steps to avoid it and look for alternative natural solutions to restore your thyroid health.

    This is a different scenario from the above cases, however the natural healing approach of detoxification and regeneration of cells is identical, which we are going to discuss below.

    Thyroid Radionuclide Uptake And Scan

    Being Born With Congenital Hypothyroidism

    Thyroid radionuclide uptake and scanning are the most accurate imaging tests to define the size and location of any thyroid tissue. Preferred tracer in neonate is Iodine-123 or sodium pertechnetate 99m as I-131 delivers too high a dose of radioactivity to the thyroid and total body. Radionuclide uptake and scan may identify thyroid aplasia , hypoplasia or an ectopic gland. Absence of uptake can also be seen with TSHb gene mutations, TSH receptor inactivating mutations, iodide trapping defects and with maternal thyrotropin receptor blocking antibodies .

    A large gland in a eutopic location with increased uptake is compatible with one of the dyshormonogeneses beyond trapping of iodide. a perchlorate discharge test can be performed to confirm this dyshormonogenic CH.

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    Can You Live Without A Thyroid Gland

    The thyroid gland is an essential organ. Your body relies on the hormones it produces to regulate your metabolism. Without those necessary hormones, you can develop hypothyroidism, leading to long-term complications if you do not get treatment.

    In short, can you live without a thyroid? Yes, but you will need lifelong treatment with thyroid hormone replacement medication.


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