Frequently Asked Questions

Thyroid hormone shifts / weird symptoms


Sometimes people feel weird for a few days or even a week after surgery. This is not common–most people feel great!¬† But sometimes people will call the office and say they feel bad. They think they are having low calcium symptoms but they don’t have any tingling or the typical low-calcium symptoms (which very few people get!).

What is happening in most of these people is 1) they are still a little sick/weird from the anesthesia drugs, or 2) they are a little weird from changes in the parathyroid hormone levels (big changes in hormones occur after this operation), or 3) they are having a few symptoms from extra thyroid hormone being released from their thyroid gland. Most of the time it is a combination of the first two. Remember, the purpose of the parathyroid operation was to change the hormone levels in the blood, specifically parathyroid hormone. But these hormones are all tied together to some degree and this can make people feel weird for a few days. It will always get better as you get used to your new, healthy levels.

Fast heart rate, high blood pressure, feeling anxious

Parathyroid surgery requires your surgeon to move the thyroid from side to side to get to the parathyroid glands which are behind the thyroid. This can sometimes cause the thyroid to spit out a little extra thyroid hormone into your system for a few days. This can cause facial redness/flushing (first 48 hrs), headaches, feelings of anxiety and shakiness, mild periodic elevations in the heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, loose stools, generalized fatigue, weakness, occasional dizzy spells, and hot/cold flashes.

This will resolve over the next few days and possibly as long as 10-14 days. Extra calcium should only be taken if you are having low calcium tingling and/or numbness. If there are any questions, call us, but know that this will pass in time. Feel free to treat the symptoms (such as Tylenol or ibuprophen for headaches) and stay hydrated.