How to Fix Your Thyroid Health Without Your Thyroid (RAI and Thyroidectomy)

By |2017-04-24T22:38:34-07:00January 6th, 2016|Hypothyroidism|21 Comments

Do you think it’s possible to have great thyroid health without your thyroid gland?

It’s a question that I get almost every single day.

And the resounding answer is… Yes!

I’ll show you how and why in just a second.

(Note: Everything here also applies to all hypothyroidism sufferers, even if you still have your thyroid gland.)

Yet, the reality is that many hypothyroidism sufferers today are living without their thyroid gland, or at least a good portion of it.

Oftentimes in the cases of thyroid cancer and “diagnosed” hyper-thyroidism, treatment involves…

  1. Thyroidectomy – where all or part of the thyroid gland is removed surgically.
  2. Radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment – where radioactive iodine is ingested and used to kill the thyroid gland.

The end result of these two procedures is either no thyroid function or partial thyroid function.

And they are irreversible.

Now, it’s worth noting that hyper-thyroidism is oftentimes misdiagnosed today, particularly with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis causing many thyroid sufferers to undergo RAI treatment unnecessarily.

But that’s a topic for another day.

The important thing to understand here is that even if you have no thyroid gland, or it has been permanently damaged, everything we teach still applies 100%.

And you can still achieve perfect thyroid health and live a completely happy and healthy life, just like any other hypothyroidism sufferer.

No Thyroid Gland? No Problem.


The truth is you don’t need your thyroid gland to regulate your thyroid health.

Sure, without a thyroid gland you can’t produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormone to support your body’s needs…

…but the same goes for just about all hypothyroidism sufferers out there, making you not much different.

The only real difference is that you will need to supplement the right thyroid hormone to the degree that you cannot produce it.

I’ll explain what I mean by the “right thyroid hormone” in a second.

But it’s important to understand that your thyroid health involves far more than just your thyroid gland.

More importantly, it involves your entire Thyroid Hormone Pathway.

And your thyroid gland is just one single part of this very important pathway.

(Note: I cover your Thyroid Hormone Pathway in more detail in this article on “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”).

In fact, supplementing thyroid hormone is the easy part.

Yet, supplementing thyroid hormone alone doesn’t ensure proper thyroid health.

You still have to get that thyroid hormone to your cells.

And this is a problem for all hypothyroidism sufferers.

You’re simply handed a thyroid prescription and sent on your way while your body isn’t able to make use of the medication because it’s not getting to your cells.

It’s like trying to water your garden when your hose is kinked (blocked)…

…no matter how much water you try to force through, it’s blocked and no water can come out.

Eventually your garden begins to wither away.


The same goes for thyroid medication…

… no matter how much you take, if your Thyroid Hormone Pathway is blocked then it can’t get to your cells and it won’t do you much good.

And thyroid hormone can become blocked in many parts of your Thyroid Hormone Pathway such as:

  • At your liver
  • In your bloodstream
  • At your cell receptors
  • Inside your cells

(Note: Want to learn some simple tricks to help you start unblocking your Thyroid Hormone Pathway? Use this super simple 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol. You can find it here.)

The Simple 3 Food Triple Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol

Why You Need T3 (active thyroid hormone)… No Ifs Ands or Buts

Unfortunately when it comes to thyroidectomy or RAI treatment, doctors are really dropping the ball and doing a major disservice to their patients.

Most doctors continue to prescribe T4-Only (inactive thyroid hormone) medications like Synthroid or the generic levothyroxine, which is very unnatural.

Your thyroid gland naturally produces T3, although in lesser amounts than the inactive T4 it produces.

But the T3 it does produce is very important for a number of reasons.

One of which is to support peripheral organ function.

For example, your liver needs this T3 to energize and do its job to produce the larger amounts of T3 that are necessary to support every cell of your body.

Supplementing T4 alone tends to suppress your liver’s ability to produce adequate T3.

This is why it’s important to supplement thyroid hormone in the proper rations of T3 to T4 (around 1 to 4) which more closely mimics what your thyroid gland would naturally produce.

And hopefully that makes sense.

It’s like having an artificial heart. You would want the artificial heart to mimic a real heart, right?

Otherwise, there could be dire consequences.

Well, the same goes for your thyroid.

So, if you don’t have a thyroid, don’t despair.

With the right thyroid supplement or medication and focus on fixing your Thyroid Hormone Pathway, you too can live a happy, healthy, and normal life.

Just keep following what we teach because everything still applies 100%.

About the Author:

Tom Brimeyer is the founder of Forefront Health and the creator of the popular Hypothyroidism Revolution program series. Specializing in thyroid and metabolism disorders, Tom's work has impacted over 50,000 people spanning more than 60 countries. Tom is also a highly sought after practitioner who runs a successful health consulting practice where he continues to help clients across the globe to take back control of their lives from their devastating health conditions.


  1. Danielle January 7, 2016 at 7:05 am - Reply

    I am so HAPPY to see this article. I am one those persons who was misdiagnosed for years and then at my doctor’s recommendation had RAI and my world basically fell apart. I have been trying unsuccessfully for a year and a half to get my thyroid numbers up and to feel well.

  2. Daniela January 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Tom, you don’t tell us how to get T3 if we take Levo due to RAI. I understand following your practices here to move T3 and T4 through the thyroid pathway but if we’re not getting T3 in our meds, where do we get it? Is there a medication other than the standard Synthoid & Levo T4 meds to provide this?

    • Tom Brimeyer January 26, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Daniela, the best place to start is by working with your doctor to find a more appropriate medication.

  3. Marko January 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom. Could you elaborate on the other “T” hormones like T2 etc? What are the roles of these and why are they never mentioned or discussed by anyone? Dont those other hormones also have a role to play or is it only T3 and 4 that counts?

  4. Sue February 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I had a thyroidectomy seven years ago and just seem to be getting worse in every possible way
    No energy ,horrific headaches that last for weeks at a time. Insomnia,panic attacks,anxiety and depression not sure where to go now. I’m only on 75 mg of levothyroxine ,I just need pointing in the right direction

  5. Katie Marvene Bice March 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I had a partial thyroidectomy in 1987 and was placed on 1.25 mgs or mcgs Synthroid. Since that time my dosage has been gradually lowered and I am now on 88 mcgs every other day. In 2014, I developed a cyst on my right lobe and a nodule on my left lobe, shown on a scan of my neck area. On 10/14/14, I saw an Endocrinologist who had blood work and the scan done. Free T4 levels were 1.15, TSH 3.74 (Please note that TSH level one month prior was 0.96), and T3 Total 1.77. Several months prior to my visit to the Endocrinologist, I went to my PCP for routine bloodwork and was told my levels were high and my Synthroid dosage was lowered from 100 mcg to 88 daily. I began almost immediately experiencing adverse symptoms. My hair fell out, my finger and toenails began literally coming off, at times peeling away in layers like an onion skin is peeled away. I have had skin rashes and dry skin, severe itching, alternating chills to feeling hot and sweating profusely, fatigue, insomnia, bouts of either diarrhea or constipation. Before I never perspired, even when doing outside work in the summertime in hottest weather. The following are my Tsh levels and dates per Endocrinologist report: 10/14/14 – 3.74, 9/8/14 – 0.96, 06/09/14 – 0.96, 06/12/13 – 1.00, 11/7/12 – 0.10 (L), 12/2/11 – 1.01. I don’t have records of my previous T3 or free T4 levels prior to 10/14/14. I asked for them to be mailed to me but never received them. I have continued to see my PCP at six month intervals for routine bloodwork and followup. Each time I’ve been told my levels were fine and to continue the 88 mcgs Synthroid every other day which I have done. I have taken extra vitamin supplements suggested by my hair professional that should have helped with my hair loss but, so far, my hair has not grown back and I’ve seen no improvement in nails, skin or hair loss. At my last visit, my PCP said that he nor the Endocrinologist felt my hair loss was due to my thyroid. I saw an ENT specialist one year ago but he only suggested a biopsy of the cyst and nodule but nothing more. He said thyroid issues were very difficult to diagnose and treat. I am so discouraged. Prior to the change in my Synthroid dosage, I had beautiful, fast growing, thick, healthy hair, full of body and also had no problems with nails or skin. I have lost approximately 20 pounds. I do experience pain in my neck area especially when I do anything strenuous and have a non-productive cough. I also am getting choked much more easily, at times losing my breath, so swallowing has become and issue as well. At times my tongue will feel thick. I’ve explained all these symptoms to my PCP, the Endocrinologist and the ENT but was just dismissed as “something I had to live with” and told to continue on Synthroid as prescribed. Please can you advise me on any other route I can go to get help?? Any advice would be so appreciated. It has been almost two years this summer and I am obviously discouraged. Thank you.

    • Tom Brimeyer March 21, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Hi Katie, sorry to hear that you’re not getting the help you need and deserve. It sounds to me like you’re still quite hypothyroid and that your thyroid gland is become further enlarged (feeling choked easily). I would recommend that you use a more accurate thyroid testing protocol like the one we teach here to properly assess your thyroid function:

  6. Lisa March 11, 2016 at 7:31 am - Reply

    My dr told me that only 5-20% of people need t3. She even let me try it, and it didn’t make a big enough difference for me to continue using it. And to answer an earlier question, the drugs name that provides t3(or at least one of them) is cytomel.

    • Tom Brimeyer March 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Lisa, since your thyroid gland naturally produces T3, it only makes sense that supplementing thyroid hormone should include T3. It’s also important to also use T3 properly, not once per day as most doctors recommend. I cover this in more detail here:

  7. Ron March 27, 2016 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I have RAI by a natural path doctor and then was put on LEVO for the “rest of my life” I can honestly say I feel better not taking the LEVO than, Now my VA doctor says TAKE IT or we will have you in the Hospital and give it to intravenously …. I am now taking the levo by crushing it up and putting it under my tongue, I do this to get it into the blood stream faster. and the pill is “Sweet” not sour, so this is ok. . I have the VA doctor now on my side, and she is testing for T4 and T5 HORMONE
    If you have any remarks please e-mail me at

    • Tom Brimeyer March 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Ron, levothyroxine is a t4 only medication which is likely a big part of why it’s causing problems for you. Your thyroid gland produces both T4 and T3 so in cases where the thyroid gland is physically unable to produce adequate thyroid hormone, using a T3/T4 combination medication becomes increasingly important.

  8. Rachel Butler April 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom,

    Just wanted to say ALL you friends with No Thyroid’s and Only take Medicine……You CAN feel better…..I was blocked and felt extreme Hypothyroid for 3 + years….I did the OJ with Salt One DAY!!! and Now feel like I am ALIVE!!! I SLEEP Great and Wake READY for MY DAY!!! Now working on implementing the rest of the program!! Thanks TOM for this WONDERFUL!! Information!!! Rachel Butler NJ

    • Tom Brimeyer April 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Rachel, that’s great to hear and thanks for sharing!

  9. Janel Clarke May 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Amazing.. I wondered why I was eating a fresh orange at night time before bed. For some reason it was something my intuition provided for me to do. What else can you tell me about this choice? Wondering…

  10. Paula Scorpio June 25, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    I took Synthroid and felt like a zombie after RAI. Then the doc put me on Synthroid with Cytomel (T3). Still did not feel good. Now I take Armour Thyroid and feel fine.

  11. Peter Torres Jr , July 4, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    hi there , about 37 years ago , they took my whole thyriod of , they use Radioactive Idoine to remove all , and have been takeing Armaor for all of this years , but one doctor told me they are going to stop making Armor , for thyroid ,,,,,,,,,,, as you know Armor has the T3 and T4 I think , and dont know what to do if they take it of the market ,,,,, help Tom

    • Tom Brimeyer July 6, 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Hi Peter, I don’t see that happening but there are other brands of desiccated thyroid USP available such as Nature-throid and Westhroid.

    • CJ Strehle January 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      That “Armour is going to fold” crap is just that, crap! Armour is not going to stop production, but it has gone up in price astronomically! That rumor was put out, no doubt, by some Big Pharm folks, because so many people are changing to it! Cuts the bottom line of THEIR products. Since the price change, I switched to Nature-Thyroid….works almost as well….I had to up it a little. I do follow Tom’s oj and salt protocol, along with most of the rest of his regime….except for coffee….just can’t stomach it…tastes yucky.

  12. Tom Hayes December 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Like Peter, I had surgery to remove my whole thyroid 37 years ago and took Levo for all that time at 1.0 or 1.12 mcg (Tsh 1.81, T4 9.5 and T3 95 – top of the range is 190). Now, no energy, muscles cramping, weight gain, brain fog. Went to my family Dr. and thought he was ok putting me on t-3 or armour. His answer was armour was like driving a forty year old car when the new models do much better. Told him I’d like to find a Dr. to look at Thyroid meds. Went to several pharmacies to see who prescribes T-3. Finally one pharmacist gave me a list of three docs who do. Went to see the one who is a DO. He did a lot of lab work and changed me to Synthroid at 1.25 mcg. symptoms didn’t improve (Tsh up to 2.360, T4 1.40 range .82-1.77 and T3 87 range 71-180). He upped my synthroid to 1.375 tsh stayed the same, T4 dropped and no T3 test. He upped my Synthroid to 1.50 and referred me to an endocrinologist. Within a few days, I started having brain fog, falling asleep at my computer and in church (not during the sermon.) Scared my wife. Went back to my family doc and he dropped my synthoid back down to 1.25 and brain fog went away. He said to see the endo doc, but he would bet he wouldn’t put me on T3. He was right, endo doc said my thyroid numbers are in the normal range and all the endo studies say normal range is fine. Problem’s not my thyroid I was told and referred to a urologist to see about low testosterone. See him next week, but with high PSA scores, we’re not going to add testosterone. I’ve read your web site, several good thyroid books, etc. The numbers tell me that more T4 just made me more hypothyroid and that I need T3. So far no doc’s are willing to do that. I’ve searched out functional medicine docs and the closest is a couple of hours away. Is there any more predictive way to find a doc who will at least try me on T3 with a split dose morning and noon? I need help, but can’t find it. Thanks

    • CJ Strehle January 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Tom Hayes….who is paying who? TELL your physician you want to change to some t3 meds…and if he won’t do it, you can order t3-t4 meds online without a prescription…tell him/her that, too. If doc won’t work with you for your best health, research other health pros that WILL. Many offer online consultations…..go for it!

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