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When People Think Your Illness Can Be Cured If You 'Just Have Surgery'

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I was recently re-diagnosed. My doctor says she thinks I have Hashimoto’s. Now that my diagnosis has been changed, I keep getting one question over and over again: Why don’t you just get the thyroid removed/zapped? If you did you would be healthy again.

The simple answer is, it doesn’t work like that. I have to take a ton of different steps before I can take any action. My future is kind of up in the air right now. Hashimoto’s is more of a spectrum than a one-fits-all sort of thing.


One person’s thyroid may not be as bad as the next person’s. Some have to get their thyroid removed right away, while others can push back surgery with medications. Some people can even fix most of their problem with diet changes. I don’t know at the moment where I fall on this spectrum of treatment options.

Another problem I have with that question is that removing the thyroid doesn’t fix everything. The thyroid is not some useless body part. The thyroid controls a lot of bodily functions. If I had my thyroid removed I would have to take hormone medications. Plus, everyone’s bodies react differently to these medications. What may work on one person could make a different person worse. These treatments are not “cures” – they are just treatments.

Chronic illness does not have one-size-fits-all treatments. So next time someone opens up to you about a health disorder, don’t ask them questions about why they don’t just get the surgery/other treatment method. Just because you heard of one person who had the same thing and got “cured,” it doesn’t mean it would work. So make the life of an ill person a little bit easier by not asking misinformed statements.

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Thinkstock photo via Hin255.

Originally published: July 31, 2017
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