Can a person live without a thyroid?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thyroidectomy is relatively common, the most common reason for removal is a malignant tumor of the gland. In some cases thyrotoxic crisis or thyroid storm may necessitate thyroidectomy. Thyroid storm is a life threatening illness and is characterized by tachycardia, severe hypertension, heart failure, and cardiac dysrhythmias. Yes, you can live just fine if the thyroid gland is removed but you will have to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life.

The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that secretes the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH, released by the by the pituitary), and triiodothyronine (T3), directly into the bloodstream. These hormones working together control the process and rate of cellular metabolism. In children they are responsible for growth.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, a person can live a healthy life without a thyroid. The thyroid produces hormones that have many very important responsibilities and it also helps to regulate the metabolism of the entire body. People may be missing their thyroid gland for a couple of different reasons. For example, some people are born without them, but usually they are surgically removed because of disease, such as cancer or Grave's Disease. They may also be removed because of goiter or thyroid nodules. When someone does have their thyroid removed, they are given thyroid hormone replacement medications.

thewriter | Student

The thyroid gland produces some hormones which are essential for the body. These include T3 and T4. They help the body in metabolizing food to supply energy and heat. T3 triggers the metabolism in the mitochondria of cells.  This increases the basal metabolic rate, starts protein synthesis and are necessary for the development of all cells in the body. It also helps in the right use of proteins, fats and glucose in the body. The hormones help regulate body temperatures and also influence neural activity.

It is not possible to live without the hormones produced by the thyroid, though artificial hormones are available now that can be taken in the form of pills if there is any shortage of these hormones in the body due to the gland not producing enough.