Thyroid UK
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Thyroid Removal and Kidney Pain

Hi, am after some advice. I had my thyroid removed 2 weeks ago which went fine but since then I have had terrible kidney pain. A week after surgery I had an awful stabbing pain in my right kidney which hospitalised me. Part of my kidney died (refarction) and they are not sure why. Though they are sure it is nothing to do with the Thyroidectomy. Can this be right? Anyone had kidney issues? Can Thyroxine have an impact? Any advice appreciated.

6 Replies

Never really thought about this before, but your post prompted me to look.... Yep, it seems the two are very interlinked... Along with cardiovascular stuff. You need to make sure that you don't go hypothyroid.. Have a read of this....

Xx g

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Welcome to the forum, avb123.

I'm sorry you're having such an awful time. As Galathea has posted there is a connection between kidney and thyroid function. If your thyroid was failing prior to thyroidectomy your kidney function may also have been failing at the same time and the shock of surgery and anaesthetic may have been too much. I haven't read other members reporting kidney failure just after thyroidectomy.

I've not read anything suggesting Levothyroxine would have caused it. It takes 7/10 days to get Levothyroxine into the cells so it's unlikely to be the reason if you were having pain straight after the thyroidectomy.

In case you aren't aware, you should take your Levothyroxine with a full glass of water on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after food and drink, two hours away from other medication and supplements and four hours away from calcium, iron and oestrogen.


What led to you needing your thyroid to be removed, if you don't mind me asking? It could be a bit of a chicken and egg thing, as Galathea and Clutter have suggested - adrenal gland function has a direct effect on thyroid function - the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. So it's possible your kidney's been failing for a while, and worsening your thyroid problems.

So sorry to hear you're having such a rough time - it's absolute pants that you're going through all this. Big hug x


Hi Galathea, thanks that was an interesting link. Excuse my ignorance but won't the blood test for thyroid function tell me if I am hypothyroid or not?

Hi Clutter, I had my thyroid out on the 4th and the kidney pain started on 11th and persisted. The pain was awful initially, I passed out and was blue lighted all the way to a&e. It lessened over the next few days and now feels like someone is constantly squeezing my insides. Thanks for the advice about the water, I didn't know that, I was just having a sip. I am taking 2 dihydrocodeine every 4 hours for the pain so I need to space it two hours from the thyroxine, I didn't know that also. Why don't they tell me...... Thank you for the link.

Hi Lily May, yes I should have put some context, sorry. I am a 35yr old bloke with an obscure genetic condition called P10 Hamartoma Tumour Syndrome. This gives me a 1 in 3 chance of developing thyroid cancer. Recently I had some growths appear on my thyroid which were growing relatively quick so the advice was to take the thyroid out as safer than monitoring and biopsy. As far as I know there was nothing wrong with my thyroid function at all.

So thanks all for the replies, I have a clinic appointment coming up shortly to discuss what to do next and i will ask them again as to link between the operation, the thyroxine and kidney pain. I can't go on much longer like this as it blinking well hurts :-(

PS lumps were benign on thyroid so not all bad.


HI You need an ultra sound for the kidneys. Maybe adrenal gland just upset and temporary.

Best wishes,



Just as an update to this. I had what is called a renal infarction, this means part of my kidney died. It looks like a blood clot had got stuck in my kidney and blocked the blood supply to my kidney causing the pain. So nothing to do with the thyroidectomy (except the blood clot could be result of the surgery).


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