1. Health

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Financial Stress

Readers Respond: Thyroid Patients and Cigarette Smoking

Responses: 35


Updated May 05, 2011

May 25, 2011 = 11 Months Off Cigarettes!

I smoked for over 30 years. Five years ago I started losing weight without trying and didn't feel right. I waited too long to go to Dr. By the time I did my TSH was in normal range. Jan. 2009 I was awakened from sleep about 3:00 a.m. due to a choking or gagging sensation. I am making a long story short, I went to my internal medicine physician and he diagnosed me as hypothyroid. I started on 100 mcg. of Levo. After a Ct scan and more blood work test indicated very high antibody level. At the time I continued to smoke. I suffered from pressure in my neck due to my very enlarged thyroid (goiter). I was lined up with a surgeon who said I would have to have a total thyroidectomy. He suggested that I quit smoking 3 wks. prior to surgery. So I quit last June 25th, 2010. By my August appointment, my miracle had happened. My goiter had shrunk down so much that no surgery was needed!!!! Thank You, God!!
—Guest Janet Jane, Peoria

Quit Smoking Big Weight Gain

I was diagnosed with a hyper active thyroid. I used medication Neomercazol. After that I was given a radioactive capsule to destroy part thyroid to be under active. I then used Euthyrox. I also stopped smoking shortly after that. I have had heavy weight gain all over especially stomach. I have never had a stomach before. I have been wondering if the weight gain is in correlation to the mdeication I am taking.

quit smoking

I didn't know about the smoking and thyroid connection. I quit smoking Jan. 1st, 2005. I was so sick with bronchitis that I could barely breathe. I quit cold turkey. I asked God to get me off cigarettes and keep me off daily. I also applied the 12 steps to quitting. I had a cycle of smoking and quitting since I was 20 yrs. old. I'd smoke, then quit. One time it was 8 years before I started again. It's an addiction that is so hard to break. The last time I started, I was in the psychiatric hospital and they gave free cigarettes to the smokers & they got to go outside on the patio and smoke. It looked like a party that I wanted to go to and so I began again. I have been sober for 15 years from alcohol and I still get dreams that I began smoking and drinking again. It's very disturbing. I'm grateful for God's Grace in my life. I also realized that my sister died from breast cancer. I was smoking and giving myself cancer by choice. She didn't have a choice and she never smoked.
—Guest Susie

Glad to be a non smoker

I always thought there was a link between my giving up smoking and my thyroid problem. After giving up smoking, I waited for the new energy to kick in and to feel like a non smoker..it never happened. I felt extremely tired, my hair was thinning and brittle, my skin was dry, I put on weight., and so many other things. I thought it was my age, I was 35. I went to the doctor, who did a thyroid blood test., the test came back at 150 and the doctor asked if I was alright? I was put on levothyroxin and I have felt pretty good since. I feel knowledge is power and once I had researched my condition and read Mary's brilliant books and forum, I knew what I was dealing with. Now I feel pretty good at 41 and will never smoke again.
—Guest Hayley

Quit Smoking, Then Two Weeks Later

I smoked for over 30 years then quit. But, two weeks later the hypothyroid symptoms began: fatigue was first, the mood issues to the point I really thought I was heading to the mental institution, weight gain (over 30 lbs), joint pain sleep apnea and many others. It took my doctor 5 months to finally give me a TSH test which showed I was hypothyroid. I asked my Endocrinologist about the connection and he said it was very common in his 40 years of practicing, to see it in ex-smokers. He said it was one of those medical secrets we never hear about.
—Guest Elvis Presley

Smoking and Hypothroid

I quite smoking about the time I found out I was pregnant. I had smoked for about 17 years, but I was not diagnosed as hypothyroid until I was in my late 40s/early 50's. If I was hypothyroid during that earlier period, I would guess that it was borderline. I did have issues with being tired and lacking energy, but whenever I asked doctors my thyroid, I was told it was fine, even though I don't ever remember anyone doing any bloodwork to check it. I do wish I had pushed the point or looked for a new doctor and maybe I would have been diagnosed much earlier. I did pick up smoking again during the past year and when I had my blood work done several months ago, it came back abnormal and my meds had to be increased. I don't know if this had anything to do with it or not, but I have quit smoking again, and have no intentions of starting ever again. I have had other issues that could very well have come from the smoking.
—Guest islandlady91


I never thought of a connection between quitting smoking & getting thyroid disease. I only smoked for about 3 years, though I was up to a pack a day. I got pregnant and cut down to about 2 cigarettes a day for a couple of months and then quit. A few months after my baby was born, I was diagnosed hypothyroid and have been on thyroid meds ever since -- he'll be 11 next month. I remember reading that smoking could possibly raise the risk of thyroid disease, but I never knew it could correlate with quitting. Looks like I'm off to read more!
—Guest Carol

Was Quitting Smoking Worth It?

In January of 2006 I quit smoking after 20 years. Not even 2 weeks after, I was having trouble breathing and went to the hospital they told me they found nothing. After the weight gain and depression set in I went to another hospital and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, after the right medication (Armour) and dose I started feeling better, but after I couldn't get Armour, I have not felt as good and have gained 40 lbs. I can not get rid of the weight, and more weight just keeps coming. I always thought it was connected with quitting smoking and have often thought of going back just to see if it would go away!! (But 5 years after quitting I still haven't gone back!)
—Guest Karen

Quitting Smoking and Lethargy

I have quit smoking over the years for several months at a time. I would become so lethargic that I would start again, as this seemed like a source of energy that I can't seem to find elsewhere. UGH! I have had TSH testing and it came back "normal". I continue to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism. I'm frustrated and was tempted to start again, UNTIL I read your information about thyroid and smoking. Thanks for the information. I will continue to study.
—Guest AliceWM

Quit Smoking after 32 years

I quit smoking after 32 years and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I thought that it was caused by taking in extra soy for hot flashes. Now it may just be because I quit smoking. It was very difficult because I wanted to eat everything and yet I was trying so hard not to gain extra weight from quitting smoking. Very rough time in my life. Glad it's over. Was taking Synthroid for about 4 years and felt horrible until I started taking Armour this past month. I've NEVER FELT BETTER. What a difference.
—Guest RLP - Ohio

Double Whammy When I Stopped Smoking

I was diagnosed as hypo in Sept 2009. I was prescribed levothyroxine and advised to take one (25) for two days then up it to two and then a further two days up the medication to 3 (75). I felt awful but tried to persevere with the medication. In Jan of 2010, I asked for this to be reduced to 50. I cant really say that I felt 100% well. In July 10, I quit smoking, I did this with the aid of a dummy cigarette. I struggled over a couple of weeks with a few lapses until, completely out of the blue, I became very ill. I wasnt sure what caused the illness, I couldn't breathe and I wasn't sure whether it was an allergy or something similar. My breathing became so bad I was given an nebulizer and taken to the hospital by ambulance. After three weeks, two nebulizers, countless steroids, antibiotics, I finally started to get better. I haven't smoked since and I am totally convinced that quitting smoking increased my thyroid problems.

Thyroid and Cigarette Smoking

I was an on and off again smoker for thirty plus years and the reason I smoked was basically because it controlled my appetite and kept me thin. I knew this because each time I gave up I picked up around 10kg. At 50 I decided it was time to quit for good. All hell broke loose in my body, cellulite and lumpy legs took over as the weight piled on even though I did tai bo excercise and other. It is 7 years later and I still have 15kg extra weight even with the change of diet and learning to eat properly. I also went off to the doctor distressed at this drastic change and she found after tests that I had a low thyroid count and put me on medication. I realise that I must have had thyroid damage from smoking for many many years because from my early thirties had the symptoms of it even then, the thing is that I was ignorant about such things and turning a blind eye to the real inner damage that smoking does silently without me knowing. How sorry I am to have ever smoked.
—Guest melody

Meds and Planning

I got a prescription for Chantix and started it 2 weeks before a planned trip to visit family. Our first stop involved a sister-in-law who is so allergic to smoke that I had to walk around the block twice after each cigarette. Our next stop in we stayed at my niece's, where I had to smoke in the shed with her husband. When I realized that I hadn't gone out to the shed yet and it was 3 pm I just thought okay, I'm done. It will be 4 years this July. :-) My lungs hurt whenever I think I 'need' a smoke now.
—Guest Shannon

Quit Smoking & Seveloped Hashi's

I quit smoking in June of 2008 & developed hypothyroidism (eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto's) in the fall of 2008. I have often wondered if the two were related.
—Guest Heather Jones

Quit after Thyroid Surgery

I've always wanted to quit but never had a tangible reason until my doctor told me that I absolutely HAD to quit smoking while recovering from a total thyroidectomy. He said smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict and can do some real damage to my surgery wound. I got a prescription from my family doctor and quit within 12 days. Smoking wasn't the cause of my thyroid problems, but I finally had the motivation I needed to quit. Ironically enough, my grandmother also quit smoking post-surgery. I think there is just something about the experience of major surgery that makes one take a good, hard look at their health!
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Thyroid Disease
  4. Thyroid Disease Symptoms and Risk Factors for Thyroid Disease
  5. Thyroid and Smoking: Stories About Thyroid Disease and Smoking, Cigarette Smoking and Thyroid Treatments, and Successfully Quitting Smoking

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.