If Part Of My Thyroid Is Surgically Removed Will The Other Part Be Able To Make Enough Thyroid Hormones To Keep Me Off Of Medication
Sometimes, your surgeon may be able to remove part of your thyroid and leave the other part so that it can continue to create and release thyroid hormones. This is most likely in situations where you have a nodule thats causing your thyroid problem. About 75% of people who have only one side of the thyroid removed are able to make enough thyroid hormone after surgery without hormone replacement therapy.
How Can My Doctor Tell If I Have A Thyroid Nodule That Is Cancerous
Your doctor can do several different tests. One test is called fine-needle aspiration. Your doctor will take a tissue sample from your thyroid gland and examine it under a microscope to see if its cancerous. The tissue sample is taken with a very small needle.
Another test your doctor may do is an ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to make a picture of the thyroids shape and the size of the nodules. It can help your doctor determine whether the nodule is a solid tumor or a cyst filled with fluid.
A third test is a thyroid scan. Your doctor will inject harmless radioactive iodine into a vein in your arm. The iodine is absorbed by your thyroid gland and makes it glow as your doctor takes a special picture. Your doctor can learn about the nodule depending on how much or how little of the iodine shows in the picture.
What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease
There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.
For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:
- Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
You May Like: How To Reduce Double Chin Due To Thyroid
The Small Thyroid Gland In Your Neck Has Huge Impact On Wellness
When discussing health and wellness, the thyroid gland isnt likely a hot topic between friends and family. This tiny gland is frequently overlooked, yet deserves attention because it plays such a large role in the health of the body, impacting how you look and feel every day.
Small yet mighty, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck. It produces critical hormones that serve as chemical messengers that help regulate the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, skin, metabolism, growth and even some functions of the nervous system.
Ensuring the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vitally important to the bodys overall well-being, said Dr. Felice Caldarella, president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology. However, thyroid disease affects as many as 30 million Americans, and more than half remain undiagnosed because symptoms are often similar to the signs of other medical conditions.
What Are Thyroid Nodules
A thyroid nodule is an unusual growth of thyroid cells in the thyroid gland.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that secrete various hormones into the bloodstream. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located on the front of the neck, just under the Adam’s apple . The thyroid gland, which is made up of the right and left lobes connected to the isthmus , produces and releases thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control functions such as body temperature, digestion and heart functions.
Don’t Miss: Thyroid Blood Test Fasting
What Are The Risk Factors For Thyroid Nodules
Risk factors for developing thyroid nodules include:
- Family history. Having parents or siblings who have had thyroid nodules or thyroid or other endocrine cancers increases your chance of developing nodules.
- Age: The chance of developing nodules increases as you get older.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid nodules.
- Radiation exposure: A history of radiation exposure to the head and neck increases your risk of developing nodules.
Risk factors for developing cancerous thyroid nodules include:
- Family history of thyroid cancer
- A nodule that is hard or is stuck to a nearby structure
- Male gender
Does A Thyroid Cancer Lump Hurt When I Put Pressure On It
It is usually painless, says Lorch. If it is tender, that could mean that a tumor is growing relatively fast, which could be a warning sign. On the other hand, there are a lot of things that could cause discomfort in the thyroid gland, like inflammation, so pain is not necessarily a good or bad sign.
In fact, aside from tenderness or difficulty swallowing, symptoms of thyroid cancer are often subtle. Thyroid cancer cases are generally found during a routine checkup, or through imaging tests done because of other health concerns.
Recommended Reading: Apple Cider Vinegar For Thyroid
I Think I Feel A Lump/thyroid Nodule Now What
Typically, the nodule will feel firmer than the rest of the thyroid gland, but You should look for asymmetry, and if you can palpate something that counts, explains Lorch.
If you feel a nodule, you should contact your doctor, Lorch says.
Patients are sent to an endocrinologist, where an ultrasound can determine if the thyroid gland lump looks suspicious. If it does, the endocrinologist or pathologist will use a small needle to remove tissue or fluid from the thyroid to examine it for cancer cells.
Thyroid nodules are very common and frequently reported, and the overwhelming odds are that they will be benign, Lorch adds.
Although the chances are low that a thyroid lump is cancerous, early detection is important. If you feel any changes to your thyroid glands or are experiencing symptoms like tenderness or difficulty swallowing, it is important to talk to your doctor.
Thyroid cancer is a very curable disease it just needs to be treated right away, Lorch says.
What Is A Thyroid Flare Up
Flares happen because there’s additional stress on your body, which taxes an immune system that already acts unnaturally hypervigilant, sending it into a tailspin. When flares happen, there is a greater antibody response going on at that time, which leads to more destruction of the thyroid gland, says Dr. Sharma.
Recommended Reading: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
Who Should Be Tested
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder.
Thyroid Goiter: When Is A Radioiodine Scan Ordered
If you have a thyroid goiter and your blood tests also demonstrate that your thyroid hormone level is too high , this is the only instance that a radioiodine scan is indicated. In these cases, the thyroid stimulating hormone will be very low and in cases of Grave’s disease, the thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin will be very high. The thyroid goiter patient may or may not have recognized symptoms of their hyperthyroidism.
During the thyroid scan, the patient will be given a small amount of radioactive iodine in a pill and a special imaging camera is utilized to determine how much iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland and if the thyroid goiter takes up iodine throughout the thyroid gland or whether there is a single “hot” area in the thyroid , relative to the remainder of the thyroid gland . If a thyroid nodule has less iodine uptake than the rest of the thyroid gland, then the thyroid nodule is called a “cold nodule”. In patients with multinodular goiter, frequently several of the nodules of the thyroid will be cystic and filled with fluid. These cystic areas of a multinodular goiter are expected to take up less iodine than the rest of the gland and appear “cold”.
Hot nodules are almost always non-cancerous but the preferred management of hot nodules is frequently surgery since it is a clear, safe and 100% effective therapy for the hyperthyroidism.
Recommended Reading: Hypothyroidism Double Chin
Other Causes Of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism can also result from thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid and sometimes begin producing thyroid hormones. Large lumps may create a noticeable goiter. Smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound. A thyroid uptake and scan can tell if the lump is producing too much thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : Uncomfortable Pressure Sensation On The Breathing Tube
- What to do about it?
A thyroid nodule that causes problems with breathing should almost always be removed with surgery. This is a routine operation because this symptom is pretty common. There is an uncommon thyroid cancer that can present with these pressure on the trachea symptoms, but the vast majority of people with this symptom have a large, benign goiter that needs removed. An ultrasound scan should be done in all patients who have problems breathing related to the thyroid gland.
Don’t Miss: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Goiters And Thyroid Nodules
A goiter is most often spotted because it’s in the very front of the neck and moves up and down when a person swallows. People with a goiter might have the sensation that food is stuck in the throat, especially when they lie down or sleep on their backs.
But goiters often grow very slowly over months and years before being noticed. It can be hard even for parents who pay close attention to notice the change early.
Sometimes a nodule can appear in a healthy gland. It may feel like a lump in the throat, or cause tenderness or pain in the front of the neck. A large nodule might be visible at the front of the neck. Some kids with thyroid nodules have pain in the front of the neck or feel like they have a lump in the throat.
Can I Check My Thyroid At Home
You can do a quick and easy self-exam of your thyroid at home. The only tools you need to do this self-exam are a mirror and a glass of water.
To do the thyroid self-exam, follow these steps:
- Start by identifying where your thyroid is located. Generally, youll find the thyroid on the front of your neck, between your collar bone and Adams apple. In men, the Adams apple is much easier to see. For women, its usually easiest to look from the collar bone up.
- Tip your head back while looking in a mirror. Look at your neck and try to hone in on the space you will be looking once you start the exam.
- Once youre ready, take a drink of water while your head is tilted back. Watch your thyroid as you swallow. During this test, youre looking for lumps or bumps. You may be able to see them when you swallow the water.
Repeat this test a few times to get a good look at your thyroid. If you see any lumps or bumps, reach out to your healthcare provider.
You May Like: Apple Cider Vinegar And Levothyroxine
Nerves Thyroid & Other Body Parts
You see, the nerves linked to the thyroid gland can be mapped down the spine specifically to, you guessed it, C7. And misalignment of C7 can cause pinching of the nerves to the thyroid gland. Look again at that image above and think about it for a moment. C7 is right at the base of the back of the neck and your thyroid gland is right at the base of the front of the neck. Pretty darn close, right.
In 2015, the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association published a case report of a 29-year-old woman brought to the emergency room for psychosis caused by hypothyroidism, or myxedema madness. She had a 3-year history of chronic pain ever since a waterskiing accident followed by cervical spine fusions of the C4-C5 and C6-C7. The patients hypothyroidism was believed to be caused by a somatovisceral reflex dysfunction related to disruption of the nerves in the region of her cervical spine. While in the ER, imaging of the patients cervical spine showed that her previous spinal fusion surgeries had failed. When the failed fusions were surgically corrected, the patients hypothyroidism resolved. Two years after the successful refusions of her cervical spine, the woman was pain free no longer requiring pain medications and no longer requiring thyroid treatment.
How Are Thyroid Nodules Treated
Treatment depends on the type of thyroid nodule. Treatment options include:
- No treatment/”watchful waiting.” If the nodules are not cancerous, you and your doctor may decide that you dont need to be treated at this time. You will see your doctor on a regular basis so he or she can watch for any changes in the nodules.
- Radioactive iodine. Your doctor may use radioactive iodine to treat hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules and goiters with several nodules. The radioactive iodine is absorbed into the thyroid gland, causing the nodules to shrink. Pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant should not have this treatment.
- Surgery. Surgery to take out the nodules is the best treatment for nodules that are cancerous, cause “obstructive symptoms” , and are suspicious .
Read Also: Thyroid Test Fasting
What Is The Evaluation Of A Thyroid Goiter
The following are a list of tests that are required in the evaluation of a patient with a Thyroid Goiter.
- Complete Medical History and Physical Examination
- T3 and T4
- Thyroglobulin Antibody
- Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin
- Ultrasound with possible Fine Needle Aspiration guided
Medical history and physical examination is required for all patients with a thyroid goiter
If there is a suspicion that you may have a thyroid goiter, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had a diagnosis of thyroid goiter, thyroid cancer or other endocrine cancers, these are important factors.
Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Pain
Thyroid pain may vary in intensity. Some people experience a mild discomfort around the thyroid gland, others describe it as tightness particularly when swallowing or a dull ache throughout the thyroid gland.
Common symptoms of the thyroid pain are:
- the pain usually exacerbates when palpated
- in case of an acute thyroid pain, persistent pain can be an indicator of major thyroid problem requiring medical or surgical intervention
- a neck lump or mass may appear in the neck if the pain is due to goiter and cause severe thyroid pain in neck
- discomfort or pain when swallowing
- hoarse voice
- most of thyroid nodules causing severe pain tend to be malignant. Therefore, it is important to be careful when there is swelling or pain of the thyroid gland.
You May Like: Soy Milk Thyroid
Other Causes Of Nodules
Other causes of thyroid nodules include:
- a benign overgrowth known as a colloid adenoma, which is usually harmless
- a cyst, which may contain fluid or blood
People often cannot see or feel a thyroid nodule. They may learn that they have one when they have an imaging test for another condition.
Tests to investigate unusual thyroid activity include:
- an ultrasound to see if a nodule is present, how big it is, and if it contains fluid
- a blood test to assess hormone levels and other factors
- a biopsy to remove and test a small piece of tissue
- a nuclear thyroid scan
A fine needle biopsy or aspiration can show whether a nodule is malignant or not. The doctor will insert a thin needle into the thyroid gland and suction out a few cells for testing.
If biopsy results suggest cancer, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the nodule and to examine the tissue more closely.
A nuclear thyroid scan can show whether the thyroid gland is working properly. For this test, the individual takes radioactive iodine by mouth or intravenously. They then undergo a scan to see how well the thyroid gland is working and if there are any nodules.
Are There Different Types Of Thyroid Removal Surgery
If your healthcare provider determines that your thyroid needs to be removed, there are a couple of ways that can be done. Your thyroid may need to be completely removed or just partially. This will depend on the severity of your condition. Also, if your thyroid is very big or has a lot of growths on it, that could prevent you from being eligible for some types of surgery.
The surgery to remove your thyroid is called a thyroidectomy. There are two main ways this surgery can be done:
- With an incision on the front of your neck.
- With an incision in your armpit.
The incision on the front of your neck is more of the traditional version of a thyroidectomy. It allows your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid. In many cases, this might be your best option. You may need this approach if your thyroid is particularly big or has a lot of larger nodules.
Alternatively, there is a version of the thyroid removal surgery where your surgeon makes an incision in your armpit and then creates a tunnel to your thyroid. This tunnel is made with a special tool called an elevated retractor. It creates an opening that connects the incision in your armpit with your neck. The surgeon will use a robotic arm that will move through the tunnel to get to the thyroid. Once there, it can remove the thyroid back through the tunnel and out of the incision in your armpit.
- Are not at a healthy body weight.
- Have large thyroid nodules.
- Have a condition like thyroiditis or Gravess disease.
Also Check: Apple Cider Vinegar Thyroid Nodules