HomeDoes An Enlarged Thyroid Cause Coughing

Does An Enlarged Thyroid Cause Coughing

Causes Of Thyroid Nodules


Thyroid nodules, masses in the thyroid gland, can be the result of benign cell overgrowth or actual discrete tumors comprised of thyroid cells that can be benign or cancerous. Thyroid nodules can sometimes contain fluid, which usually collects due to bleeding from the fragile blood vessels in thyroid tumors, so called cystic degeneration. This event sometimes causes the sudden onset of pain and swelling in the front of the neck, which typically subsides over several days.

Fortunately, more than 90% of thyroid nodules are not cancers, but malignancy should be considered in every affected person. Often patients with small thyroid nodules, less than 1 cm in diameter, and no risk factors for thyroid cancer can simply be reexamined or imaged by sonography to be sure the nodule is not enlarging. For larger nodules, additional studies are usually indicated, as described below.

What Is An Enlarged/swollen Thyroid

Lets start with some thyroid basics:

Your thyroid is an endocrine gland that sits at the base of your neck.

It produces some of the most important hormones known in the human body: T3 and T4 known as thyroid hormones.

Disorders, including anatomical changes to the thyroid, can cause serious problems in the body which often present with certain symptoms.

For such an important little gland in your body, there are a lot of potential problems that can arise with its function.

One of these problems is an enlargement of the gland.

The problem with an enlarged thyroid is that it is a nonspecific term which is simply used to describe the shape and size of the thyroid gland .

Knowing that your thyroid is enlarged or swollen doesnt necessarily say anything about the function of your gland .

We will talk how to properly assess if your gland is functioning properly in the testing section below, but for now, lets discuss the potential causes of an enlarged thyroid.

Thyroid Disease And Pregnancy

Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce the proper amount of hormones needed by the body. Thyroid hormones help regulate the body’s heart rate, temperature and metabolism. A malfunctioning gland may be producing too much or too little of these hormones. During pregnancy, thyroid hormones are essential not only to the mothers health, but to the developing babys brain and nervous system, too.

Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are diagnosed during pregnancy by assessing symptoms and taking a blood test. Mild hyperthyroidism must be closely monitored, but not necessarily treated. Moderate to severe cases of hyperthyroidism are treated with medication to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is treated with medication as well to restore levels of thyroid hormone.

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Are Thyroid Nodules Cancer

The vast majority more than 95% of thyroid nodules are benign . If concern arises about the possibility of cancer, the doctor may simply recommend monitoring the nodule over time to see if it grows.

Ultrasound can help evaluate a thyroid nodule and determine the need for biopsy. A thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy can collect samples of cells from the nodule, which, under a microscope, can provide your doctor with more information about the behavior of the nodule.

What Is Difficulty Swallowing

why does my throat feel like it

Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, occurs when the muscles and nerves that allow you to swallow become irritated, compressed, or damaged. It is more common with age.

It may feel like food is stuck in your throat or chest, or cause coughing, heartburn, pain when swallowing, regurgitation , and drooling.

Sometimes, difficulty swallowing is caused by something simple, like eating too fast or poor chewing. But it can be caused by physical issues with your esophagus, such as a blockage or swelling. Or it may be a sign of a serious condition, such as cancer or a stroke.

Treatment may include medication, endoscopy, or surgery.

Pro Tip

Difficulty swallowing causes a lot of discomfort, but it can also lead to aspiration, which is when food or liquid gets into the airways instead of the esophagus. Everyone aspirates a little bit, but when people have difficulty swallowing, they can aspirate more, which can lead to pneumonia. Dr. Judy Kim

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Common Thyroid Symptoms You Probably Arent Aware Of

The following symptoms are fairly common among those with thyroid disease even if theyre a surprise to you.

Other symptoms of thyroid disease include hoarseness, mood swings, fertility problems, peripheral neuropathy, constipation, poor temperature regulation, muscle weakness, eye pain and pressure, vertigo, depression, headaches, shortness of breath and wounds that heal slowly.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and havent been diagnosed with thyroid disease, we suggest contacting your Portland ENT specialist for an examination.

Acute Or Infectious Thyroiditis

Acute or infectious thyroiditis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Its rare and associated with a weakened immune system or, in children, a problem with the development of the thyroid.

Symptoms may include pain in the throat, feeling generally unwell, swelling of the thyroid gland and, sometimes, symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland or symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland.

Symptoms usually get better when the infection is treated with antibiotics.

Thyroid pain can be managed with painkillers like ibuprofen.

If symptoms are severe with signs of infection an ultrasound scan of the thyroid may be needed to check for other problems.

Children usually need an operation to remove the abnormal part of the thyroid.

Page last reviewed: 24 September 2020 Next review due: 24 September 2023

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What Are Symptoms Of Thyroiditis

Symptoms of inflammation of the thyroid gland include:

  • Low thyroid hormone

Tests for inflammation of the thyroid gland may include:

  • Thyroid function tests
  • T3 and T4 in the blood
  • Thyroid antibody tests to measure thyroid antibodies
  • Antithyroid antibodies
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate to measure inflammation
  • Ultrasound of the thyroid which may show:
  • Nodules
  • Echo texture of the gland
  • Radioactive iodine uptake
  • Failure To Adequately Treat Cough

    Thyroid Nodule Producing Symptoms While Swallowing for Thyroid Nodule Video

    Current guidelines have recommended a combination of diagnostic testing and empirical trials in the management chronic cough . Some authors have reported that the characteristics of a cough confer little diagnostic information but in practice, prominent symptoms of an upper airway disorder or indigestion should prompt a treatment trial of anti-rhinitic therapy or anti-reflux therapy . The question of how much and for how long of a specific treatment has yet to be unequivocally answered. This point is perhaps best illustrated in the management of GORD associated cough. Although lacking a strong evidence base, it may be necessary to embark on intensive courses of anti-reflux therapy, because in contrast to the symptoms of heartburn, which usually resolve after a few days treatment, improvement in cough seems to take much longer . In one study, mean duration to treatment success was 179 days . As a consequence, failure to comply with prolonged therapy and lifestyle changes may result in relapse and explain poor treatment success even in patients with a high suspicion of GORD associated cough .

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    How Is Thyroiditis Diagnosed

    Lab tests often can diagnose thyroiditis, including what type you have. Your doctor will start with a blood test. This measures the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood. It will show if your hormone levels are too high or too low. Blood tests check your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone as well. TSH is produced in the pituitary gland and can affect your thyroid hormone levels. Blood tests also can show if you have antibodies present in your body.

    Your doctor may do a radioactive iodine uptake test. This measures your thyroids ability to absorb iodine, a mineral that is needed to produce thyroid hormone.

    In some cases, you may need a biopsy to determine what is attacking the thyroid.

    If You’re Coughing At This Time Of Day Get Your Thyroid Checked Experts Say

    The average healthy adult coughs about 19 times a day, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal. So reacting to a tickle or clearing your throat a couple of times an hour certainly isn’t anything to panic about. Coughing is a spontaneous and important reflex to remove mucus, dust, and germs from your throat. But if your airway seems to always be dry and you even have shortness of breath, it could be something worth looking into. Additionally, if your urge to cough frequently comes in the morning, you should get your thyroid levels checked. Read on to find out why, and for more on symptoms related to this key gland, check out If You Notice This on Your Nails, Get Your Thyroid Checked, Doctors Say.

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    Is It Menopause Or Thyroid Disorder

    Thyroid disorders can cause symptoms that are mistaken for those of a woman approaching menopause. Both menstrual cycle changes and mood changes can result from the menopausal transition or from thyroid conditions. Blood tests can determine which of these conditions is responsible for your symptoms. Its also possible to have a combination of the two causes.

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    Thyroid Nodules: When To Worry

    Pin on Thyroid Disease

    Suppose you go to your doctor for a check-up, and, as shes feeling your neck, she notices a bump. Then, suppose she tells you theres a nodule on your thyroid. Is it time to panic?

    No, say experts at Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Thyroid nodules even the occasional cancerous ones are treatable.

    Heres what you need to know about thyroid nodules and how concerned you should be if you develop one.

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    How Is A Thyroid Goiter Diagnosed

    • Blood tests are done to check the level of thyroid hormones in your body. A blood test may also show if you have an autoimmune disease that caused your goiter.
    • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your thyroid on a screen.
    • A fine-needle biopsy is done to get a tissue sample from your thyroid gland for testing.
    • A thyroid scan is done to take pictures of your thyroid gland. A radioactive dye is given through a vein to help your healthcare provider see your thyroid better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any dye.

    Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Cough That Just Wont Go Away Frequent Coughing And A Need To Keep Clearing Your Throat

    • What to do about it?
    • Thyroid nodules that cause the patient to cough should always be evaluated with an ultrasound scan. Occasionally a CAT scan is required because it is better at looking at big thyroid goiters than ultrasound is . Sometimes it just cant be known for sure if the thyroid nodule is actually causing the coughing. Often these patients undergo a laryngoscopy . If the thyroid nodule is causing the coughing, or there is a high liklihood it is the cause, then surgery is indicated. Of course, it is now very important for you to chose your surgeon wisely. The nerves to the vocal cords are occasionally damaged by a surgeon removing a thyroid and this will cause severe horseness and a loss of voice for months or even forever. We have an entire page dedicated to helping you chose a surgeon wisely!

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    How Doctors Treat Thyroid Pain

    Conventional treatment for a painful thyroid will depend on the cause of the pain.

    Typically, thyroid pain is treated with anti-inflammatory NSAIDs like ibuprofen, or corticosteroids like prednisone. If youre found to have hypothyroidism, you may be prescribed T4 thyroid replacement therapy with levothyroxine.

    If youre diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, beta blockers may be prescribed to reduce symptoms. Anti-thyroid procedures, such as radioactive iodine treatment or even removal of your thyroid gland, may be recommended.

    Radioactive iodine treatment permanently damages your thyroid gland to prevent it from producing excess thyroid hormones. Thyroid removal is a permanent solution. Both approaches leave you hypothyroid for life. A much better approach is to treat the underlying cause of autoimmunity to try to preserve your thyroid gland and its function.

    Functional medicine treatment for a thyroid condition attempts to address the root causes of your thyroid symptoms. This may include diet and lifestyle changes, as well as treatment to improve your gut health. Often, drastic measures like thyroid removal can be avoided with this approach.

    What Causes Hyperthyroidism

    Thyroid Cancer Symptoms & Early Warning Signs

    Hyperthyroidism has several causes. They include

    • Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your thyroid and causes it to make too much hormone. This is the most common cause.
    • Thyroid nodules, which are growths on your thyroid. They are usually benign . But they may become overactive and make too much thyroid hormone. Thyroid nodules are more common in older adults.
    • Thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid. It causes stored thyroid hormone to leak out of your thyroid gland.
    • Too much iodine. Iodine is found in some medicines, cough syrups, seaweed and seaweed-based supplements. Taking too much of them can cause your thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone.
    • Too much thyroid medicine. This can happen if people who take thyroid hormone medicine for hypothyroidism take too much of it.

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    What Is A Goiter

    A goiter is an unusually enlarged thyroid gland. It may happen only for a short time and may go away on its own without treatment. Or it could be a symptom of another thyroid disease that requires treatment. goiter is more common in women than in men and especially in women before menopause.

    Some common causes of goiter include:

    Usually, the only symptom of a goiter is a swelling in your neck. It may be large enough that you can see it or feel the lump with your hand. A very large goiter can also cause a tight feeling in your throat, coughing, or problems swallowing or breathing.

    Your doctor will do to see if it is caused by another thyroid disease.

    How Is Goiter Diagnosed

    Several tests can be used to diagnose and evaluate goiter, including the following:

    • Physical exam: Your doctor may be able to tell if the thyroid gland has grown by feeling the neck area for nodules and signs of tenderness.
    • Hormone test: This blood test measures thyroid hormone levels, which tell if the thyroid is working properly.
    • Antibody test: This blood test looks for certain antibodies that are produced in some forms of goiter. An antibody is a protein made by white blood cells. Antibodies help defend against invaders that cause disease or infection in the body.
    • Ultrasound of the thyroid: Ultrasound is a procedure that sends high-frequency sound waves through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photos. Ultrasound of the thyroid reveals the gland’s size and finds nodules.
    • Thyroid scan: This imaging test provides information on the size and function of the gland. In this test, a small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein to produce an image of the thyroid on a computer screen. This test is not ordered very often, since it is only useful in certain circumstances.
    • CT scan or MRI of the thyroid: If the goiter is very large or spreads into the chest, a CT scan or MRI is used to measure the size and spread of the goiter.

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    Help My Thyroid Is Enlarged

    Ever noticed that your neck looks larger when looking in the mirror?Have you ever been told that your thyroid sticks out? Have you been told it has to come out?There may be more to the story! First read all the most common causes and treatments which patients have used for an enlarged thyroid, which hasnt always entailed surgery. ~Janie, hypothyroid patient and site creator


    This is an autoimmune version of thyroid disease, which means your thyroid is being attacked by your own immune system, which causes the thyroid to swell from inflammation. The enlargement is commonly called a goiter and can range from very slight to a very noticeable enlargement. And its very treatable! Read the Hashimotos page. Learn why you have to insist on BOTH antibodies tests, not just one, to diagnose Hashis.and what patients have learned in treating it successfully, which ends up decreasing the swelling. There is also more in the Hashimotos chapter in the revised STTM book.



    Here is an excellent story by a thyroid patient who was able to shrink her nodules with iodine and NDT, called The Case of the Missing Thyroid Nodules.




    Congratulations.but some see their thyroid enlarge a bit thanks to the HCG hormone rise in their bodies when pregnant.




    Impaired responsiveness to TSH,

    How Is Subacute Thyroiditis Diagnosed

    Thyroid Disorder: Symptoms Of Thyroid, Treatments, Types ...

    Your doctor will feel and examine your neck to see if the thyroid gland is enlarged or inflamed. Theyll also ask you about your symptoms and your recent medical history. Your doctor will be more likely to check for subacute thyroiditis if youve recently had a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract.

    Your doctor will order a blood test to confirm a subacute thyroiditis diagnosis. This test will check the levels of certain hormones in your blood. Specifically, the blood test will measure your thyroid hormone, or free T4, and thyroid stimulating hormone levels. The free T4 and TSH levels are part of whats called an internal feedback loop. When one level is high, the other level is low, and vice versa.

    The results of the blood test will vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the initial stages, your free T4 levels will be high while your TSH levels will be low. In the later stages, your TSH levels will be high while your T4 levels will be low. An abnormal level of either hormone indicates subacute thyroiditis.

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