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HomeExclusiveHow Do You Know If Your Thyroid Is Swollen

How Do You Know If Your Thyroid Is Swollen

Do You Have Thyroid Symptoms With Normal Lab Results

How to Do a Self Thyroid Exam

    According to the American Thyroid Association, 12+ percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition. An estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder or disease. As many as 60 percent of those affected are unaware of their condition. Women are affected by thyroid disorders more often than men.

    If you tell your doctor you are concerned about thyroid problems, he or she will probably order a lab test. But what if the test comes back negative, yet your symptoms persist? Lets say you cant lose weight, always feel tired, and just feel terrible in general. You and your doctor are probably baffled by your normal thyroid blood test results.

    Some thyroid problems cause symptoms without showing up on the standard thyroid panel. For example, you may be symptomatic but cant detect the issue because your thyroid labs are in the normal range? If so, you may suffer from a less common thyroid disorder or thyroid-related dysfunction.

    Trouble Concentrating Or Remembering

    Many patients with hypothyroidism complain of mental fogginess and trouble concentrating. The way this mental fogginess presents itself varies by person.

    In one study, 22% of low-thyroid individuals described increased difficulty doing everyday math, 36% described thinking more slowly than usual and 39% reported having a poorer memory .

    In another study of 14 men and women with untreated hypothyroidism, the participants showed difficulty remembering verbal cues .

    The causes for this are not yet fully understood, but difficulties in memory improve with treatment of low thyroid hormone .

    Difficulties in memory or concentration can happen to everyone, but if they are sudden or severe, they could be a signal of hypothyroidism.

    Summary: Hypothyroidism can cause mental fogginess and difficulty concentrating. It may also impair certain kinds of memory.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

    Thyroid disorders are common. In fact, about 12% of people will experience abnormal thyroid function at some point during their lives.

    Women are eight times more likely to develop a thyroid disorder than men. Also, thyroid problems increase with age and may affect adults differently than children.

    At the most basic level, thyroid hormone is responsible for coordinating energy, growth and metabolism in your body.

    Problems can occur when this hormones levels are too high or low.

    Hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone, slows your metabolism and decreases growth or repair of many parts of the body.

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    Types Of Subacute Thyroiditis

    There are four different subtypes of subacute thyroiditis:

    Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis: Thisis the most common type of subacute thyroiditis. Its mostly caused by viral infections.

    Postpartum thyroiditis: This occurs in women within one year after giving birth, and usually goes away within 18 months. Women who develop this form of thyroiditis are thought to have an underlying autoimmune disease that causes the inflammation. Symptoms occur in two phases, starting with hyperthyroid symptoms and moving to hypothyroid symptoms.

    Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis: This also occurs during the postpartum period. Hyperthyroid symptoms develop earlier , and hypothyroid symptoms can last for several months after.

    Palpation thyroiditis: This develops when thyroid follicles are damaged from mechanical manipulation such as repeated examination of the thyroid gland or surgery.

    All of the subtypes of subacute thyroiditis follow a similar course of symptoms, with hyperthyroid developing first. The key differences are the causes.

    About Dr Peter Osborne

    How to Do a Thyroid Neck Check

    Dr. Peter Osborne is the clinical director of Town Center Wellness in Sugar Land, Texas. He is a doctor of chiropractic and a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist. His clinical focus is the holistic natural treatment of chronic degenerative musculoskeletal diseases. He is an expert in the relationship that gluten sensitivity and food allergies play in chronic inflammation. He has helped thousands of patients recover from chronic painful conditions.

    References:

    Heymann, W.R. . Thyroid Disorders with Cutaneous Manifestations. London: Springer-Verlag London Ltd.

    Macura, A.B. et al. Nail susceptibility to fungal infections in patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Przegl Lek. 2005;62:218-21.

    Magee, D.J. . Orthopedic Physical Assessment: Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Series, Sixth Edition. Missouri: Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.

    Sacchidanand, S. and Savitha, A.S. . Nail & Its Disorders. New Delhi: Jaycee Brothers Medical Publishers Ltd.

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    How Is Thyroid Cancer Treated

    The main treatment for thyroid cancer is surgery to take out the whole thyroid gland or as much of it as can be safely removed. Surgery alone can cure thyroid cancer if the cancer is small and has not yet spread to lymph nodes.

    Your doctor may also use radioiodine therapy after surgery. Radioiodine therapy destroys any thyroid cancer cells that were not removed during surgery or that have spread to other parts of the body.

    Your doctor may also talk with you about other treatments for thyroid cancer. Learn more about thyroid cancer treatments at the National Cancer Institute.

    Look For Enlargements As You Swallow

    As you swallow, look for any enlargements, lumps, protrusions, or anything that is off center. It is a good idea to repeat the process again, swallowing another mouthful of water, and observing the structures in your neck a few times.

    Thyroid nodules are bumps that usually appear round. You may feel a thyroid nodule rolling beneath your fingertips or see it move with your thyroid gland when you swallow. A goiter may be seen on one side of the thyroid, and occasionally on both.

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    What Is The Outlook For A Patient With Thyroiditis

    In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the resulting hypothyroidism is generally permanent. People who develop subacute thyroiditis usually have symptoms for 1 to 3 months, but complete recovery of thyroid function can take up to 12 to 18 months. These people have about a 5 percent chance of developing a permanent condition of hypothyroidism.

    The time frame for recovery to a thyroid that functions normally for post-partum, silent or painless thyroiditis is also about 12 to 18 months. People with these conditions have about a 20 percent chance of developing permanent hypothyroidism.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/26/2018.

    References

    What Are The Treatments For Hyperthyroidism

    How to do an at home thyroid exam

    The treatments for hyperthyroidism include medicines, radioiodine therapy, and thyroid surgery:

    • Medicines for hyperthyroidism include
    • Antithyroid medicines, which cause your thyroid to make less thyroid hormone. You probably need to take the medicines for 1 to 2 years. In some cases, you might need to take the medicines for several years. This is the simplest treatment, but it is often not a permanent cure.
    • Beta blocker medicines, which can reduce symptoms such as tremors, rapid heartbeat, and nervousness. They work quickly and can help you feel better until other treatments take effect.
  • Radioiodine therapy is a common and effective treatment for hyperthyroidism. It involves taking radioactive iodine by mouth as a capsule or liquid. This slowly destroys the cells of the thyroid gland that produce thyroid hormone. It does not affect other body tissues. Almost everyone who has radioactive iodine treatment later develops hypothyroidism. This is because the thyroid hormone-producing cells have been destroyed. But hypothyroidism is easier to treat and causes fewer long-term health problems than hyperthyroidism.
  • Surgery to remove part or most of the thyroid gland is done in rare cases. It might be an option for people with large goiters or pregnant women who cannot take antithyroid medicines. If you have all of your thyroid removed, you will need to take thyroid medicines for the rest of your life. Some people who have part of their thyroid removed also need to take medicines.
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    Changes In Menstrual Cycle Or Sexual Performance

    Hormonal changes are closely linked to sexual function. If you find that your period is becoming irregular, heavier, or more painful than before, or if you are experiencing stronger emotional symptoms tied to PMS, your thyroid might be the cause.

    You might also experience difficulty with sexual performance or enjoyment. If you are having difficulty with libido or achieving orgasm or if you cannot maintain an erection, you could also be struggling with a thyroid-related symptom.

    While these are uncomfortable issues to talk about, they should absolutely be addressed with us to rule out not only thyroid trouble but also anything else that might quietly be causing these issues.

    How Is Hypothyroidism Treated

    Hypothyroidism is treated with medicine that gives your body the thyroid hormone it needs to work normally. The most common medicines are man-made forms of the hormone that your thyroid makes. You will likely need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of your life. When you take the pills as your doctor tells you to, the pills are very safe.

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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. It’s also possible to have a combination of the two causes.

    Clinical Contributors To This Story

    Annie&Isabel: The Answer Is.....Thyroid Cancer + An Update ...

    Alexander Shifrin, M.D. contributes to topics such as Endocrine Surgery.

    Theres a good reason medical checkups typically include a quick but gentle pat-down of your neck area by health care providers. Among other conditions, theyre looking for a goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland that may spell health problems but can also be harmless.

    Goiters affect about 16 percent of people worldwide, ranging from just under 5 percent in the United States to 28.3 percent in Africa, according to the National Institutes of Health. But the most common cause of goiters globallya lack of the nutrient iodineisnt a significant issue in the U.S., where iodized salt is routinely used.

    In our country, many goiters are idiopathic, meaning we dont know the reason why they occur, says Alexander Shifrin, M.D., an endocrine surgeon at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

    Still, various risk factors can make it more likely that youll develop a goiter. These include:

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    Other Causes Of Hypothyroidism

    In some cases, hypothyroidism results from a problem with the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain. This gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone , which tells the thyroid to do its job. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH, levels of thyroid hormones will fall. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.

    Benefits And Limitation Of The Self

    An at-home self-exam known as the “neck check” can help you find thyroid lumps or enlargements on your own thyroid gland. These growths may point to any number of thyroid conditions from nodules and goiters to;thyroid cancer.

    Lumps in the neck can be caused by thyroid disease, and they can also be caused by a variety of other conditions, such as lymph node enlargement, lymphoma, an infectious abscess, or a traumatic injury.

    In general, a neck check is not considered the most accurate or reliable way to identify thyroid disease. You can have serious thyroid disease if you have a completely normal neck check. On the other hand, a major growth can often be a sign of an easily treatable condition, such as an iodine deficiency.

    In the end, there are limitations as to what a neck check can tell you. A 2017 report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that neck palpation was able to detect thyroid nodules in only 11.6% of cases. Ultrasound, an imaging procedure using sound waves, was five times more accurate in detecting abnormal growths.

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    Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer

    About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.

    Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:

    • Are between the ages of 25 and 65
    • Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
    • Have a history of
    • Have a family history of thyroid cancer

    What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroiditis

    How To Do A Thyroid Neck Check Self-Exam

    The symptoms of thyroiditis depend on the type of thyroiditis and phase of thyroiditis.

    • Hyperthyroid phase: Usually short lasting If cells are damaged quickly and there is a leak of excess thyroid hormone, you might show symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as:
    • Being worried
    • Increased sweating and heat intolerance
    • Anxiety and nervousness

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    Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis And Treatment

    A blood test measures levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone in your blood. The pituitary gland releases TSH to stimulate the thyroid to produce its hormones. High thyroxine and low TSH levels indicate that your thyroid gland is overactive.

    Your doctor might also give you radioactive iodine by mouth or as an injection, and then measure how much of it your thyroid gland takes up. Your thyroid takes in iodine to produce its hormones. Taking in a lot of radioactive iodine is a sign that your thyroid is overactive. The low level of radioactivity resolves quickly and isnt dangerous for most people.

    Treatments for hyperthyroidism destroy the thyroid gland or block it from producing its hormones.

    • Antithyroid drugs such as methimazole prevent the thyroid from producing its hormones.
    • A large dose of radioactive iodine damages the thyroid gland. You take it as a pill by mouth. As your thyroid gland takes in iodine, it also pulls in the radioactive iodine, which damages the gland.
    • Surgery can be performed to remove your thyroid gland.

    If you have radioactive iodine treatment or surgery that destroys your thyroid gland, you will develop hypothyroidism and need to take thyroid hormone daily.

    Preventing End Stage Hashimoto’s Is It Possible

    What are you supposed to do, though?

    Is there any way to actually stop or prevent end stage Hashimoto’s from occurring?

    The answer is yes but it requires therapies and treatments which you won’t get from your current doctor.;

    As I mentioned previously, doctors focus primarily on the thyroid hormone aspect while neglecting the immune and inflammatory components.;

    We can talk about all of the reasons why they do this but it’s really not important for this conversation.;

    You should just know, however, that 99% of them think this way.;

    So don’t expect them to bring it up in conversation and don’t be surprised when your doctor throws you on thyroid medication and calls it a day.;

    This is just how it’s done for conventional doctors.;

    The good news is that there are therapies that YOU can do which can impact the inflammatory and immune components.;

    These therapies include things like:

    • And so on…

    All of these therapies target the most critical aspect of Hashimoto’s which is that immune component.;

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    How Is Subacute Thyroiditis Diagnosed

    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.

    What Are Goiters And Thyroid Nodules

    Pin on Women

    An enlarged thyroid gland can be felt as a lump under the skin at the front of the neck. When it is large enough to see easily, it’s called a goiter.

    A thyroid nodule is a lump or enlarged area in the thyroid gland. A nodule may simply be swollen tissue, an overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue, or a collection of fluid called a cyst. Most thyroid nodules in children are not caused by cancer.

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    Your Digestion Is Out Of Order

    While constipation might be a sign of a lack of hormones, diarrhea might occur with an excess amount of hormones.

    Digestion is tightly connected to the immune system, but that doesnt always mean insufficient hormone levels are the reason for your current digestive issues.

    Problems with digestion could be because your immune system is reacting to your;diet, stress, or a;lack of vitamin D. Whatever it is, if your gut is upset, the medication you take will not be absorbed properly. This means less of it will;end up in your bloodstream;and be available to the different organs, which causes more symptoms of hypothyroidism.

    What Causes Hyperthyroidism

    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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