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.
Are Thyroid Nodules Serious
Most often the answer is no. You usually canât feel thyroid nodules. Even though they happen from an overgrowth of cells, most thyroid nodules arenât cancer.
About 1 in 10 thyroid nodules turn out to be cancer. Benign thyroid nodules are common. Lots of people get them as they get older. If a thyroid nodule isnât cancerous, it may not need any treatment. Doctors might just watch to make sure it doesnât keep growing or begin to cause other problems.
Thyroid Nodules: When To Worry
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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What Causes A Goiter
One of the most common causes of goiter formation worldwide is iodine deficiency. While this was a very frequent cause of goiter in the United States many years ago, it is no longer commonly observed. The primary activity of the thyroid gland is to concentrate iodine from the blood to make thyroid hormone. The gland cannot make enough thyroid hormone if it does not have enough iodine. Therefore, with iodine deficiency the individual will become hypothyroid. Consequently, the pituitary gland in the brain senses the thyroid hormone level is too low and sends a signal to the thyroid. This signal is called thyroid stimulating hormone . As the name implies, this hormone stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone and to grow in size. This abnormal growth in size produces what is termed a goiter. Thus, iodine deficiency is one cause of goiter development. Wherever iodine deficiency is common, goiter will be common. It remains a common cause of goiters in other parts of the world.
Hashimotos thyroiditis is a more common cause of goiter formation in the US. This is an autoimmune condition in which there is destruction of the thyroid gland by ones own immune system. As the gland becomes more damaged, it is less able to make adequate supplies of thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland senses a low thyroid hormone level and secretes more TSH to stimulate the thyroid. This stimulation causes the thyroid to grow, which may produce a goiter.
What Supplements For Thyroid Nodules
I recommend a list of specific supplements to help correct any deficiencies beginning with what I call the Functional Five. These are multivitamin, D w K2, fish oil, magnesium, and probiotics. And I test for iodine. If you are low in iodine, adding it can be beneficial since the thyroid needs iodine to function. However, if you are not low, taking it can be counter-productive. If you do take iodine, its essential to check antibodies and thyroid levels routinely.
I recommend Selenium for my patients who are taking iodine, as well as zinc, and iron if needed. This patient also took a digestive enzyme to help break down and absorb food. Methyl folate was also included in her routine. Curcumin helps with inflammation and immune support. Adrenal support formulas help with hormone balance.
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How To Shrink Thyroid Nodules
Medically reviewed and written by Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP on October 4, 2018
I recently had the pleasure of connecting with a lovely lady who was very concerned about her thyroid nodules. She was a new mom who had just given birth and found that the nodules she had on her thyroid had grown. She was planning on getting them biopsied and potentially removing her thyroid, and wanted to know what her options were for addressing this concern.
I frequently receive these types of questions about thyroid nodules why they happen, and what to do about them. While I personally did not present with thyroid nodules, I have had a few clients and readers with Hashimotos and nodules, and was pleasantly surprised when they shrunk their nodules using my recommendations for Hashimotos. Dont you just love these kinds of surprises?
Up to 50 percent of our population has thyroid nodules. Nodules are also more common in those with Hashimotos so chances are, if youre reading this article, you may have a nodule .
This article will cover:
- Not suspicious
- Mildly, moderately, or highly suspicious
5. Another method of diagnosis is to get a thyroid scan done. An isotope of radioactive iodine is injected into a vein in the arm to find nodules that produce an excess of thyroid hormone. You may find cold or hot nodules. Cold nodules are non functioning and appear as defects or holes in the scan. Hot nodules are almost always non-cancerous, while only some cold nodules are cancerous.
Thyroid Nodules And Multinodular Goiters
A thyroid nodule is a lump in the thyroid gland. Most nodules are small, but they can vary in size. Some can be easily felt or even seen through the skin, while others are found only via special imaging procedures, such as a thyroid ultrasound. Thyroid nodules are very common. Most of them are innocent or benign, but if you have a thyroid nodule, your doctor might recommend a biopsy.
Thyroid nodules typically do not cause any symptoms or interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland. Most people don’t know they have thyroid nodules until a doctor discovers one during a routine medical exam or coincidentally sees it during a computed tomography scan, ultrasounds or X-rays done for other reasons.
A goiter refers to any enlargement of the thyroid gland. Sometimes several thyroid nodules will develop in the same persona condition called multinodular goiter. When this occurs, the thyroid gland is usually enlarged and might cause neck discomfort.
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Are There Alternatives To Surgery For Goiter
Suppose a goiter is cosmetically unsightly or affects your breathing or swallowing. In that case, your doctor may tell you that surgery is the only effective treatment option.
Before you agree to surgery, be sure to get a second opinion from a doctor with expertise in interventional endocrinology, which is the less invasive medical approach for goiter and nodules. These include:
Radiofrequency ablation, known as RFA
A minimally invasive treatment is performed under local anesthesia. A small needle is inserted into your thyroid nodule, guided by ultrasound. The needle tip generates heat that helps destroy targeted tissue.
Percutaneous ethanol injection, or PEI
This method involves injecting alcohol directly into the nodule, guided by ultrasound. Research has shown that PEI effectively resolves certain types of thyroid nodules and the resulting goiter.
Note: If you do end up choosing thyroid surgery, it’s essential to work with an experienced thyroid surgeon who performs at least 50 or more thyroid surgeries per year to reduce the risk of any complications dramatically.
From Causes And Symptoms To Diagnosis And Treatment The Information You Need About These Common Growths
Thyroid nodules are abnormal overgrowths of tissue in the thyroid gland that are most often benign, though in some cases they can be cancerous. Some people have one nodule, while others have many. Thyroid nodules may be solid tissue or filled with blood or other fluid.
Thyroid nodules are quite common, with as many as half of all people having at least one nodule by the age of 60. Theyre particularly prevalent in women, though men can get them too, especially as they age.
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What Are The Risks Of Removing The Thyroid Gland
Behind your childs thyroid gland runs the recurrent laryngeal nerves that help to move the vocal folds and the parathyroid glands which help regulate their bodys calcium levels.
Some of the major risk factors following the removal of the thyroid gland are:
- A hoarse/breathy voice.
- Low calcium levels.
After surgery your child will need to take a medication to supplement the thyroid function and in some cases a medication to keep calcium levels elevated.
Other risk factors include:
- A scar on the neck.
- Fluid collection under the skin.
- The need for future procedures such as removal of the lymph nodes from the neck.
Best Foods To Shrink Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules refer to lumps on your thyroid that result from an abnormal growth. They are usually benign or non-cancerous, but in a few of the cases , thyroid nodules may be cancerous. If you have noticed such lumps and have sought medical intervention, you still need to maintain a lifestyle that will keep them at bay. One of the most important changes you can make is to eat the best foods to shrink thyroid nodules.
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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 .
Foods That Shrink Thyroid Nodules
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Dangers Of Iodine Therapy
Many people today still believe that goiters are caused by an iodine deficiency.
Lets get one thing clear.
Iodine deficiency does exist, and if one is severely deficient in iodine, they will develop an iodine deficiency goiter.
Iodine deficiency must be confirmed through a 24 hour urine collection test.
But, its much more rare than you realize.
Whats more, supplementing iodine when youre NOT deficient can make your thyroid condition much worse.
Taking excess iodine has been shown to cause:
If excess iodine itself can cause goiters and nodules, it doesnt make sense to use iodine therapy if youre not truly deficient.
Iodine toxicity is a very real threat to your thyroid when using iodine supplements.
So, iodine therapy should be avoided unless proper testing is done, or it can surely make your thyroid matters worse.
Finding The Root Cause
So, the important thing when dealing with thyroid nodules is to address all five of these different areas to find out what the root causes are. The FreeDiet® is a great place to start as it works to remove the most common foods responsible for inflammation and therefore gut and thyroid issues.
As far as supplements, I recommend what I call the Functional Five. These include a multivitamin, fish oil, Vitamin D, magnesium, and probiotics. Beyond that, depending on testing and deficiencies, I recommend iodine, selenium, B12, zinc, and iron. Iodine plays a vital role in the thyroid function, and works with the gland to help make the thyroid hormone T3, as well as the thyroid hormone T4. Which all helps aid in prevention of thyroid disorders.
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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.
A Quick Review Of The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland about two inches long located in the base of your neck. This gland plays a huge role in your body, as its responsible for releasing hormones that control metabolism the way your body uses energy. Hormones secreted by the thyroid regulate a host of body functions including your heart rate, breathing, body temperature, nervous system function, and much more.
When something is amiss with your thyroid, it can throw virtually every body system out of whack. Thankfully, nodules on your thyroid are often harmless, causing no change in how the gland functions. When they do cause problems, effective treatments are available.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cancerous Thyroid Nodules
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
- A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly.
- Swelling in the neck.
- Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears.
- Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Vision changes
- Hair thinning or hair loss
- Memory problems
Can I Have Symptoms From Thyroid Nodules
This is often the question for those who are at risk of developing thyroid nodules. Who want to know whether or not they might feel something due to the thyroid nodules being present on their thyroid. What you need to know is there are usually no symptoms.
If the nodules are very big, and because of where your thyroid sits, they can affect swallowing or speaking. If they are really big, and I mean really, they can affect the nerves that allow your tongue to move properly. This is more rare, and they are rarely ever painful.
Bottom Line: If they are really big, or in the wrong place, nodules might cause some discomfort on certain levels. What you need to know is that this is pretty unusual. Its probably not something you need to be actively concerned about.
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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
What Is A Thyroid Nodule
The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of your throat that regulates body functions such as heart rate, metabolism, and the rate at which your body burns calories. A thyroid nodule is a lump in the thyroid gland in your neck. More than 90% of all thyroid nodules are benign . Some are actually cysts filled with fluid.
Thyroid nodules are more common in women than in men. They also tend to run in families.
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Shrinking Nodules A Success Story
Id like to share the success story of a client who was able to reverse her nodules with nutrition, supplements and treating Blastocystis hominis. Her thyroid antibodies are also now in the remission range . This 60 year old woman with asthma, Hashimotos and past exposure to Chernobyl had consecutive ultrasounds on an annual basis to monitor her thyroid nodule. As of 2018, this person still does not have any nodules on her thyroid ultrasound. She did, however, have a flare in asthma and thyroid antibodies in 2017 after having dairy. As a side note, I think the significant dairy reactivity may be due to the Chernobyl exposure and the radioactive toxins concentrated in the milk from cows in Eastern Europe. My theory is that this exposure made people highly sensitized to dairy proteins.
Here are the results from her first test:
11/5/10: First ultrasound
FINDINGS: There is a 6 x 3 x 4 mm hypoechoic solid nodule in the right lobe with multiple small but discrete hyperechoic foci likely due to calcifications. There is a 2 x 4 x 2 mm partly calcified solid nodule in the left lobe that demonstrates shadowing.IMPRESSION: There are bilateral calcified thyroid nodules. The nodules measure under 1 cm in diameter. The nodules are nonspecific in appearance and results should be correlated with clinical and laboratory data. Follow up ultrasound needed in 12 months due to the calcifications.
11/20/14 After starting a gluten and dairy free diet