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.
What Is This Medicine
LEVOTHYROXINE is a thyroid hormone. This medicine can improve symptoms of thyroid deficiency such as slow speech, lack of energy, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and feeling cold. It also helps to treat goiter . It is also used to treat some kinds of thyroid cancer along with surgery and other medicines.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME: Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Thyro-Tabs, Unithroid
What Are The Causes Of One Side Of A Thyroid Becoming Enlarged
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located just under the skin at the base of the neck that regulates the body’s energy rate, including heart pulse and blood pressure. The thyroid can become enlarged for many reasons, including production of too much or too little thyroid hormone, reports MayoClinic.com 12. Enlargement on just one side, however, is usually suggestive of a few conditions, including a nodule or cancer.
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How Should I Use This Medicine
Take this medicine by mouth with plenty of water. It is best to take on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take at the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children and infants as young as a few days of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply. For infants, you may crush the tablet and place in a small amount of of water, breast milk, or non-soy based infant formula. Do not mix with soy-based infant formula. Give as directed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
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.
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What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- excessive sweating or intolerance to heat
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of ankles, feet, or legs
- weight loss
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How Is Thyroid Cancer Managed Or Treated
Treatments for thyroid cancer depend on the tumor size and whether the cancer has spread. Treatments include:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for thyroid cancer. Depending on the tumors size and location, your surgeon may remove part of the thyroid gland or all of the gland . Your surgeon also removes any nearby lymph nodes where cancer cells have spread.
- Radioiodine therapy: With radioiodine therapy, you swallow a pill or liquid containing a higher dose of radioactive iodine than whats used in a diagnostic radioiodine scan. The radioiodine shrinks and destroys the diseased thyroid gland along with cancer cells. Dont be alarmed this treatment is very safe. Your thyroid gland absorbs almost all of the radioiodine. The rest of your body has minimal radiation exposure.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation kills cancer cells and stops them from growing. External radiation therapy uses a machine to deliver strong beams of energy directly to the tumor site. Internal radiation therapy involves placing radioactive seeds in or around the tumor.
- Chemotherapy: Intravenous or oral chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells and stops cancer growth. Very few patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer will ever need chemotherapy.
- Hormone therapy: This treatment blocks the release of hormones that can cause cancer to spread or come back.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroiditis
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
Hashimotos Thyroiditis: How Is Diagnosis Made
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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Cancer
You or your healthcare provider might feel a lump or growth in your neck called a thyroid nodule. Dont panic if you have a thyroid nodule. Most nodules are benign . Only about three out of 20 thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous .
Other signs of thyroid cancer include:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
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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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
What Is The Treatment For Hashimotos Thyroiditis
Thyroid Hormone Replacement
Your doctor will likely prescribe you a medication to control your hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is highly effective, and likely the only treatment you will need. Thyroid hormone replacement treats this condition by compensating for the lack of hormones that the thyroid is actually producing. This medication should be prescribed by your endocrinologist who understands Hashimotos disease and how the medication will work. It will usually take several weeks to work.
When the inflammatory condition is very severe, some doctors consider a short duration of steroid therapy. Alternative medical approaches such as gluten free and avoidance of food coloring in exacerbation of Hashimotos disease has been advocated as well.
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.
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.
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What Are My Hyperthyroidism Treatment Options
You may receive medicines, radioiodine therapy, or thyroid surgery to treat your hyperthyroidism. The aim of treatment is to bring thyroid hormone levels back to normal to prevent long-term health problems and to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. No single treatment works for everyone.
Treatment depends on the cause of your hyperthyroidism and how severe it is. When recommending a treatment, your doctor will consider your age, possible allergies to or side effects of the medicines, other conditions such as pregnancy or heart disease, and whether you have access to an experienced thyroid surgeon.
Signs Your Body Is Inflamed
If you are interested in improving your health, you have probably read about inflammation. It seems that nearly every article about health problems these days refers to inflammation. This makes sense because when you look at nearly every illness, inflammation is an initiator and driver of the disease process.
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What Are The Types Of Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is classified based on the type of cells from which the cancer grows. Thyroid cancer types include:
- Papillary: Up to 80% of all thyroid cancers are papillary. This cancer type grows slowly. Although papillary thyroid cancer often spreads to lymph nodes in the neck, the disease responds very well to treatment. Papillary thyroid cancer is highly curable and rarely fatal.
- Follicular: Follicular thyroid cancer accounts for up to 15% of thyroid cancer diagnoses. This cancer is more likely to spread to bones and organs, like the lungs. Metastatic cancer can be more challenging to treat.
- Medullary: About 2% of thyroid cancers are medullary. A quarter of people with medullary thyroid cancer have a family history of the disease. A faulty gene may be to blame.
- Anaplastic: This aggressive thyroid cancer is the hardest type to treat. It can grow quickly and often spreads into surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. This rare cancer type accounts for about 2% of thyroid cancer diagnoses.
What Are The Types Of Thyroiditis
- Hashimotos thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. This is the most common form of thyroiditis and is around five times more common in women than in men. Hashimotos thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism, and thyroid hormone replacement treatment is needed.
- Silent thyroiditis or painless thyroiditis: another autoimmune disease caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. It is also common in women and the next common cause after Hashimotos thyroiditis.
- Post-partum thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies that sometimes occurs shortly after a woman gives birth
- Radiation-induced thyroiditis: a condition caused by external radiation used as a medical treatment for certain cancers, or by radioactive iodine used to treat hyperthyroidism
- Subacute thyroiditis or de Quervains thyroiditis: an often painful condition thought to be caused by a virus
- Acute thyroiditis or suppurative thyroiditis: a relatively rare condition caused by an infectious organism or bacterium
- Drug-induced thyroiditis: a condition is caused by the use of drugs such as amiodarone, interferons, lithium, and cytokines. It only occurs in a small fraction of patients using the offending drugs, so it is not common in the normal population.
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But What If Its Thyroid Cancer
A cancer diagnosis is always worrisome, but even if a nodule turns out to be thyroid cancer, you still have plenty of reasons to be hopeful.
Thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable kinds of cancer. Surgery to remove the gland typically addresses the problem, and recurrences or spread of the cancer cells are both uncommon. People who undergo thyroid gland surgery may need to take thyroid hormone afterward to keep their body chemistry in balance.;
Whether its benign or not, a bothersome thyroid nodule can often be successfully managed. Choosing an experienced specialist can mean more options to help personalize your treatment and achieve better results.;
Goitres And Production Of Thyroid Hormones
- In many people with a goitre, the goitre does not affect the amount of thyroid hormones that you make. You are then euthyroid, which means you make the correct amount of these hormones.
- In some people, the goitre is associated with an abnormality of thyroid function. You may make too much thyroid hormone or too little . This can be shown with a simple blood test of your thyroid function.;See the separate leaflet called Thyroid Function Tests.
Note: you can also develop an overactive or underactive thyroid without having a goitre.
What Is The Thyroid Gland
Your thyroid gland is one of many glands that make up your endocrine system. Endocrine glands release hormones that control different bodily functions.
The pituitary gland in your brain controls your thyroid gland and other endocrine glands. It releases thyroid-stimulating hormone . As the name suggests, TSH stimulates your thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone.
Your thyroid needs iodine, a mineral, to make these hormones. Iodine-rich foods include cod, tuna, dairy products, whole-grain bread and iodized salt.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary from person to person and may include
- nervousness or irritability
In people over age 60, hyperthyroidism is sometimes mistaken for depression or dementia. Older adults may have different symptoms, such as loss of appetite or withdrawal from people, than younger adults with hyperthyroidism. You may want to ask your health care provider about hyperthyroidism if you or your loved one show these symptoms.
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What Causes Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism has several causes, including Graves disease, thyroid nodules, and thyroiditisinflammation of the thyroid. Rarely, hyperthyroidism is caused by a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. Consuming too much iodine or taking too much thyroid hormone medicine also may raise your thyroid hormone levels.
What About Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is uncommon and is among the least deadly. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the neck, and only about 5% of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous. When thyroid cancer is diagnosed, it is most often treated with surgery followed by radioactive iodine therapy or, in some cases, external radiation therapy.
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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.