Neck Pain And Stiffness
The neck is put in an extended position during surgery, and many people avoid moving their necks afterward. This can lead to neck pain and stiffness. Using pain medication after surgery may reduce discomfort, making it easier for you to keep moving your neck so that you have less stiffness later on. Applying a warm compress may also help.
Many surgeons recommend doing gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises, such as the following, to reduce stiffness. Before doing these, however, make sure to ask your surgeon about their appropriateness for you, any additional exercises she believes might be helpful, how often you should perform them, and whether there are any exercises you should avoid.
- Gently turn your head to the right, then roll your head so that you are looking at the floor, then gently roll your head to the left.
- Gently tilt your head to the right and then to the left.
- Rotate both shoulders forward in a circular motion.
- Slowly raise your arms overhead, and then slowly lower them back down against your body.
Suggested frequency: 10 repetitions, three times day
Most often, neck stiffness lasts for only a few days to a few weeks after surgery. If yours does not, talk to your surgeon about seeing a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation or a physical therapist who can work with you to improve the flexibility of your neck and design an exercise program to restore your neck mobility to normal.
What Does The Thyroid Gland Do
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance. Its correct functioning depends on a good supply of iodine from the diet. Cells producing thyroid hormones are very specialised in extracting and absorbing iodine from the blood and incorporate it into the thyroid hormones.
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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How Is Thyroid Pain Treated
To treat thyroid pain, youll need to treat the thyroid condition. Thyroid cancers are usually very treatable and can usually be taken care of with surgery alone. In fact, this surgery is regularly done on an outpatient basis.
If you have acute thyroiditis, it can be treated with antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medicine, CEENTA ENT doctorMichael Sicard, MD, said. Surgery is sometimes required to remove the infected part of the thyroid, too. Chronic thyroiditis will need lifelong thyroid treatments.
If you have thyroid pain, dont hesitate to see a doctor. Theyll work to ensure your thyroid is healthy and help ease your discomfort.
This blog is forinformational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consultyour physician. Dr. Sicard practices in our Matthews office. Do you need to make an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
Hoarseness And Voice Problems
After surgery, your voice may be hoarse or whispery, and it may feel tiring to talk. This is very common and expected during the first week or two after surgery. While around 1 percent of people may have damage to the nerves supplying the vocal cords, around 5 percent to 10 percent of people will have temporary symptoms due to irritation of the nerves during surgery or inflammation around the nerves afterward.
Symptoms usually improve in the first few weeks but may persist up to six months after surgery. While there is no specific treatment for transient hoarseness, it’s helpful for your loved ones to be aware of the problem so that you don’t feel the need to talk loudly or more often than is comfortable. If the nerve was injured, more severe symptoms may be noted after surgery.
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Which Hormones Does My Thyroid Gland Produce
The thyroid gland produces thyroxine , which is a relatively inactive prohormone. The highly active hormone is triiodothyronine . Collectively, thyroxine and triiodothyronine are referred to as the thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland produces just 20% of the high active T3, but it produces 80% of the prohormone T4. Once secreted by the thyroid, specific enzymes in other tissues like the liver or kidneys may transform T4 in to the active hormone T3.
In addition, there are other hormone-producing cells within the thyroid gland called C-cells. These cells produce calcitonin. Calcitonin plays a role in regulating calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, which is important for your bone health and maintenance.
Checking For Thyroid Nodules
Checking yourself for thyroid nodules shouldnt replace a doctors visit, of course, but these regular neck checks can help you detect changes early on.
To look for nodules, Dr. Kausel recommends that you:
- Stand in front of a mirror
- Extend your neck, lifting your chin toward the ceiling
- Keep your neck muscles relaxed
- Make a swallowing motion, perhaps by taking a sip of water
- Watch the base of your neck for bumps, lumps, or protrusions
- Touch the area, checking for enlargements
Dr. Kausel confirms the presence of thyroid nodules by performing specific tests, including radioactive iodine thyroid scans, ultrasounds, and fine-needle aspiration biopsies. Based on the type of growth you have and how it affects your health, Dr. Kausel might recommend a variety of approaches to manage your condition.
In some cases, this involves merely monitoring the nodule, but in others, she might recommend medications or surgery.
If you have concerns about thyroid disease or nodules, call Ana Maria Kausel MD Endocrinology, send a message to the team here on the website, or schedule an appointment today using the convenient online booking feature.
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Warning Signs Of Thyroid Cancer: Know Your Neck
September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Everyone has a thyroid gland. Because there is no screening test for the disease, it’s critical to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms so we can catch it early. Fortunately, thyroid cancers that are detected early are highly curable.
The thyroid gland affects many functions in the body heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. It is located in the lower, front part of the neck and contains two lobes, the left lobe and the right lobe. Like any other cells in the body, the cells in the thyroid gland have the potential to become cancerous.
Signs of cancer in the thyroid are not always obvious. So its important to pay attention to any changes, such as:
- Unusual nodules, or bumps, on your neck
- Persistent hoarseness or other voice changes
- Persistent, unexplained cough
- Pain in the neck or throat
- Sensitivity in the neck
Anyone who has had prior radiation to the neck could be at higher risk for the disease and needs to be particularly aware of such signs.
Frequently Searched Questions: Thyroid Cancer
You ask the internet a lot of questions and Roswell Park has some answers. Head and neck surgeon, Vishal Gupta, MD, and endocrinologist, Rajeev Sharma, MBBS, MD, FACE, sat down to answer some of the internet’s most-searched-for questions related to thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Enlargement And Difficulty Swallowing
Thyroid enlargement can cause difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, as a result of the thyroid gland directly compressing the swallowing organs. The thyroid gland, which is usually about the size of a quarter, can become enlarged as a symptom of various thyroid disorders, as well as other medical conditions. While not all patients with enlarged thyroid glands experience compressive symptoms, studies have shown that up to 33% of those with benign goiters do report difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath.
Conditions associated with enlarged thyroid include:
Thyroid cancer and other medical conditions can also contribute to or cause thyroid enlargement.
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My surgeon referred me to an endocrinologist, but she said shed seen stage 4 medullary thyroid cancer only once before and didnt know what she could do for me. She said this kind of cancer can linger and grow slowly for years and then suddenly spread quickly. Thyroid cancer doesn’t respond well to chemo. Since the surgery wasn’t 100-percent effective, the only treatment for me was to monitor the cancer carefully.
Besides, it was obvious from the calcitonin levels in my bloodhormones produced by the thyroidthat I still had cancerous cells in my body. The normal amount of calcitonin for a woman is roughly five pictograms per milliliter, according to the National Institutes of Health. Before surgery, mine was over 25,000 after surgery it had gone down to about 200.
The endocrinologist thought the best place for me was the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Even though its nearly 500 miles away from my home in Brandon, Mississippi, I knew I had to go. I didnt have any other choice. I cried a lot, though. Id thought after the surgery this ordeal would be over with and Id be back to my normal life. Now Id have to leave my son again while I traveled to Houston.
Goiter Diagnosis And Treatment
Your doctor will feel your neck area and have you swallow during a routine physical exam. Blood tests will reveal the levels of thyroid hormone, TSH, and antibodies in your bloodstream. This will diagnose thyroid disorders that are often a cause of goiter. An ultrasound of the thyroid can check for swelling or nodules.
Goiter is usually treated only when it becomes severe enough to cause symptoms. You can take small doses of iodine if goiter is the result of iodine deficiency. Radioactive iodine can shrink the thyroid gland. Surgery will remove all or part of the gland. The treatments usually overlap because goiter is often a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
Goiters are often associated with highly treatable thyroid disorders, such as Graves disease. Although goiters arent usually a cause for concern, they can cause serious complications if theyre left untreated. These complications can include difficulty breathing and swallowing.
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Hypothyroidism Diagnosis And Treatment
Your doctor will perform blood tests to measure your TSH and thyroid hormone levels. A high TSH level and low thyroxine level could mean that your thyroid is underactive. These levels could also indicate that your pituitary gland is releasing more TSH to try to stimulate the thyroid gland to make its hormone.
The main treatment for hypothyroidism is to take thyroid hormone pills. Its important to get the dose right, because taking too much thyroid hormone can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Hashimotos Diagnosis And Treatment
Testing the level of TSH is often the first step when screening for any type of thyroid disorder. Your doctor might order a blood test to check for increased levels of TSH as well as low levels of thyroid hormone if youre experiencing some of the above symptoms. Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder, so the blood test would also show abnormal antibodies that might be attacking the thyroid.
Theres no known cure for Hashimotos thyroiditis. Hormone-replacing medication is often used to raise thyroid hormone levels or lower TSH levels. It can also help relieve the symptoms of the disease. Surgery might be necessary to remove part or all of the thyroid gland in rare advanced cases of Hashimotos. The disease is usually detected at an early stage and remains stable for years because it progresses slowly.
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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Lump In The Neck That You Can See Or Other People Can See
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that the patient can see, or somebody else can see should almost always be examined by an ultrasound test. Depending on the characteristics of the nodule , the nodule may need a needle biopsy. Almost all thyroid nodules that can be seen should have a FNA thyroid needle biopsy.
Where Thyroid Cancer Starts
The thyroid gland is in the front part of the neck, below the thyroid cartilage . In most people, the thyroid cannot be seen or felt. It is shaped like a butterfly, with 2 lobes the right lobe and the left lobe joined by a narrow piece of gland called the isthmus.
The thyroid gland has 2 main types of cells:
- Follicular cells use iodine from the blood to make thyroid hormones, which help regulate a persons metabolism. Having too much thyroid hormone can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, nervousness, hunger, weight loss, and a feeling of being too warm. Having too little hormone causes a person to slow down, feel tired, and gain weight. The amount of thyroid hormone released by the thyroid is regulated by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, which makes a substance called thyroid-stimulating hormone .
- C cells make calcitonin, a hormone that helps control how the body uses calcium.
Other, less common cells in the thyroid gland include immune system cells and supportive cells.
Different cancers develop from each kind of cell. The differences are important because they affect how serious the cancer is and what type of treatment is needed.
Many types of growths and tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Most of these are benign but others are malignant , which means they can spread into nearby tissues and to other parts of the body.
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How Are Goiters Treated
Depending on the test results, a goiter might not need to be treated. If it does, treating the thyroid disease causing the goiter usually will decrease or control the enlargement.
Surgery might be needed if the thyroid keeps getting bigger even with treatment and causes discomfort or a very large lump in the neck.
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.
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What Might Cause Thyroid Pain
Subacute thyroiditis can cause pain or tenderness in the thyroid. Acute thyroiditis is rare, affecting primarily middle-aged women. It is thought to be related to viral and bacterial infections, such as the flu, colds, or sinus infections. Chronic thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where white blood cells attack thyroid cells. In addition to thyroid pain, symptoms may include tenderness, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, and fever.
In some cases, thyroid pain is caused by cancer. Symptoms can also include a lump or swelling in the neck, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, and hoarseness. Fortunately, most thyroid lumps, or nodules, are not cancerous. In fact, they are benign in 85-90 percent of cases. Still, its important to get a doctors examination right away, especially if these lumps are painful or causing difficulty swallowing or breathing.
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.
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