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.
How Thyroid Enlargement Can Affect Swallowing
Swallowing is a complex process which involves the brain, several muscles, nerves and valves, and the esophagus working together in 3 phases. In phase I, the food is held in the mouth by the tongue and palate. During phase II, the brains decision to swallow triggers a series of reflexes, simultaneously sending the food into the pharynx, opening a muscular valve to allow food into the esophagus, and closing the trachea to keep food from going into the airways. In phase III, the food enters into the esophagus which contracts, opening a valve and propelling the food into the stomach.
When the thyroid gland becomes significantly enlarged, the goiter can begin to compress the esophagus , leading to dysphagia, as well as breathing difficulties in some cases. Patients with compressing symptoms often feel a sensation of food stuck in the throat or choking. Studies involving patients with compressing symptoms showed that nodule size and lobe size directly affected the ability to swallow.
Who Is Affected By Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease can affect anyone men, women, infants, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth and it can develop as you age .
Thyroid disease is very common, with an estimated 20 million people in the Unites States having some type of thyroid disorder. A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.
You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease if you:
- Have a family history of thyroid disease.
- Have a medical condition .
- Take a medication thats high in iodine .
- Are older than 60, especially in women.
- Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer .
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Which Thyroid Issues Cause Pain
Your thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck that produces hormones.
There are three main reasons your thyroid gland may feel painful:
- Thyroid cancer
- Certain types of thyroiditis
- Very large thyroid nodules
Most other types of thyroid disorders, including autoimmune thyroid disease, goiter, and ordinary thyroid nodules, do not cause pain.
Thyroid Disease: A Checklist Of Skin Hair And Nail Changes
Although your thyroid gland sits deep in your neck, your dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice signs of thyroid disease. Thats because many signs and symptoms of thyroid disease develop on the skin, hair, and nails.
The thyroid gland
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces hormones, which play a key role in regulating your heartbeat, breathing, and many other functions.
You, too, may also be able to spot thyroid disease, and thats important. Caught early, treatment can prevent complications. When thyroid disease goes untreated for years, it can lead to a dangerously slow heartbeat, an injury that refuses to heal, or unrelenting pain. You may have gained or lost weight for no apparent reason.
To help you find early signs of thyroid disease on your skin, hair, and nails, heres a checklist.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Pain
Thyroid pain may vary in intensity. Some people experience a mild discomfort around the thyroid gland, others describe it as tightness particularly when swallowing or a dull ache throughout the thyroid gland.
Common symptoms of the thyroid pain are:
- the pain usually exacerbates when palpated
- in case of an acute thyroid pain, persistent pain can be an indicator of major thyroid problem requiring medical or surgical intervention
- a neck lump or mass may appear in the neck if the pain is due to goiter and cause severe thyroid pain in neck
- discomfort or pain when swallowing
- hoarse voice
- most of thyroid nodules causing severe pain tend to be malignant. Therefore, it is important to be careful when there is swelling or pain of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Lump In The Neck That You Can Feel
- What to do about it?
Thyroid nodules that the patient can feel under the skin, which is confirmed by a doctor should almost always be examined by an ultrasound test. Depending on the characteristics of the nodule , the nodule may need a needle biopsy. We have an entire section of this website on thyroid needle biopsies.
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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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Is It Safe To Breastfeed While Im Taking Beta
Certain beta-blockers are safe to use while youre breastfeeding because only a small amount shows up in breast milk. The lowest possible dose to relieve your symptoms is best. Only a small amount of thyroid hormone medicine reaches your baby through breast milk, so its safe to take while youre breastfeeding. However, in the case of antithyroid drugs, your doctor will most likely limit your dose to no more than 20 milligrams of methimazole or, less commonly, 400 mg of PTU.
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That Lump Feeling In Your Throat Sometimes Isnt Just A Feeling It Could Be Cancer Acid Reflux Anxiety And Not So Surprisingly Low Or Underactive Thyroid
When the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism, says Gene Liu, MD, MMM, President, Chair, Department of Surgery Chief, Division of Otolaryngology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.
Patients who are hypothyroid can have a feeling of a lump on the throat, or globus sensation about a third of the time, and is highly dependent on the reason for the hypothyroidism, continues Dr. Liu.
Many hypothyroid patients have underlying inflammation from autoimmune thyroid disease, post-viral episodes or other types of thyroiditis. And this inflammation in the neck can cause the globus sensation.
How well your thyroid is functioning can be determined by a blood test. If you have an underactive thyroid gland, this does not always mean weight gain.
In fact, low thyroid can cause a menagerie of symptoms that most people would never associate with poor function of this so-called master gland.
Yes, it can cause some weight gain, but often, there is none. Instead, an affected individual might have a completely different batch of symptoms other than the ones that get the most media attention, which are weight gain, hair loss or thinning hair, feeling cold when nobody else does and fatigue.
How Are Thyroid Nodules Treated
Thyroid nodules don’t always need treatment. Many nodules cause no symptoms and may even get smaller over time.
Thyroid nodules may need treatment if they grow or cause symptoms, or if there is concern that it could be a cancer. Surgery is the preferred treatment for thyroid nodules in children. This might involve removing part of or all the thyroid gland.
If needed, surgery is done in a hospital under general anesthesia, so the child is asleep and feels nothing. If only part of the thyroid is removed and the rest of the gland is healthy, a child may not need to take a thyroid hormone after surgery. If the rest of the gland isn’t healthy or if the whole thyroid is removed, the child will need to take a thyroid hormone.
Thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon. When it does happen, it is very treatable. Most thyroid cancers can be cured or controlled with treatment.
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What Are Goiters And Thyroid Nodules
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.
Neck Pain & Thyroid Pain
Thyroid pain is never a normal symptom.
But just like any other tissue in your body, your thyroid gland is subject to trauma, inflammation, infection or even autoimmune attack.
All of these conditions may result in damage or inflammation to the thyroid gland which you may feel as pain.
Under normal conditions, it sits in the front of your neck wrapped around a portion of your trachea or windpipe.
If you can feel around the lower part of your neck and it’s tender to the touch then your pain may be caused by your thyroid gland.
Other conditions, such as enlarged lymph nodes, can also cause pain in the neck, but these tend to run underneath the jawline and down the side of the neck.
Believe it or not, thyroid pain is actually a fairly UNCOMMON symptom and most diseases of the thyroid gland do not cause thyroid pain.
This means that the presence of pain in your thyroid gland can give you a special clue as to what is happening in your body.
But make no mistake:
All causes of thyroid pain need to be evaluated and treated because it is never “normal”.
If you are experiencing thyroid pain then the chances are high that you are also experiencing other symptoms as well.
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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Sense That You Need To Swallow Something
- What to do about it?
Like all thyroid nodules that cause symptoms, these patients need a thyroid ultrasound to look at the size, location, and characteristics of the thyroid, how many noduls are present, and where they are located. Often thyroid glands that are big won’t have any ultrasound characteristics that are worrisome for cancer, so most of theses do not need a FNA thyroid needle biopsy. Thus big thyroids comprised of lots of nodules often don’t need a biopsy, which is in direct contrast to nodules that are single, or those that can be seen or felt . However, if a thyroid is big enough that it is causing the patient to be aware of it, and it is causing symptoms of something stuck in the throat, then surgery is probably necessary. Remember, thyroid surgery isn’t just for nodules that we think may be thyroid cancer, surgery is often necessary for benign, non-cancerous thyroid glands which are large and causing the patient symptoms. This situation is quite common. It is also important to know that large thyroid goiters, and nodules that are on the back side of the thyroid are often required to have a CAT scan, since these bigger thyroid glands are not seen as well with ultrasound. This is why you need a good endocrinologist who know which scan to order and which scans are not necessary. Remember, a large thyroid is called a goiter and we have an entire page on thyroid goiters.
Feeling Chilly Or Overheated
Blood pressure is directly linked to circulation. Low circulation will result in feelings of being chilled. You might find that you are reaching for a sweater when others are feeling just fine. If you are always cold or notice that your hands and feet become particularly chilled when uncovered, you may be experiencing a symptom of hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism might present in the opposite way. This could cause you to feel hot flashes or experience excessive sweating.
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Is Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy A Problem
Thyroid hormone levels that are just a little high are usually not a problem in pregnancy. However, more severe hyperthyroidism that isnt treated can affect both the mother and the baby. If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your disease is under control before becoming pregnant. Learn more about causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy.
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.
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Can I Live A Normal Life With A Thyroid Disease
A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves a daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.
Surprising Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease in Portland is common its believed that around 20 million people throughout the United States have a thyroid disorder of some sort a number equivalent to 12 percent of the population. Despite its prevalence, there is a widespread lack of knowledge about what its like to have thyroid disease. Youll probably find some of the symptoms surprising.
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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 Causes Goiters
Goiters can happen due to inflammation of the thyroid gland or when the gland makes too much or too little thyroid hormone. A goiter also can develop with other thyroid problems, such as infections of the thyroid or thyroid cysts, tumors, or thyroid cancer. People who don’t get enough iodine in their diets also can get an enlarged thyroid. But this is rare in the United States because foods here usually supply enough iodine.
Kids can be born with a goiter or develop one later in life. A goiter that’s present at birth is called a congenital goiter. These can be caused by:
- a genetic disease that prevents the baby from producing thyroid hormone properly
- thyroid issues in the mother during pregnancy
- an expectant mother taking medicines or other substances that affect the baby’s thyroid
- the child being born without half of the thyroid, causing the remaining half to get bigger
A goiter that develops later is called an acquired goiter. In the United States, most acquired goiters are caused by:
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: The immune system attacks the thyroid, making it swell. Sometimes this swelling can be dramatic and even look like a growth. Over time, the thyroid can become so damaged that it can’t make enough thyroid hormone. In that case, a person might need to take a thyroid hormone.
Viral or bacterial infections: Infections can cause inflammation and enlargement of the thyroid. These goiters are often painful.
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What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.
When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.