I have had choking episodes off and on for about 8 years. Sometimes I think they are under control and then suddenly I will be eating out somewhere and have to excuse myself to go upchuck.
This is so annoying. My whole family is aware of it and my daughter and husband are constantly saying, "chew, chew."
Now I find out by accident that I have a nodule 2.5 cm in my thyroid. When the ENT was describing the results of the FNB (needle biopsy) he said it was thryoid tissue. I guess that is significant. they were ultra sounding for swollen glands in my neck and found the thryoid nodule.
ENT wants me to have the left lobe removed because they cannot be sure the growth is not malignant until they cut. My brother had thyroid cancer when he was 25. so we are considering the family history. I am 59 now and feel ok.
My question is, can the thryoid cause choking?
Can the thyroid cause a swollen salivary gland or lymph node? I have both on one side under my jaw.
I do not really want to have this surgery done. I feel pretty good. However, I have gained about 25 lbs over the last 4 years and I had always been able to control my weight. Now I am wondering if my thyroid function could be low.
what do all of you suggest I do about this surgery? I am due to see an Endo in January for thyroid function tests.
I had a tumor on my right side of my thyroid that was 2x3x4 cm. I had an awful time swallowing and I often had trouble sleeping too because it felt like I just couldn't get enough air. Before they knew that my lump was cancerous they had suggested that I have half taken out anyways. Almost immediatly after my surgery to remove the whole thing the 'fingers that were wrapped around my esophogus' had been removed. I don't know that it's simply a thyroid issue with such an extreme case of choking, but it may make a significant difference. My feeling was more constant. Hope all turns out well.
Given the family history, nodes etc, swallowing problems, size of the nodule, you need to get the lobe out. A nodule doesn't usually affect the thyroid hormone tests. Get an ENT with experience. You are being proactive in getting an Endo on board now before surgery in case you have problems after surgery with calcium etc. Make sure you keep track of your calcium levels after surgery. They maybe okay when you leave the hospital but they often drop fast in a few days if the parathyroids (on the back of the thyroid) are damaged or destroyed.
Are you considerated a good surgical risk? If you aren't, then you & your Dr. would have to re-evaluate your risk of thyroid cancer. Check with other relatives regarding history of thyroid cancer. Fam
No problem with having surgery. I am in good health.
Tonight we were having an early Christmas dinner with my daughter and her family. I had worked all day on the dinner but right before we sat down to eat I got the most awful feeling in my throat, kind of like heartburn. I could tell that if I ate much at all i would choke. It felt as if something had ripped into that side of my throat. Hard to explain.
My ENT did say the nodule is doing me "no good" and is pressing on the windpipe or esophagus. i can't remember which. I know that when he pressed on my neck to feel it, before the FNB, I sure coughed. I also coughed during the FNB.
It is all I can think about. No one wants cancer ---even thyroid ---which is easier to deal with, I guess.
the doc said he will go in assuming we take the left lobe and leave the right, but if the section they send off comes back malignant or questionable the whole thing comes out right then.
I just remember that my brother had two surgeries two days apart. The first to do a biopsy which came back in 30 mins "questionable." they closed him up and scheduled the full removal for two days later. he has done ok except drinking the RAI caused ulcerative colitis.
That in itself has been a real problem but they got all the cancer. It was papillary. The thought that this could be the source of my constant coughing and choking is enough to want that part out anyway. he said they would leave enough to keep me off meds for several years, anyway.
Any nodule over 1 cm in any dimension is suspect for cancerous potential. 10% of all nodules are cancerous, but you have a family history of it and your nodule is excessive. So your chances would be increase.
The thyroid hugs your esphogus(sp) right below the vocal cords and can run below the collar bone into your chest cavity. When your thyroid is inflammed it can squeeze your Esphogus and cause a chronic lump in your throat feeling. A nodule your size would press in on the espohogus and restrict your passage way causing food to hang and you to choke. Your ENTs recommendation of having a PT and checking it for cancer is sound advice. My mother had this done because her biopsy was questionable. The intent was remove the suspicious goitered lobe and if a quick biopsy of the mass during surgery revealed cancer remove the whole thyroid. Hers was precancerous so the left the other half be and sent her back to us the same day.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
just out of curiosity have you ever had acid reflux?
I was wondering the same thing. The first course of treatment for dysphagia is usually a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) medication.
Good luck with your nodule and having it removed. I hope this relieves your symptoms of dysphagia. If it does not, then my guess they will put you on a PPI to see if that helps, and may move to an esophageal dilatation when all else fails.
Hypothyroidism living in NS, Canada
Wow, when I read Emily SP88's post it struck a chord. I have had the feeling of not getting enough air just recently. It is better if I sleep on my right side. This is so weird. It has been happening during the day, just for the last 3 days. However, it seems to wax and wane, although not completely gone away yet in the past three days. MKG, you said the thyroid would be up against the esophagus, not the windpipe? Why this feeling then with the breathing, yet no symptoms related to eating/swallowing? I think it is ENT time for me although the minute it all goes away, I will pretend like it never happened.
sparkie; Wow, when I read Emily SP88's post it struck a chord. I have had the feeling of not getting enough air just recently. It is better if I sleep on my right side. This is so weird. It has been happening during the day, just for the last 3 days. However, it seems to wax and wane, although not completely gone away yet in the past three days.
Have you been tested for Hashimoto's thyroidits? Antibody test is TPOAb and TGAb? Has any MD mentioned you have autoimmune thyroidits? This could explain the fluxing of your symptoms. As Hashimoto's picks up speed and inflammation and nodules develop the chronic breathing ans swallowing issues will continue and sometimes amplify.
MKG, you said the thyroid would be up against the esophagus, not the windpipe? Why this feeling then with the breathing, yet no symptoms related to eating/swallowing? I think it is ENT time for me although the minute it all goes away, I will pretend like it never happened.
Okay, I was trying to keep it simple on the anatomy and physiology front. But that can be confusing some times... so I am going for a layman's lecture. Not I am a chemist and chemical engineer not a biologist or MD.
Your respiratory passage/airway are together for a ways. Thus we breathe through our nose and mouths and consume food the same way. When we breathe air goes in through the same path until it reaches the Trachea and bronchi. This region falls just below the Laryngeal region (voice box, adam's apple(males), thyroid cartilage - lies under the thyroid). So when you swallow food it gets to the laryngeal region and the door to the trachea and bronchi SHOULD be shut and the food is funneled into the esphogus and down to the tummy for processing. However because the thyroid lies right at the top and wraps around in this area when it grows it can extend down and interfere with swallowing and breathing OR extend upward and interfere with the larynx and vocal cords.
So that is as simple as I can make it and still keep some technical garbledy goop in it. Depending on were your nodules are and how your thyroid has grown and wrapped about your air/food way, symptoms will vary accordingly. Did this make sense or make it worse. I can not draw pictures or I would put a valve schematic in here. I like pictures, it helps me learn.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Emily and MKG, I was up most of the night, could not sleep because as soon as I laid down, I felt I could not get a full breath of air. When I am standing up, it is better, and, in fact, I can go to the gym, go running without problems, although even when upright I still have a slight feeling of having to take a deep breath but it is easily accomplished unlike when I am lying down. I have an appt. with an ENT on Monday. I find myself reaching at my neck to pull away a shirt collar, only to realize there is nothing touching. I am hoping the ENT will at least do an ultrasound. Someone out there please tell me this will yield accurate results, particularly if the thyroid is pressing inward since I don't see or feel anything outward. I will have labs drawn today, TSH, FT3, FT4, and antibodies. Except for the breathing issues, I really don't feel poorly as of now, I have felt worse in the past. Thanks all of you for your input.