I recently took my son to a ear, nose and throat doctor and while I was there the doctor noticed that my thyroid was swollen. I don't have any insurance right now, so I have been searching for information on swollen thyroids. I have looked at all the symptoms for hypo/hyper thyroid and I dont have any of the symptoms. I feel perfectly fine except for this lump that is sticking out on the front of my neck. I would appreciate any suggestions or help that any body could give to me. Thank You
Thank You ArtfulD! My husband's work carries insurance but it is so expensive. I guess It will be less expensive then not having any at all!
How can I tell if what I have is a goiter or thyroid nodules? It seems like it is more swollen on one side of my thyroid then the other....is that common?
Thanks again and I will definatly let you know the results when I goto the doctor!
Hi mindy77. DEFINITELY sign up for your husband's insurance -- it's the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.
Having one side of the thyroid more swollen than the other side is a common finding.
Nodules sometimes are close to the surface and you can feel a specific lump. But the most certain diagnosis is from additional tests (ultrasound, iodine uptake scan, etc.) Follow-up tests are the easiest way to find out if you have a single nodule, multiple nodules, a goiter, etc.
Well...I finally went to the doctor last Friday. My doctor was definatly concerned about the lump on my thyroid. I had my blood tested on that Friday and the doctor called today and wants me to get an ultrsound of my Thyroid. I wasn't able to find out exactly what my blood test results were, because I wont be able to get a copy of them until Monday. I will definatly post them on Monday so you can tell me what all the numbers mean. Also, I was wondering should I be demanding the doctor to do more test or do you think my doctor is following all the right steps to figure out what is wrong with my thyroid.
Please read this link...your TSH indicates, really, that you very well may be hypothyroid...the TSH lab ranges are not accurate proof for not having hypothyroidism. Most females are well at a TSH below one, for example.
Hi Mindy. As Tree Frog said, your TSH is within the lab's "normal" range, but is actually higher than many of us can tolerate. If possible, ask your doctor for additional blood tests that include Free T3, Free T4, and Thyroid Antibodies. The Information Archive thread that Tree Frog posted explains these tests and why they're the best indication of what's going on in your body.
The levels of "free" hormone indicate what's available for use in your body. I suspect that your Free T3 and Free T4 may not be in the middle of the lab's reference ranges (the middle is typically considered "normal" production -- although NOT for TSH). In addition, if you have thyroid antibodies, your TSH may fluctuate and actually be a rather poor indicator of whether you have thyroid disease. Thyroid antibodies may also contribute to symptoms (and nodules) BEFORE your other blood levels are considered abnormal.
I have the results of my ultra sound and my thyroid scan. The Ultra sound results are: Diffusely inhomogeneous right lobe of the thyroid prominent measuring 4(lon)x 2.9(AP)x 1.5(trans)cm. A few hypoechoic areas in the inferior right lobe of the thyroid may represent cysts. Left lobe of the thyroid is normal in overall size and shows more homogeneity than the right lobe and measures 3.3(lon)x 1.1(AP)x 1.5(trans)cm. The isthmus is upper limits of normal, measuring about 3.7 mm. in AP diminsion.
Thyroid Scan: Nuclear medicine thyroid scan was carried out utilizing 10.51mCi Tc99m. The uptake in the left thyroid gland is unremarkable as is the isthmus. While uptake in the right gland localized to the superior pole and the inferior pole has a diminished uptake. No hot or cold nodules were identified. Impression: There is a diminished uptake of the radiotracer in the lower pole of the right thyroid gland.
My doctor said that he really didn't want to put me on any medicine right now, because Im not haveing any really bad symptoms. He also mentioned that I might have thyroiditis. He wants me to get another ultra sound in 3 months to determine if my thyroid is getting bigger. I think 3 months is kinda a long time to wait. Please let me know what you think.
A swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland is a symptom in and of itself that warrants treatment.
Why is your thyroid gland getting bigger? For whatever reason (poor nutrition, stress, illness especially with a high fever, thyroiditis, etc.), your thyroid gland has started to fail. In response to this, to keep your thyroid levels normal and help you maintain a normal life, nature's excellent adaptation skills have caused your thyroid to grow larger, since a larger thyroid gland can produce more hormones than a smaller thyroid gland. Still, the fact remains that your thyroid gland appears to be failing you a little.
How did your thyroid gland know to grow larger? Your TSH was/is elevated above what is normal for you.
How can you get the thyroid gland to shrink? Sometimes this will correct itself with a little TLC. (Stephen Langer's book, "Solved: The Riddle of Illness" has good advice on this) Otherwise, getting on meds to get your TSH suppressed somewhat (around 1 or so is a good goal, initially) will do the trick, AND possibly alleviate other symptoms that you didn't even realize you had.
I agree with you that 3 months is a long time to wait. Express to your doctor that the enlarged thyroid gland, because it is noticeable, makes you self conscious and you want to do something about it. Asking for a trial of meds to get your TSH near 1 or so, to see if it shrinks your gland, is not unreasonable and carries no risk. A sensible and caring doctor would grant you that.
[This message has been edited by Meep (edited 10-02-2002).]
I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...
Thank you very much for the information! I totally agree with you too Meep! I just wanted to hear that it wasnt unreasonable to ask my doctor to do more about my problem. I always hate telling the doctor what to do when I pay him to tell me what to do. I will tell him I want the Free T3 and Free T4 and the thyroid antibodies blood test. Which Thyroid medicine is best or does it just depend on the person and symptoms? Thanks Again!
UPDATE: I went in and told my doctor that I wanted the blood tests that you recomended and he also had me get another ultrasound here are the results.
(Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab result 12 range 0-34)
(Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Ab result <20 range 0-40)
(Thyroxine (T4) Free, Direct result 1.01 range 0.61-1.76)
(TSH result 2.838 range 0.35-5.50)
Untrasound results: (exactly 2 months after my other ultrasound) The right lobe of the thyroid measures 5.9 x 3.1 cm. Its transverse diameter is enlarged at 4.5 cm. Increased blood flow was demonstrated about the right lobe of the thyroid. The parenchyma is complex in appearence. The isthmus measured 7.8 mm. Left lobe of the thyroid was normal in appearance measuring 3.6 x 1.1 cm. Transverse diameter on the left measured 1.5 cm.
My doctor thought it might be a cyst and he referred me to a general surgeon for evaluation and treatment and he also said something about a biopsy. I would appreciate anybodys input on any of this information. Thank You!
You had earlier asked what thyroid meds to get on. Conventional, uninformed docs will usually put you on synthetics like Synthroid or Levoxyl. I would strongly and experientially recommend that you get on Armour natural thyroid, which more closely resembles what our thyroid would produce naturally. I was on synthetics for 17 years, and still suffered strange fatigue symptoms that I didn't realize were related to my thyroid. BUT they were!! When I switched to natural thyroid, they all disappeared. Now I have read testimony after testimony of the superior efficacy of naturals.