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Old 06-12-2006, 03:56 AM   #1
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Question Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Hi everyone, I'm new to the site and very happy that I found this board.

I'm 31, female. I've had a long battle trying to get some answers as to why I was having heart palpitations and lack of sleep. I got many tests done including heart ultrasounds, barium swallows etc. Doctors kept telling me it was anxiety, panic attacks, even reflux.

About 5 months ago, I started getting a feeling in the back of my throat like something was stuck, then I started having trouble swallowing. It comes and goes but at its worst, it really bothers me. As I was due for my regular blood tests, I mentioned my problem to my doctor. She said my neck looked a bit swollen and if I had my thyroid checked. I always had my thyroid levels checked and since they always came back normal (and no other doctor bothered to inform me you can have normal functioning thyroid but still have a problem), I never thought to investigate it further. Now that I look back at my old photos from years ago and I can see my thyroid must have been swollen longer that I've ever known.

Fast forward to a week ago: I had a normal ultrasound and then an uptake scan. We now know that my "thyroid is mildly to moderately enlarged with a slight decrease in the activity in the lateral aspect of the mid polar region of the right lobe. This appears to correspond with a 6mm hypoechoic nodule which, in view of its internal echoes, is not a symple cyst so biopsy is suggested for further assessment. No other cold nodule or increased activity seen in either lobe. Thyroid uptake measures 3.5% (Normal is 1-4)".

I will be booking in for my biopsy tomorrow. I must admit I'm very scared. Even though I read most of the nodules come back benign, the fact that mine is a single cold nodule is more likely to be malignant than a hot one really worries me. I'm trying to stay positive but it's hard to keep my mind from wandering. I keep getting horrible thoughts that it's bad news and it's been there so long unnoticed that it's spread etc etc. I'm assuming many of you sharing the same experience may have thought of at some stage or another.

My question for any of you who may have had a similar situation: If the biposy comes back benign, do they still recommend surgery to remove it? If surgery is recommended, seeing as the rest of my throid is functioning OK, would they only remove the nodule and monitor my thyroid over the years? or would they take out the affected lobe or the whole thyroid regardless of the results?

The nodule is fairly small in size but could it still be affecting hormone production and causing the thyroid gland to swell and contribute to my swallowing problem, as well as stiffness in my neck and shoulders and heart palpitations? So far, I only read about nodules growing to much bigger sizes and hence pressing on the windpipes to affect swallowing etc. Other than the symptoms mentioned, I've never had any other health issues.

Your advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated. I wish you all great health.

 
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:23 AM   #2
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illmakeit HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Hi Missy207, Welcome to the thyroid board!

I DO understand how scared you are. I have been there - as many on this board have.

Are they doing an FNA? I think that is the only way they biopsy thyroid nodules. Yours is pretty small at 6mm- mine was 3.3 cm and benign. My FNA was nondiagnostic (as are 5-10% of them) and they couldn't tell if it was cancerous or not, so instead of having 1/2 out and maybe having to get the other 1/2 out later(if cancerous) I went the route of Total Thyroidectomy. Not sure I would do that again if I had researched a little more before the operation.

FYI-85% of thyroid nodules are cold and 85% of those are benign.
If the biposy comes back benign surgery will depend on the size of the nodule and if it is causing you problems. Sometimes they just watch them to see how fast they are growing. My doc said it didn't matter what the FNA said - I needed to have it out since it was so large. Actually, some here have had their nodules shrink over time.

If surgery is recommended they can take 1/2 the thyroid if there is no cancer and if there is nothing going on in the other 1/2. They cannot remove just a nodule. Then they will monitor you after surgery. Some need meds, some don't. My cousin had half removed years ago(she's 90) and has never taken meds. If it is cancerous, they will remove the whole thyroid.

Let us know how the biopsy goes. And if you have other questions, post them. Someone eventually comes along with an answer.

Take care
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by missy207
The nodule is fairly small in size but could it still be affecting hormone production and causing the thyroid gland to swell and contribute to my swallowing problem, as well as stiffness in my neck and shoulders and heart palpitations?
Forgot to answer this - yes it can.
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Wow...this sounds just like me a few months ago.

I have a complex nodule and my thyroid is enlarged. I did the ultrasound, iodine uptake and had a biopsy (came back benign). My levels are perfect according to both my GP and endo, and even my naturopath said they look fine.

I have a nodule...don't remember how big it is, 2.8cm, I think. My endo hemmed and hawed and said that even though my levels are fine, she wanted to put me on Synthroid to see if it would help shrink the nodule. She also said that it would make me hyper for awhile until my body got used to it (and with a 20 year history of anxiety and panic attacks, that's not what I needed to hear). Then she said she was going to give me 3 months and do another ultrasound and a follow up at the end of July. If it didn't shrink, she was going to recommend surgery.

Well, I read everything I could on the internet and several different boards and could not come up with one instance where Synthroid shrunk a nodule. So, I've opted not to take it. I spoke with my naturopath and she recommended I try rubbing castor oil on my neck - she's never tried it on a thyroid, but uses that remedy for ovarian cysts all the time.

I don't know what they'll find in July. But I know that I'm feeling ok and don't necessarily want to go through surgery if it's not completely necessary.

I'd suggest reading everything you can find about thyroid nodules. I read one instance where a lady did Reiki on herself and after year, her nodules were gone. Read up about goiterocentric (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) foods. Once I cut some of them out of my diet, I noticed that I don't have as much trouble swallowing anymore.

And don't read all the bad stuff...I know as a 38 year old with anxiety issues since I was 18, every symptom I read on the internet, I talk myself into having. Since I stopped reading the bad things, and keeping a positive attitude, I feel much much better!

Oh, and as far as the biopsy...I can only speak for myself, but it was a piece of cake. Three times in with the needle, and mine was ultrasound guided and he let me watch - very cool - and then I was out of there... took all of 15 minutes, start to finish. He didn't even numb the area. The needles were very thin and I barely felt them.

Hugs and prayers for you :-)

 
Old 06-12-2006, 10:12 AM   #5
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pursie HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

hi , i know this is nowhere the levels youve experienced but, what happened to me was really strange i had probs with my meds palps and anxiety im hypo by the way and in the end i got up tp 25 levo and 4 week in my thyroid swelled i had husky voice and it hurt to swallow and i cant otherwise describe what happened next the anxiety and palps were awfull i could feel the adrenalin in my body and i couldnt sit still!! i ended up i a&e havig an ecg!!!! my senses were stroger you know sight and hearing and i could have sworn i was going hyper i had another attack like it sinse but not as strong the doc said it was just my thyroid having to work harder at the beggining of meds!!! but im noy so sure i somrtimes feel it hurting also any ideas anyone or is it the road to recovery! thanks for listeningxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx kat

 
Old 06-12-2006, 10:50 AM   #6
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illmakeit HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

stephanie867
There was someone on these boards that said they had their nodules shrink/go away. I don't remember who that was, but if they read this please reply.

kat -see my post on the other thread.
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Old 06-13-2006, 05:42 AM   #7
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missy207 HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Thank you all so much for replying, I really appreciate it. It makes me feel I'm not alone in this and I've gained so much knowledge from all your experiences.

I called to make my appointment today but the earliest they can see me is next Tuesday. I'm on a cancellation list in case something comes through sooner.

I'm still nervous but I updated my naturopath on the latest and she was really helpful in boosting my confidence (along with all your support). She said hopefully the biopsy will confirm the nodule is benign and we'll get onto treatment of the goitre and the nodule. She said she's had many patients she's treated for thyroid problems with great results.

My voice has been a bit husky over the last few days; it upsets me cos I love singing and even though it could just be a simple cold, I can't help but think it's all related to this nodule. Why it flared up so suddenly is another question. I guess there's a lot of questions I'll need answered once I go to my appointment.

Thank you all again for your replies, please update me on how you're all doing.

Missy

 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:27 AM   #8
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supermom0321 HB User
Question Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

I am new to these boards. I am 41 yrs old. I went in for my yearly GYN check up, and he said he wanted me to go in for a thyriod scan, after he feels my thyriod. So I go for the scan and it shows many nodules in the right and left lobes, and most are dark nodules, but there is one at the base of my thyriod that is white. We then get a sonogram that shows a 17mm nodule in the right lobe. then that thyriod scan comes back and says several nodules noted in both lobes. No cold nodules are identified, but several of the nodules appear to have hyperactivity. My md says to go get TSH, and T4. I do and they are normal. My md calls then and says everything is fine. I then call my MD back and said, "what about the 17mm solid mass that was white!!" That is not hyperactivity!!. (after the scan, I looked at the images.) I saw the white nodules with my own eyes!! He says really?? I will call the radioloigist and hav him look at the scan again. I am now waiting for my MD to call me back and tell me what the rad said. The scan report also said d/t the hyperactivity of the nodules, suspected benign etiology. Is it possible to have hot nodules, and one cold? Any one with coments?

 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

I'd defintely be interested to hear what they tell you. My endo told me that nodules can flare up at any time and for no reason. She hasn't a clue where my nodule came from, why, or how long it's been there. Basically, she couldn't give me a definite answer.

 
Old 06-13-2006, 08:00 AM   #10
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

I am new as of June. After a 2 week 'bout with tests, I am hyperthyroid. Have a large 4.2 cm. complex multinodular mass on the left "hot". On the right a "cold" smaller nodule. Just confirmed reflux yesterday. Last friday they put me on meds, finally. T3 T4 normal TSH 0.01. I have been feeling really bad. Of course I am going between an ENT and Internist. The endo could not be seen till the end of July. Probably had every symptom imaginable esp. the palpatations, outrageous sweating and ran around full force. Not knowing anything was actually wrong. Thought I was a bit stressed out.
To make a long story shorter I'm now on Torprol,Trapazole,Nexium and Xanax. Never been on so much. But, I feel alot better. Anything would of helped, I believe. I am frustrated about it, but am trying to acccept. They plan on a TT soon as I am eurothyroid. He spoke of a thyroid storm otherwise, so as not to have it taken out now. Planning a vacation aand am going to go, it had been in the works for over a year. The medicine has slowed me down so much. I guess I was hyperthyroid forever and never knew. My thermastat has been significantly readjusted. Good Luck you are not alone. Anyone else on these meds?

 
Old 06-14-2006, 03:11 PM   #11
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie867
I'd defintely be interested to hear what they tell you. My endo told me that nodules can flare up at any time and for no reason. She hasn't a clue where my nodule came from, why, or how long it's been there. Basically, she couldn't give me a definite answer.

My GYN called me today and told me to go see a ENT. Rad said it was a warm nodule he thought but couldn't be 100% sure. So I made an appt with an ENT.

 
Old 06-14-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

Hello All-

Nodules, Nodules, and "warm & hot nodules???" WOW Sounds just as I did 3 months ago. I had a "hot" nodule for 4 years that I know of- Symptoms for 5 years that I know of, at least that is when the panic attacks started for me. My former endo was insisting hyperthyroidism from a single hypoetic nodule 1.5 cm.
She did not bother to further test and begging her basically to test my TSI antibodies (graves disease) was like pulling teeth. She was RAI happy and did
not want to hear of graves, questions or concerns. Off to a new endo I went, and I found a fantastic one at that. Thank God I did and researched and listened to my thyroid family here. This endo listened and retested me with an up-take scan and we found that graves is indeed the culprit of my misery. I was formally diagnosed May 11th, 2006. By the way the nodule went bye-bye.
I have choosen the ant******** meds to try to bring my graves into remission and under control. The meds I am currently taking are:
Methimazole 10mgs split and taken twice daily (generic tapazole)
Toprol XL 50mgs once daily (betablocker for heart palps)
Paroxetine 20mgs once daily ( generic for paxil antideppressant for my sanity but hope to wean off soon)

So far so good......No allergic reaction as my former endo said was a big problem and made the meds sound to be evil. I am glad to have choosen this route.

Take Care- Nikki
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:02 PM   #13
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Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

nikki,
I am so glad to hear of someone else that is taking exactly the same meds I do (for the expection - I have xanax) .. Never in my life have I had to take such quanties of meds. I am hyper and waiting to get eurothyroid for surgery. On top I've just been diagnosed with reflux. So, I'm on nexium , too. It is so incredibly hopeful to be able to hear that other people are doing fine and adjust to the meds. I think that I raced around for so lomg that I am having a hard time regrouping and slowing down so dramatically. These meds have definitely changed my life.

 
Old 06-15-2006, 11:02 PM   #14
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misohopi HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

nikki,
I am so glad to hear of someone else that is taking exactly the same meds I do (for the expection - I have xanax) .. Never in my life have I had to take such quanties of meds. I am hyper and waiting to get eurothyroid for surgery. On top I've just been diagnosed with reflux. So, I'm on nexium , too. It is so incredibly hopeful to be able to hear that other people are doing fine and adjust to the meds. I think that I raced around for so lomg that I am having a hard time regrouping and slowing down so dramatically. These meds have definitely changed my life.

 
Old 06-15-2006, 11:02 PM   #15
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misohopi HB User
Re: Thyroid/Goitre/Nodule Problem

nikki,
I am so glad to hear of someone else that is taking exactly the same meds I do (for the expection - I have xanax) .. Never in my life have I had to take such quanties of meds. I am hyper and waiting to get eurothyroid for surgery. On top I've just been diagnosed with reflux. So, I'm on nexium , too. It is so incredibly hopeful to be able to hear that other people are doing fine and adjust to the meds. I think that I raced around for so lomg that I am having a hard time regrouping and slowing down so dramatically. These meds have definitely changed my life.

 
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