Hi all, I'm a newbie to this list. I just searched the back notes and found some helpful info there. I was diagnosed with a thyroid nodule (left side) about 5 years ago, put on Synthroid to shrink it and it worked. They have kept me on Synthroid ever since at a minimal (75 mcg) dose.
I just had some bloodwork done due to hot flashes/night sweats. In addition to low estrogen, my calcium level is high. That was 2 weeks ago. My regular doc then told me to repeat the blood tests this week, I don't have the results as yet.
However, I had a CT myelogram Monday for a herniated disk (yes, I'm feeling like a wreck at the ripe old age of 48) and the CT scan showed a "vague hypodense attenuation left thyroid lobe". Nothing like plain English, eh?
Would a cyst on my parathyroid gland perhaps account for the calcium levels *and* this finding? I'm sure I'll be seeing my endocrinologist soon, after getting rid of him for over a year. More doctor visits (sigh).
Does anyone have some good questions I should be asking at this point? Thanks.
Hi Nanner. I believe your ultrasound's impression of a "vague hypodense attenuation" of the left thyroid lobe is referring to your originally diagnosed thyroid nodule. A hypodense attenuation is tissue that, on CT scan, appears less dense than the rest of the thyroid tissue. It's just an indication that the nodule appears to be something "other" than the rest of your gland. Glad to hear that the synthroid helped shrink the nodule and keep it small.
I didn't see anything referring to a nodule on your parathyroids -- has such a thing been diagnosed? If you're asking if you may have a parathyroid cyst in addition to your thyroid nodule (based on your calcium levels), I would think that such a cyst might have also shown up during your CT scan.
It is possible that your calcium levels are elevated because you're not taking enough Magnesium and Vitamin D to promote proper absorption if you're taking Calcium supplements. Or it may be some lost bone density due to the menopause symptoms you're describing.
I think you may find some interesting things in our Information Archive thread:
<A HREF="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html</A>
Go through both pages for links about osteoporosis, magnesium, and other useful things. I think it would be a good idea to discuss supplements, ask for a bone density test, and see what your Endo (and/or OB/Gyn) thinks about your calcium levels. Good luck with that and the herniated disk.
Thanks for the info, Artful. I saw both my regular doc and the endocrinologist this week. Had 5 vials of blood drawn to check parathyroid and other related tests. I am scheduled for a bone density test later this week.
The endo wants to see me again in six weeks. My regular doc had me go off my calcium supplement after the first high readings, and my calcium came down but is still above normal. The endo told me to please go back on the supplements as I need the calcium now, what with menopause and all. My calcium supplement does contain magnesium as well, so I don't see that as the culprit in all this.
The endo also affirmed your thought that the CT scan was just reflecting the existing thyroid nodule, and he was totally unconcerned. He didn't seem to think, after testing it manually, that the nodule had increased at all in size since I saw him last.
The endo said that if the parathyroid is acting up the best cure is to remove the malfunctioning gland. I'm getting a two inch cut in June for the anterior discectomy. Just what I want to hear is that I'll likely have another cut soon after. I asked if they could do both at once, but of course they won't.
Let's just say it will be a while before I want to wear a plunging neckline <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
Ugh. I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. They want to do two surgeries? Are they both for parathyroids, or is one surgery related to something else? Perhaps, since we have a couple of parathyroids on each side of our necks, they want to remove one, give you time to heal, and then (if necessary) think about removing another from the other side.
EndocrineWeb has some great information about parathyroids:
<A HREF="http://www.endocrineweb.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.endocrineweb.com/</A>
[Click on the "Your Parathyroid" Link]
Also, I've posted to our Info Archive some info about what to expect when you have thyroid surgery. I expect it's quite similar to parathyroid surgery.
Artful, sorry if I confused you. I have cervical spine surgery coming up in early June. That will be the first neck surgery.
If the docs do decide I need to have my parathyroid removed, it may be a while in coming. The hard collar will be on my neck for about 3 months post surgery, so my guess is that could make diagnostic tests a tad impossible.
I just hope that I don't get major symptoms from the calcium problem during the time I'm laid up.