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    Old 02-17-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
    rockrat71
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    Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Hi there. This is going to be long, so thanks in advance for reading! I've not posted in a while, just lurking.

    The short version of my story is I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroiditis in August of last year. I was so very sick a few months after the birth of my daughter and didn't know what was wrong. Ultimately a TSH of 99 and FT4 of .04 showed me to be severely hypothryoid.

    I've been struggling to get right since. Went hyper from too high a dosage, then it was lowered too much and I went hypo again, and now I'm at 100mcg and go for labs next week. I still feel only about 75% of my former self. It sucks. I think I'm getting close to my optimal dose but not totally sure. My antibodies are around 600, vit D a bit low, cortisol normal.

    But now to my questions. In September I felt a large lump under my jaw. I went to the dr. and she gave me a round of antibiotics...said it was unrelated to thyroid and was swollen lymph nodes. It did gradually go down but it's still there. I've come to realize it's a salivary gland. I can tell because of a salty saliva taste I get on that side. It is not painful and it doesn't swell when I eat. It sort of swells on it's own schedule. Sometimes have to dig to feel it, other times I can feel it more readily. I've mentioned it several times to dr. She's not concerned. Of course I am obsessed with it. Soooo...can all this thyroid business cause salivary gland issues on one side only? On the one hand I'm relieved that it went from huge to just small to medium but I still worry.

    And part 2...headaches. I've never had them before in my life other than the every now and then sinus or tension or hangover type headaches. Now I get these strange stabbing pains in my head... Googling leads me to ice pick headache...a form of migraine. Did anyone else develop headaches post diagnosis? I'm going for an MRI of my brain on Monday.

    And I have pains in my reproductive organs it feels like. It's like I've become a complete and total hypochondriac...thinking the worst over every little thing. Crying a lot. I just want to feel like I used to. I'm so scared all the time. And my baby just turned a year old! My family/friends don't understand how my stupid thyroid has robbed me of the joy of my life. I just want to feel good again.

    Thanks if you read this far! I need to vent and talk to people who feel the same.

     
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    Old 02-17-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    I'm curious too....I had a lump under my jaw since 1998 and they acted like it was nothing, after a couple MRI's they said it's a salivary gland and not to worry. Fast forward to 2005, I had nodules and surgery to remove 1/2 my thyroid, and I worry that I might have hashi's

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    You sound like you're not optimal on your meds yet. The pains and anxiety you're describing are not indicating you're quite yourself. Hopefully your docs are treating you by your free T3 and free T4 levels and not just TSH.

    I've had a swollen salivary gland for many years. It fills and then drains and does this over and over I've never had any doctor take more than a passing interest in it. It can be a sign of Sjogren's but I've never tested postive for those antibodies (or any antibodies for that matter).

    With the ice pick headache an MRI is a good idea. Ask them to concentrate on the pituitary because many of us have pit problems and this can cause headaches as well as hypothyroidism. Pituitary adenoma is far more common than most realize.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    I, too, have a swollen salivary gland. I thought it was due to an infection in my wisdom tooth at first (about 3 years ago) and I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed and two rounds of antibiotics. No change. I have had two doctors look at it and an ultrasound done of it and was told it was just an enlarged salivary gland and that I could have Sjorgrens Syndrome (I have other symptoms, like hard time swallowing, dry mouth, dry skin, dry gritty eyes, increase in cavities despite brushing/flossing well, etc.) Basically I was told to suck on sour candies or lozenges to help promote salivary flow and sometimes it gets bigger than others but at least I know its harmless. I would ask for an u/s or ct scan to double check but it sounds like the same kind of thing. As for your headaches, I also had a lot of headaches after my second child was born and had a ct scan and then an MRI and I was found to have a cyst in my brain causing a lot of pressure and some mass effect. I highly doubt that is the case as they are very rare, but I am glad your doctor is being proactive and doing the MRI. Good luck!

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    I can tell you that you are certainly NOT crazy!

    In 2001, while sitting at my desk, I accidentally ran across some swelling in my neck. After two rounds of anti-biotics, regimens to increased saliva production, 3 specialists, blood work, a fine needle aspiration, and a CT scan gone bad...I was told that the huge lump in my neck was my salivary gland. My ENT's plan of action was to remove it because they could not declare with certainty there was no cancer. After an hour and a half surgery, I was told that it was NOT my parotid gland, but a "reactive lymph node." The ENT explained that my body had tricked itself into thinking it was sick when in fact it wasn't, and one of the results was this swelling in one lymph node.

    Fast forward to 2006... I started having weird gynecological pains that were inexplicable. However, after a hysteroscopy, I was "staged at stage II for endometriosis" though no true endo was found...just some scar tissue.

    Fast forward to 2009, I'm achy and my weight is creeping up steadily (I now teeter between 198 and 204 after NOT changing my diet or exercise habits and always being VERY thin; 120-130 at 5'10) No explanation other than aging was ever offered. Increasing issues with acne which I've NEVER had, pretty bad constipation, more joint pain determined not to be rheumatoid arthritis, more pelvic pain, extreme fatigue, depression, emotional, can't concentrate for jack, etc. I was told that exercising and eating better would help. Well, that just makes me feel worse and I'm hardly losing any weight.

    2010 and I'm finally referred to a gastroenterologist who can detect a swollen thyroid by touch during my first office visit with her. I had an ultrasound completed and yes...my thyroid is enlarged. Now I'm just waiting for my visit with the endocrinologist for yet more testing.

    Sorry I highjacked your thread. I just found out about the ultrasound today and totally saw myself in your post.

    I hope we both get some answers soon.

     
    Old 02-18-2010, 01:42 PM   #6
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Thanks everyone for responding. Interesting how a few us have salivary gland issues. I'm wondering just how much all these autoimmune issues tie together. I also have endometriosis, stage 4. It's not technically autoimmune but it has all the characteristics and folks are starting to say it might be. I'm scared for my MRI Monday but I so desperately want answers. It's so easy to blame everything on the thyroid, yet at the same time I'm so fearful there's something worse going on! Will I ever be the person I was? It's so depressing.

     
    Old 02-19-2010, 08:37 AM   #7
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    rockrat-

    How did the MRI go? Other than trying to remain perfectly still, it's not terrible, right? Did they say how soon you'd hear back from your doctor on the results?

    I had my bloodwork done yesterday with my general practitioner. He doesn't believe it's my thyroid but rather increased prolactin levels and my vitamin D deficiency acting up. He said a lot of things can mimic each other and disguise themselves as thyroid issues. He checked my TSH last year which was a "normal" 1.2 but is running other tests like T3 and T4 and some other letters and number combinations I can't recall. He hopes to have the labs back no later than Monday but I'm preparing myself for Tuesday just in case the lab is slow.

    Oh yeah... And I've been having a milky nipple discharge as well that leads the doctor to believe it's a high level of prolactin.

    I will keep you posted.

     
    Old 02-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #8
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Blutiful, I hope your doc has an MRI planned for you too. Prolactinomas are the most common form of pituitary adenoma and 1 in 5 have pituitary adenomas. So it's important to get your pituitary properly imaged as soon as possible because adenomas are best treated early. For good info on pituitary check out the Pituitary Network Association.

    MRI is not a big deal, unless you have problems with enclosed spaces. There are open MRIs available but I've heard their quality is not as good as the closed machines. Often the techs will provide music with headphones to help and if you have severe claustrophobia your doctor can prescribe something to relax you.

     
    Old 02-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Hi Blutiful, I haven't my MRI yet. It's on Monday morning. I'm scared because I'm really claustrophobic. My dr. prepared me by saying it's totally safe, just really loud, and that I will have headphones with music to help drown it out. The more still you can be the faster they can image. She also gave me 2 valium and said take one 30 minutes before and if you're still nervous take the other. I can imagine I will be feeling good at least from the valium. She said results take 48-72 hours. It's scary and hard not to imagine the worst. Good luck with all your test results! Let us know how it goes.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlutifulScorpio View Post
    rockrat-

    How did the MRI go? Other than trying to remain perfectly still, it's not terrible, right? Did they say how soon you'd hear back from your doctor on the results?

    I had my bloodwork done yesterday with my general practitioner. He doesn't believe it's my thyroid but rather increased prolactin levels and my vitamin D deficiency acting up. He said a lot of things can mimic each other and disguise themselves as thyroid issues. He checked my TSH last year which was a "normal" 1.2 but is running other tests like T3 and T4 and some other letters and number combinations I can't recall. He hopes to have the labs back no later than Monday but I'm preparing myself for Tuesday just in case the lab is slow.

    Oh yeah... And I've been having a milky nipple discharge as well that leads the doctor to believe it's a high level of prolactin.

    I will keep you posted.

     
    Old 02-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    I am also claustraphobic, and just tend to get anxious during medical tests and procedures period, but found the MRI to be much easier than I thought. I did not take any pills to relax me nor did I get to have any music (lucky you to have an upgraded MRI machine lol!) and it did go pretty quickly. I just focused on deep slow breathing and found it to be quite comfortable actually.

     
    Old 02-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #11
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Javelina - Thanks for the additional info. He did mention an MRI depending on my labs. He said he wanted to prepare me for the possibility of additional testing and what they'd be looking for in the best and worst case scenarios.

    RockRat - I will be looking to hear back from you after your MRI as well. I've had one CT which didn't go well because I had an allergic reaction to the dye. I've had an MRI that was okay though I became restless at towards the end. (Torn ACL which is another story altogether...and is still torn by choice)

    Lulu - I didn't have music either, just the loud humming of the machine. And then was told by the tech NOT to fall asleep. What in the world?! I'm not claustrophobic but BARELY made it through. LOL!

     
    Old 02-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Well I had the MRI...it was a little nerve wracking, but honestly the anticipation was worse than the actual event. The tech was great and spoke to me through the intercom the whole time. The valium helped a lot. At the end she said I did great and gave me a little towel that said MRI SURVIVOR. Pretty funny. I guess they have a lot of panicky patients! However, now I'm freaking out completely waiting on my results. I HATE waiting. Is there something in my brain or not...I just want to know! It's SO hard to not think the worst. Thanks for letting me vent.

     
    Old 02-23-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    rockrat - I'm glad you survived! LOL! That's a really cute story. :-) I'll be waiting to hear back from you.

    I, however, am waiting for my labwork...STILL! :-( The nurse was even surprised that it's been 3 business days and the only report they've received is my blood count.

    *crossing my fingers for news tomorrow*

     
    Old 02-23-2010, 07:35 PM   #14
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    Would that have been a pineal cyst? I have one, and am trying to learn if there could be a connection between thyroid problems and pineal cyst. Thank you much.

     
    Old 02-24-2010, 06:46 AM   #15
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    Re: Can a swollen salivary gland be related to Hashi? And other questions inside...

    A pineal cyst should not affect your thyroid. The pineal gland produces melatonin. The cyst may cause other neurological symptoms like headache or fluid accumulation in the brain if it grows too large. I assume yours is being watched to see if any changes are happening. Most pineal and other brain cysts are incidental findings and asymptomatic over a person's lifetime.

     
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