Nodule on thyroid can be a cause for worry in many individuals. While nodules on the thyroid are all too common, you can never be certain. If you are here on such account, we have you covered. Find out if your concerns are legit and find the answers to your common questions on thyroid nodules here!
Nodule on Thyroid Causes, Symptoms, and Other FAQs
In this article:
- What Is Nodule on The Thyroid?
- How Common Are Nodules on Thyroid?
- What Causes Thyroid Nodules to Grow?
- What Are The Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules?
- How Do I Know I Have Thyroid Nodules?
- Can Thyroid Nodules Cause Weight Gain?
- When To Worry About Thyroid Nodules?
- What Size Should Thyroid Nodule Be Removed?
- How Long Do Thyroid Biopsy Results Take?
- What Can I Do To Avoid Thyroid Nodules?
- What Causes Thyroid Nodules To Shrink?
What Is Nodule on the Thyroid?
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in your throat. The cells form itself into a lump of tissue. A thyroid nodule or nodules are abnormal lumps forming within your thyroid. These lumps are either solid, fluid-filled, or cystic or both. You can have one or multiple thyroid nodules.
How Common Are Nodules on Thyroid?
Half of the people aged 60 are at risk of nodules in the thyroid. They are detected in 1-2 percent of men and 6 percent in women. Thyroid nodules are very common and occur more often in older people.
What Causes Thyroid Nodules to Grow?
The causes of nodule growth on the thyroid are not known in general even though it is common. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a common cause of hypothyroidism causes some form of thyroid nodules. Iron deficiency also increases the risk of thyroid nodules. Too much of iodine in hyperthyroidism will also cause thyroid nodules.
What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules?
People concerned with thyroid nodules ask this question often, but thyroid nodules have no symptoms. It is only when you start noticing an abnormal lump that you must be concerned with. Beyond that, there is no way of telling for yourself if you have thyroid nodules. A painful lump in the throat related to thyroid nodule is even rare.
How Do I Know I Have Thyroid Nodules?
Since thyroid nodules do not exhibit symptoms, a self-examination and a doctors confirmation will determine if you have thyroid nodules. To better assess your condition, you can take these tests:
- A thyroid scan
- An ultrasound of the thyroid
- A thyroid stimulating hormone test or THS test
- A biopsy or fine-needle aspiration
Can Thyroid Nodules Cause Weight Gain?
Thyroid nodules do not cause weight gain per se. But if the thyroid nodules are caused by hyperthyroidism, the thyroid nodules or the whole thyroid need to be removed. The side effects of the procedure include weight gain.
When to Worry About Thyroid Nodules?
Here’s the good news — 99% of nodules on the thyroid are benign or not cancerous. You can let your hair down. While the risks a thyroid nodule is cancerous are slim, these risk factors are linked to malignant nodules:
- The risk is greater when you are more than 50 years old
- The risk is 3 times greater in women at reproductive age
- Prognosis is worst in men
- There is a positive history of thyroid cancer in the family
- There is a positive history of endocrine cancers in the family
- You have larger thyroid nodules
- You have a hoarse voice from the nodules or paralysis of the vocal cords
- There is radiation exposure history
- A single nodule have a higher risk to be cancerous than multiple nodules
How Big Must the Thyroid Nodule Be to Be Removed?
Any nodules bigger than a centimeter shall undergo a biopsy to identify if it is malignant. If a thyroid nodule is malignant or cancerous, it needs to be treated asap. At 4 cm, a benign thyroid nodule must be removed.
How Long Do Thyroid Biopsy Results Take?
It depends whether the biopsy or radiology center has an on-site cell pathologist. A biopsy or a fine-needle aspiration takes a sample from a patient. If a pathologist in unavailable, the sample is taken to the nearest center with an available pathologist. This takes months. Where an on-site pathologist is present, he/she will conduct the tests as soon as they extract the samples.
What Can I Do to Avoid Thyroid Nodules?
There is no way to avoid and prevent thyroid nodules. Since there are no symptoms, you only need to listen to your body, especially your thyroid. You may wonder too if you need to take tests if you feel you have thyroid nodules. Experts argue whether you need tests outright if you suspect thyroid nodules. Talk this out with your doctor for some expert advice. Also, make a habit of self-examining your neck.
What Causes Thyroid Nodules to Shrink?
Depending on your case thyroid nodules can shrink. It can either be by natural means or by medical procedures. For benign thyroid nodules, you can treat or shrink the nodules with naturals means. The most common means are thyroid-friendly diet and thyroid supplements. Surgery or thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine are medical procedures your doctor will advise you to undergo for certain cases.
Watch this video from Dr. Eric Berg for expert insights into thyroid issues:
Every case of thyroid issue is different for every individual. Knowing more about nodule on thyroid will help you relate to your own. Make a record of your own experience and what you feel. List the questions which might arise from reading this article. You will better explain your case with your doctor when you have basic knowledge about your case. This way you go hand in hand with the diagnosis and treatment of any thyroid problem you have or which may occur.
Do you suspect a nodule on thyroid gland? Let us know about it in the comments section below?