Thyroid Nodules- A brief overview
What is Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid Nodules are defined as the anatomical abnormal occurrence of lumps that occurs inside the normal thyroid gland. Nodules, in a broader term could be classified as abnormal growths of thyroid tissues. It further results in initiating the thyroid nodules symptoms in the individual.
The demographic presence of these nodules is around the edge of the thyroid gland. However, sometimes these thyroid nodules could be possibly present in the throat. They could also appear as a lump inside the neck in the endomorphic population.
Thyroid gland is present in the lower side in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The butterfly – shaped gland is responsible for secretion of thyroid hormone that regulates the normal metabolic activities inside the body.
Thyroid nodules can occur at any part of the thyroid gland and is responsible for initiating thyroid nodules symptoms in an individual.
Thyroid nodules symptoms are often associated with the presence of solid or fluid –filled lumps that occurs inside the thyroid, just above the breastbone. Many of the thyroid nodules symptoms do not produce any alarming pathological symptoms.
These thyroid nodules symptoms are one of the major documented endocrine complaints, which are more common in women as compared to man population.
The nodules are usually benign in nature, hence producing no or very less of thyroid nodules symptoms. The malignant thyroid nodules symptoms are more common at the extremes of age and are documented more in male population.
The probability of having a cancerous thyroid nodule symptom is more likely in cases of solitary thyroid nodule, in comparison with the presence of multiple thyroid nodules.
Can Thyroid Nodules cause Symptoms?
Most of the thyroid nodules symptoms are not pathologically alarming to the body. It is very rare that thyroid nodule symptoms create disturbance in the proper functions of the body.
Occasionally, some of the thyroid nodules grew larger in the size and become responsible for creating major thyroid nodules symptoms. The thyroid nodules are considered to be large if they could be felt, could be seen through naked eyes. They could also cause small episodes of breathlessness on getting pressure on the windpipe.
In few of the cases, the thyroid nodules symptoms are responsible for producing symptoms similar to Hypothyroidism. It happens because of the abnormal secretions of extra thyroid hormone from the thyroid nodules.
The symptoms are further categorized by unexplained weight loss, increased perspiration, tremors, nervousness and irregular heart beat.
When to seek medical help?
Although many of the thyroid nodules symptoms are not harmful but still the thyroid nodules symptoms that could produce harmful effects, should be addressed to the concerned medical practitioner at the earliest.
In case when the thyroid nodules symptoms get exaggerated, it is advisable to seek the medical attention. This include; impaired muscle weakness, pounding heart, trouble sleeping, irritability and other increased difficulty in carrying out ergonomic activities.
Causes of Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
Thyroid Nodules, as discussed above are characterized by the abnormal enlargement of thyroid nodules near to the thyroid gland. There are many of the causes that are accountable to initiate the process of formation of thyroid nodules. Below are the most common causes that are considered to introduce thyroid nodules symptoms in an individual.
Hashimoto’s Disease: The onset of the disease could damage an individual’s thyroid functions. It is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an auto- immune disorder that marks the release of antibodies inside the body.
The antibodies attack on the thyroid gland, resulting in the damage of the thyroid gland. The symptoms are often misdiagnosed with the symptoms of Hypothyroidism. The diagnostic test involves the laboratory test for TSH.
The presence of Hashimoto’s disease can be responsible for creating the thyroid nodules symptoms. It occurs because of the abnormal functioning of thyroid gland. Sometimes, the abnormality results in enlarged growth of the gland; which is popularly termed as thyroid nodule.
The thyroid nodules symptoms are a series of abnormal impacts that are created as a result of the same.
Hypothyroidism: The second possible cause of introduction of thyroid nodules symptoms in the body is the presence of Hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism, as discussed is an endocrine disorder that occurs due to the presence of abnormal functioning of thyroid gland. A healthy thyroid gland secretes the normal value of thyroid hormone in the body.
With the existence of Hypothyroidism, the levels of thyroid hormone get fluctuated and might result in improper growth of thyroid gland. This outer projection of the gland is known as thyroid nodules.
Thyroid Cancer: Yet another responsible cause of thyroid nodules symptoms is the detection of thyroid cancer in the thyroid gland.
The abnormal division and replication of cells in the thyroid gland are pathologically termed as cancerous cells. These cells account the presence of thyroid cancer in the gland.
Thyroid cancer also remarks the formation of thyroid nodules, based on the improper growth of the cells of the thyroid gland. These further initiate the various symptoms of thyroid nodules in the body.
Widely, the above discussed three causes are considered to be the major reason for the onset of symptoms of thyroid nodules in an individual.
Enlarged Thyroid Nodule Symptoms
The thyroid nodules could be further classified on the basis of its size. They could be small, large or of medium size. As discussed above, the thyroid nodules symptoms of small nodules are not significant. They could be ignored.
But the thyroid nodules symptoms generated by the enlarged thyroid nodules need a precise look after and medical attention.
Enlarged thyroid nodules could be defined as the occurrence of multi – nodular goiter or excessive over –growth of the surrounded tissues of thyroid gland.
This abnormal outward projection of tissues can create serious thyroid nodules symptoms. It is highly advised to seek for a medical attention as these thyroid nodules symptoms could be life- threatening too, if left untreated for a longer time.
The onset of nodules is still not clear. However, many diseases are supposed to play an active role in creating the thyroid nodule symptoms, more aggressive.
Iodine deficiency has been documented as one of the reasonable cause for developing thyroid nodules in the thyroid glands. The insufficient amount of iodine accelerates the abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, hence attaining the thyroid nodules symptoms inside the body.
Idiopathic cause of sudden overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue is one of the major risking factors that actively contribute to the development of thyroid nodules symptoms in an individual. These over growth are medically denoted as thyroid adenoma too.
The abnormal or hyperactive thyroid hormones can sometimes leads to disturbed pituitary gland regulation. This disturbed mechanism leads to overproduction of thyroid hormones.
The excessive presence of thyroid hormones further speed up the process of formation of thyroid nodules symptoms. The enlarged thyroid nodule is generally comprised of multiple distinctive nodules.
The associated thyroid nodule symptoms related to enlarged thyroid nodules could be summarized as:
Shortness of Breath: It occurs because of pressing down of wind pipe, due to enlarged thyroid nodule. It could create an emergency situation. It is advised to ask a doctor as soon as possible.
Difficulty in Swallowing: The other harmful thyroid nodule symptom is the presence of difficulty in swallowing the food because of the enlarged thyroid nodule. The anatomy structure of thyroid gland is near to the throat. The close proximity of both the structures might result in troubling while swallowing.
Impaired muscle weakness: This occurs due to alteration of normal regulation mechanism in the body due to presence of thyroid nodules symptoms. It is often accompanied with the generalized weakness of the body, lethargy and loss of appetite.
Cystic Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
Cystic Thyroid nodules are defined as thyroid cysts that are filled with the fluid. They could occur in any size.
The onset of cystic nodules is sudden and is usually associated with the presence of fluid inside it. In few of the cases, both fluid and solid part has been present inside the cyst and they are known as complex nodule.
The thyroid nodules symptoms are varied and are dependent upon the size and the formation of the cystic nodules. The main thyroid nodules symptom stated by the presence of cystic nodules is the persistent pain in the neck.
The ongoing pain could result in further aggravating restlessness in an individual and requires immediate surgical intervention.
Diagnostic tests that could help out to relieve the thyroid nodules symptoms
There are few of the diagnostic tests that could help in relieving the associated symptoms.
- Fine needle biopsy: It is a simple medical process that could be easily done at the physician’s office. It is started with the local anesthesia and is accompanied by the pricking or insertion of syringe, inside the nodule. The biopsy result will help in diagnosing the nature of the thyroid nodules. Mostly, in the case of cystic nodules many of the thyroid nodule symptoms get relieved with the procedure of biopsy.
- Thyroid Scan: It includes the insertion of radioactive isotope in the thyroid cells. The concentrated form of isotope is introduced inside the nodule.
As soon as, the isotope gets dissolved with the body tissues, a picture scan of thyroid nodule is performed. The scan will help in determining the nature and functioning state of the thyroid nodule.
This will help in getting a better idea about the upcoming symptoms of thyroid nodules in an individual.
- Thyroid sonography: It is a very simple process of obtaining pictures of the thyroid gland with the help of high –frequency sound waves.
The sound waves get passed through the skin surface and are reflected back in the machine. This bounce back image creates a detail image of thyroid on the machine.
It is one of the most practiced diagnostic techniques as it helps in differentiating between the types of the thyroid nodules symptoms to the physicians. It is used with thyroid biopsy procedure also and it helps in getting clearer picture of the thyroid nodule.
- Intense pain: It may be characterized as the occurrence of sharp shooting persistent pain in the gland. It keeps on increasing.
- Swallowing Difficulties: The other associated thyroid nodule symptom is the difficulty in swallowing the meal. It occurs due to blocking of the normal anatomical and physiological functioning of food pipe because of the presence of thyroid nodule.
- Breathing Difficulties: The wind pipe is most likely to get constant pressure because of the presence of abnormal overgrowth of thyroid tissue.
- Hoarse Voice: The change in the pitch of the voice occurs due to abnormal alterations of the whole physiological as well anatomical structures in the throat.
Bilateral Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
The presence of thyroid nodule on both the sides of the thyroid gland is termed as bilateral thyroid gland. It is a medical condition in which the extra growth occurs around the edges of the gland on both the sides.
As compared to other types of thyroid nodules, the intensity is doubled in case of bilateral thyroid nodules. It is because of the twin appearance of both the nodules.
The thyroid nodules symptoms of bilateral nodules are similar to other thyroid nodules symptoms. The difference between the two is that the intensity, frequency of thyroid nodules gets doubled up in case of bilateral thyroid nodules.
The treatment of thyroid nodule symptoms is dependent upon the type and location of the thyroid nodule. The symptoms are often relieved by the conservative treatment. The symptomatic treatment is often offered to minimize the effects of the symptoms of thyroid nodules.
Small Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
As discussed above, the thyroid nodules symptoms are dependent upon the size of the nodules. In case of small thyroid nodules, the symptoms are very rare.
This happens because the presence of small size of thyroid nodules doesn’t actually hinder the normal anatomical structures of the body. The smaller size hardly creates any obstruction. Henceforth, there is no or less presence of any expected thyroid nodules symptoms with smaller nodules.
As far as hormonal imbalance is associated with the presence of small thyroid nodules symptoms, they too occur very rarely. It happens because the smaller size of thyroid nodule doesn’t create much disturbance or alteration in the normal secretion of the thyroid hormone.
In short, we can say that the symptoms of thyroid nodules of smaller size are very rare or are insignificant in terms of medical disturbances.
Medicine for Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
The conservative treatment of thyroid nodules symptoms is dependent upon the nature of the thyroid nodule. In case of benign nodule, the medicines are prescribed by health practitioner. It includes Levothyroxine drug.
It is a synthetic drug processed by the thyroxine and is usually present in the market in a tablet form. The medicine comes under the name of Levoxyl and Synthroid tablets.
The pharmacological action of the drug involves the supplementation of addition thyroid hormone. This additional hormone stimulates signals to pituitary gland to produce or secrete lesser level of TSH hormone.
The TSH hormone is solely responsible for the onset of thyroid tissue growth. The thyroid nodules symptoms are relieved to a level with the help of introduction of the medications
Treatment of Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
The treatment of Thyroid nodules symptoms is dependent upon the type and category of the thyroid nodule.
In case of Benign nodules, following approach could be followed to bring the positive effects:
- Keeping a strict observation: It is advised to keep an eye over the thyroid nodules symptoms with the passage of time. Most of the benign nodules do not create any harm.
Medical attention is not as such required in such cases. But, it is always advised to make a precise observation on a daily basis.
This will help to judge the current scenario of the condition. It also involves regular physical examination and laboratory tests to find out the actual medical state of the individuals.
- Thyroid hormone Suppression Therapy: It involves the treatment of the thyroid nodules symptoms associated with the benign nodule. The treatment is done with the help of Levothyroxine.
The drugs are responsible to make the thyroid level in control.
- Surgical Intervention: In very of the rare case, benign nodule needs surgical correction. It includes the surgical removal of the doubtful nodule.
In many of the cases, it has been noticed that surgical intervention will relieve the thyroid nodules symptoms and can ease the condition of the individual.
Treating nodules that causes Hypothyroidism
In medical conditions, where thyroid nodule is actively producing thyroid hormones, the medical treatment involves the following procedures:
Radioactive Iodine: In order to correct the hyper functioning of the adenomas or multi-nodular goiters, Radioactive Iodine is prescribed. It could be administered either in capsular form or in liquid form.
The introduction of radioactive iodine helps in creating shrinkage of the nodules. It results in relieving the thyroid nodules symptoms within two or three months.
Anti – Thyroid Medications: Medicines such as Methimazole (Tapazole ) is often prescribed to treat the thyroid nodules symptoms.
However, the side- effects of these medications are very high and cause impact on liver.
Surgery: In conditions, where radioactive iodine or any other medication is not capable of producing the desired effects, doctors often suggest to go for surgery.
Although the associated risks of surgery are very high but in some cases, it is essential to opt for surgery.
Treating cancerous nodule
Unlike other thyroid nodules, the treatment plan for cancerous nodules is quite different. There is a high acceleration of thyroid nodules symptoms in cancerous nodules and it always requires urgent medical attention.
- Surgery: It is the most usual treatment offered to the malignant nodules. The procedure comprises of total removal of the majority of thyroid tissues. The operative procedure is termed as thyroidectomy.
The connected risks with the surgery include the impending danger of damage to the vocal nerves. Moreover, the individual has to take Levothyroxine hormone for lifelong.
- Alcohol Ablation : The management of cancerous nodules could be also done with the help of alcohol ablation. This technique involves injecting a small amount of alcohol in the cancerous thyroid nodule.
In general, the overall treatment is dependent upon the frequency of impact, produced by thyroid nodules symptoms.
Home Remedies for Thyroid Nodules Symptoms
Many of the thyroid nodules symptoms might be corrected with the home remedies. When nodules are kept for observation, it is important to keep a regular eye on the symptoms of thyroid nodules. Here is the list of home remedies that could help you to minimize the symptoms of thyroid nodules.
- Consume Sea food regularly: Consumption of sea food on regular basis could minimize the thyroid nodules symptoms. Sea food is an abundant source of natural iodine.
The regular intake of sea –food will increase the efficiency of thyroid gland. The extra supply of iodine will offer a proper natural cure to the symptoms of thyroid nodule. The higher intake of oily fish alone can also serve the same purpose.
- Avoid Mucus Producing food: The formation of the excessive mucus may harm by accelerating the thyroid nodules symptoms. It is advised to avoid the intake of food items in your meal.
Food items such as margarine, deep fried foods, and processed foods should not be consumed. This will help in reduction of the thyroid nodules symptoms.
- Reduce intake of sugar: The thyroid nodules symptoms could result in worsening of the immune system. It is important to lower down these symptoms as soon as possible.
With the presence of nodules, the immune system gets weaken. The excessive intake of sugar in diet further decreases the efficiency of immune system. It is beneficial to keep a reduced sugar diet. It has been considered as one of the most influential natural care to fight with the thyroid nodules symptoms.
- Ginseng: It is an herb that has been practiced as one of the traditional way to treat many of the ailments. It consists of many compounds that have inherent properties of anti- inflammation. These properties help in offering the fast healing of the inflammation. In case of thyroid nodules symptoms, Ginseng can bring the desired outcomes in few days.
- Citrus Fruits: The citrus properties are rich in Vitamin C. They are found to be helpful and effective in reducing the quantity of mucus formation. The remarkable reduction of mucus will initiate the lowering down of the thyroid nodules symptoms. It has been advised to add the intake of the citrus fruits in the diet such as lemon, orange in your diet. The associated health benefits of the citrus fruits help to lower down the symptoms of thyroid nodules.
- Fatty Acids: They are one of the most powerful beneficial natural cures for the thyroid nodules. They will help to maintain the normal tissue health and reduce the inflammation. Sources such as avocados, chia seeds, macadamia nut oil, virgin olive oil are few of the rich sources of the fatty acids. To minimize the thyroid nodules symptoms, the high intake of fatty acids in the meal bowl are advised.
- Bladderwrack: For the thyroid related problems, bladderwrack has been proved to be a beneficial source. It contains a larger proportion of natural iodine. It is seaweed and the presence of rich quantity of the high iodine helps to fight with the thyroid nodules symptoms. Apart from the high iodine, it is a rich source of mineral magnesium, iron, and zinc also. In cases of thyroid nodules, the regular intake of Bladderwrack helps to relieve the symptoms.
- Coconut oil: As compared to the properties of the cooking oil, the properties of coconut oil are healthy. The oil is free from the polysaturated oils. The consumption of the coconut oil helps in aiding the basic function of thyroid glands. In case of thyroid nodules symptoms, the usage of coconut oil is found to be beneficial
- Bamboo Plant: The production of excessive mucus can harm the consequences of thyroid nodules symptoms. In the presence of thyroid nodules, there is a pathological condition that initiates the production of mucus. It is advised to consume part of bamboo plant to ensure the excessive mucus plug gets relieved.
All these above discussed points will help to get a clear view about the thyroid nodules symptoms and its complete treatment.