A thyroid nodule is a mass found individually or in groups in the thyroid gland. The nodule is either solid or full of fluid. Its occurrence in the thyroid gland is a common problem and in some cases it becomes rare, cancerous and malignant. In the following, we will provide you with more information about thyroid nodules; What symptoms it has, what causes it, what dangers it can cause, and other details. Stay with us.
What is a nodule? Types of thyroid nodules
The thyroid gland is a butterfly gland near the larynx that secretes two hormones that affect the body’s metabolism. Hormones that are responsible for regulating heart rate, body temperature and similar activities. Nodules that form in the thyroid gland are divided into different types depending on whether they produce thyroid hormones: cold, hot, and hot nodules.
Cold thyroid nodules do not produce any hormones. Hot nodules keep hormone production in the thyroid gland normal, and hot nodules cause overproduction of hormones.
The majority of thyroid nodules (more than 90%) are benign or noncancerous. In most cases, their formation does not cause any particular problem and has no signs or symptoms. Thyroid nodules may even form and you may not notice it. Often, when we see a doctor for problems with the throat and surrounding areas, the presence of nodules can be detected with tests such as a CT scan or MRI.
Symptoms of thyroid nodules
If the normal size of the thyroid nodule changes and becomes too large, the following symptoms may occur:
- Goiter (swelling of the neck due to an enlarged thyroid gland);
- Pain in the lower neck;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Cough and hoarseness (hoarseness).
If the nodule is hot and produces too much hormone, you may have signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These symptoms include the following:
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat;
- Unreasonable weight loss;
- Muscle weakness;
- Difficulty falling asleep;
- Worry and anxiety.
Occasionally, thyroid nodules affect people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s thyroid is an autoimmune disease that increases the risk of hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Persistent fatigue;
- Unreasonable weight gain;
- Cold sensitivity;
- Dry skin and hair;
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Symptoms of malignant nodules (such as sudden weight loss or palpitations) should not be limited to identifying cancerous and dangerous nodules (which are very rare); Be sure to see a specialist and get tested. If you experience these symptoms frequently, it is best to see a specialist as soon as possible to prevent them in the early stages of the disease.
Causes of thyroid nodule formation
Overgrowth of thyroid tissue, which in most cases causes the formation and formation of nodules. Normally, the cause of this overgrowth cannot be determined with certainty, but genetic issues play a role.
In rare cases, one of the following disorders can cause a thyroid nodule:
- Hashimoto’s thyroid disease;
- Chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland;
- Thyroid cancer;
- Thyroid cysts (fluid-filled cavities that usually form due to the decay of thyroid adenomas);
- Iodine deficiency.
What factors increase the risk of developing thyroid nodules?
The factors described below will increase the risk of developing thyroid nodules:
- Performing x-rays of the thyroid in infancy or childhood;
- Having a thyroid-related disorder such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism;
- Having genetic backgrounds (history of infection of a family member);
- Age exceeds the age of sixty.
Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid nodules, especially during pregnancy. Of course, most of the time these nodules are benign and will not cause much of a problem.
The process of diagnosing thyroid nodules
We have said before that thyroid nodules usually have no tangible signs and symptoms and are not felt. However, if the doctor suspects the presence of such nodules during general tests, he or she will refer the patient to an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist first asks the patient if he or she has had a history of radiation therapy as a child or infant, or if he or she has a history of thyroid-related disorders. The doctor will also look for the genetic history of the problem in the patient’s family.
It will then make a diagnosis with the help of one or more of the following tests:
- Thyroid ultrasound (to determine the structure of the nodule);
- Thyroid scan (to find out which type of nodule is cold, hot or hot);
- Needle sampling of nodules; The sample will be taken to the laboratory and the relevant tests will be performed on it;
- Blood test (to determine the level of thyroid hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone).
Treatment of thyroid nodules
The method of treatment depends on the type and size of the nodule.
If the endocrinologist is sure that the nodule is not malignant or cancerous, he or she may not need treatment and may only prescribe tests for the patient or client several times and monitor the condition of the nodule / nodules.
Rarely do nodules become benign, cancerous, or dangerous. However, if the endocrinologist deems it appropriate, occasional sampling of the nodules may be required to reduce the risk of the nodule becoming cancerous.
Treatment of hot thyroid nodules
If the nodule causes an overproduction of the hormone (hot type), the endocrinologist will use radioactive iodine or surgery to remove it. If you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism, these treatments will relieve the symptoms. Of course, sometimes it happens that after using these strategies, a large part of the thyroid gland is destroyed. If this happens, the patient may need to receive artificial thyroid hormone on a regular basis.
Treatment of cold thyroid nodules
If the nodule is cold and causes hypothyroidism due to the secretion of insufficient hormone, the patient will be given thyroid hormone. The same treatment is usually used for patients with Hashimoto’s thyroid.
in the end
It is not possible to prevent thyroid nodules, and in many cases the cause of a person’s involvement with them is genetic issues. But it rarely happens that the nodules are malignant and cancerous, and as soon as the patient is tested from time to time and his condition is monitored, it will be enough (often there is not even a need for treatment). If the nodule causes other complications such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it is possible to eliminate the symptoms of the disease and improve it by using an appropriate treatment strategy, which will be suggested by an endocrinologist.
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