What Are Thyroid Nodules?
If you have had shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, or – perhaps most worrisome – strange bumps on your neck, the problem may be thyroid nodules. The good news is that most thyroid nodules aren’t serious, and very few are cancerous. Here is some more information about thyroid nodules, the problems they can cause, and how they are treated.
What are thyroid nodules?
The thyroid is a gland at the base of the neck. Vocal nerves pass through the thyroid, but it is also important for the hormones it produces, which affect metabolism, body temperature, growth, and brain development.
Thyroid nodules are lumps within the thyroid. They can be solid or filled with fluid. Much of the time nodules don’t cause any symptoms or problems, and they are only found during a routine physical exam. However, sometimes nodules can make and secrete an excess of thyroxine, a hormone that can cause tremors, nervousness, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
If you notice that you have suddenly lost a lot of weight for no apparent reason, have trouble sleeping, muscle weakness, feel like your heart is often pounding, and are nervous or irritable, these may be signs of hyperthyroidism caused by thyroid nodules. They may also cause hypothyroidism, which can make you feel tired very easily, feel cold, have dry skin, and have problems with constipation. It can also cause depression and memory problems.
What is the treatment for thyroid nodules?
Whether you notice symptoms or your doctor notices you have nodules, the first step is to make sure that they are noncancerous. If they are noncancerous and aren’t causing any problems, the best course of action may be just to monitor the nodules. If they are causing hyper- or hypothyroid symptoms, there are medications that can be prescribed. If the nodule grows so large that it interferes with breathing or swallowing, surgery to remove it may be recommended.
If you think you may be having problems with your thyroid, Lakeside Allergy ENT can help, by diagnosing the issue and then providing expert care. Call (972) 771-5443 today for an appointment at the Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie office.