What are Thyroid Nodules?
A thyroid nodule is a lump that can develop into your thyroid gland. The type of lump varies from person to person. Some experience a solid lump, while others get diagnosed with a fluid-filled lump. Almost 1 in 7 people have a thyroid nodule, but it is rarely cancerous. To understand thyroid nodule better, you should know the exact position of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid gland is similar to the shape of a butterfly, positioned near your voice box (larynx) and in front of the windpipe (trachea).
Thyroid nodules are difficult to detect; you might know about it through a doctor conducting your routine medical check-up. Otherwise, it’ll only be visible once increased in size.
There are several causes for the development of thyroid nodule.
- Lack Of Iodine In The Body: people who have a lack of iodine in their diet, experience early or late stages of thyroid nodules. The United States of America have the least number of patients with thyroid nodules. The reason being, their salt, and other foods comprise of adequate iodine addition.
List of food items that can help avoid iodine deficiency:
- Dairy products, especially Yogurt
- Lima Beans
- Overgrowth Of Thyroid Tissues: This is a gland disorder, known as thyroid adenoma. It is rare and non-cancerous. It can only become dangerous if the nodule size increases because of extra thyroid tissue. Also, overgrowth of thyroid tissue gives rise to the over-production of hormones in the thyroid, which can have an adverse effect on the size of the nodule.
- Thyroid Cancer: Rarely, nodule turns into a cancerous lump. However, it does happen when the lump stays un-treated in the thyroid gland for too long.
Initially, the symptoms are subtle and harmless. Gradually, the person suffering from thyroid nodule can feel the lump. Afterward, there are times when patients with thyroid nodule experience swelling in the neck until it is unbearable. Lastly, the swelling expands to the point that the patient is unable to breathe properly.
Also, in the case of over-growth of thyroid tissue, the gland produces hormones that drastically cause weight-loss, tremor, increased perspiration, fast irregular heartbeat, anxiety, and nervousness.
Lastly, cancerous thyroid nodules might end up in the removal of the voice box or serious effect on the speech of the patient.
When to Seek Medical Help
Most of the time, thyroid glands are self-treatable and won’t require extensive medical treatment. But if you experience following conditions, then seeking immediate medical help is advisable.
- Your weight tends to stay the same, even if your appetite has increased. Or vice versa.
- High blood pressure
- Pounding heart
- Irregular sleep
- Constant muscle pain
- muscle damage
- Anxiety and depression
You have to know that treatment of thyroid nodule is possible if you get in touch with a doctor right after noticing the early signs. If the condition enters in its last stage, it will result in speech problems.
At the same time, leaving this condition untreated can also result in elevated heart rates, which can further cause serious health problems. If you or your loved one is suffering from a condition that you think can get serious, you can contact our Ear, Note, and Throat Doctors in NYC immediately.
Michael Burnett, MD