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Thyroid nodules can form on the thyroid gland, which is located in the middle of the lower neck, below the larynx, and wraps around the front half of the trachea. You cannot always feel a normal thyroid gland. If you have large nodules that make it hard to breathe or swallow, you may need treatment for thyroid nodules in San Diego.
What Are Thyroid Nodules?
Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid. Most thyroid nodules are not noticed until your doctor discovers it during a routine medical exam. However, some thyroid nodules may become large enough to be visible or make it difficult to breathe or swallow.
Most thyroid nodules are not serious and do not cause symptoms. Although only a few nodules are cancerous, ask your doctor to evaluate any unusual swelling in your neck.
Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules
While most nodules do not show symptoms, some are so large that they can be seen, felt, or cause difficulty swallowing or breathing.
Some nodules trigger the thyroid to produce extra thyroxine, which leads to tremors, unexplained weight loss, nervousness, irregular heartbeat, or increased sweating.
Others cause the thyroid to have too little thyroxine, causing weight gain, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, depression, constipation, cold sensitivity, muscle weakness, and more.
Causes of Thyroid Nodules
Typical conditions that lead to thyroid nodules include the following:
- Thyroid cyst
- Overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue
- Thyroid cancer
- Chronic thyroid inflammation
- Iodine deficiency
- Multinodular goiter
Diagnosing Thyroid Nodules
Sometimes, you might feel the thyroid nodules below your neck, or your doctor may find them during a physical exam. However, the doctor will not be able to confirm them as such until any of the following tests show definite results:
- Thyroid scan
- Thyroid hormone level test
- Fine-needle biopsy of the thyroid gland
There are several approaches to treating and managing thyroid nodules. Treatment options depend on the type of thyroid nodule you have. One option is not treating them and instead just monitoring to see if there are any changes. You will need to visit your doctor regularly.
Another option is surgery, which is the best choice for handling thyroid nodules that obstruct your breathing or swallowing. It is also recommended to remove nodules that are cancerous or have suspicious characteristics.
Do you think you need to have your thyroid nodules removed? Contact ENT Associates of San Diego to learn more about your condition. Schedule an appointment for a consultation about your thyroid nodules in San Diego today.