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Know Thyroid Nodules Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
May 17th, 2022
6 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Thyroid nodules may be caused due to iodine deficiency or inflammation
  • Nodules can be present in other parts of the body like pulmonary nodule
  • Thyroid tests can help determine how the nodules affect your thyroid function

Thyroid nodules are unusual growths of thyroid cells. These form in the thyroid gland [1]. The thyroid belongs to your endocrine system, which consists of glands that secrete hormones into your bloodstream. The thyroid gland creates and releases thyroid hormones.  

These hormones control functions like digestion, body temperature, and heart functions.

Read on to understand more about thyroid nodules and understand nodules’ meaning in depth.

Additional read: Lifestyle Change for Managing Thyroid Disease

what is nodules

What causes thyroid nodules to form? 

At times the thyroid begins to overgrow, causing nodules to form. The reason behind such overgrowth is still unknown. Cancer is a big concern after these nodules form. Fortunately, it is very rare and only found in 5% of all nodules [2]. Nodules frequently occur in those with a family history of nodules. They may also occur in people with an iodine deficiency, as this is a must for the production of the thyroid hormone. Other causes of thyroid nodules include cysts in the gland, multinodular enlargement of the gland, and inflammation of the gland due to Hashimoto’s disease.

The different types of thyroid nodules are: 

  • Inflammatory nodules are caused by the long-term swelling of the thyroid gland, and they may or may not hurt you. 
  • Colloid nodules may be a single overgrowth or many overgrowths of the thyroid tissue and are non-cancerous. 
  • Thyroid cysts are growths that are completely or partially full of fluid.  
  • Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules create the thyroid hormone on their own, and since this product is not regulated, they may lead to hyperthyroidism. 
  • Multinodular goiter refers to an overgrown gland that has a number of nodules. 
  • Cancerous nodules are those that are malignant, and the chances of these occurring are fewer than 5%

Keep in mind that nodules can be of different kinds, like pulmonary nodules that occur in your lungs or nodule acne of the skin. Nodules do not affect just your thyroid and can be a cause of concern. When they do occur in your gland, they can cause thyroid disorders or an overactive thyroid gland. Talk to your doctor at once when you see any signs and symptoms or get thyroid tests done based on their advice.

Thyroid nodules diagnosis - infographic

What are the thyroid nodules symptoms? 

Almost all thyroid nodules do not show any particular symptoms. However, if you have large or several nodules, you might be able to feel some symptoms. In rare cases, the nodules can press the structure of your neck and cause symptoms like: 

  • Voice changes or hoarseness 
  • Pain in your neck 
  • The trouble with breathing or swallowing  
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland

A hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule can result in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. This condition is known as hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of this are: 

  • Feelings of touchiness or anxiety  
  • Tremors or weakness in muscles  
  • Menstrual problems 
  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Weight loss 
  • Vision problems 
  • Enlarged thyroid gland 
  • Clammy or itchy skin 
  • Hair thinning 

thyroid nodules symptoms

You can also have low thyroid levels or hypothyroidism, the symptoms of which are: 

  • Weight gain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Heavy menstrual periods 
  • Hoarse voice 
  • Weakness or irritability 
  • Dry, coarse skin and hair 
  • Hair loss 
  • Constipation

What are the thyroid nodules treatment options? 

Treatment of nodules depends on the type of thyroid nodules that you have, and the options are: 

  • Taking no treatment – This process includes letting your nodules be and keeping a check on them to make sure they do not cause any health concerns. 
  • Performing surgery – This process involves surgically removing your nodules, especially if they are cancerous. 
  • Use of radioactive iodine -This process involves reducing the nodules in size with radioactive iodine

Additional read: What is Thyroid Cancer

Now that you know all the important aspects, you can book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health to talk to a doctor such as an endocrinologist. This way, you can discuss the different kinds of thyroid tests that you can take and the thyroid disorders that you should watch out for too. Take expert advice and start focusing on your health today!

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