Seeking Information on Anyone Who Has Experienced Enlarged Thyroid

Updated on February 24, 2009
K.M. asks from Fort Worth, TX
19 answers

I have had three different doctors (OB/GYN, Cardiologist and Allergist) in the past 3 years ask me if I have had my thyroid checked because they said it seemed enlarged. You can see a little lump in my neck where the thyroid is. I have had several blood tests done and it has always been fine. I went back to the doctor today to ask about it and they have scheduled a sonogram to check it because they said the blood tests don't show everything. He mentioned a "goiter" or possible "nodules." They also mentioned a radiation iodine test. I have had several friends that have had thyroid nodules removed but lived with it for 10 years before having anything done. I am going through menopause right now YUCK!!! I would appreciate any information you can provide.

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C.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Hi K.! A good friend of mine is a clinical nutritionist and I know she can help you. Her website is www.advancedclinicalnutrition.com. You can call her at ###-###-#### or email [email protected]____.com. Donna Smith. She's amazing!

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D.K.

answers from Dallas on

I have tumors in my thyroid. I just asked for a referral to an endocronologist (sp?) He had an MRI in his office and was able to show me the problem on the screen and give me immediate advice. If you go for an MRI at a lab, it will be much more expensive and then a doctor has to read it and then they will send you to an encocronologist anyway. Save some time.

Good luck. It's amazing what the docs can do these days.

D. Kimbriel
Grandma to 2 beautiful boys

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have had this. Recommend Dr. Audrey Miklius of Endocrine Assoc. of Dallas. Having a 'woman' doctor who understands menopause is WONDERFUL when you have this problem.
In my opinion, Iodine test is not that big a deal but I would definitely let them determine that (not a reg. MD) If indeed it is Thyroid cancer - it is very contained and is one of the most slow growing cancers, so you'd be in good shape at this point. However, most of these nodules, goiters, tend to be benign (which is why people can go for years maintaining them)so I wouldn't panic just yet. :)
I had needle biopsies every six months for 5 yrs. to confirm mine were still benign so that I could easily have more children(your reproductive system is greatly impacted by your thyroid). Then, one child later, when the cells came back cancerous - had the surgery, got rid of thyroid and parathyroid and am on replacement therapy. Definitely don't use generic drugs for this... doc will most likely advise the same.
Best wishes!

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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

Get to a good endocrinologist before you have anything done. I see Dr. Prost in Grapevine, and he's awesome.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
I have Graves Disease which i s Hyperthyroid . I radiated and I so wish I had tried more natural things first. If you could find a good homeopath thats what I would do. I had read a lot since then (1998)and there is a lot to do besides western medicine. Whatever you do DO NOT USE GENERIC SYNTHROID!!!! My doctor doesn't even want mee to use that. My advice would go to all or any natural doc like a good naturapth or a homeopath. Any more quesitons email me.
L.

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

K.,

I had an enlarged or overactive thyroid. It was so long ago I forgot what they called it. I noticed a lump in my throat and when I swallowed it was weird, so I had my doctor look at it "just because". It was large even after my sore throat/cold was gone and I unconsciously kept feeling/rubbing it. I had surgery and they removed the right one. No medicine and no problems. This was over 10 years ago.

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same thing 25 years ago and had the radiation iodine test. They could see that one side of my thyroid (it's like a butterfly... so one wing of it) was not taking up the iodine... so it wasn't working. The other side was working.

I thought that meant I was okay, but after years of not being "normal" :) and having symptoms I finally started the thyroid pills and it was a HUGE relief. They are cheap and I do not have any negative side effects so I see no reason to NOT take advantage of the medication that will fix the problem.

My goiter didn't shrink, but it didn't get any bigger and no one can see it.... a doc can feel it in an exam. But no issues with it.

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I've had hypothyroidism since I was in 5th grade. We discovered it when my mom noticed a large lump under my throat. I had the sonogram and I had a goiter. It was not removed - I was put on synthroid/levothroxin medication. My levels are checked by bloodwork every six/12 months or so. The levels stay reletively the same, except when I'm preggo.

Other signs that I was having thyroid problems: I got very "stumpy" looking (short and stubby) and I was very tired.

I have no idea how menopause might affect this.

All in all, if I had to "pick a problem" - this is not a bad one to have! :0) relatively easy to deal with!

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C.M.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi,

My thyroid was also enlarged. My blood tests came back unbalanced and they determined that I had hypothyroidism. Started on synthroid and all better now. I have been taking synthroid for 13 years and no trouble. I sure did feel lots better when they started me on the meds. Good luck.
C.

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A.N.

answers from Dallas on

I have been on thryroid medicine since the 80's. I am checked often by an endocrinologist to be sure the level of the dosage is good. At one point, I had to have biopsies for the concerning lumps and bumps, but all was okay. A year ago, I started on a liquid nutrition, and I had heard it helped people get off their thyroid meds. I so didn't believe that, for I was told that I would be on them for life. Nine months ago, I was getting those concerning bumps again, but when I went three months later, she cancelled the sonogram for they were gone. She called several days later and lowered my dosage. Three months after that, all was well, so I continued on the same lower dosage. Recently went back for another test, and it looks like she will be lowering it again. She is repeating the test in another week. I have had those iodine tests, too. I had my last one nine months ago. For sure see an endocrinolgist like everyone says. You can email me at [email protected]____.com if you have questions.

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S.E.

answers from Wichita Falls on

My thyroid was enlarged during each of my pregancies and once a month when I was on birth control. I.E anytime my hormones were out of wack. I talked to my doctors each time and they were never concerned. It always went back to normal when my hormones were back to normal.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

K. I have hypothyriodism which is I dont produce enough well in october my doctor did an iodine function test and found a nodule that was causing mine to shut down and cause alot of other problems well we ended up removing the left gland and I am doing so much better now. A gouter will get larger cause other health problems and can crush your larnyx. the thyriod gland is so very important it regulates so many organs and systems that if not treated can cause death this is not something you want to take litely and I know I have had this since I was 18 and I am now 36. I hope I helped if you have any other questions I would be glad to help good luck . C. B

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have had an enlarged thyroid before but it was because my thyroid was not functioning correctly. I am on thyroid medicine for an under active thyroid. I went to my doctor 6 months ago and my blood test came out low so he raised my medication. I went back this last week and he said that he couldn't feel my thyroid anymore which meant that my meds where working.

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A.R.

answers from Dallas on

I see Dr. McWherter...He has a practice in Colleyville at the FEM Centre. I had the iodine loading test, and was prescribed radiated-iodine drops to take daily for hypothyroidism.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

First and foremost, get it checked and have test by an Endocrinologist. My husband noticed his thyroid was enlarged, and it was determined to have malignant cancer. His thyroid is gone, along with a couple of nodes. Six years later, he is cancer free, but having it checked is important. Don't wait! Everyone is different. Don't diagnose yourself.

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R.S.

answers from Dallas on

I would have this checked by an endocrininologist if for no other reason than your kids. Besides the fact that there is always the chance of cancer or of negative effects to your heart, thyroid problems can also be hereditary, so your kids' doctors would know to keep an eye on them too. My mother had to have her parathyroid removed, which led my doctor to check me, and sure enough i had a goiter as well. it has not been bad enough to require surgery, and my body does not respond well enough to the nuclear medicine to make it useful, so I just go and get my levels checked every 6 months to a year to make sure my levels are still within a safe range. the only symptom I have had (besides the nodule itself) is that my hair did start falling out more than usual at one point. I was on synthroid for about a year, my levels got back to normal, and my doc took me off the meds. That was a year ago, and at my last check my levels were within normal limits, so it's back to periodic checks for maintenance - but at least I am having it watched in case it ever turns into something more, and we will keep an eye on my boys as they grow.

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

I started having seizures in college and my neurologist noticed my thyroid was enlarged too! It has been labled a goiter or just enlarged. They've been treating mine with thyroid RX (synthroid - or Levothyroxin is the generic version that I take now). My blood work was normal too but they give me the RX to "trick" my thyroid into thinking that it is making too much of (whatever it makes can't think of it right now) and that made my thyroid shrink. They've just told me that you just don't want it to get so large that 1)it makes you look weird, 2)it feels uncomfortable to breathe or move or just that you can feel pressure in your neck/throat area. Otherwise it isn't a major thing. I don't remember what all tests they did since they were also checking my brain at the time with a million tests for the seizure stuff but I've seen several different doctors in the past 13 or so years for this and they've all pretty much agreed! By the way the Levothyroxin is one of the drugs you can get for $10 every 3 months. The alternative to taking this RX once a day would be having surgery to remove your thyroid where they actually cut across your neck in the crease and remove it. I'm not a surgery fan so I've opted to take the RX. Let me know if you have any other questions!! Good luck with all of the testing!!

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V.A.

answers from Amarillo on

I too, had one side of my thyroid enlarged. Had the blood test and it came back positive for hyperthyroidism. They also did the radioactive uptake test on my thyroid to see how much iodine my thyroid would absorb in a certain amount of time. I had that little lump there too. In my case, with the hyperthyroidism, they never could get me regulated, so I went to the endocrinologist and he scheduled a thyroid ablation, which is where they give you a pretty strong radioactive iodine pill, your thyroid absorbs it and it kills the tissue off, so that you thyroid doesn't work anymore. This worked for me, I felt better, the little lump is gone, and now I am on thyroid replacement pills for the rest of my life, but I feel sooooo much better. You don't HAVE to have surgery, especially if you have nodules and they are benign. You do, however need to keep having your levels checked and have the radioactive uptake test to make sure that you aren't already having problems with it. I would reccomend the ablation before surgery, much less invasive, no recovery time (except that you have to stay away from people, like within two feet, for about a week because of the radiation, which for me was a vacation), before I would consider surgery. Try to find a good endocrinologist (mine is Dr. Becerio in Lubbock), that will discuss all the options with you and make sure you are on the right treatment track, thyroid is not something you want to mess with especially if its overactive or not working properly, it can cause all kinds of problems.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

One of the other posters seemed to be concerned about thyroid med. I take thyroid med and have for about 10 years and I don't experience any bad side effects. Maybe she knows something I don't.

I think you should go to an endocrinologist for the sonogram and maybe the iodine radiation test. The specialist might be able to see things or interpret things the regular doc can't.

Best to you!

A.

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