About Thyroid Nodules and Thyroid Diseases
What Are Thyroid Nodules?
Thyroid nodules are growths within the thyroid. The growths can be benign (non-cancerous), atypical (potentially transitioning into cancer, or malignant (cancerous). Thyroid nodules are frequently identified on routine physical examination or imaging tests.
By the age 45, nearly 50 percent of patients will have thyroid nodules; however, most of thyroid nodules are benign. Our goal is to help you identify the nature of your thyroid nodule and determine if treatment is indicated.
Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules
Most thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms. Some thyroid nodules present as a painless lump in the neck. However, when thyroid nodules become large, they may cause symptoms by pressure on the airway or esophagus. These are also called ‘compressive symptoms.’ Compressive symptoms include:
- Discomfort with swallowing
- Discomfort when lying down in certain positions
- A tight feeling when wearing a collared shirt
- Noisy breathing at night
- Food getting stuck in the throat
- Shortness of breath when exercising and difficulty breathing.
Sometimes thyroid nodules can produce excessive thyroid hormone. This is called ‘hyperthyroidism’ and it can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Heat intolerance (feeling hot when others do not)
- Anxiety or swings in emotions/mood
- Palpitations or feeling of an irregular heartbeat
- Increased sweating
- Weight loss despite normal or increased appetite
- Thinning hair