Treatment depends on the type of nodule they have.
Resembling a shield; denoting a gland (thyroid gland) and a cartilage of the larynx (thyroid cartilage) having such a shape.
The cleaned, dried, and powdered thyroid gland obtained from one of the domesticated animals used for food and containing 0.17 to 0.23% of iodine; used in the treatment of hypothyroidism, cretinism and myxedema, in certain cases of obesity, and in skin disorders.
Thyroid diseases can be broadly divided into the following categories:
Overproduction of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism)
Underproduction of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism)
The chances that a nodule will be malignant are small, the patient’s are at higher risk if they have a family history of thyroid or other endocrine cancers, are younger than 20 or older than 60, are a man, or have a history of head or neck radiation.
Malignant nodules are usually large and hard and may cause neck discomfort or pain.
These nodules grow and produce thyroid hormones independent of the influence of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a substance released by the pituitary gland, which normally regulates the production of thyroid hormones.
Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules cause high blood levels of thyroxine and low or nonexistent levels of TSH.
A genetic defect of the TSH receptors may play a role in the overactivity of these nodules.
In the 1940s and 1950s, children, teenagers and even newborns were often treated with radiation for benign conditions such as acne or enlarged tonsils.
If the patient once had radiation therapy to the neck or head for conditions such as acne, they have an increased risk of developing thyroid nodules.
They are also at increased risk if they were exposed to radioactive particles released into the air during atomic weapons testing or in nuclear power plant accidents, such as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union.
Radiation not only affects people, animals and crops in the immediate vicinity of the release but also can affect areas thousands of miles away.
Although sometimes may see or feel a thyroid nodule – usually just below and to the right or left of Adam's apple – most are discovered when the doctor checks the neck during a routine medical exam.
Patient will likely be asked to swallow while the doctor examines the thyroid because a nodule in the thyroid gland will usually move up and down during swallowing, whereas a nodule that forms in other parts of the neck won't.
Sometimes a thyroid nodule is detected when they have an imaging test such as an ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate another condition in the head or neck.
Nodules detected this way are usually smaller than those found during a physical exam.
Thyroid gland produces two main hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
The rate at which these hormones are released is part of a carefully controlled feedback system involving the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus – an area at the base of the brain that acts as a thermostat for this system.
Here's how the process works: The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to make thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Heart-related complications . These include a rapid heart rate, atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure – a condition in which the heart becomes too weak to circulate enough blood to meet the needs of the body.
Thyrotoxic crisis . This is a sudden and potentially life-threatening intensification of the symptoms that requires immediate medical care.
Weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis). The strength of bones depends, in part, on the amount of calcium and other minerals they contain. Too much thyroid hormone interferes with the body's ability to incorporate calcium into the bones. In fact, hyperthyroidism often affects the bones before any other signs or symptoms of the disorder. This is especially true of postmenopausal women who are already at high risk of osteoporosis.
Nodules diagnosed as indeterminate or suspicious by FNA biopsy also must be surgically removed so that they can be examined more thoroughly for signs of cancer.
Risks of thyroid surgery include damage to the nerve that controls the vocal cords and damage to the parathyroid glands – four tiny glands located on the back of thyroid gland that help control the level of calcium in the blood.
After thyroidectomy, patient needs lifelong treatment with levothyroxine to supply the body with normal amounts of thyroid hormone.
Avoid fluoride (including that found in toothpaste and water) an chlorine (also found in tap water). Chlorine, fluoride and iodine are chemically related. Chlorine and fluoride block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, resulting in reduced iodine reducing hormone production and finally hypothyroidism. Use a fluoride free toothpaste.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol. These upset the glandular system resulting in further imbalance.
Eat a whole food diet that consists of 75% raw fruits and vegetables. With whole grains, seeds, nuts, brown rice, legumes and millet. Patient may include natural whole food supplements but must eat as well! There are some foods that hypothyroid patients should avoid or eat in moderation. Members of the cabbage family (cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower) suppress thyroid function, and should be eaten in moderation. The best cooking oils for people with hypothyroid are sunflower, olive, and sesame. Avoid canola, corn, soybean and rapeseed.