One of the most frequently discovered abnormalities in thyroid gland is thyroid nodules – cystic, solid or complex. Thyroid nodules causes are quite diverse. Thyroid nodules symptoms may be missing or vague. In order to make a decision about treatment options, it is important to perform a professional diagnostics and determine the nature and causes of thyroid nodules, as well as their influence on the overall health of the patient. Below we will review this in detail.
Thyroid nodules are lumps that form within the thyroid, the small “butterfly” shaped gland at the base of the neck. These nodules may be entirely cystic, meaning there are no solid components detectable within the fluid. Alternatively, the nodules may be complex, and contain both fluid and solid components.
THYROID NODULES SYMPTOMS
In most cases, nodules in the thyroid gland do not cause symptoms and are not considered dangerous. However in some cases, these nodules become enlarged and make it hard to swallow or breathe. If the nodules produce extra levels of thyroxine the following symptoms can occur:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Heat intolerance
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
THYROID NODULES TREATMENT OPTIONS
If a nodule is benign, which means it is not cancerous, treatment options may include the following:
- Thyroid hormone suppression therapy:This form of therapy involves treating the nodule with synthetic forms of thyroxine (thyroid hormone).
- Ethanol sclerotherapy:A procedure that involves injecting ethanol into the cystic cavity. This is performed every 1 to 3 months for 1 to 2 sessions.
- Thyroidectomy:An incision will be made in the base of your neck and the thyroid gland will be removed removed. In most cases, your surgeon will leave small bits of thyroid tissue around your parathyroid glands to reduce the risk of parathyroid damage.
DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES AVAILABLE TO DETECT THYROID NODULES
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA):This is a biopsy used to distinguish whether a nodule is benign or malignant. A thin needle is inserted into the nodule and removes a sample tissue for testing.
- Ultrasonography:This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images to determine the shape and structure of the nodules.