Some General Knowledge about Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are abnormal lumps that form in the thyroid gland. The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is located in the neck, above the breastbone. The primary function of the gland is to secrete thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. The blood then transports the hormones to various body tissues. The main importance of the thyroid hormone is to enable the body to utilize energy and to stay warm. Thyroid hormone is also useful in ensuring that the heart, muscles, and brains are working or functioning accordingly. Although most thyroid cancers are noncancerous, medical research proves some contain thyroid cancer.

Therefore, medical evaluation is necessary for the diagnoses and treatment of thyroid cancer at the early stages. Treatment options vary with the type of thyroid nodules in the patient’s neck.

Studies show that there are no symptoms associated with thyroid nodules. In fact, patients may not know whether they have thyroid nodules. Often, the doctor may discover the presence of thyroid nodules in a patient when carrying out a physical examination or when carrying out various imaging tests such as neck ultrasound. Occasionally, patients may know that they have thyroid nodules when they notice some lumps in the neck. Also, patient with thyroid nodules face difficulties in breathing or swallowing as some of the lumps grow large to an extent of blocking food passage in the gut.

We don’t know the exact cause of thyroid nodules and how common they are. Studies in this field show that most patients with thyroid nodules are aged 60 and above. Fortunately, most of the identified nodules are not cancerous. Doctors and medical researchers argue that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis increases the risks of having thyroid nodules. Studies done by experts from the American Thyroid Association show that iodine deficiency is another common cause of thyroid nodules. In fact, it is known ti be the leading cause of thyroid enlargement worldwide. However, statistics shows that the deficiency if iodine if not common in the United States.

thyroid nodulesIodine is an essential element needed to produce thyroid hormone. Inadequate iodine in the body leads to insufficiency of thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency also causes hypothyroidism as well as mental retardation especially in children whose mothers did not have enough iodine during pregnancy. Goiter is the most common symptom of iodine deficiency. Inadequate iodine in the body leads to the development of a goiter as the thyroid nodules continue to enlarge to meet the demand for the production of thyroid hormone.

Regular iodine intake is the most efficient method of preventing thyroid enlargement. Many worldwide health care organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) have made efforts to eliminate iodine deficiency worldwide. The sale of iodized salt is the most common method used to remove iodine deficiency in the US. To reduce the risks of having thyroid nodules patients consume foods that contain plenty of dietary iodine. Such foods include eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, shellfish and so forth. However, too much iodine intake make cause additional problems especially to people who already have thyroid nodules.

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  1. Apple October 21, 2015 Reply

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