About the causes of a thyroid lump
The thyroid gland is an essential part of the human anatomy. It rests in the neck, near the larynx, and it secretes hormones that control our growth and our development through our metabolic processes. So, if your thyroid gland is operating normally you will have a healthy metabolic rate. Meaning you can eat a reasonable number of calories each day and maintain a healthy weight and/or you will transition from childhood to adulthood at the anticipated rate.
When something goes amiss with the thyroid, there can be all kinds of problems. Thyroid disease can make the gland produce too much or too little of the hormone and result in chronic obesity or unhealthy thinness, thin hair, a tendency towards cold, developmental problems, and more.
Unfortunately, very few problems are obviously related to the thyroid gland. It is often a standard blood test that points to the thyroid as the underlying cause for a health problem. Then there are times when it is obvious that there is something wrong with the thyroid gland simply because it is swollen or there appears to be a lump in that area of the neck.
According to medicinenet.com “Thyroid nodules are among the most common endocrine complaints…”
What are they? They are not relegated to just one issue and thyroid lumps can mean a long list of things.
The causes of a thyroid lump include:
- Goitre – The term goitre refers to enlargement of the whole thyroid gland. If the lump in the neck turns out to be the gland itself, it is often due to the development of a “goitre”. This is simply an enlarged gland that may also be associated with over or under hormone production.
- Benign growth – The vast majority of nodules on the thyroid gland are harmless and benign, though they can trigger problems in hormone production levels.
- Cancer – Thyroid cancer is an entirely possible cause of a thyroid lump. A tumour can appear in any part of the gland. When it is a single lump it is more often going to be diagnosed as cancer than when it is a cluster of nodules.
The causes of a goitre
Often no specific cause is identified behind the development of many thyroid nodules. A lack of iodine in the diet may be related to the growth of nodules in some people. There is also a lot of belief behind the theory that it is a genetic issue.
How to deal with thyroid lumps
The treatment depends upon the type of nodules being discussed. For example, the harmless adenomas are not treated in the same ways that cancers are treated.
Additionally, when the gland is overactive or hyperthyroid, the treatment is geared towards suppressing its output. When it is underactive or hypothyroid, the patient is given medications that help to boost the metabolism and decrease the side effects of the condition.
When it is a cancerous nodule, the outcome is usually very positive because “Most thyroid cancers are curable”
To make it plain – there are many reasons that the thyroid may develop a lump. The best thing to do is to visit a thyroid surgeon who will arrange all of the necessary tests. Then the right treatment can be organised as needed. Thyroid lumps are rarely life threatening but you don’t want to hesitate to act.
If you have questions or concerns about a thyroid lump, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.