Today, several people face issues with the thyroid gland. One is a thyroid nodule, which can be understood as a fluid-filled or small solid lump.
People should realize that the thyroid nodule should be treated on time, but they are not dangerous. But, if not treated properly, in a small percentage of cases, thyroid nodules may also need cancer.
How To Shrink Thyroid Nodules?
There are several medical conditions because of which people suffer from thyroid nodules. Some of them include,
- Thyroid cancer
- Iodine deficiency
- Chronic inflammation of the thyroid
- Multinodular goiter
- Thyroid cyst
- Overgrowth of thyroid tissue
What are the symptoms?
When in an early stage, a thyroid nodule may not show up any symptoms. But, when the nodule becomes large, there will be specific symptoms. Some of them on the list are,
- Pain at the base of your neck
- An enlarged thyroid gland, goiter
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
In some patients, because of a thyroid nodule, they may experience excess production of thyroid hormones. If it continues in a later stage, it may also result in hyperthyroidism. At this point, people will experience symptoms such as:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased perspiration
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Other than this, if the patient is already suffering from an autoimmune thyroid condition, there will be a different set of symptoms. These are explained as signs of hypothyroidism and the list includes, Persistent fatigue, Sensitivity to cold, Dry skin and hair, Brittle nails, Sensitivity to cold, Unexplained weight gain, and Constipation.
Thyroid nodules – How to diagnose?
There is a list of tests to diagnose thyroid nodules. Your physician may select one of the following tests for diagnosing the thyroid nodules.
- Thyroid nodules- Physical examination
Here,in this method of diagnosis, the doctor will examine the patient by giving him some food to swallow. When the patient eats some food, the doctor observes the movement of the thyroid gland.
If there is a thyroid nodule presence, it will move up and down when the patient is swallowing. Meantime he will also check for symptoms related to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
This is nothing but an imaging technique, and it helps provide the shape and structure of the nodules. Through this test, doctors will determine if there is the presence of multiple nodules or not. T
The test also helps them in distinguishing between solid nodules and cysts.
- Thyroid Function Tests
Through thyroid function tests, doctors can measure blood levels of thyroid-stimulating and thyroid hormones. He will determine whether the patient’s thyroid gland is producing too little or too much thyroxine through thyroid function tests.
- Thyroid Scan
In case if your thyroid is overactive, then a thyroid scan test is recommended. Through the examination, doctors can also determine whether the thyroid nodules present is cold or hot.
- Fine-needle Aspiration Biopsy
A fine-needle aspiration biopsy test is recommended when the doctors want to determine whether benign thyroid or malignant nodules. Through the examination, doctors will evaluate and ensure the presence or absence of cancer.
How to shrink or treat thyroid nodules?
The treatment method is always determined based on the severity, type of the nodule, and several other considerations.
Here is a list of treatment options available for a benign thyroid nodule.
- Watchful Waiting
The biopsy test determines that the patient has benign nodules, then the doctor starts watching your condition closely. He will recommend thyroid function tests and physical examination regularly.
The patient need not worry if the benign nodule remains unchanged. If the thyroid nodule is growing, then the patient should go for biopsy one more time.
- Thyroid Hormone Suppression Therapy
In this method, thyroid nodules are treated by giving a levothyroxine pill. The pill helps and gives proper signals to your pituitary gland to produce the less thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Surgery is only recommended when you have a benign thyroid nodule, which is considerably large. Even in case of large multinodular goiters and nodules diagnosed as suspicious, surgery may be recommended. In some cases, thyroid nodules are indeterminate through thyroid biopsy tests, and in that case, doctors may also recommend surgery.
If, in case the thyroid nodules present result in hyperthyroidism, doctors recommend specific treatment plans.
- Radioactive Iodine
In this method, the radioactive iodine is provided in liquid or in some cases in capsule form. When the patient takes medicine, his thyroid gland absorbs it, and thyroid nodules start shrinking.
When the treatment is given is effective, it results in a reduction of signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- Anti-Thyroid Medications
For some patients, doctors may also recommend anti-thyroid medications.
- Alcohol Ablation
When it comes to treating cancerous thyroid nodules, doctors inject some alcohol into the thyroid nodule.
Shrinking of thyroid nodules on their own- can it happen?
In most cases, if the patient is suffering from a solid thyroid nodule, it will not shrink on its own. Initially, doctors will recommend medicines, and if that doesn’t work, they insist patients undergo surgeries.
In some cases, through surgery, they remove the fluid inside the nodule so that nodules shrink. In other cases, thyroid nodules are removed through surgery.
Food to avoid
So, when you are suffering from thyroid nodules, you need to avoid certain foods. Processed foods must be avoided entirely by people suffering from thyroid nodules. Other than this, they must also avoid the following foods:
- Fruits such as strawberries, peaches, and pears
- Foods that contain gluten
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Alcohol, coffee, and green tea
Many people suffering from thyroid nodules have a question: how to shrink my thyroid nodule?
Doctors will recommend the right method to shrink your thyroid nodule. Based on the type of nodule, your health condition, and its symptoms, doctors may recommend either hormone suppression therapy or surgery to shrink thyroid nodules.