When was the last time you were at the endocrinologist's appointment? Did an ultrasound of the thyroid? If you have nothing to answer these questions, then hurry to pass such an examination. Because the nodes in the thyroid gland are formed very often (especially in women) and do not make themselves known for a long time. How to treat this pathology and whether popular methods will help?
Prevalence of disease and prognosis
The thyroid gland is located on the front surface of the neck. It is engaged in the production of bioactive substances - hormones that regulate the basic life processes. If this organ lacks iodine, it begins to work intensively. This is uneven: some areas are more active. In such places, vessels expand, tissue density changes - this entails the formation of a node. It is a part of the thyroid gland that has been changed in structure.
Diseases of the thyroid gland are progressing steadily. This is due to the unfavorable environmental situation; risk factors are also poor heredity, lack of iodine in water and foods, increased radiation background. The statistics are sad: 3-5% of people in the planned examination find the nodes. Women are 4-8 times more likely than men to face such troubles. In 5-10% of cases, the nodes are malignant, the rest do not carry an immediate threat to life. Up to 20% of people who turned to the endocrinologist with complaints of general malaise, hear the diagnosis of "nodes in the thyroid gland."
If the node is benign, it is not dangerous. The prognosis is favorable, the cure is possible. If the nodules do not bother the person, the therapy will consist in periodic examinations at the endocrinologist and the conduct of the USI. Much worse when a malignant tumor is revealed. If left untreated, the disease can lead to the death of the patient.
What threaten the nodules on the thyroid gland? Information about this pathology - the causes, symptoms, treatment and the need for surgery - will help to understand how serious this diagnosis is.
Symptoms and diagnosis
In some cases, tumors on the thyroid gland grow to such size that they can be noticed even with the naked eye. And how do small knots in the thyroid gland affect well-being? Symptoms and consequences of late diagnosis are closely interrelated, so always pay attention to such signs of damage to the "gland butterflies":
- increased fatigue;
- depressed mood, nervous breakdowns;
- sudden change in body weight with a normal diet;
- dry skin;
- problems with stool (constipation);
- chill, cold or hot limbs.
The defeat of the endocrine system signals itself with such manifestations:
- labored breathing;
- difficulty swallowing.
If you turn to the endocrinologist with such complaints, he probes the neck. This will help detect seals and increase in thyroid size. But nodules whose size is less than 1 cm, are not palpable. Therefore, even the most experienced doctor will not be able to identify them when examining and feeling the neck. These nodes can only be found by ultrasound. Such small seals are considered to be insignificant, they are not treated, but the patient is taken under observation.
If there are suspicions of thyroid abnormalities, a blood test (for thyroid and general hormones), urine, ultrasound, chest X-ray, ECG, scintigraphy will be assigned (the patient swallows the iodine radioactive isotope capsule, then the thyroid is removed to a gamma camera and get its three-dimensional projection). A woman will be given a referral to a gynecologist. A biopsy may be indicated. This procedure (it is carried out using a very fine needle) makes it possible to take cells from an affected organ for analysis and examine them under a microscope.
The treatment strategy depends on the type of nodes found in the patient. It is customary to distinguish three types of such formations:
- hypoechoic. It is in 70-90% cancers;
- iso-echogenic. The structure of the thyroid gland is not broken, up to 27% of cases - malignant tumors;
- hyperechoic. Such echogenicity is very often found in papillary carcinoma.
Treatment: good and bad news
The good news for patients is that the treatment (and especially the surgery) is not always shown, but only in cases when the tumor creates discomfort. If only 1 or several nodes are found, the diameter of which does not exceed 1 cm, then the patient is taken under control, and ultrasound diagnostics are performed every 3 months in order to assess the dynamics of the disease. Benign tumors are treated only by conservative methods. Good performance showed such techniques:
- ethanolic sclerotic effects;
- laser destruction. It is carried out on an outpatient basis, qualitatively destroys the tumor;
- radiofrequency ablation (it is used if the size of the thyroid gland nodes has reached 4-8 cm);
- radioiodine therapy;
- partial resection of the thyroid gland;
- antibiotic therapy (if purulent inflammation is detected).
A special technique of saturation of the tumor with alcohol helps to reduce its size by more than 2 times.
Experienced endocrinology rarely prescribe treatment with thyroxin, since this drug is poorly tolerated by most patients.
The bad news is that when a malignant tumor and metastasis are found, the node will have to be surgically removed or chemotherapy and radiation should be performed. But the results of such treatment give the patient a chance of recovery.
In some cases, the thyroid gland has to be completely removed. Then the person will be assigned life-long hormone replacement therapy and drugs containing calcium.
When can and cannot be treated with home methods?
Treatment of thyroid nodules with folk remedies gives good results, but only in cases when it comes to benign tumors. Do not try to experiment with health, if the tumor is malignant.
Alternative medicine offers the following recipes for saving the patient from a dangerous illness:
- therapeutic "potion" of walnut partitions (1 tbsp.) They are poured into 1 liter of vodka, insist 7 days, taken 10 days, 3 times a day, after which they take a week off and repeat the treatment. Walnut tincture can be applied externally (in the form of compresses on the neck);
- therapeutic mixture of citruses (lemon and orange). They are ground together with zest, sugar is added and consumed at least 3 times a day, 1 tsp;
- Oats sometimes help to avoid surgery. It is brewed and drunk instead of tea;
- Be sure to include in the menu of sea fish and sea kale;
- normal iodine is added to milk (water). Begin with 1 drop, add drop by drop daily for 10 days. Then start the countdown - drop by drop. The course is repeated up to 3 times.
However, remember that the "grandmothers" methods should be combined with the treatment prescribed by the doctor.
When problems are detected, timely diagnosis of the thyroid gland nodes is of primary importance for the recovery of the patient. Symptoms and treatment of the disease are currently well studied. Do not be afraid to go to the endocrinologist: the earlier the therapy begins, the better the prognosis will be. Proper treatment will protect the patient from possible complications and allow him to live to a ripe old age.