Swollen Neck & Thyroid Problems


A swollen neck is a symptom associated with thyroid disease as well as thyroid cancer. Swelling in the neck occurs from a lump or multiple lumps caused by the thyroid gland. Besides thyroid disease, swelling in the neck can occur from thyroid goiter. A goiter occurs when the thyroid gland enlarges due to a diet low in iodine or an increased amount of the hormone TSH in the body.

Thyroid Goiter

Neck swelling can occur when a person suffers from goiter. A goiter can be caused by an increase in the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH produced by the thyroid gland. A diet low in iodine has also been linked to causing goiter to occur. A person will notice a lump in their neck as well as swelling when he has this condition. An ultrasound can confirm diagnosis of goiter.

Goiter Treatment

To get rid of goiter and reduce the swelling in the neck, a doctor can recommend several different thyroid treatments. To start, he may recommend that the patient takes a thyroid hormone medication in order to stop the thyroid gland from growing. If this is unsuccessful, the enlarged glands will be surgically removed.

Thyroid Cancer

When you have thyroid cancer, you will also likely experience swelling in the neck. This swelling may cause you to have difficulty swallowing or you may feel an uncomfortable pain in your neck. The swelling in the neck is caused by a lump on the thyroid as well as the affected lymph nodes. Since thyroid cancer is rare, your doctor may consider other causes before determining a diagnosis.

Thyroid Cancer Treatment

Surgery is the most common option for someone who suffers from thyroid cancer. The thyroid gland will likely be removed as well as any lymph nodes that have been affected by the cancer. Following surgery, the patient will be required to take thyroid hormone drugs for the rest of his life.

Thyroid Diseases

In some cases, diseases of the thyroid can cause a swollen neck. This includes hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland and hypothyroidism, an under active thyroid gland. To control the hormone irregularities, thyroid hormone replacement drugs will be prescribed. To reduce swelling, anti-inflammatory drugs may be recommended by your doctor.

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