Thyroid gland swellings
The whole thyroid gland may be underactive or overactive in which case medication is required to create a balance. Sometimes when medication cannot treat an overactive thyroid gland surgery may be required to remove the overactive gland. Radioactive iodine treatment may be another option in this circumstance. The whole thyroid gland may sometimes become big enough to become unsightly or cause pressure symptoms in which case surgical removal (thyroidectomy) may be advised. An enlarged thyroid gland is a goitre. Surgery is also required if there is a thyroid lump which has been proven to be or suspected to be a tumour by a needle test. Unfortunately needle tests cannot always be definite about the cause of a thyroid swelling and in such situations an operation to remove the swelling may be advised. Several other factors like, age, gender, family history or previous radiation treatment may sway the decision of surgery one way or the other.
Thyroid gland swellings may also be caused by inflammation as in – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition), De Quervain’s thyroiditis (viral thyroiditis) or Reidel’s thyroiditis (thyroiditis associated with fibrosis). There are also lymphomas of the thyroid gland.