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Thyroid Nodules & Graves Disease

Updated on August 5, 2011

Some people with Graves' Disease have thyroid nodules, which are abnormal growths of thyroid tissue. In most cases, thyroid nodules aren't anything to be concerned about, but sometimes they can cause problems which need to be addressed. Many times endocrinologists will recommend that a person with thyroid nodules take extreme actions, even when they aren't causing any issues. So the goal of this article is to discuss some of the situations where it is necessary to intervene, and other situations when it is best to leave the thyroid nodules alone.

The following are situations when someone with Graves' Disease who has thyroid nodules should consider using medical intervention:

1. If the thyroid nodule is malignant. If the thyroid nodule is malignant, then this is an obvious situation which requires medical intervention. Only 5 to 10% of thyroid nodules are cancerous, which is good news. In order to determine if a a nodule is cancerous, a fine needle aspiration is required. If the thyroid nodule is found to be malignant, then surgery of the thyroid nodule and/or the thyroid gland itself will most likely be recommended.

2. When there is a physical obstruction caused by the thyroid nodule. If the thyroid nodule is causing an obstruction, leading to difficulty with swallowing and/or breathing, then this is another obvious example of where medical intervention is required. Once again, in these situations, surgical removal of the thyroid nodule or the actual thyroid gland is usually recommended

3. If the thyroid nodule is causing excess secretion of thyroid hormone. If hyperthyroidism results due to one or more thyroid nodules, then this is yet another reason why medical intervention might be required. While radioactive iodine therapy or surgery is frequently recommended under these circumstances, another option is to take anti-thyroid drugs to control the symptoms, and then at the same time follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol to shrink the thyroid nodule.

4. When there is any other pain or discomfort due to the presence of the thyroid nodule. If the thyroid nodule is causing any type of discomfort, then medical intervention will most likely be required. This is yet another scenario where surgical removal of the thyroid nodule is required.

Is Surgery Of The Thyroid Gland Really Necessary?

For some of these problems involving thyroid nodules, surgery of the thyroid gland itself will be recommended. While this will most likely resolve the problems listed above, there are potential risks involved with thyroid surgery. One risk is that the person is most likely to become hypothyroid, especially if the entire thyroid gland is removed. If this happens then they will be advised to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.

Of course in some cases, partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland might be necessary. But if at all possible, removal of the thyroid nodule alone would be a much better option. This not only will take care of the problem, but will also leave the thyroid gland intact, which is the ideal scenario.

Another potential risk of receiving surgery of the thyroid gland itself is that it can cause damage to some of the surrounding structures, including the parathyroid glands and the larynx. These problems are more common than you would think, and is yet another reason why thyroid gland surgery should be avoided if at all possible. Once again, I realize this isn't always possible, but if your endocrinologist tells you that surgery of the thyroid gland is necessary, you might want to receive a second opinion.

Of course I am not an endocrinologist, nor am I a surgeon, and so I can't tell you why many times they opt to remove the entire thyroid gland, rather than just remove the thyroid nodule itself. Sure, I realize that sometimes it might not be possible to only remove the thyroid nodule, but even in these situations, why not do a partial thyroidectomy, rather than removing the entire thyroid gland?

Can Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods Help Prevent Surgery?

Is it possible to use natural thyroid treatment methods to shrink the thyroid nodule, and thus avoid surgery? Well, the problem is that some of these cases require immediate intervention. And if natural treatment methods were successful in shrinking the thyroid nodule, this still takes time to accomplish. Someone with a serious obstruction probably wouldn't be able to wait for the effects of the natural treatment methods to take effect. So while following a natural thyroid treatment protocol might help to shrink the thyroid nodule, in some cases immediate intervention is necessary.

On the other hand, if you have problems due to a thyroid nodule which isn't too severe, then it very well might be worth giving natural thyroid treatment methods a try. For example, many endocrinologists recommend surgery, even when the patient's symptoms aren't too severe. But assuming the symptoms aren't severe, then you really don't have much to lose by following a natural thyroid treatment protocol. And taking this approach can help preserve your thyroid gland and allow you to avoid taking thyroid hormone for the rest of your life. So I do recommend natural thyroid treatment methods in cases where the thyroid nodule isn't malignant, and isn't causing severe symptoms.

In summary, if you have Graves' Disease and one or more thyroid nodules and have been told by your endocrinologist that surgery to remove the nodule or thyroid gland itself is necessary, it's a good idea to obtain a second opinion. And if you aren't experiencing severe symptoms, then you very well might want to consider speaking with a competent natural endocrine doctor to see if natural thyroid treatment methods might be able to help you. While there are no guarantees that such a protocol can shrink your thyroid nodule, it is a much riskier approach than receiving surgery, RAI, or any other extreme medical procedures.

For more information on how to treat Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease through natural treatment methods, please visit my facebook fan page, Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism: Natural Treatment Solutions (and don't forget to Like the page while you're there!).

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