Many people with thyroid conditions have thyroid nodules, which are abnormal growths of thyroid tissue. Most of the time these nodules don’t lead to any serious problems. Despite this, some endocrinologists are quick to recommend surgery to their patients who have thyroid nodul es. In my opinion there are really only four cases when surgery should be recommended to remove a thyroid nodule:
1. When the thyroid nodule is cancerous. Obviously if the nodule is malignant, then this would be a good reason to have it removed. Fortunately, most thyroid nodules are benign and cause no problems. In fact, only about 5% to 10% of nodules are malignant. In order to determine whether a thyroid nodule is malignant, a fine needle aspiration will need to be done. When I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease the endocrinologist thought I might have a thyroid nodule. So I received an ultrasound, which showed that there were no nodules, and so fortunately I didn’t need to receive a fine needle aspiration.
2. When the thyroid nodule is causing an obstruction. If the thyroid nodule is benign but is causing some type of obstruction, then this is yet another good reason to have it removed. Sometimes one or more nodules can compress the esophagus and/or trachea, which can cause problems with swallowing and/or difficulty breathing. If the larynx is being compressed then this can create voice problems, such as hoarseness.
3. When the thyroid nodule is causing hyperthyroidism. If the nodule is stimulating the thyroid gland to the extent where it is producing an excess amount of thyroid hormone, then it might be a good idea to remove the thyroid nodule. However, there are some circumstances where the endocrinologist will want to use radioactive iodine to obliterate the thyroid gland, which might be less invasive than surgery, but the long term consequences are more severe. To be fair, either situation does present some risks, but given the choice I would prefer to have the thyroid nodule or nodules removed and try to preserve my thyroid gland.
4. When the thyroid nodule is causing pain or any other type of discomfort to the person. If the thyroid nodule is causing any discomfort to the patient, then this is yet another obvious reason to remove it. Once again, this is rare, but it does happen occasionally.
It is unfortunate that many endocrinologists will take extreme measures for conditions which can be taken care of conservatively. I mentioned the scenario above where an endocrinologist may want to give a patient with a thyroid nodule RAI, but there are some cases where they will want to remove the thyroid nodule, or sometimes even the entire thyroid gland, even if the patient isn’t complaining and is asymptomatic. For an example, here is a comment I swiped from a blog where a person was asymptomatic from her thyroid nodule, yet her medical doctor recommended surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland:
“I have been monitoring the nodule on the lower left hand side of my neck for a few years now. It’s pretty obvious that I have a nodule because it goes up and down when I swallow. I have no pain, no symptoms, and the biopsies that I have endured show no cancer, yet it keeps growing. My doctor has recommended total removal of the thyroid gland. After removal I will need to take a thyroid replacement tablet for the rest of my life. I have finally decided to have the thyroid removed. I don’t like the unsightly lump in my neck and don’t want to take the chance that I have cancer.”
Now to be fair, I’m not a surgeon, and I’m sure there are some cases where it’s not possible to just remove a thyroid nodule by itself. However, even in these cases a partial thyroidectomy should be able to be performed, and not complete removal of the thyroid gland. Although this person claims she decided to have her thyroid gland removed because she doesn’t like the way it looks and she doesn’t want to risk that it may be cancerous, it just seems as if she is giving in due to the recommendations of the doctor. This is in no way meant to criticize this person, but is instead meant to criticize the doctor who recommended complete removal of her thyroid gland even though there is “no pain, no symptoms, and the biopsies show no cancer”.
Once again, I’m not an endocrinologist, but to remove the entire thyroid gland in this situation seems to be a bit extreme to me. Removing the thyroid nodule by itself would definitely be a better option, but the point is that if a person has a thyroid nodule which isn’t causing any of the above problems I mentioned, then why recommend any type of invasive procedure at all?
Can Natural Thyroid Treatment Methods Help With Thyroid Nodules?
Is it possible that by following a natural thyroid treatment protocol, a person’s thyroid nodule or nodules can shrink? There is no guarantee of this happening, but for someone like the example given above who has a thyroid nodule but has no obstruction or symptoms, wouldn’t it be better to at least try something non-invasive that can potentially improve or cure the condition, rather than opting for surgery? Especially when it involves removing the entire thyroid gland.
Obviously someone who has a severe problem with their thyroid nodule might not be able to wait for natural thyroid treatment methods to to take effect. For example, if someone has an obstruction and has a lot of difficulty swallowing and/or breathing, then surgery to remove the thyroid nodule probably would be a better option than waiting to see if a natural thyroid treatment protocol will shrink the nodule. So it obviously depends on the severity of the condition.
Of course most people with a thyroid condition who have thyroid nodules which need to be removed surgically still should consider following a natural thyroid treatment protocol. After all, while surgical removal of the thyroid nodule might help with the symptoms, in most cases it won’t correct the thyroid condition itself. Of course there are exceptions to this, as someone who has hyperthyroidism due solely to a thyroid nodule might not need to follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol, as removing the thyroid nodule probably would fix the problem. Then again, a natural thyroid treatment protocol might help prevent future thyroid nodules from developing.
In summary, if you have one or more thyroid nodules, try not to opt for surgery unless if it is absolutely necessary. If you’re unsure as to whether it is vital to have surgery, at the very least receive a second opinion from another endocrinologist or medical doctor. But you know your body better than anyone else, and in many cases you will be able to tell on your own whether surgery is truly necessary, or whether a natural thyroid treatment protocol might be the best option for you.
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