Swelling on left side of neck


I was diagnosed as hypothyroid 11 years ago. I have a swelling on the left hand side of my neck which hasn't gone away. I had a scan a year ago. Radiographer said she thought it was muscle. Lump is sore if pressed and I'd I tilt me head the opposite way the area feels tight.

I was wondering if anyone has suffered something similar.

Thanks for your help

27 Replies

  • I had sweeling on left side of My neck Went for ultra Scan last wed nurse Said there was some nodules but they didt look cancerous awaiting on gp response if she needs To This week dont know what Will be response.

  • Hi It may be worth seeing ahead and neck surgeon, may be a scope would see something.Any way worth having a different opinion if bothering you.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi, I have what I'm told is a lymph node on the right hand side of my neck that is almost permanently swollen. It feels tender like a bruise. Each time I mention it to the doctor I'm told I must have a throat infection and given antibiotics. It tends to come up more when I'm run down but is always visible. I'm sure it's connected with my thyroid but I'm told not.

    Is it possible for you to request another scan? God luck

  • I also have a permanently swollen and tender gland (lymph node) on right side of neck which happened a few years after diagnosed hypothyroid . It gets even larger when I am I'll or run down. Doctors uninterested. Never had a scan of the area at all.

  • It's really strange isn't it. I've started to have more discomfort when swallowing so I requested a scan of my thyroid only to be told its nothing to do with my thyroid and the swollen gland is due to an infection! I've been referred to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy - I suppose it's a start! I wonder if the gland swells up when our thyroid is trying to work??

  • Get a second opinion or change your Doc. Good luck.

  • Yes that's exactly my reckoning, but hey, what can we tell the physicians, we are only living with this daily, they have to be jack of all illnesses, we are masters (or trying to be) of one!

    Would you let me know how you get on? Mine is right sided, not left, but most probably the same thing... And good luck with getting a definitive diagnosis!

  • Hi, I have had the same on the left side of my neck for a few years now. I've Hashimoto's but the doctor says it's just nodules/glands which keep getting infected and can't do anything for them and have had a couple of scans. It really gets me down as it's always worse when I'm run down or have a cold, painful and tight when I move my neck - I feel for you! x

  • Thanks everyone. Need to investigate further. I will let you know what happens x

  • There seem judging by my own history to be quite a few possibilities in addition to the more worrying ones. (which latter might include stuff like cancer in the lymph nodes or lumps/nodules caused by auto immune activity in the thyroid) i.e. it's probably best to take them seriously and get them checked out, but the odds seem pretty good that it won't be anything too serious.

    Against that there don't seem to be many docs willing or able to conduct a credible physical exam of the area.

    I too had frequent lumps when hypo - mostly under the jaw. These seem to have been down to swollen lymph nodes due to the chronic sinus infection(s) i had during that time - which all cleared up once my replacement started working after a TT.

    It with the hypo went undetected, but i also had auto immune disease and a greatly enlarged thyroid (which turned out to contain a cancer), but it wasn't very visible as it went mostly down under my collar bone on the right side. It wasn't detected until during a hopsital search for the cause of very high blood rpessure, and led to a more or less immediate total thyroidectomy

    Urticaria for some reason often produced(es) lumps on my neck too as a result of food sensitivities which continue to this day if i eat wrongly - but they were/are fairly clearly in the skin and disappear after a day or so.

    Another possibility might be a muscle in spasm, something that can create a lump at the affected point in the muscle, and which hypo seems to predispose us to. These lumps tend to be painful to touch, and quite firm.


  • Sorry to jump in but I really wondered if you could help me. I hope you are fully recovered from this? It must have been a shock.

    I also have auto immune (graves) and a greatly enlarged thyroid. They want to wait 6 months to operate but I'm worried they have missed cancer (I have some tiny lung nodules too). I've had a CT and they can't see anything. I wonder, was yours missed on a CT or a physical exam? Thank you x

  • Hi Wiggy you would be better to ask your own question as the one you put here will probably not be seen by enough people

    Jo xx

  • Thank you Jo xx

  • I'm experiencing this again now! About the same time last year I started having sore throats which carried on & on. Spoke to my gp this February because the left side of my neck was 'uncomfortable' when I was lying on that side to sleep & felt 'stretched' when I turned over to my right side. Also a 'heavy' feeling on left side of neck. I was fast tracked to ENT consultant, had camera up nose & down throat, and MRI & CT scans. He thought it was a tumour on my tonsil. Biopsy done on the tonsil found it to be (luckily) benign. But it's back again! Must admit I am feeling pretty poorly at the moment - sore throat & sneezing & usual tiredness & lethargy! I'll see how I feel in a few days, otherwise a trip back to the gp although 3 monthly bloods not due til end of November.

    (Hashimoto's diagnosed February 2011, a year after breast cancer diagnosed. 75mcg/100mcg levothyroxine alternate days - oh to feel 'well' again!!!)

    Thanks for reading


  • I think I have this too. I keep getting antibiotics for 'tonsillitis' but I'm sure it's not that. I'm run down also. I hope you feel better soon. My bloods aren't due till 03/12 but I'm sick of being ill for three months every dosage change. Hard to stay positive when constantly poorly isn't it :( Im going back to yoga this week, determined to stay positive and stress free (yeah right ;) x

  • Good luck with the yoga :) I seem to feel OKish after the change in dosage for a few weeks then start going downhill again :(

    I 'googled' this problem & came across this -


    It seems quite a few people have this problem but, from what I can see, there doesn't seem to be much of a solution :(

    Take care x

  • Hi, I too have a swelling on the lhs of my neck, which has been there for 30 years, I would describe it as a nodule, and it is towards the back of the neck (ie, if i drew a vertical line down from the back of my ear it would coincide just above where the shoulder starts) It has never been painful and I have never bothered to ask a doctor about it, just a lump.

  • Hi,

    I had a scan which said I had nodules, told nothing to worry about that was 18months ago. I think they are getting bigger as my thyroid hurts. Doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist who put a scope up my nose and down my throat she said it did not go as far as the thyroid !! Then prescribed Gaviscon for acid reflux !! Went back to Doc who has given up on me I think, asked to see a specialist, not endo as mine is a T4 man only got nowhere with him. So I am seeing a Professor at the hospital tomorrow. I think he is a surgeon but will not let him remove my thyroid unless it is life threatening. I will ask him for another scan just to see if the nodules are any larger.

    Maybe from there a biopsy. I hope all goes well for you. Thank goodness for this site, I have learned so much.

  • Good luck for tomorrow. So many of us let down by the medical profession - it's scandalous.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.


  • Hi i had lump in my neck although i couldnt see it or feel it had fine needle aspiration and scan i am hyperthyroid have been for 14 years ended up having it removed along with half my thyroid they found 2 lumps during the operation it was tested and thank god no cancer probably would not have had it removed as it did not hurt only for the fact it may have been cancer so always best to have it checked out

  • I too have a left sided lump. I had a ultrasound scan that showed not only did my thyroid (underactive with Hashis) have nodules but all my lymph nodes were up and enlarged.

    All my lymphs are up in the neck, the right being the largest but I wasnt aware, the left lump which was painful and if pressed made me taste salty tears in my mouth(no idea why).

    I'd ask for an ultrasound scan to the thyroid and neck area including the lymph nodes and veins. Make sure a sound test it done on the veins. Sounds funny but it can show up any issues within the veins. If the lymphs are up, a further chest xray can show if the lymphs are up in that area or contained to the neck only.

    Mine are still up and enlarged and restrict my blood supply to the brain as they and the thyroid are leaning on them. My lymphs are up all along the jawline and neck. Also my face now appears to have ridges formed around the edges. quite noticable and my bones are under the ridges.

    I was told the lymph nodes can come up for any reason, infection, thyroid antibodies (Hashis, Graves) attacking the thyroid. The thyroid not performing either too much or too little can trigger the lymphs up. Nodules forming on the thyroid can cause the lymphs to come up.

    Best to get it checked out.

  • I kind of agree that it is a muscle issue. My friend had it investigated many years ago and it never turned into anything else. Personally I think women carry heavy pocketbooks and even babies which could cause something like this.

  • Thanks everyone for your replys so far no news fr.o.m. GP althogh last week all blod tests Came back fine fr.o.m. Pathogly

  • Make sure you get the range.from your GP. They may probably say normal. but normal has a varied state. What youre looking at is roughly like this. The numbers are important as they can say what is going on.

    Should reads something like this get all the figures and test date.

    TSH = 5

    FT4= 13pmol.

  • Cymraes, I have a similar soft lump on the left side of my neck. I have no medical problems diagnosed. My dermatologist said not to worry about it when he was seeing me about an unexplained rash I had. That was almost 5 years ago and I still have the swollen lump. It is still about the same size too as much as I can tell. I never let my General doc know about it because it doesn't really bother me and I forget its there. If anyone out there knows about limph nodes I would appreciate a response, too. Thanks.


  • Hi, thats sounds like a goitre, (enlarged thyroid gland) i have a goitre on the right side of my neck.

    It isnt painful and seems to have got smaller due to the thyroxine 100 micros per day i have been taking for 6 months now. I had an ultrasound scan done before i started the tablets to check if there was anything serious. Now i get cracking and muscle crams in my neck that wasnt there before the thyroxine tablets! I find alcohol seems to interfere with thyroxine absorbtion as does coffee. Try reducing alcohol and coffee if you do drink these.

  • I have hashimotos hypothyroidism, for 3 years now. Within the last year I have lymph nodes swollen in the left side pain under my left breast and ribs. My neck on the left side is puffy. And the left side of my head is feeling full almost like pressure and my skull feels like its growing.

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