Sudden swollen lump, painless, over jaw on left side of face a emergency situation?Myxedema

Sudden swollen lump, painless, over jaw on left side of face a emergency situation?Myxedema

I'm 55 yrs old female, and my question is with the new sudden face swelling producing a large, painless lump over my jawline, is this a emergency situation E.R., or can I wait to see my doctor tomorrow.

My thyroid was not producing because it didn't,t respond to the signals to do so. My test score was 100 so it had not been making any hormone at all. I have had trouble taking my medicine exactly as prescribed and have twice totally stopped taking due to memory problems. The second episode has been for the last 3 to 4 weeks with a few sporadic uses.

I've been having dizzy spells with almost falling down, and today my left side of face on jawline got swollen suddenly and under my eye also. This is the second time this has happened in the last 3 to 4 weeks that I noticed. There is no pain associated with the swelling. Besides the memory problems getting wore and the vertigo a new symptom and little things having me burst into tears and just about every hypothyroid symptom going back to childhood and undiagnosed till a few years ago.

Posted a picture, not sure if it's good enough to tell, but it's the swollen lump on my jaw next to my mouth. Making my jawline protrude below my chin.

Any help is appreciated.

26 Replies

  • Welcome to the forum, FlickingerMary.

    It's probably fine to wait and see your doctor.

    It's really important to take your thyroid meds regularly. Memory problems may be due to not taking it. Set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you and keep the tablets on your bedside cabinet and take it as soon as you wake up.

  • Also, it seem I've had this since a child, with others in the family too. I didn't get diagnosed until age 48 when I couldn't stay awake for more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time it progressed to and I realized I was sleeping up to 18 hr out of 24. Was diagnosed hypo and told my thyroid had totally stopped working. Over my lifetime so far I've developed many of the symptoms and illness ness progressing to being diagnosed with severe cope and heart failure due to finding I had mitral valve regurtation in the last two years. I was getting sicker and sicker and haven't been able to get my level that counts how many signals are being sent, down to only 63. And now I've suddenly developed myxedema, I think caused by not taking my synth rood exact ell as prescribed due to continuing worsening of memory and thinking clearly. I'm scared, any advice would be helpful.

    Thank you

  • Hello Flickingermary,

    Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear of your troubles.

    Thyroid issues that are not managed can have some weird and shocking symptoms. In order to feel well you need to have a balance of hormones and if you keep forgetting to take your hormone replacement medication, you are creating an inbalance.

    Dizzy spells, vertigo and anxiety can all be symptoms of an under medicated thyroid condition and should get better once adequate meds are taken for several months.

    I assume you are medicated on Levothyroxine? This should be taken first thing in the morning with water on an empty stomach, 1 hour before food, 2 hours before supplements and 4 hours before iron or calcium.

    Before being medicated, I had swelling mainly above my eyebrows and a more rounded moon shaped face. This eventually reduced after several months on thyroid hormone replacement.

    I hope you feel better soon,


  • I totally lost the question I wanted to ask was does this mean I'm headed toward myxedema coma.

  • Flickingermary,

    When replying, if you click on the orange reply button under the previous persons comments, they will get a notification., thereby avoiding comments/questions being missed.


  • Hello Flickingermary,

    Hypothyroidism is a slow progressive insidious disease caused by a lack of thyroid hormones.

    If left untreated myxedema can occur, which in turn if left untreated can progress to a myxedema coma which includes seizures, hallucinations and breathing difficulties but which is thankfully extremely rare.

    If you have these symptoms, you require medical help straight away Flickingermary. Otherwise, then make a doctors appointment for the morning.

    I hope you feel better soon,


  • Myexodema is when all the tissues get full of mucin, a jelly like substance. It makes skin sort of spongy and thick..... So you look bloated all over. It wouldn't really just be a lump on your jaw, its much more generalised than that. People who are severely. Hpothyroid get a distinct look cause by the mucin... Its a thickened forehead and eyes that are dissapearing... Here are some pics of before and after.....

    Xx g

  • Interesting photos on link galathea.

    I had that exact same moon shaped face but with actual swelling on forehead and above eyebrows. Looking back at photos my symptoms were very obvious but sadly missed for years.

    Eventually a visiting GP locum asked if I had a thyroid problem after treating me for something else. He said I had the moon shaped face and thick spongy skin across my forehead. After blood tests I was disagnosed hypothyroid.


  • Hi, thanks to every one for the replies. I do have more than the jaw. This pic shows the swelling a little better before the lump appeared. The sudden large lump over my jaw was the concern. I know realize how important taking my med is. I hope it's not too late. I also have the skin thickening on upper arm, can't pinch, teeth rotting away, bloating all over. I know it's the excess mucin now. I have a doctors appointment on the 22nd.

    Can't find a way to past the other pic with this response.

  • I politely disagree. Medical books often show cases, which are extreme and doctors think you would need to look like "that". Translation: if you don't look like "that", you don't have it. Because these were so extreme, they are used in publications. This is a fine example of oversimplification in medicine which conveniently forget there are variety of myxedema as disease won't care where to cause these lumps. In reality, patients do have myxedema in different parts of the body. Around eyes / above eyebrows being most common. I have myxedema in both knees as well as subtle form of typical facial myxedema. One poster reports that her GP didn't even recognise her myxedema on her knee. This is not acceptable.

  • Hi FlickeringMary,

    So sorry to hear your having a bad time. Have you considered another cause such as a dental problem perhaps? Try to think of the simple potential causes first. I know you must be scared but I agree with the others, if severe symtoms occur as described by Flower007, this is an emergency situation. Hiwever, what you describe sounds like something that could wait for a doctor appointment.

    Please take your meds regularly, I have one of those boxes labelled with the days of the weeek and find this helps.

  • Thank you.

    I have been seeing a dentist every month because I'm trying to save the teeth I have left, so I'm sure it isn't to do with my teeth, plus it is painless.

  • A Hi, thanks to every one for the replies. I do have more than the jaw. This pic shows the swelling a little better before the lump appeared. The sudden large lump over my jaw was the concern. I know realize how important taking my med is. I hope it's not too late. I also have the skin thickening on upper arm, can't pinch, teeth rotting away, bloating all over. I know it's the excess mucin now. I have a doctors appointment on the 22nd.

    Can't find a way to post picture.

    I will submit as a post under same headline I guess.

  • AThank you so much. My thyroid wasn't producing at all even though my t3 t4 levels weren't too bad. I'm now on 150 of levothroxide but because of all the other medications I take I am having a really hard time fitting it in consistently because of the no food, etc restrictions and because my sleep schedule is so mixed up I can't seem to be awake at the same times each day. And now memory problems are getting worse I didn't even realize I was not taking it at all for several days until the swollen face. My last blood test was 6 months ago and show I still hadn't moved down past the sixties from a start of a little over 100. And that was about 2 years ago I was finally diagnosed. I'm going to start doing a lot of research and make my family doctor hook me up with a thyroid doctor.

  • OMG! Are you not under the care of a specialist with all the difficulties you describe. This would be my first priority, your GP can manage your care afterwards but you need to know more about your specific illness and how to self manage. Glad to hear you are making some positive steps towards medication compliance:-) its such an important part of your care. Well done!

  • Thank you for your help. I have not been told much except that my thyroid was not making any hormone at all and I had hypothyroidism.

  • There are different types of hypothyroidism, an important fact when deciding on how best to treat you and what kind of follow up treatment you might need. Family history is very important so start gathering information now to be ready to provide this info when you eventually see your specialist. Good luck!

  • When you don't take your thyroid meds, you get puffy. I am puffy and take them. It may due to Hashimotos. Do you have this?

  • Not that I've been told.

  • it would be thru antibodies testing. Thyroid antibodies. Maybe you should request this. I have not done well since i developed this, regardless of meds..the thyroid meds don't handle all symptoms very well, for me.

  • Hashimoto's can be diagnosed through ultrasound scans. The affected thyroid has a distinctive look to those who know!

  • Not always. I have Hashimotos and my thyroid scan shows a "perfect thyroid, altho small, small in normal range". I have terrible symptoms, including going hyper to hypo and sensation of pressure in my throat. I expected it to look like Swiss Cheese, but no. Just more proof that my symptoms are all in my head.

  • If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto disease then your symptoms are definitly not in your head. Why would you think that, has someone inferred that?

  • yes..all endocrinologists, all 4 , have said that i must have something else wrong with me's not from Thyroid/Hashi's. Before diagnosis, i was sent to psychiatrists and put on benzo's and antidepressants. I never knew swelling was a sign of depression..oh, they sent me to a dietitian, for that, even tho i could barely eat or digest my food. .

  • That's shocking, Faith!

    However, I know how you feel. I too have been labelled as having a psychosomatic illness because I ask too many questions and challenge diagnosis. If it doesn't appear logicical or make sense to me; obviously, I am not the expert, I will ask but I know waffle when I hear it therefore, if the 'expert' can't give a clear scientific based rational for the advice he/she gives, some seem to appear to feel threatened and quickly hide their lack of understanding and knowledge by making me or you out to be neurotic.

    Like you, before diagnosis in 2011, I had many symptoms of hypothyroidism such as falling asleep on my feet, swelling. I looked as though I had goitre with a really thick neck, my hair fell out in handfuls, I gained weight rapidly and my skin was so dry and itchy I couldn't sleep, I felt down but not depressed however, I looked terrible.

    Classic signs and symptoms, the only thing missing was evidence in my blood, my TFT's were all within normal range. I couldn't think straight and thought I was going out of my mind ... The doctor did too:)

    One female doctor even wrote on my notes that I had an unhealthy curiosity in my health when I kept going back to the surgey asking to be commenced on Thyroid suppliment meds., but to no avail. Finally, the blood provided the necessary evidence and I was treated, however, it took a few years to reach a balance.

    Thyroid disease is one of the many illnesses that I have, of which only one is partially self inflicted (obesity, because I liked too many chocolate biscuits and cream eggs in the past). Although stable, my thyroid works against me, despite now being in a euthyroid state, eating a balanced healthy diet and exercising, I cannot get the weight to shift. I am now on 1500mg of Metformin a day to try to give my metabolism a kick.

    Dr Harold Schneider, a German Endocrinologist had some super results using Metformin (off label use) with non- diabetic and prediabetic patients whose weight had started to cause them other organ related problems. For example, insulin resistance, liver or pancreatic disease.

    Through the power of the internet we are able to empower ourselves and other becoming the experts of our own disease. So many people on this forum provide insight for others, those with strong technical or research skills provide a means of access to those less skilled.

    Whether or not we will reach a point where health service staff will admit that they might learn something from us is another topic. However, being afraid to speak up or challenge diagnosis without being labelled has to stop. Surely better to work with us than work against us.

  • Thanks to all that replied.

    I had my doctors appt today and had my blood work done.

    TSH 1.526. Range. 0.5-5.0

    TT3 0.87. 0.70-1.70

    T4. 9.9. 4.0-11.00

    Also showed my sodium and creatinine were high.

    Are these the free T3 and T4 test. My search says these test are are old and not as good as the free T test.

    Also, when was diagnosed initially my old dr, I moved, said my score of 100 meant that my thyroid was receiving that many request to make hormone and not responding to any or making any hormone.

    When I had the last test since I've been on medicine that number had only moved down to 65. I'm not sure what test that was and neither did the doctor I saw today. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? It is greatly appreciated.


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