Scan of Thyroid

I had one this past week and my doc said it is grainy which can be typical of Hashimotos but there are no nodules. Have you had one done and what did it look like? I wonder if I need to do another one at some point to make sure nothing else is going on? I know we are more at risk for cancer with thyroid disease. I was distracted by other things and didn't really look at the pics he showed me closely. I will ask if I can have a copy of them. My father's showed a nodule on one of his bone scans I think or another test but he doesn't plan to do anything about it. His doc said at his age a lot of people have nodules like this.

31 Replies

  • Had a scan as part of the diagnosis here in Crete - in 2005. I had several nodes and I guess they are still there. I too have Hashimotos.

  • Thanks Marz :-)

  • OOOggg,

    Solitary nodules are most commonly benign and very often can be left untreated.

    A multinodular goitre is common in Hashimotos and usually does not need anything either unless you have problems with swallowing and/or breathing.

    It is rare to find cancer in a multinodular goitre, but if it grows rapidly or one or more of nodules raises concern following investigation, then surgery may be recommended.

    I have Hashimotos and had a multi nodular goitre present when diagnosed.

    I was scanned and offered an FNA to determine health of nodules which were fine.

    My goitre shrank with thyroid hormone replacement and my thyroid shrank from Hashimotos disease. I recently had my salivary glands scanned and my thyroid looked like a tiny shrivelled walnut ! ! ..

    If you haven't got nodules, your thyroid gland sounds fine. They will probably rescan only if your thyroid gland became enlarged quickly or felt uncomfortable.



    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Thanks Flower, they said the size looks normal and I wonder if mine will shrink over time or not since I'm on levo now? Did you get diagnosed later? I guess I will notice if something seems like it's growing etc. I do have trouble swallowing lately so I'm worried about that. It may be from reflux and congestion but I wonder if it is my parathyroids if there is a tumor.

  • I had one done about fifteen years ago, when only half a shrivelled gland was found. I have Ord's.

  • I'm not sure what ords is, have to look that up now.

  • Ord's thyroiditis is what, I believe, many people who come to this forum actually have: Hashimoto's is goitrous, Ord's isn't. I never had a goitre and so I have Ord's.

  • I kept looking up Orb's and nothing came up, lol. I see so Ord's is very close to Hashis but no nodules? I wonder if that is what I have? I hope being on levo will prevent the gland from shrinking at least then maybe you can keep some of your function.

  • Interesting that goitres are more common outside Europe.

    "Transient hyperthyroid states in the acute phase, (a common observation in Hashimoto's thyroiditis), are rare in Ord's disease." -- I have no goitre (unless it's sub-sternal) but have had the transient hyperthyroid states.

  • I have never had a (non medication-induced) transient hyperthyroid state.

    I tend to go by goitre=hashimoto's; no goitre=ord's. Treatments pretty much the same but I like correct terminology; I'm a pedanticist :)

  • I've never been offered a scan, nor an Endo appointment. Long before diagnosis I'd had a GP appointment about a long-lasting non-productive cough, and there's a hint of interest when I've mentioned throat discomfort more recently.

    I read about someone with a sub-sternal goitre, whose only symptoms were high and variable blood pressure and a cough. I was told my chest X-ray (for hypertension) didn't show a goitre, but I don't know if they were looking for one.

  • I hope someone can help you. My endo was trying to tell me my palpitations were psychological but I guess now he is taking me seriously since other things are turning up too. I have never heard of doing a chest x ray for hypertension. I was at the ent today who said everything looks ok except everything is red/inflammed in my throat so he wants me to go back on the anti acid drugs- not the proton pump inhibotor but ranatidine. I'm still concerned that will make it hard for me to absorb calcium.

  • 000ggg,

    Ranaitdine works by blocking stomach acid.

    A lot of mismanaged hypothyroidism causes low stomach acid but unfortunately symptoms can be similar and doctors misdiagnose.

    Low thyroid hormone slows down the whole digestive process.

    Also low cortisol (caused by mismanaged hypothyroidism) is required to modulate the immune system and especially in the gut where it lines the GI tract.


    STTM & Stomach Acid


    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • yeah I'm concerned about that. I have only been using water, pepto bismal and slippery elm since I went off lanzoprazole. but I don't think mine is from hashis completely... I have been on levo for 5 weeks now and off lanzoprazole but I think it's getting worse not better. Plus I had an ulcer at one point- when my neck was injured my posture changed and the abdominals weakened which made the flap between the esophagus and stomach weaker which caused a lot of it. Seems like I should get my cortisol levels tested too.

  • 000ggg,

    PPI's can actually cause a stomach ulcer if taken when stomach acid is already low.

    Slippery Elm is great for an inflamed gut. I have taken it myself together with Marshmellow, and L- Glutamine.


  • thanks.. I wasn't on pps when I had the ulcer but I was on zantac I think- I'm going to look that up. I don't know if my stomach acid was low but I had to eliminate all food then for 8 months, except for chicken, iceberg lettuce, granola bars, and water. That cured me along with prilosec. I have never been as bad since then. I also had a traumatic endoscopy done around that time where I wasn't sedated properly and I was vomiting and pulling the tube out- that damaged my vocal cords which became very inflamed.

    I'm just going to take some slippery elm now because I'm much worse today- hopefully it will be better tomorrow. I have some glutamine too, I'll add that in for a couple of days.

  • The X-ray was, I suppose, looking for the damage from hypertension e.g. enlarged aorta.

    Did your palpitations start when you started taking Levothyroxine?

    I had them after a dose increase after four weeks instead of eight but I think they were due to another drug started at that time. I had a quite savage cut in my Levothyroxine dose, which didn't help my hypertension, and a gradual increase until I've gone way past the dose was on when I had palpitations, with no problems. Just rushing to leave the house would set them off.

    I'm due a parathyroid hormone test (low calcium) but as I also have low potassium and high sodium I think it's likely to be Conn's syndrome causing the hypertension.

  • ok, that makes sense.

    No, I had them long before ever knowing I had a thyroid problem. I only started on levo about 5 weeks ago.

    They really started when I was going into perimenopause along with hot flashes. Then years later after the type 1/dka they got much worse(being on insulin is a large part of it, it's not like your normal body, what your pancreas does). I think it was the hashis causing them and maybe parathyroid issues and all the blood sugar fluctuations- but they are a lot better since being on levo. They are worst when my bg goes up rapidly or drops, for the lows it's an adrenalin reaction.

    So less levo gave you high bp? My father is having the opposite problem, he increased to 50 mcg and it is causing high bp.

    Your pth should be high if you have low calcium I think? I will look up Conn's syndrome. I hope you get this figured out. Is your vitamin D affected also?

  • Less Levo appears to give me high BP which doesn't fall when I relax. Winter may cause my TSH to rise, and this winter I didn't get an increased dose until recently.

    When I knew my serum calcium was low I upped the vitamin D3 and sunshine, with quick improvement to the pins & needles I was experiencing. However, they may have benefited from the B12 in my tablets, and since then I've had a slight feeling of glass splinters in my hands and some cramping of hands and feet, which are more related to low calcium.

    The parathyroid aspect was a puzzle to a LAMB (layperson with access to medical books - or Wikipedia) as high potassium would be expected with low calcium, but Conn's syndrome seems to cover that, and I very much doubt I'm short of dietary potassium, or calcium.

    The vitamin D aspect is interesting as, according to Inflammation Therapy, the body's vitamin D receptors are down-regulated as a result of infections. I've seen a graph with mortality increasing either side of a vit D level of 50 ~ 70 nmol/L and mine was at 65 before deciding to give it a boost!

  • That is strange you have the opposite reaction from my dad so far at least. I'm sure he doesn't have conn's . I hope my vit D of 28 isn't increasing my mortality. I just think it is odd that it went down when I supplemented more vitD. I don't think I have an infection as far as I know but it's linked to autoimmune diseases as well as low wbc too. I hope it will go up or someone will figure out what is going on here.

  • Small bluepettals BP rises and falls because of infections , underlying or obvious, not through relaxing or not! Infections can be part of or cause hypertension though. Hypertension puts physical stress on other organs or systems also.

    That is why one of my father's 3 post mortem results says "stress related" meaning medically not emotionally, as I much later discovered.

  • By relaxing, I mean the 10 minutes seated before taking a BP reading. I usually take a reading on sitting down, as I'm interested in my BP for normal activities. The Docs don't broach this subject -- perhaps they don't want to shock or depress me!

    After 10 minutes my BP will have dropped and will most probably drop further over the next 10 minutes and then start climbing.

    I get the lowest BP readings with head back and supported -- which may be a clue that a hidden goitre is influencing things.

    I've had cellulitis several times, perhaps three or four times without antibiotics, resulting in considerable weight loss, which may be why my system is happy to carry excess weight now.

  • I thought you meant the white coat syndrome etc. Interesting that a goitre can influence the bp readings I had never heard that.

  • The only time I seem to get hypertension is sometimes at the doctor but rarely. The upper range in130- 150 or so which is high for me and I'm usually not feeling well, and or stressed. the highest it has been was in dka at 179 upper, I forgot what the lower range was. I tend to be around 120/70 or lower, with low bg I have low bp, but I don't get high bp with high bg.

  • It would be useful if there were pictures ( general not personal) put on posts like this showing a Thyroid with goitre, or multi modular, or normal - I'm sure you get my drift. I can't even remember now f it was last year or 2014 when I had my 1st ever thyroid scan since being dx in 2000. It's helpful if discussing what the thyroid should look like, with hyper, hypo Hashis, graves, or ORDs, 1 st time I heard of that today.

    It also seems apparent not everybody gets or had their thyroid scanned when diagnosed and I'm assuming if there was a 1st scan, over the years if the condition got worse it would be useful to compare against follow up ones!

  • Good idea SAMBS. Here is a link with an inllustration of a normal gland- I can't see the pt glands here though.

  • Thanks OOOgg for putting that link up. I did look at the thyroid itself again online, also after my scan last year - not having a clue at the time.

    My immediate reaction to mine was that yes it looked like a Pickled walnut in texture on the scan copy and also looked quite large. However the radiologist at the time told me it was 'casse' (cassay) broken - still being confused and to be sure I understood correctly - I said 'c'est kaput' ? - to which he nodded and said "oui" . Fortunately kaput is a fairly universally known word and meaning these days.

    The consultant and my own doctor both saw the scan and both insist that only TSH needs testing, she was happy to leave it to my Doctor to adjust the dosage of Levothyroxine. For the thyroid, I seem to have settled very well now on 112.5 and put the clearing up some of other 'thyroid' symptoms down to different supplementing.

    So many of other "thyroid" symptoms, like brain fog, confusion, fatigue are common to other conditions also and I dont think we should rush to the conclusion that they must all be thyroid related. Look how many others start adding things like NDT Dessicated Cocoanut or whatever for their Thyroidism and some time later are saying well I feel worse not better! I don't see hair loss/thinning, and dry skin amongst those. I also don't see weight loss being achieved a lot on here either!

    That will start to happen when the other conditions are sorted out and then the Thyroxine or correct Thyroid medication dosages for it will help maintain the bodies metabolism better. This is what has happened for me so far over last few months.

    Through my research I have currently eliminated the TB element as a latent disease factor through a private blood test, other than it possibly/ probably caused my autoimmunity. But whether the removal of the infected neck gland as a baby, interfered with the cortex/adrenal axis or not I haven't yet been able to conclusively establish (cos I'm not a scientist or medic) but because of other current health problems.

    I'm the analyser, pick up the pieces up when they fall out of the jigsaw box, examine them then try and put all the pieces together correctly again! I like thinking outside the box!

  • Mine looked to me like it had big black holes in it, lol :-) I do think some of my symptoms are also from low estrogen and various other things including thyoid issues. I think they're all tied together now too. I'm glad you figured out your dose. My father is having a hard time and lowered his dose due to the blood pressure issues. I seem to feel much more tired on the higher dose now although it's still very low at 50mcg.

  • Did you hover your mouse pointer over Parathyroid Glands in the Anatomy Explorer section on the left?

    The parathyroids are small and weren't discovered for ages. Second-hand copies of "The Hunt for the Parathyroids" are available quite cheaply.

  • No, I didn't- I will try that.. and read about the hunt for them too, sounds interesting :-) After looking at parathyroid tumors removed from people at the Norman site I don't understand why they are so hard to see on a scan- they look enormous compared to the actual glands.

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