11 year old with enlarged thyroid, cysts and swollen lymph nodes.

As the title says, my daughter had a scan on the weekend which revealed an enlarged thyroid which contains cysts. There are also swollen lymph nodes in the area. The person doing the scan told us what he had found and said she needs more tests and that he would write to out GP. He said there is some activity that is unusual for her age. She has no symptoms of either hypo or hyper (I am hypo) the doctor noticed the swelling when we went there over something else. The scan report was back within 3 days and the dr has ordered bloods (I feel he should have done them to start with). We are to see him next week to discuss report. As you can imagine we are really worried about this. Anyone have any advice or information for us.


11 Replies

  • This is frighteningly unusual. Could it possibly be an enormous attack on her thyroid?

    There may be some ideas here. stopthethyroidmadness.com/h...

  • SuperL,

    Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear of your daughters health issues.

    Lymph nodes (neck, armpits and groin) may become swollen with infection. Swollen neck lymph nodes and an enlarged thyroid could point to Hashimotos Autoimmune Disease.

    Due to cost doctors don't always conduct comprehensive blood tests so ensure your daughter is tested for TSH, T4, T3 to assess thyroid function, and TPOAb & TGAb to assess the presence of Hashimotos (aka Thyroiditus.)

    When doctors are uncooperative, members use private labs and post results for other members consideration. Also remember your GP is only a general practitioner and not a thyroid expert. Thyroid issues can be immensely complicated as may be multifactoral, and blood tests difficult to interpret.

    As an adolescent I had swollen lymph nodes which were always put down to glandular fever even though I never tested positive for this illness. This came & went with extreme changes in hormones such as the onset of puberty and through out my pregnancies each time becoming progressively worse.

    I wasn't diagnosed with Hashimotos until my mid forties by which time I was extremely ill and now suspect I had the beginnings of Hashi as a young child. Other members have also complained of swollen lymph nodes and//or glandular fever during their child hood.

    Do not be fobbed off and understand many thyroid issues are either misdiagnosed or not recognised at all. However, even if your daughter was to test positive for Hashimotos, it may be that her thyroid and general health just require monitoring with adjustments made to life style & diet.

    Post any blood tests complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.

    I wish your daughter well.


    Private labs



    The Thyroid Gland



    Getting A Diagnosis


  • very good info, it could cross fingers be infection but get comprehensive tests done, privately if necessary, and look at her diet closely

  • Hi SuperL27, sorry to hear your daughter is not feeling well. It seems more and more children are getting diagnosed with Hashimotos. It may turn out not to be this but put your foot down re the tests, especially the TPO AB & TG AB as this will determine it, her TSH may not go up for some time yet.

    if it turns out to be Hashimotos please feel free to message me.

    Kind wishes 👋🏻

  • Thank you so much for your advice. She is really fit and well and always has been apart from having tonsils removed a few years ago. She is really slim, but always has been. The person scanning did mention about hashimotos. GP has ordered TSH, FBC and UE- we can't get them done until next week as children have to visit the hospital to have bloods and there are no appointments until then.

    I went straight to our GP on Monday and told him what was found but he didn't have the scan report back then. He ordered bloods and said come back next week.

    Are cysts and nodules the same thing? As nice guidelines state that if nodules are within a child's thyroid there should be an urgent 14 day referral made. Apparently she has a few cysts and other activity within the thyroid (don't know what that means) I have researched and I do know that this can be an indication of Thyroid cancer and that with children the cysts/nodules have a 25% chance of being Mallignant. I know it can be many other things too but I just feel our GP should be making a referral to the hospital anyway regardless of what the blood tests show. I have considered going private, we see him next Tuesday and if there are no answers I will do this.

    Thanks so much everyone.

  • It sounds as though the gp is taking it seriously, and he did very well to spot it, I would expect he will get the nodules checked fairly rapidly. It is easy to focus on the worst, but the overwhelming likelihood is this is not cancer, but Hashis and it is good news it has been spotted early.

  • So are nodules and cysts the same thing then? He was good to spot it but this was 4 weeks ago and he's only just ordered bloods.

  • A cyst is a nodule which has fluid in it.

  • At the same time don't be in the rush to let her have operations, even if a specialist will at the end suggest it (I would have a second opinion). She's young and feels fine. Certain things ameliorate with time. Why did she have her tonsils out? Nowadays, the tonsils are left as they stop infections from going further down the throat. How angry I am that I was born in an era when tonsils used to be removed after almost the first cold.

  • She had her tonsils out because she constantly had infections and they were very big. She has been great since having them removed. I too had mine out as a child and I've had nothing but infections since.

  • Hi I see this was a yr ago. What was the outcome? How did you get a scan on her thyroid? My son is having issues for 6 months making him very sick and not as active or outgoing due to feeling ill all the time. His dad had lymphoma in his thyroid and half removed. My son had enlarged tonsils with pitting and complains of soreness in his thyroid area. Also get smelly breathe and yellow tongue and constantly feel sick, sometimes worse than others. Finding it almost impossible to get help from peadiatrician or ENT who said it's not tonsilitus. Which I already know that! They just keep giving him reflux meds which aren't helping.

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