Thyroid Nodules

Hi, I'm new to this group, and I would like some info if at all possible please. Following an ultrasound scan, 4 nodules have been found on my thyroid. Bloods were taken and all appeared ok, and also biopsies were taken and the results came back inconclusive, following an appt with my GP (who has discussed this with an endocrinologist, but I have not had an appt with them) my GP has prescribed Levothyrox 50mg to be taken for 6 wks then a blood test will be done to see/adjust levels of medication, then I'm to continue to January 2017 when I will have another ultrasound scan to see if the nodules have stayed the same or increased in size. If they have increased then I will have to have an op to remove my thyroid. I;m not sure what to make of all this. I'm not a fan of taking tablets, and some of the side effects worry me, namely bone thinning, gastro problems and of course weight gain. Has anyone else been advised similar to me? I am a bit stressed by all of this and as of yet, I haven't started taking the medication, please help!!

16 Replies

  • What a shocking time!!! And I think you, and this community, would need a bit more info to say anything much.

    Do you have a copy of your blood test results to share with us? If not, then we all tend to ask for print outs.

    Also, please ask what you are being medicated for. Are they suggesting you have a hypothyroid? Hashimotos? Graves? Get them to tell you so you can be a partner with them in your healing and get informed.

    Im reallt not an expert nut I know that ultrasounds, biopsies, and nodules are often found with hasimotos - but i really dont know so much.

    It would also help to know what symptoms you have?

    Take care, Sorry to hear you have had this stressful news. Claire

  • Hi Claire, I don't have any symptoms other than nodules, and these were only found because of an ultrasound scan which was done because I had a lump on my neck which turned out to be a benign cyst, and this has now been removed. So in having the ultrasound check on my lump they scanned the front of my throat and found the nodules on my thyroid.

    My blood test results are Triiodothyronine Free T3L 3.38pg/ml (5.20pmole/l),

    Thyroxine Free T4L 9.99 pmol/l and TSH 3 generation 2.89 mcUI/ml.

    AC Anti-Thyroperoxydase 0.4 UI/ml

    AC Anti-Thyroglobuline 1.0 UI/ml

    I hope that makes sense as I'm just writing it as it is listed on my blood test results.

    My Doctor said that by taking Levothyrox it would 'shut down' my thyroid from producing the hormone and then they would be able to check whether the nodules had increased in size after 6 months of being on a regulated dose of Levothyrox. Does this make any sense? I would be interested to hear what my newfound thyroid pals think.

  • Dearest Pompadour, if I answer with what I know which may be limited, then it could open up a whole can of worms!

    First of all, and please get other s to verify this:

    Im not sure 50mcg is enough to shut down the thyroid from producing hormones but I get the idea of it. That makes sense.

    I can see why the doctor said your thyroid levels are okay but in my world they are not. An upper limit of 2.5 on the TSH is what I personally work to (lower is better)

    Free T3 I use the range 4.5-6.5 pg/ml and so yours is low at 3.38 (or the range 6.9-10 pmol/L and yours if 5.2 is low)

    FreeT4 I use the range 18.7-32 pmol/L and yours is 9.99 so that is low too.

    Im not a docto and I am fairly fresh to this site, so please just take this as information to be considered,

    it was my impression that nodules, plus raised TSH, plus low ft4 and ft3 were indicative of Hashis or other thyroid disease.

    Your doctor has not responded to these ranges as you have a conventional doctor and not an integrative one who would be more concerned with QoL.

    However, you say you have no symptoms. it is very possible to have no symptoms with low free thyroid hormones and high TSH, and nodules. My levels were similar to yours but fully symptomatic and everyone is different (i have my ultrasound this week).

    Many people will tell you that you have to have raised antibodies to have an autoimmune disease such as hashimotos. I do not believe this to be the case. I have heard too much talk of anywhere from 10-20% of hashis patients testing negative for antibodies, but positive from ultrasound or biopsy that looks for damage from an autoimmune disease.

    Im afraid I cannot take you much further than that, can only say what I know already.

    If you dont have symptoms then personally I would be as inclined as you are to monitor the nodules without meds. If you dont like taking pharmaceuticals but someday need thyroid support then there are things called NDT (and that is another bridge to cross!).

    I think your doctor needs to be very clear with you what they think would happen if you didnt have meds and the nodules grow? What is the doctor trying to prevent?

    And you could test the doctors knowledge: As the Levo is a synthetic form of T4 hormone, why not ask the doc how much T4 a heakthy thyroid produces in a day? You want them to know the answer, If they dont then how do they know that 50mcg will replace it?

    I would be asking more questions. Follow your intuition on this. Plus get informed of repercussions either way.

    Youre right about side effects if Levo. It works for heaps of people but for some gives them ore symptoms!!!

    Sorry about the can of worms, hope that helps a bit :O

    Take care

  • Oh Ps if it is some kind of thyroid autoimmune going on, then whilst nutrition/lfestyle/supplements dont always fix it, they can help a lot/ Gluten free is number one. Dairy seems to be the next most reported help. Look out for any gut symptoms of IBS as well. And Ill assume you dont have an enlarged thyorid gland (goiter) or sore constricted throat etc. i can send you more info on symptoms you may not attribute to thyroid if you want. However, id rather thank you dont have anY!!!!!

  • Hi Claire, many thanks for your replies, I'm sorry to be naive, but can you tell me what you meant by "Your doctor has not responded to these ranges as you have a conventional doctor and not an integrative one who would be more concerned with QoL.?"

    Regarding a sore constricted throat, I don't have a sore throat, but am sometimes aware of swallowing if you know what I mean, although it doesn't hurt. When I said I don't have any symptoms, that is because I didn't set out going to my Doctor about my thyroid, it is only by shear chance that this has come about. I would be grateful if you could send me some info on symptoms as you mentioned.

    Also what is NDT, I really have a lot to learn about the thyroid, I never knew it was such a complex thing! Thank you so much Claire for all your info, it's very helpful and is making me think that another trip to my Doctor is needed, to find out exactly what they think I have!!

  • I typed a long reply and just lost it! !

    I wrote thisarticle when I was uncovering my hypothyroid. It is not all the information but lists some symptoms

    Ndt 8s natural dessicated thyroid. Just search health unlocked with what is ndt andyou will find out.

    A integrative or functional gp has had the same training as your normal gp but in addition treats the patient as a whole eg holistically. Plus uses smaller lab ranges to catch problems before they deteriorate your qol quality of life. There are only about 20 in the UK! The future if medicine many would say.

    Sorry about the can of worms! ! It is a great idea to partner with your gp for your healing and aal for more info.

    You can search this site for any informationyou need and make new posts whenever you need for support. Also many people like and stop the thyroid madness. Com

    Take care ☺

  • Pompadour,

    50mcg Levothyroxine is a low dose, a starter dose for many people and is unlikely to shut down your thyroid production. It will, however, raise T4 and T3 levels which are low and reduce your TSH. Without TSH flogging your thyroid to produce hormone it is possible that your thyroid nodules will shrink.


    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.

  • Hi. If you have chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, ie Hashi's, ie you have antibodies, then the weight gain and gastro problems come with the disease, rather than the levo.

    Are the nodules v large? I'm not clear why they are suggesting removing your thyroid when there is no firm evidence of problems.

    If you have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, then you need the medication. It may take you a while to find the right dose, or the right combination, but you will definitely need it if your thyroid is failing.

  • Hi, I haven't actually been told what they think I have, at the moment, they don't seem to know why I have 4 nodules, 2 of which are causing concern due to their size which i 1.8cm x 1.3cm x 1cm and 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.4 cm.

    My blood test results show AC Anti-Thyroglobuline as being 1.0 UI/ml and AC Anti-Thyroperoxydase as 0.4 UI/ml is this the antibodies that you mentioned?

  • Your antibodies are low, so the odds are you don't have Hashi's. However, you didn't give the ranges with the blood results, so difficult to say, although that FT3 did look very low - I would say you're hypo, even though your TSH isn't very high.

    About 90% of the population have nodules on their thyroid, and most of the time, it's no big deal, doesn't mean anything. Your largest one may need to be investigated, but the little ones are nothing to worry about. It's very unkind of your doctor not to explain things, but his knowledge is somewhat limited, so that's probably why.

    The hormone that you have been given, Levo, is called T4, and you have only been given a tiny dose, which probably won't do anything at all. If it does stop your gland producing hormone, it won't be permanent, if you stop the T4 the gland will just take over where it left off.

    Hormones, in tiny doses like that, do not produce side-effects. The only thing is, you might turn out to be allergic to the fillers, but that's not all that likely. Millions of people take it without any problems. As to bones, you would have to take about 50 times that, over a long period, to have any effect on your bones. So, don't worry about that.

    The odds on you having to have your thyroid removed are very low. But, if they do suggest it, ask for a second opinion. Don't just agree without finding out all the pros and cons, and a detailed plan of how you will be treated post TT. They are very fond of whipping out glands, but not so keen on treating people, afterwards! :)

  • My endo gave me a leaflet about when a person should have their thyroid removed and nothing from your message reminds me about the main reason.

    Why don't you ask to be seen by an endocrinologist as GPs don't seem to know much.

  • I had thyroid nodules - 2 I-n fact. one was very large and you could see a large lump on the side of my neck when I swallowed - scan showed I had one hot nodule which was producing hormones and making me hyperthyroid - the other one was small and they weren't concerned about this. they gave me radioactive iodine treatment for the large one and told me I would become hypo thyroid and have to take medication. I had to get 6 monthly scans to find out how the nodules were progressing. after a year one of them had grown and they told me if it grew again I would have to have it surgically removed. having had part of my thyroid already destroyed by rai I didn't fancy having it surgically removed. anyway at the next scan they said it had grown slightly and might be a good idea to have the surgery, I refused and asked them to wait a further 6 months to which they agreed. during all this time in spite of my tsh rising all the time my gp did not give me levothyroxine. in the meantime I took all the advice on this forum and started taking vid d3, k2, b12, magnesium, selenium, vit c and ashwaghanda. my tsh was still rising and I started on levothyroxine. when I went for my next scan I was delighted to hear that the nodules had not grown anymore and in fact had shrunk slightly. I now have to go for scans only once a year instead of two. if the nodules are nod bothering you and are not cancerous then I would think twice about the surgery but your case may be different. good luck

  • Hi, thank you for your response, my GP has suggested taking levothyrox hoping it will also shrink my nodules or at least stop them from increasing in size. Have you had any weight gain as a result of taking this med? I find it hard to lose weight as it is, and I certainly don't want to gain lbs, plus having had a total hysterectomoy at an early age and not on hrt I am concerned about bone density. I may be over-reacting, but I'm not a tablet taker, and like to be in possession of all the facts before taking meds. I also had biopsies taken, but sadly they came back as inconclusive, mainly due to no cells being collected - think it was a yts doctor learning on the job!

    How are you feelinng on the meds and what amount are you taking? Apologies for all the questions, many thanks once again.

  • sadly since have rai treatment and part of my thyroid being destroyed I went from a size 8/10 to a 14 over the last 4 years. however I was hyper before which probably caused me to lose weight in the first place. however I was only put on medication about 8 months ago and most of my weight was gained before that. I do not think the levo has made me put on any more weight but it certainly hasn't made me lose it. you probably find it hard to lose weight because your thyroid is higher than the norm - apparently a tsh of about 1 or under is best. I think looking back my thyroid was up and down a lot before I realised anything was wrong - it was only when I became really tired and my large lump on my neck that I went to doc - even then it too another 6 months to get a diagnosis. my biopsises also came back inconclusive as they couldn't get enough fluid from the fine needle aspiration. I don't know why mine started to shrink as I had only just started levo so don't know if it was that or not. I started it as my tsh was up to 4.5. I don't think you will put on any weight with 50mcg of levo - you never know you might actually lose some weight and don't think bone density will be affected by 50mcg of levo either

  • that's next on my list!

  • Thank you everyone for being so helpful, there is a lot of knowledge on this site, and I feel so fortunate to have found this site. Thank you for all your help, a lot more questions need to be answered before they remove my thyroid I think!

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