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I feel a lump in my throat when swallowing and the inside of my throat is swollen on the same side. Went to ENT, he did the tube down the back of the nose to look at the throat. He sent me for an MRI, which I had yesterday. He just phoned me, said the results showed nothing particularly alarming, no tumors or masses etc but wants me to come in for further examination. My last blood tests showed my TSH and T4 were in the "normal" range, but do you think the swallowing issue could be thyroid related? I don't think it showed up as enlarged or with nodules in the MRI. Has anybody had that lump feeling without bloodwork being out of range? I know I should leave the diagnosis to him but I always like to talk to others who have been through things.

21 Replies

  • Hi Palermo, welcome to this forum.

    Could you post your latest blood tests with ranges (the figures in brackets) as that will be helpful for people to comment.

    'Normal' is not the same as 'optimal', so your doc may say you are in range when you are not at the best level for you.

    Also let us know what, if any, medication you are taking.

  • I just figured out that I replied to all, but not to you. I posted my numbers, can you tell me if they are normal or off?

  • Hi Palermo, I just picked up your reply.

    In order to know if your results are normal, you need to post the ranges as well (numbers in brackets). these vary with different labs.

    Probably best if you make a new post with all the results and ranges, otherwise it may get missed. You can mention this previous post so people can look back at it.

  • Hi Paler more

    I have had thyroid for the last 4 years and yes the lump in the throat thing is a thyroid thing with me.There are times I don't feel it as much but then there are times when it feels like something is stuck there,horrid ,but when I know what it is,makes me feel better.So try not to worry about it being anything else,cause that's what it probably is.

  • Hi Palermo, am new to this forum after having a full thyroidectomy this March following a diagnosis for thyroid cancer (that had already spread to the adjoining lymph nodes). The whole started with a swelling on the right side and difficulties swallowing. When I went to see an Endo then, all tests (incl. FNA = fine needle aspiration) did not show anything serious/malicous but he did indicate that 'should the symptoms persist, or come back, that perhaps I 'should consider having taken half of the thyroid out in a few years as one can perfectly well live with just half'.

    Then all turned to somewhat normal, without any visible or major swelling between 2013 - end of 2015. In January this year the same problem started again, with more difficulties swallowing and affected breathing as well (sort of a wheezing noise, mostly when lying in bed). More tests of the same kind and in fact my endo (a different one) now said I should not delay to have half taken out a) to ensure that I could swallow and breathe better/normally as it was pressing a bit on the windpipe and b) so that they could do further tests on the part they took out.....end of story is that after that first surgery in March they discovered cancer. And not an encapsulated type (so not like a single tumor surrounded by tissue) but cancerous cells dotted on/around the thyroid. So second surgery to remove the remainder of the thyroid and adjoining nodes followed within 2 weeks of the first. Then after some rest and healing period, I had RAI (radio active iodine) which is less invasive than chemo but still obviously not a walk in the park for your body. I returned to work in May, after two months off.

    It's not my intention to scare you but to make you aware that I would not underestimate or brush off things, but rather go and do all possible tests you are being offered. It might turn out nothing and go away, but then it might not or return. Better safe than sorry! Given that my FNA (the needle test) came back 'unclear'...I think this was my and the doctur's cue to 'dig' deeper. Am glad it's out and my neck turned to a normal one with a barely visible scar, and I am on my new current battle to find a doctor that gets me off the synthetic Levothyroxine and on the NDT (natural dessicated thyroid) instead. Wishing you all the best and that your tests turn out normal.

    Oh, I meant to add for everyone else here, if you know of such doctor (private or NHS) here in London who considers NDT as a form of treatment, please pm me.

  • Gosh, MsMoon, you did scare me a bit! I thought thyroid cancer only came as nodules, I didn't realise there was a non encapsulated type! Did you have ultrasound scan at all? Take care

  • Hi Kitten1978, sorry, didn't mean to scare you or anybody but just sharing my own experience. I had ultrasound, blood test, FNA...the whole. And it was the latter, combined with the blood test that made the doctor think of something malignant, hence his suggestions for the first (partial) thyrodectomie. I did not know much at all about cancer in general execept from what you can read or see on TV. My own immediate family members are luckily fairly healthy except for age related things. And there you are faced with it one fine day. Yes, indeed, scary.

    Though before you start panicking, there are a lot of reasons for a swollen thyroid and it can just be a sign of hypothyroidism in general and to reassure you, apparently the form of cancer I had is very common and - compared to others - fairly 'easily' treatable. Who knows, if it would have grown into one solid form/mass of cancer... Luckily they found it early stage and I didn't want to wait to find out. Here some more info on papillary thyroid cancer (which I had):

    My own lesson from this is to listen to my body more, pay more attention to what is happening/symptoms and rather go to a doctor one time too many than less. I used to postpone and had a very high pain/ill-feeling threshold, which made me brush off symptoms and the few times I was either doubling up with pain or feeling too ill, I would end up with something serious in hospital. Am glad I did not downplay anything on this occasion though.

  • Hi MsMoon, No worries. I'd rather know than live (or die) in ignorance. Your post made me think that perhaps I should get biopsy done privately, just to be on the safe side. I have Hashimoto but Hashi doesn't exclude cancer. My neck is painful and I have very high cortisol levels. It could be caused by other things (e.g. being undermedicated) but it could be also caused by cancer. My sis had TT in January after follicular cancer diagnosis. I though thyroid cancers always presented as nodules and my ultrasound scan didn't show any nodules.

  • Yes, if you have the possibility of going for private tests/treatmens, I would recommend as they are fast in appointments and acting on any findings. That allowed me going back to work and somewhat normal life within 2 months. Wishing you all the best!

  • Thank you. I also wish you all the best. Take care x

  • Yes, I had the lump in the throat feeling. I also had a persistant cough, frequent sore throats, loss of voice, difficulty swallowing, etc. I had the tube up the nose thing, and the ENT pronounced me perfectly healthy! Nothing wrong with me!!! Except that there was lots wrong with me. But nobody did any blood tests, so I have no idea what my levels were. I'm convinced, now, that it was all to do with my thyroid.

    So, best to get a copy of your 'normal' results, and post them here. Then we can tell you if it's worth persuing that thyroid diagnosis. :)

  • Hi Palermo,

    I had very hoarse voice for a number of years prior to the diagnosis of Hashimoto. On occasions I literally lost my voice mid sentence. I also had persistent cough. Problems with voice and throat seem to be common among thyroid patients.

  • Palermo

    Yes I've had terrible throat problems and had the same test as you mentioned. I have a Hiatus Hernia as it turns out and I have to manage the problem and I do. Once you know what the cause is you'll be able to self help. A lumpy throat always comes on when I'm low or wrongly medicated. I choke a lot and have to avoid certain things. I know there are lubrication throat sprays and I always keep a mild, decongestant, cough sweet in my handbag for emergencies. It's surprising how much better you feel knowing you are taking certain precautions. Always have water beside you during a meal even if you don't end up drinking it. I hope there is nothing too sinister wrong with your throat and I hope you're able to manage it once you know what's wrong. I even joined a choir and had to give it up! I'll try something else perhaps! x

  • Hi Palermo, I agree with everything written here except I would like to add one thing. MRIs are pretty darn accurate. I had one and I was amazed at what could be seen. I am wondering if the person who interpreted the MRI knew what to look for. Can you get a copy of it? ( I once got a copy of my knee scan!) You could then take that scan and ask for a group more experienced if they can see something. The other thing which bothers me is the frequency of the scans, if they did every centimeter, it could be possible to miss it, an experienced technician would spot that.

    Regarding a copy of your scan - and this is a little off topic - you can go on YouTube and see MRI's that people have posted! The call them something like, "A trip through Jim's head" or, "A trip through Bob's foot". I tell you this only to let you know that getting copies of MRIs is not unusual. Forgive me if you already knew this.

  • My Mom's friend said her MRI showed nothing, but then they did an ultrasound of her thyroid and found polyps. I would think they should have shown up in the MRI?

  • Yes indeed they should have. I hope the ultrasound department told the MRI department about this because the MRI department has a serious problem.

  • Happened four years ago, so I don't know.

  • Thank you to all of you who responded. I have a followup with my ENT, who wants me to bring in the CD from the MRI. My last blood work was mid June. T4 was 9.2 and TSH was 2.030. Those were the only thyroid tests they did, I don't see a T3. Are those results in the normal range, they appear to be? One of my friends has thyroid issues and she says they have "new normals" now? I am in the U.S., also don't know if our numbers correspond to those in the UK. Editing to add the meds I am on: Lipitor and Latanoprost (high eye pressure)

  • Hi again Palermo, if you are in the US you might want to look into True Health Labs. I have one of their blood tests once a year or before I change a dose. They do a full thyroid panel and, while it is a bit expensive, it will save you in $s in the long run and give you peace of mind in as much as you will know exactly where you stand thyroid-wise. You can Google them (of course). Also, read as much as you can on this subject it will make you an informed patient and you will not be at the mercy of an under educated doctor. Try the STTM site and book and Tired Thyroid book by Barbara S Lockheed - and, of course, keep reading and asking questions on this site.

  • I am in California. Thanks for the link!

  • I see they have three locations within five miles of where I live.

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