Thyroid ultrasound: I'm just wondering if it's... - Thyroid UK

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Thyroid ultrasound


I'm just wondering if it's worth having an ultrasound done of my throat. I'm hypo, I've read that an ultrasound is a good way of diagnosing whether there is an autoimmune component, as in Hashi's.. I've just watched 'the Thyroid Secret', which was amazing! One of the doctors interviewed explained that 40 to 50 percent of those with normal antibody results still have Hashimoto's. Really interesting . There are some websites which confirm this too. I'm keen to know if I have hashi's, as of course, hashi's can lead on to other autoimmune condition. I have an uncomfortable feeling in my neck and neck is swollen. I feel it worst at night . Does anybody else have this symptom? Is it common with hypothyroidism? Thank you :)

42 Replies

I am having an ultrasound today on my swollen neck (right side above collar bone) very new to thyroid issues. Mine is not painful but causes pins and needles down my arm and a feeling of pressure on my windpipe occasionally. I hear it is common.


Cuileann-6 in reply to Nelly41

Nelly, that sounds very uncomfortable. I hope the ultrasound goes well and you get the help you need. Thanks for replying :O)

I've had two ultrasounds. I'm hypothyroid but don't have the hashi antibodies. The first ultrasound showed the sponginess associated with hashimotos, as did the second. They also showed a nodule. My endocrinologist says I have hashi's; another endocrinologist said I didn't nor was I hypothyroid as my thyroid was not enlarged.

The ultrasound is useful for seeing if you have nodules. I can't say I was that impressed with the ultrasounds or the thyroid uptake scan. The uptake scan didn't reveal whether the nodules were hot or cold. A really good endo should be able to feel your neck and tell you if you have hashis or not is my understanding.

Cuileann-6 in reply to Salonster

Thanks Salonster! That's helpful to hear,as it both confirms that sufferers with no antibodies can still have an autoimmune component to their thyroid problems, plus confirms that an ultrasound might be helpful. What do you mean by hot or cold nodules? intriguing - active/nonactive? I don't have my GP's support unfortunately, despite being diagnosed by a private GP. So, I will need to either pay for an Endo appointment or have a thyroid ultrasound done privately.

But does the Levothyroxine treat swelling and any nodules which might be there anyway? I just don't understand enough yet.... can't read fast enough!! Thanks Again for your reply! :O)

I had to have a blood test, a week or two prior, doc checked blood tests, and then a test at the hospital with nuclear medicine uptake. I was told I had thyroiditis.

Pepelapew in reply to Salonster

I had a scan and it said I had a nodular thyroid, but it was nothing sinister. What do the nodules mean?

Keep watching there's some very good experts coming up. 😀

Yes a goitre is very common with hypothyroidism also you can have it with hyper and with Hashimotos. If you are worried about it get an ultrasound.

I think we could all benefit from omitting gluten, dairy and soy from our diet as affects the thyroid and like you have discovered not everyone with Hashis will show antibodies.

Cuileann-6 in reply to Katepots

Thank you Katepots! That's good to know. Will any growth I have go down anyway with Levo, or so think I get it checked?

I hadn't started to think about diet yet. I'm vegan, but I do rely on soya. A lot! May need to look at how much!

Thanks Again! Xxx

Katepots in reply to Cuileann-6

Hmmm soy is a toxin and endocrine disruptor and can be especially problematic for thyroid health, and thyroid patients.

Some experts suggest that some soy—as long as it is in an unprocessed form, fermented forms, and not genetically modified (GMO)—may be safe for thyroid patients, as long as it's eaten only in moderation.

Try and be careful with it or leave out for a few weeks and see if throats swelling goes down.

Mine reacts hugely to certain foods. Raw cruciferous especially but when cooked not as much. I still eat them as health benefits outweigh in my opinion.

Cuileann-6 in reply to Katepots

wow.... ok. hmmmm!! Will need to look into that. I live on Tofutti Soya cream cheese spread/soya milk/texture soya chunks/Wow butter etc. My diet is so restricted due to horrendous food allergies (which I now know is also a common symptom with thyroid conditions) . Hard for me to find protein, as allergic (mild anaphalaxis) to nuts and seeds. Well, thank you for highlighting this for me. I shall switch to oat/rice milk for a while, an cut back on soya intake elsewhere!! Thanks for taking the time to reply Katepots! Hope you have a good day. :O)

Katepots in reply to Cuileann-6

Ooo yes that's a lot of soya! With the Hashimotos (I'm guessing you are too)I was having a different food allergy weekly too it seemed. I've worked hard on healing my gut as 80% of immune system is in the gut and now I'm reacting less to foods that were really giving me problems. Nightshades still aren't good but again I'm reacting less.

Almond milk is delicious, I live on that!

The violife cheese and spread is vegan and soya free. I get in Tesco x

Cuileann-6 in reply to Katepots

Thanks Katepots :O) I need to look at alternatives. I did look into violife cheese but it's made of coconut, which I cannae tolerate boooooo. coz I really liked it when I tried it. I also can't tolerate nuts - even the milks. Ho Hum, I shall maybe try a small amount and see if I can't re-introduce. I clearly need to cut down on soya!!

May I ask how you have successfully healed your gut? I looked into this, and bought acidophilus and FOS (have I remembered hat correctly?) I had an horrendous reaction to both and was ill for some days following. I felt so defeated, as all the research pointed towards these and the main pathway to gut health.

Would be so grateful to hear how you did this :O) Thanks again for spending time helping me xxx

Katepots in reply to Cuileann-6

Bone broth, not good for you being vegan 😩 Collagen powder in my morning smoothie again animal product. Although there is marine collagenwhich may suit.

Then pro and prebiotics all seem to be helping.

I like phinaturals 10/30 probiotics.

They really helped my bowels and gut almost immediately.

Test for bugs in gut, also big link with Hashimotosto h pylori, Epstein Barr virus, Lyme...

Your immune system sounds like it's really struggling.

So sorry you have so many allergies, must be really difficult! Would be good to get to the bottom of why you're so sensitive. Must be a trigger somewhereand an answer. Definitely look in to Epstein Barr etc...

PeteRad in reply to Cuileann-6


There is plenty of protein available, so please don’t worry. Beans (all kinds), pulses wholegrains, Tahini, hummous and beansprouts are all rich in protein. Please check out the Viva! website at for more information.

All the best


Cuileann-6 in reply to PeteRad

Thanks Pete, I will! I do love my beans, I must say, plus I know some veg are quite high in protein. It's comforting to hear from you though.... I am not alone! Thanks :O)


Not sure if your talking about a standard ultrasound or a nuclear spect (pet?) scan? US is with the gel.

There's a big difference.

Many considerable medical symptoms. Over 18 months I had several standard ultrasounds on my neck/throat area with no outcome. Then at two years another US where it was discovered I have an atrophied thyroid (half, right side only)! Radiologist said it would have been like it a long time, not happened in the last 18 months.

Consultants have told me US's are quite vague, but first type of scan generally done.

I have considerable symptoms, one being soft swelling over clavical area. My Endo was worse than useless, just said my bloods were ok! I gave up on him tbh.

Since then I have annual nuclear pet (spect..not sure which) scans. This type of scan particularly shows hot nodules.

Apparently half a thyroid is rare. My gp is happy to refer me to a specialist within atrophy thyroid... but I can't find one on NHS!!!

Nuclear scan is by far more precise.

Hope that helps.


Hi Confused01! Thanks so much for replying..... that is SO helpful to know! I am still fumbling along in the early stages of all this (though I've been ill all my adult life (I'm 53) I had no idea about the two different scans. I'll look into that. Although my tests didn't show antibodies, I am pretty sure I have an autoimmune thang going on, as I have terrible gut problems. Some days I just feel allergic/intolerant of ANY food. Still reading up on that area. I guess I was hoping to be able to confirm Hashi's via a scan.

So sorry to hear you have had such a disappointing time with your Endo. It confirms my 'gut' feeling that it would be a waste of time for me to go down that route too, as, according to my gp, my thyroid is normal (despite being right at the edges of range) which seems to be an all to common problem. The series of programmes The Thyroid Secret looks amazing. the second episode is tonight, I believe. So informative. Well thanks again for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated :O)

Hillwoman in reply to Confused01

Confused01 May I ask how you got the nuclear scan? PET, SPECT - I never know which either! Did your GP refer you directly, or did you have to pay?

Hashi's doesn't 'lead on' to other autoimmune diseases - and even if it did, what are you going to do about it? It's just that autoimmune diseases tend to hunt in packs, and if you have one, the odds are quite high that you will develop another one. But one doesn't lead on to another, they are independant. :)

Cuileann-6 in reply to greygoose

yes, you're absolutely right, of course. Bad turn of phrase. I meant that you are more susceptible to other autoimmune disorders. Thanks Greygoose :O)

The Thyroid Secret is the seminar and has a big blue Morpho butterfly for the eye catching logo.

What channel is the thyroid programme on please?

I'll just find the link for you. it's not on terrestrial TV.....

Please forward me the TV link.

Thank you

So well put together. I hope you find it helpful. I did! Have a pen and paper handy. The comments below the programme are useful too, and Izabella shares other links. ;o)

I get it on my FB feed. I signed up for the seminar. I can watch it from computer but use my iPhone. Lots of communication from them, nutrients from Pur, Bone Broth Collegen, mine is from chicken. I've been told I have Leaky Gut, high probably, per gastroenterology doc, my Rhumetologist for my Epstein Barr, arthritis, Lyme's... and many viruses. Dr Axe sells great products and he has communicated with me directly. (Not the doctors name, just website and products.). Also discovered that my debilitating symptoms could also be due to Parathyroid glands, hidden behind and hard to see. Tampa, Fl has a clinic for the paras that is world class, read testimonials from doctors of all kinds, all over the world flew to see and have the tumors removed. The key words were, " I feel 10 years younger, already!"

Hi Hillwoman ,

My gp sent me for the ultrasound, came back with nothing. My symptoms kept on so I kept on at gp persistently. He kept ordering repeat ultrasounds until the one they found atrophied thyroid (maybe the other Radiologists were asleep..tut!).

He then sent me for the nuclear medicine scan and then onto a useless Endo.

I guess you have to keep on until you get somewhere. All NHS. Do remember that 9/10 times private Consultants are also NHS so not always beneficial... pot luck possibly.

The ultrasound is the same type of procedure as a baby scan, putting gel on the area, scanning over and the area scanned is seen on a screen nearby. The Radiologists report from that.

The nuclear medicine scan is very different. Injection, short wait, then put through a large machine (the scanner comes down over your body, close to problem body area). Again reported from screen findings. Hugely more accurate and will pick up 'hot' nodes etc. Not sure if called a SPECT or PET scan.

I'm not a medical person, above is just what I know from experience. Nuclear scan isn't very good for you hence Dr's likely will avoid without sold reason to request.

Hope that helps.


Hillwoman in reply to Confused01

Thanks Confused01. I've had scans of all varieties before now - PET/SPECT, US, MRI, CT - but only one specifically looked at my thyroid, and that was a long time ago. I suspect I may have a swelling at the rear of the gland, pressing against other tissue.

I'll have to have a go at the GP, but the local ones are not cooperative. :-(

Thank you for the link. Does it actually advise/offer solutions?x

The first episode concentrated on explaining thyroid problems and interviewing sufferers and experts in the field. Very refreshing to hear from doctors who knew what they were talking about! I think the episode tonight might go into more about how to support the body more/deal with Thyroid symptoms. Really worth a watch. It just felt like this is what aught to be known world-wide and in every GP surgery... and hopefully will cause a mini revolution in terms of the criminal negligence of many sufferers and lack of preventative measures for most people with Thyroid issues. :O)


I have been looking at the posts to Nelly41, and I am very interested in the TV program mentioned regarding Thyroid investigations, could you please let me know the channel the program will be shown on please.

Thank you

Do you have B12 deficiency ? As you are a vegan I guess you are aware of the importance and supplement. Have you been checked for PA ?

Symptoms of both can overlap ....

Have you had thyroid anti- bodies tested ?

Cuileann-6 in reply to Marz

Hey Marz, yes, I have been self-injecting with B12 for past 5 months, with guidance. Unfortunately I didn't get tested before I embarked on treatment, so I don't know if I was deficient to start with or not. I don't think I can have PA, as presumably self injecting by-passes any problem with Intrinsic factor?

My antibodies results are normal, but, after watching the first episode of the Th... yroid Secret, I now know, I think I'm right in saying, that 40-50 percent of people with no positive antibody can still have Hashi's.

I've been on a gluten-free, uber healthy diet all my adult life, having started with food sensitivities as a child... I wonder if this has had an effect on the antibody result, as I know a GF diet is a recommended way to lower anti-body levels? What do u think. The more I research though, the more I am convinced that there is an autoimmune component to my condition - purely due to the horrendous gut problems I have - allergies/intolerances/mal-absorbtion of vitamins etc. Still new to all of this and have had to really get my act together, since accepting that my GP is going to be absolutely no help whatsoever. This forum is a life-saver!!! Thank you so much for your concern.... and for your invaluable help Marz :O)

Marz in reply to Cuileann-6

There are more receptors for T3 in the brain than anywhere else - second highest in the gut lining. So perhaps when you are further along with your thyroid treatment the gut will improve !

Click onto my name above and have a quick read !

Thanks re programme, a definite watch. If only GP's and Endocrinologist would watch eh, unfortunately NHS only act if bloods show an issue.


Indeed. I feel we're all at the cutting edge! So good to have others who understand, not only how to interpret results and help on a practical front, but who can also offer support emotionally. Hope you get out of the programme as much as I did :O)

I just want to put a plug out there for self-exams also. Found a lump on my neck/thyroid last fall and it was malignant. Caught it early, had thyroidectomy and no need for radioactive iodine treatment! The self exam was before any ultrasound was done so maybe I caught it early (although nodules, benign or otherwise can be there long term w no symptoms). I blame myself a bit for not having been followed by an endo. for years, just having my (hypo)thyroid numbers checked annually by internist--bad patient! Learned my lesson.

Anyway, good luck to you all.

Cuileann-6 in reply to 5wolfies

Hi 5Wolfies. Sorry to hear about what you had to go through. So glad you caught it early. a tough lesson to learn! How are you now? Yes, I must trust my own judgement, and try to self-exam. I did ask my gp to examine my neck due to me feeling like something was pressing on my windpipe (especially noticeable when I lie down)... but this could also be slight anaphalaxis. But my gp, like so many others, refused to even acknowledge that I have a thyroid problem, so didn't examine me. That's why I was wondering about ways of clarifying what's going on... which scan to go for etc. There are certainly some throat issues going on.

Thanks again for 'plugging' the self-exam. Very helpful. :O)

5wolfies in reply to Cuileann-6

Feeling good--thanks for asking!

Cuileann-6 in reply to 5wolfies

Fantastic news! :O)

I did the same, finally going to Endocrinologist highly recommended to me in my city and upcoming appt at place in Tampa, next city. Wish us both good luck.

I do wish you all the very best!!! :O)

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