Help! Lump on neck has grown and was given the latest blood tests which has some questions!

hi Friends,

I just came back from the medical center with a print out of my blood tests they took on Monday.

3 weeks ago while slouching on the sofa ( bending my head forward) that I felt like I had something a bit tight around my neck (it was like a strangling feeling). And it became uncomfortable to sleep as it felt like the lump was weighing down on my windpipe.

I've had nodules on my thyroid for years and had them checked 6 or 7 years ago (in another country) but haven't really worried about them since. Now I could feel a rather large lump on my right hand side of the thyroid and knew it must have all of a sudden grown much bigger. Sounds crazy that I didn't notice anything before but we were just told that our landlord wants to sell the house we are renting so we've been desperate to find a new place for the last month.

Anyway, I made an appointment with the GP who organized a blood test, and ultrasound (that appointment hasn't come through yet) and an appointment to see an Endocrinologist here in Oxford. After seeing the GP I went home and started to apply iodine on my neck every night as I've heard that since I'm 'hypo' my thyroid is struggling to make iodine and that we need to supplement with that. Now a few weeks later the lump has decreased a fair bit but it's still there.

So today as I asked for the print out of my blood test (and to get on with giving me an appointment for an ultrasound as I'm due to see an Endo at the end of the month) I was told that the doctor will have to call me for 3 of the things on the test. I walked a way a little shaky.

Now, I hope someone out there is willing to help me understand the the tests that seems to be concerning:

1. Full blood test FBC my value 152 g/L - 120.00-150.00g/L

2.Plasma TSH my value 0.12mU/L - 0.30 -4.20mU/L

3.Plasma Potassium my value 3.2mmol/L - 3.50 - 5.00mmol/L

My other thyroid tests seems okay:

T4 level 11.9pmol/L 9.00 - 19.00pmol/L

T3 level 3.6pmol/L 2.60 - 5.70 pmol/L

I take Armour Thyroid and have done that for 7 years or so but my body seems to do weird things when I get stressed. Last time we had to move I lost half of my hair. Has anyone heard of people's nodules flair up during stress?

LOVE to get some feedback to this as I'm new to the country and have nobody else to share this with. My experience with Endo's has never been of any help so I don't dare to put all my hope in to him/her giving me any help once I get there.

Thank you sooooo much!

14 Replies

  • Indeedmythyroid,

    Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths of thyroid tissue. They do not develop because of iodine deficiency. The ultrasound scan will show the general condition of your thyroid, measure the size of the thyroid gland and the size of the nodule and, possibly show whether there are any suspicious characteristics requiring fine needle aspiration biopsy. FNA biopsy is usually done on nodules >2cm.

    FBC is mildy abnormal which is very unlikely to be in any way significant. I've never seen it presented as one total evaluation. More commonly it is broken up and presented as WBC, RBC etc. as in

    TSH is below range but not suppressed. T4 is low in range as expected when taking NDT. FT3 is low in range too. Most people taking NDT need FT3 in the upper range ie >4.6 which will usually suppress TSH.

    Armour and other NDT are not licensed for UK use. UK Endos are not trained to use NDT and many consider it to be unstable and dangerous even though they know next to nothing about it. If you get that rubbish point out it is stable and is listed in the US national formulary and complies with all pharmaceutical regulations re active content and stability. You may still be pressured to switch to Levothyroxine.

  • Thanks again Clutter,

    you've helped me calm down first of all, thanks :). Okay, so the nodules are not reacting to low iodine then. I just wonder why the big lump has shrunk after I started this though? Can it be because the thyroid itself got some 'help'?

    Thanks for equipping me with the US national formulary when I see the Endo. As I said I haven't met a helpful Endo yet so I'm prepared for the worst.

    I take NDT because I'm reacting badly to the synthetic medications (light hurt my eyes and I need to wear sunglasses all the time and I get a headache 24/7). I'm also allergic to most strains of penicillin as well as pain killers.

    When I saw the GP last and she said she can't help me with prescribing Armour Thyroid she mentioned a liquid form of Levothyroxine. Do you know anything about this? Or should I make a new post and ask everyone on the forum?

    Thanks again :) much appreciated.

  • Indeedmythyroid,

    I can't really see how topically applying iodine can have had an effect on your thyroid. Thyroid does contract and expand with menstrual cycle so nodule may seem smaller when it contracts.

    Because NDT is unlicensed it is unlikely to be prescribed on the NHS. Liquid Levothyroxine is sometimes prescribed to patients who can't tolerate the fillers in Levothyroxine tablets. It's quite expensive so not widely prescribed but some members have been prescribed it. Feel free to ask about it on the forum.

  • Hi Clutter,

    thanks again for your help. I didn't know the thyroid contract and expand with the menstrual cycle, wish I knew this earlier as I'm now passed that stage :). So yet another thing that couldn't have been the reason why the nodules suddenly decided to grow. I wonder if the price of the liquid Levothyroxine may be close to the price of Armour Thyroid? Sounds like I need to find a Private doctor who will prescribe me with NDT...but I wonder how easy (or hard that is).

  • Indeedmythyroid,

    Are you being prescribed Armour by your NHS GP at the moment?

  • Hi Clutter,

    No, I still have some Armour from my previous GP when I lived in a different country. I hope to find a new GP here before it all runs out :).

  • Ineedmythyroid,

    It's not licensed for use in the UK so I doubt you'll get it on the NHS. Email louise.roberts@thyroiduk if you want a list of private practitioners who might prescribe it. Do check that they will prescribe Armour before you confirm an appointment though.

  • Yes I've just learnt this and got a list from Louise. I now live in the 3rd country which makes it really hard to find a doctor who will help you out if you need NDT. Grrrr

  • Ineedmythyroid,

    Europe is not a good place to live if you want NDT. It's actually banned in France. At least you can get private prescriptions in the UK or import for your own use.

  • true, it could be worse. the strange thing is though that some countries in Europe do prescribe it. I think both Denmark and Finland does. And Denmark is part of EU so even more strange that not ALL Eu countries have the same rules about this. They sure can make rules for so many other ridiculous things. One example is how a PILLOW CASE is meant to be made (size etc.)

    I was diagnosed while I was living in Australia and it took me yeeeears before I found a fantastic doctor who could even diagnose me after I had spent years being told by other doctors that I was only tired like everyone else and some wanted just to give me antidepressants!

    Are you on Armour?

  • Ineedmythyroid,

    I don't think EU over rules countries individual regulations on what is and isn't prescribed. Greece is EU and many meds which are prescription only most places are OTC in Greece.

    I take Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (T3).

    Thyroid care is crap worldwide as far as I can see. I dunno why doctors are so keen to prescribe mind altering drugs when there is no blood test to show Prozac deficiency but are very reluctant to prescribe hormones.

    I was extremely symptomatic for more than a year before I saw a GP and when I did it was because a lump popped up in my neck over night. Symptoms were hyperthyroid which made sense because mother and sister had Graves but results can back as euthyroid Hashimoto's. All of a sudden symptoms were non-thyroidal because I was euthyroid but no follow up into what was causing symptoms. 9 months later I'd had thyroidectomy because nodule was malignant and symptoms improved immediately so either I was euthyroid but responded to T3 or Hashimoto's does cause symptoms which ceased when thyroid was removed.

  • Oh you poor thing! But I'm glad you are feeling better now despite all that.

  • 1. Full blood test FBC my value 152 g/L - 120.00-150.00g/L

    I think you've mis-read that or somebody has read it to you wrongly. An FBC is a Full Blood Count. It consists of quite a few different tests, not just one. See this link :

    The reference range you've been given looks to me to be the reference range for haemoglobin, and yours is slightly over the range.

    The above range result may have been because you were dehydrated. Being out of range doesn't always have to be something sinister.

    3.Plasma Potassium my value 3.2mmol/L - 3.50 - 5.00mmol/L

    I don't know if it is relevant to you, but high dose B12 can lower potassium levels, as well as the things mentioned on that link.

  • thank you Humanbean,

    It just says Full Blood Count and FB on that particular line.

    Okay, I may have been a bit dehydrated, can't really remember but will try to remember to drink a bit more before next blood test :).

    Thanks for all the links :)!!!!!

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