thyroid problems

  1. I found out last night that my daughter, who is also and RN and BSN, found out that she has a thyroid nodule. They are doing a nuclear test to see if it is benign or malignant. She had an ultrasound earlier this week. She is very scared. They told her if it is CA that they will remove the thyroid and that should take care of it. Has anyone had any experience with this? She is 28 years old and had a baby in June. Had gallbladder trouble all through her pregnancy and had that out. This has not been a good year.
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   kristi915
    My boyfriends mother had her thyroid taken out just last month. She is perfectly fine now and she recovered very quickly. I don't know much about thyroids, but I do know how quick and effective the surgery is. He best bet is to have the thryoid taken out, unless it dosn't cause her any problems...
  4. by   colleen10

    First, I wanted to say that I'm so sorry your daughter is going through all of this. I pray she will be ok.

    I have a 30 year old female friend who just last week had a biopsy done on a thyroid nodule. She got the results back and everything is fine. I recall that her doctor told her nodules are not uncommon and are rarely cancerous. They are more prevalent in women. I think 90% of the time they are benign. At this point they are not going to remove them because they do not pose a risk of becoming cancerous and are not causing any physical or cosmetic problems as they are not very large. Her doctor will continue to monitor them and should become larger I suppose they will consider surgery.

    Also, I believe that just because there is a presence of nodules doesn't mean that you will have problems with the normal function of the thyroid.

    I know dealing with the thyroid can seem scary but I have a number of women in my family that have Thyroid disorders (Grave's Disease, Hyper-thyroidism, Hypo-thyroidism) that have managed their diseases very well and have gone on to lead very happy, healthy, prductive lives and it has not interfered at all with them having more children. I don't believe any of them had their Thyroid removed, but I know of two that had the radiation therapy and came through that with little problem. Most of them, began having Thyroid problems after the birth of their first child.

    Do you have a history of Thyroid Disease/Disorders in your family at all?

    Please take care and stay strong.
    Last edit by colleen10 on Jan 30, '03
  5. by   cpgrn
    No family history. They told her she was hyper-thyroid and she says her symptoms match this diagnosis. She is a little depressed and hungry all the time. She is normal weight - not skinny like you would expect. I have no experience with this - all my work has been in neuro and pediatrics. Thank you for your support.
  6. by   cpgrn
    My daughter just called. She's having her test next week. She won't be able to breastfeed for 8 days. She has enought milk stored in fridge to last that long but she sounds so distraught. I really am worried about her.
  7. by   colleen10
    Hi CPGRN,

    I know this is scary stuff, I had a "hyper-thyroid" scare just last month. My OB/GYN thought I may have a problem but turned out not to be. However, with my family history it is just a matter of time, so I keep my eye on it.

    I have a grandmother on my maternal side and an aunt and uncle on my paternal side that all have Hyper-Thyroidism. It hit all of them very young. mid 20's up to 32. My Aunt was diagnosed with Grave's Disease a few months after the birth of her first child. Pregnancy is often found to be a "pre-cursor" for it.

    All of the people in my family with HypER-Thy. had the classic symptoms. Eratic Behavior/Nervous Energy, weight loss, sleeplessness, etc. It hit them all very quickly so I think your daughter must be lucky to have discovered the problem before the physical symptoms get worse.

    Being a new mom who wouldn't be tired, hungry and maybe just a little depressed. I can see why she may have thought nothing was wrong.

    In my experience, which is just with my family, they usually don't remove the thyroid to treat Hyper-Thyroidism, unless the doctor removes it because of the nodules. It can be treated with medication and I believe by even destroying the thyroid or part of the thyroid to cut down on the production of Thyroid hormones.

    From the research I found when I thought I might have Hyper-Thyroid, the Hyper condition is easier to treat than the Hypo- condition. It sounded to me like the most worrisome problem in treating Hyper is possibly cutting down the production of Thyroid Hormones too much and then becoming Hypo-Thyroid, which as I said above, is harder to treat.

    Another fact I found from a family doctor a few years ago is that Thyroid disorders and Female problems like Endometriosis often go hand in hand. Often, if someone has Endometriosis the doctor will check to see how the Thyroid is functioning as it may be the cause of the Endometriosis. I have never read this anywhere, but in my experience with my family, both my grandmother and aunt had endometriosis and problematic periods and then later were found to be Hyper-Thyroid.

    As I said before. My aunt first started having problems after the birth of her first child and she went on to have two more very healthy children and now that she is 37 she is even talking of having one more. So, you can go on to lead a very healthy life style even with Hyper-thyroid.

    My grandmother was diagnosed with Hypo when she was 32 and she is about 67 now. She was treated with the radiation/iodine (sp?) therapy, which I believe is supposed to destroy the thyroid. She has had a pretty normal life too and no other serious conditions except now that she is older she has problems with high BP, Diabetes, etc. which comes with the territory with age in our family.

    It is scary to think about surgery, medication, etc. but the people in my family really haven't had many problems resulting from the treatment. I am sure she will be ok. It is very scary to think about, just try to stay calm because once the doctors figure out the appropriate treatment, I'm sure she will be just fine.
  8. by   2banurse
    I've been diagnosed with hypothyroid since birth and have been on synthetic hormones (Synthroid) for 20+. I don't know that it is harder to treat but I do find that it needs to be closely monitored (something I haven't been doing as much as I should). Colleen, I found it very interesting about the connection between endometriosis and thyroid disease. I guess I'll need to get that check out as well.

    Hope all goes well with your daughter, cpgrn. My thoughts and prayers is that everything is benign.

  9. by   TNcanNURSE
    My husband had Grave's disease. He had his thyroid radiated and "killed". Now he takes synthroid daily to compensate for not having a thyroid.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but having it surgically remove poses the risk of damage to the parathyroid gland and such. Could cause hypocalcemia and tetany if the parathyroid is damaged.

    I don't know if radiation is an option in her case, but it may be something to look into.
  10. by   nursedawn67
    I have been on Thyroid meds for the last 12 years, my thyroid made the thyroxiine it just didn't put it out, just stored it and made a lump. So I don't if you can really say I was Hypo or not. I never had endometriosis, but did have Cerivcal cancer at the time my thyroid problem was found. But my daughter does have endometriosis, she is only 15.
  11. by   colleen10
    Hi 2B a nurse,

    I thought the connection between the Thyroid and Endometriosis was interesting too. My Step Sister was having very serious problems with Endometriosis and when she was first examined for possible Endometriosis one of the first things the doctor looked at was her Thyroid and if she showed any symptoms of Hyper-Thyroid since she is very skinny to begin with.

    The doctor that examined her works in the same office as my Step-Mom and the doctor explained to both of them that Endometriosis and Thyroid disorder often go hand in hand.

    That was the first time I had ever heard that, but then I thought back to all of the women in my family that had Thyroid problems and all of them did have Endometriosis before or during the time that they were diagnosed with Hyper-Thyroid.

    I have also never read this anywhere either in the research I have conducted for my own benefit. But, I think it is interesting and if you are a woman it's certainly something to keep in mind.
  12. by   cpgrn
    She called tonight. They are going to rerun her unltrasound. It was a nodule vs. an artifact. The blood tests are still abnormal so they will rerun those as well. I'll know something next week.
  13. by   colleen10
    Hi CP,

    Keep us up to date.

    I wanted to let you know that I saw my aunt, the one with Grave's Disease, who is also an RN/BSN, this weekend and I asked her about what she went through. She said that she had all kinds of scans and tests first, one of them was where they measured her urine output for a day or two.

    Then she said she had the radiation iodine (I think that is the correct way to say it) therapy. She said that it was pretty easy. You just drink up the mixture and go home. She didn't have any side affects from it, and most of the time you don't. She did get a little nauseated from it, but she said that was mostly just from nerves and the thought of drinking that stuff.

    She has been on "Synthroid" ever since. She did say that she wasn't able to nurse her son after it and for about 5-8 days she could not go any closer to her son than about an "arms length). That made it very difficult to care for him so my grandmother stayed with her during those days to take care of the baby.

    She also said she was told by a nurse that the reason they don't remove your thyroid but instead "destroy" it with the radiation is because it is very risky to operate on that area of your neck. You run the risk of severing or injuring the nerves that lead to your face and head.

    One more thing she said was that she made sure she went to a well renowned hospital (for this type of therapy) in our area for them to "mix" the radiation iodine. It's a little tricky because you want a very accurate dosage.

    I wish you all the best and let us know how you guys are holding up.

  14. by   cpgrn
    My daughter called tonight. She made them rerun all her tests, blood work, ultrasound, everything. They all came back normal. She said she was sick the first time they ran the tests. Could that affect her tsh level? She hasn't talked to the doctor yet so we don't know what he'll say but this is good news. I hope everything is ok and I'll just wait to see what they say. She was worried because she had been sick and then they mentioned that nodule vs. artifact thing and she started asking questions. That's when they agreed to rerun the tests.