Thyroid Nodules & Pregnancy: What to Expect and Health
Expecting moms often have many questions and worries about their health. They may be facing unfamiliar issues that come with pregnancy, such as thyroid disorders. Having the right information can help them cope with this and make sure they stay healthy.
Thyroid nodules commonly show up during pregnancy or soon after. They are lumps or growths that develop in the thyroid, which is located in the neck area near your Adam’s apple. These are usually benign, and may cause no symptoms, but should always be monitored.
What Causes Thyroid Nodules?
The exact cause of thyroid nodules can vary, but most are due to a genetic predisposition. They are more common in women and tend to present more often as we age. Other factors can include iodine deficiency, smoking, and radiation exposure.
Signs & Symptoms
In many cases, a thyroid nodule may not cause any symptoms or may be too small to be noticed. It is important to keep an eye out for changes in the neck area and consult with your physician if you feel any kind of lump or fullness. Other symptoms may include pain in the neck area, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing.
Testing and Diagnosis
If your doctor suspects you might have a thyroid nodule, a few different tests may be ordered. Thyroid function testing will measure the levels of hormones produced by the thyroid. Imaging tests like an ultrasound, CT scan, or PET scan can also be used to detect, size, and monitor nodules.
In many cases, no treatment may be needed as the nodules may be harmless and not grow. If they are causing a problem or they appear to be growing, several treatments may be recommended. Medication, radiofrequency ablation, surgery, and other interventions may be used to manage the nodules.
Pregnant women with thyroid nodules should be monitored carefully. The additional hormones in the body during pregnancy can cause changes or growth in some nodules. Speak with your doctor if you think you have a thyroid nodule, and make sure to follow their monitoring instructions.
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