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Thyroid Problems (cont.)

Thyroid Nodules and Goiter Signs and Symptoms

  • The only sign of goiter or nodule is an enlargement in the lower part of the front part of the neck. This enlargement is often not painful or bothersome.
  • When the nodule or goiter becomes large, there can be pressure on the surrounding normal structures in the neck including the esophagus (swallowing tube), trachea (breathing tube) and the blood vessels that bring blood to and from the head. A common symptom is feeling a constant pressure in the front of the neck that is worse when the head is tilted down. This pressure on the breathing tube (trachea) may cause a small, dry cough that can be constant and worsens when lying down. The pressure on the swallowing tube (esophagus) may be noticed as difficulty in swallowing large pills or dry food such as bread and rice with the food "getting stuck" in the lower part of the front of the neck. Rarely, this pressure can damage the nerve that controls the voice box, causing hoarseness of the voice.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/16/2012
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