Thyroid Health

Why do I have Thyroid Nodules?

Thyroid nodules are overgrowths of thyroid cells that form a lump within the thyroid gland10. Nodules are common entities in the thyroid and most of the time, they are harmless and do not produce any symptoms. In fact, according to American Thyroid Association (ATA), only 40% of the patients with thyroid nodules exhibit some level of symptoms1. The precise cause of most thyroid nodules remains unknown. Today, we are going to cover some medical conditions that are associated with the development of thyroid nodules.

Risk Factors for Thyroid Nodules

  • Gender: Women are more likely to have thyroid nodules than men. In fact, 1/8 of women will develop some form of thyroid disease during their lifetime1.
  • Age: The likelihood of getting thyroid nodules increases as you age.
  • Family History: Other family members with thyroid conditions increases your chance of getting thyroid disease.
  • Radiation Exposure: Prior exposure to radiation from medical treatment to the head and neck area may increase your chance of developing nodules.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Thyroid Nodules

The underlying cause of everyone’s thyroid nodule varies. Below are several conditions that are associated with nodular development in your thyroid gland.

Thyroid Hyperplasia (Goiter)

Diffuse thyroid hyperplasia is the enlargement of the thyroid gland due to an increase in the reproduction rate of the thyroid tissue. Enlargement of the thyroid gland is also known as goiter. Thyroid hyperplasia accounts for 80% of all nodular thyroid disease13. It has many causes including iodine deficiency and thyroid autoimmune diseases13. The goiter could result in:

  • Hyperthyroid: overproduction of thyroid hormones
  • Euthyroid: normal production of thyroid hormone
  • Hypothyroid: underproduction of thyroid hormone

Thyroid Adenoma

Thyroid adenomas are benign lesions (tumors) of the thyroid gland. They account for 5-10% of all nodular disease of the thyroid13. About less than 10% of thyroid adenomas are hyper-functional with the overproduction of thyroid hormone causing the nodules to be toxic (hyperthyroidism)13. The majority of thyroid adenoma functions normally, producing a normal level of thyroid hormone (euthyroid)13.

Autoimmune Diseases

There are two autoimmune conditions that can predispose (cause) a thyroid gland to develop thyroid nodules: Hashimoto Disease and Grave’s Disease. Both conditions can associate with goiter as a result of an underactive or overactive thyroid.

Hashimoto Disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland causing inflammation (thyroiditis). As a result, the ability of the thyroid gland to produce hormones becomes reduced and this leads to a condition called hypothyroidism. In an average person, thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are required for many vital bodily functions such as metabolism. Hence, reduced production of thyroid hormones slows down many bodily functions, causing a range of undesired symptoms that are associated with the body having too little energy.

Grave’s Disease is another autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing overproduction of the thyroid hormone. This condition is known as hyperthyroidism. Increased thyroid hormone production causes symptoms that are associated with the body having too much energy.

Thyroid Cancer

Lastly, malignancy (cancer) is the most unwanted cause for any thyroid nodules, and they occur in 5-10% of all thyroid nodules<sup>12</sup>. There are several types of thyroid cancer including Papillary Cancer (PTC), Follicular Cancer (FTC), Medullary Cancer (MTC), and Anaplastic Cancer (ATC). Most thyroid cancers respond well to treatment with a good prognosis rate, though some very rare thyroid cancer can be aggressive13. Thyroid nodules are very common entities and according to ATA, about 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid diseases1. Fortunately, most thyroid nodules are asymptomatic and benign. To learn more about your thyroid issues, speak to a specialist today! #thyroidnodule #Hashimotos #Graves #Hyperthyroidism #Hypothyroidism

General Information/Press Room. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

Goiter – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Graves. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Hashimoto. American Thyroid Association. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Hashimoto. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Hypothyroidism – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Hyperthyroidism – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

RFA For Life: Treatment of Benign Thyroid Nodules. RFA for Life. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Thyroid Nodules | American Thyroid Association. American Thyroid Association. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Thyroid Nodule: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Thyroid nodules – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from

Types of Thyroid Nodules & Cancers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2021, from,several%20types%20of%20thyroid%20cancer”.

Rumack, C. M., Wilson, S. R., & Charboneau, J. W. (2005). Diagnostic ultrasound. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From Our Blogs

Important Safety Information / Disclaimer
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if STARmed Thyroid RFA is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision. Individual results may vary, testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. All testimonials are from real patients, and may not reflect the typical patient’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.
Registered trademarks of TaeWoong Medical USA or their respective owners.

The VIVA Combo RF Ablation System and star RF Electrode are intended for use in percutaneous and intraoperative coagulation and ablation of tissue.

There is a risk that error may result due to the radiofrequency current on patients who have pacemakers and other active implants. Do not use the radiofrequency lesion generator and electrode on these patients.
The following types of complications may result due to the use of the radiofrequency lesion generator and electrode.
– Tumor recurrence
– Burn due to the over-heating of the the surgical equipment
– Dangerous situation due to the unskilled equipment control
– Cross-infection or complications due to the re-use of the inappropriate electrode
– Ascites/diarrhea
– Bleeding of the coagulated part
– Ventricular fibrillation
– Weakness of liver functions
– Symptoms after RFA treatment includes (abdominal) pain, fever, nausea, headache, right shoulder joint pain and chest discomfort might occur

Physician Finder

You are taking a big step by exploring your treatment options. You are not alone. Many other people were searching for the same answers too. Many of these individuals chose RFA.