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QUESTION

Are cysts in the thyroid normal?

DRS. RICHARD AND KARILEE SHAMES ANSWER

Generally a person with autoimmune (Hashimoto's ) thyroiditis, multiple cysts in various parts of the thyroid gland pose no threat whatsoever, and should simply be monitored periodically. The best treatment for the nodules seems to be optimal treatment of the thyroid condition, and optimal reduction of its symptoms.

Many practitioners feel that nodules and sometimes cysts, both byproducts of the autoimmune process, are best handled by what is called TSH suppression. This means that the patient takes enough medicine so that the TSH level is at the very low end of the normal range, or just below. Without much stimulation of the thyroid gland (because TSH levels are low and therefore not stimulating the gland) it has a chance to be somewhat quiescent, getting a rest and begin to repair itself. (August, 2002)

(Important note: All thyroid nodules should be evaluated and treated by your physician. For more information, see the article: Thyroid Nodules, Lumps, Enlarged Thyroid, Goiter.)

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Dr. Richard Shames has practiced for over 30 years, written and lectured widely on thyroid-related topics, and is considered an expert in the field. He practices in San Rafael, CA. Karilee Shames has been an assistant professor of nursing, and has led thyroid support groups for many years. In addition to writing their popular book, Thyroid Power, they are regular contributors to Thyroid-Info.com, and provide a service offering thyroid coaching education sessions to consumers nationwide by telephone. For more information, see their site, www.Thyroidpower.com.

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