Monitor the health of your community here

What Are the Causes of One Side of a Thyroid Becoming Enlarged?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located just under the skin at the base of the neck that regulates the body's energy rate, including heart pulse and blood pressure. The thyroid can become enlarged for many reasons, including production of too much or too little thyroid hormone, reports MayoClinic.com 12. Enlargement on just one side, however, is usually suggestive of a few conditions, including a nodule or cancer.

Thyroid Cyst

A thyroid cyst is filled with fluid and ranges in size from less than one third of an inch to over an inch, according to MayoClinic.com 12. Most are benign, although complex cysts, which have solid parts too, are more likely to be cancerous.

Solitary Colloid Nodule

What Does a High TSH Level Mean?

Learn More

A single colloid nodule, which is overgrowth of normal tissue, can appear on one side of the neck, reports MayoClinic.com 12. Colloid nodules are benign and do not spread outside of the thyroid gland 2.

Inflammatory Nodule

Rarely, an inflammatory nodule may develop on one side of the neck. It can be caused by chronic swelling of the thyroid gland or be set off by pregnancy, which is called postpartum thyroiditis, reports MayoClinic.com 12.

Thyroid Cancer

The Pituitary & Weight Loss

Learn More

Thyroid cancer, which is rare, usually appears as a separate lump within the thryoid gland, reports EndocrineWeb.com 3. Unlike other causes of thyroid swelling, it typically appears as an enlargement on just one side of the thyroid, reports MayoClinic.com 12. The lump is hard and may grow quickly. It can cause hoarseness and difficult swallowing. The lymph nodes near the neck or jaw may be swollen too.

  • Thyroid cancer, which is rare, usually appears as a separate lump within the thryoid gland, reports EndocrineWeb.com 3.
  • The lymph nodes near the neck or jaw may be swollen too.
×