Enlarged thyroid, or just swollen lymph nodes in the neck? How do you tell the difference?

Depends on location. The thyroid gland resides at the base of the neck on both sides of the trachea (cartilage-encased breathing tube). The neck lymph nodes that can swell up are typically found under the angle of the jaw, directly under the chin, and along the mid neck (along the carotid arteries). A physical exam or ultrasound exam by your doctor can help you distinguish these possibilities.
Examination. Your doctor can tell by examining you. It's a clinical diagnosis.
See a doctor. If a competent thyroid doctor cannot tell by feel he/she can always do or order an ultrasound. See the american thyroid association website to find a thyroid doctor near you.

Related Questions

Are there swollen lymph nodes around an enlarged thyroid?

Need exam. Hard to know what you mean by swollen lymph nodes. These may be enlarged parathyroid glands, they may be lymph nodes draining an inflamed or cancerous thyroid. Sounds like you should see your doctor for a thorough examination.

How should you diagnose swollen lymph nodes and an enlarged thyroid?

A biopsy may be in o. If there is definite enlargment of the thyroid, you need to go see a specialist (endocrinologist) or a ENT doctor who can examine you. If the lymph nodes are related to the thyroid problem a biopsy of the nodes may give us the answer. If the thyroid has any suspicios nodules an ultrsound of this gland can reveal if there may be a possible cancer in it. The size of the enlarged nodes matters in plan.

Multiple HIV negative tests tell 7 months from last exposure, but still many small swollen lymph nodes in neck that are chronic. I'm a smoker?

Not HIV. The HIV blood tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition. If enough time has passed since the last possible exposure (usually only 6 weeks for the modern, standard HIV tests), a negative results always overrules symptoms and exposure history. And of course many minor conditions cause small lymph nodes like this. For sure it's not HIV. Stop testing.

Can cocaine use cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck?

Depends. It is unlikely that the cocaine in and of itself would cause lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy); however, whatever other substances are within the administered drug could very well do so. Use of cocaine is incredibly dangerous, not only for the well known effects and addiction issues, but also because of the co-administered materials "cut" with this drug of abuse.