GHealth A - Z

Goiter Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is goiter?

Goiter is a condition when the thyroid gland tends to become abnormally enlarge. The shape of thyroid gland is like a butterfly and is positioned at the bottom of your neck below the Adam’s apple. Even though the condition is usually painless, yet larger goiter may cause cough whilst raising breathing and swallowing difficulties.

What causes goiter has a common answer worldwide. Consuming diet which lacks iodine can trigger goiter. The treatment depends upon the underlying cause, goiter’s size and symptoms. Small goiters which are not obvious, causing no problem will not require any treatment in majority cases.

What are the symptoms of goiter?

Well, not every goiter causes symptoms. However when they occur, they can include:

  • Obvious swelling right at the bottom of your neck.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Coughing.
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing.
  • You may feel tightness in the throat.

What are the causes of goiter?

Few causes that can trigger goiter are:

  • Iodine deficiency: consuming a diet that lack iodine can trigger goiter, since iodine is important for the thyroid hormones production.
  • Graves’ disease: Sometimes, goiter can occur at the time when thyroid gland makes excessive thyroid hormone. Particularly in the Grave’s disease, the antibodies which are produced by the immune system wrongly attack the thyroid gland, consequently, making it produce too much thyroxine. Such over stimulation tends to cause your thyroid to actually swell.
  • Multinodular goiter: particularly, in such a condition, many liquid-filled or solid lumps named as nodules tend to develop in both the thyroid sides, thus, causing overall gland enlargement.
  • Hashimoto’s disease: the underactive thyroid can too, result goiter. Hashimo disease, similar to Grave’s disease, is the autoimmune disorder. However, instead causing the thyroid to produce excessive hormone, Hashimoto’s tend to damage the thyroid causing it produce very little.
  • Pregnancy: HCG, the hormone that is produced during the pregnancy, can cause slightly enlarge thyroid gland.

Furthermore the conditions such as solitary thyroid nodules, thyroiditis and thyroid cancer, can also trigger goiter.

What are the risk factors for goiters?

Goiter can target anyone, though the condition is more common among individuals above 40 years of age. Few risk factors include:

  • A diet that lacks iodine.
  • Increasing age.
  • Being female.
  • Pregnancy plus menopause.
  • Particular medications.
  • Radiation exposure.

What are the complications of goiter?

Large goiters, unlike the small goiters can cause hoarseness and cough, whilst triggering swallowing and breathing difficulties.

How is goiter diagnosed?

Thorough examination of the neck can help the doctor notice enlarged thyroid gland. Diagnosing the condition can also involve:

  • Hormone test.
  • Antibody test.
  • Ultrasonography.
  • Thyroid scan.
  • Biopsy.

How is goiter treated?

In case the goiter is small and is causing no problems or difficulties, then your doctor will suggest you the wait and watch approach. On the other hand, the treatments for large goiters depend upon the symptoms, goiter’s size and the basic cause of developing goiters. However, the treatment options can include:

  • Medications.
  • Surgery.
  • Radioactive iodine.

By : Natural Health News

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