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Enlargement of the thyroid gland usually caused by lack of iodine in the diet, hyperthyroidism, or thyroid nodules. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing and swallowing.

Symptoms of Goiter

The following features are indicative of Goiter:
  • visible swelling at the base of neck
  • tight feeling in throat
  • coughing
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing

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Common Causes of Goiter

The following are the most common causes of Goiter:
  • iodine deficiency
  • autoimmune problem
  • medicines like lithium, amiodarone
  • cigarette smoking
  • foods like soy, peanuts, vegetables in the broccoli and cabbage family

Other Causes of Goiter

The following are the less common causes of Goiter:
  • toxic nodular goiter
  • people over age 40
  • hereditary
  • women

Risk Factors for Goiter

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Goiter:
  • lack of dietary iodine
  • female
  • after age 40
  • medical history
  • pregnancy and menopause
  • radiation exposure

Prevention of Goiter

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Goiter. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • add iodine to commonly used foods

Occurrence of Goiter

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Goiter cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Goiter can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Goiter can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Goiter

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Goiter:
  • Hormone test: To determine the amount of hormones produced by thyroid and pituitary glands
  • Antibody test: To confirm the presence of these antibodies
  • Ultrasonography: To form images of neck and back
  • Thyroid scan: To produces an image of thyroid
  • Biopsy: To obtain a tissue or fluid sample for testing

Doctor for Diagnosis of Goiter

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Goiter:
  • Endocrinologist

Complications of Goiter if untreated

Yes, Goiter causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Goiter is left untreated:
  • difficulty in breathing
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • cough
  • hoarseness
  • hyperthyroidism
  • weight gain

Procedures for Treatment of Goiter

The following procedures are used to treat Goiter:
  • Surgery: To remove all or part of thyroid gland
  • Radioactive iodine: To treat an overactive thyroid gland

Self-care for Goiter

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Goiter:
  • Get enough iodine: Use iodized salt or eat seafood or seaweed
  • Avoid excess iodine consumption: Sometimes leads to a goiter

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Goiter

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Goiter:
  • Massage therapy: Controls the thyroid hormone release
  • Yoga: Regulates the thyroid hormone secretion

Time for Treatment of Goiter

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Goiter to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Goiter.

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