All You Should Know about Goiter

Asian lady woman patient have abnormal enlargement of thyroid gland Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) at the throat : healthy strong medical concept

Most people know goiter as a swelling at the base of your neck, but there is more to it. The swelling is due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. A goiter may present symptoms, while in some cases, it might not have. Sometimes the goiter is small and noticeable only through a medical evaluation.  Goiter Newport Beach specialist Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, provides thorough diagnosis and treatments of thyroid disorders, including goiter. This blog post will help you understand what goiter is, how it occurs, and available treatments.

What is a goiter?

A goiter is a form of thyroid disease that causes the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Usually, the thyroid gland has two lobes and is found at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that assist in various body processes and enhances proper body function.

A goiter occurs as a symptom of various health conditions. Some thyroid disorders that cause goiter include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or cancer.

What is thyroid disease?

It involves any condition that alters the function or structure of a thyroid gland. Thyroid disease affects the production of thyroid hormones, low or high thyroid hormone production. It affects people of all ages.

What are the symptoms of goiter?

The swelling at the base of the neck usually defines a goiter. The symptoms of poor thyroid function may also indicate goiter. You may notice the swelling yourself or through a medical evaluation.

When goiter results from hyperthyroidism or overproduction of thyroid hormones, it may lead to weight loss, excessive sweating, diarrhea, and anxiety.

Goiter related to hypothyroidism or low production of thyroid hormones can cause facial swelling, weight gain, constipation, fatigue, and a slow pulse rate.

When should you seek medical attention?

It is essential to see a doctor if you have swelling in your neck, pain, or behavioral or weight changes. Your provider conducts a thorough medical evaluation and may refer you to an endocrinologist.

What causes goiter?

Goiter may occur due to different causes associated with various factors. You may develop goiter from smoking, nutritional, hormonal, genetic factors, and radiation exposure. These factors determine the type and risk of goiter you may get.

Diagnosis and treatment of goiter

It is critical to find medical attention immediately after you notice the warning signs. Your provider conducts a comprehensive diagnosis, including biological tests, radiology exams, X-rays, and MRIs, to help develop a customized treatment.

Goiter treatments depend on the cause. They may include medications or surgery, while some goiters only require observation.

Thyroid medication helps reduce hormone secretion and restore the size of the goiter. Iodine-131 therapy reduces the size of large goiters. Your provider may also recommend partial or total removal of the thyroid gland.

You can prevent goiter formation by ensuring you have adequate iodine in your body. You may increase your iodine quantity by using iodide tablets or iodized slats.

Contact Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, today to schedule your consultation and learn more about goiter.

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