Goiter and Thyroid

Goiter and Thyroid

What is a goiter?

A goiter is the abnormal growth of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck just below Adam’s apple.

A goiter may occur from abnormal cell proliferation that causes one or more lumps in the thyroid or it may be an overall enlargement of the thyroid. It can also be associated with an increase or decrease in thyroid hormones.

These hormones play a significant role in certain bodily functions such as Metabolism, Body temperature, Digestion, Pulse, and heart rate.

Symptoms

Goiter can range from very small to seemingly large in size. The majority of goiters are harmless, however, they can be painful if you have thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland).

The main symptoms of goiter include:

  • A lump in the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple.
  • A feeling of tightness in your throat area.
  • Hoarseness (scratchy voice).
  • Neck vein swelling.
  • Dizziness when you raise your arms above your head.

Some people who have goiter may suffer from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include Rapid heart rate, Weight loss, Diarrhea, Agitation, etc.

Some people with goiter may also suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Symptoms of hypothyroidism include Fatigue, Constipation, Dry skin, Weight gain, etc.

Types of Goiter

Since there are many factors that can make your thyroid swell, goiters can be classified in a few different ways. Some of them are:

Simple goiters: This type of goiter happen when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones. The thyroid grows larger to make up for this.

Endemic goiters: Also known as colloid goiters, these are caused by a lack of iodine in your diet. The thyroid gland uses iodine to make its hormones.

Nodular goiter: This type of goiter happens when a solid or fluid-filled lump called a nodule develops within your thyroid and makes it feel lumpy.

Multinodular goiters: This type of goiter usually happens when lumps called nodules to grow in your thyroid.

Sporadic or nontoxic goiters: This type of goiter usually have no known cause. Certain drugs and medical conditions can trigger them.

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