Enlargement of thyroid gland is called as Goiter(Non Toxic)

Thyroid is a gland situated in neck. It increases in size as a result of excessive replication of Thyroid cells.

The goiter is diffuse in initial stages and later changes to nodular in appearance due to unequal growth in various areas.

Why does it occur?
Goiter could be due deficiency in production of thyroid hormone because of deficiency of iodine in the diet or some agents called as goitrogens, Medications or genetic defects in thyroid hormone synthesis.

What happens if left Untreated?
Patient may notice a swelling in the neck during routine physical examination, or pain due to sudden hemorrhage in a nodule

In advanced disease, Goiter can cause compression of neck structures of such as trachea and oesophagus and give rise to difficulty in swallowing / breathing , cough and feeling of fullness in the neck.

Risk of malignancy should be considered in Nodular goiters.

How do we treat Thyroid goiter?

  • In Iodine deficient areas, iodine replacement has to be given to the patient.
  • Thyroxine replacement in sporadic Goiters can be tried under proper monitoring of thyroid hormones.
  • Surgical treatment for large goiters is necessary to prevent compression of other structures.

What is a Toxic Goiter?
Sometimes Thyroid gland enlarges and becomes hyperactive secreting excessive thyroid hormone. This can cause symptoms such as weight loss, Anxiety, palpitations, sleeplessness, excessive sweating etc.

How is this condition treated?
Multiple strategies are available . After thorough analysis of the patient appropriate alternative is chosen

  • Medicines to reduce thyroid hormone secretion can be tried but permanent cure is obtained only in few patients.
  • Surgically by removing functional mass of thyroid tissue.
  • Administration of radioactive iodine and destruction of thyroid tissue.