A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland, and it may be diffuse or nodular.
Abnormal growth may cause a variety of compressive syndromes. Thyroid function may be normal (nontoxic goiter), overactive (toxic goiter), or underactive (hypothyroid goiter).
Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it difficult for you to swallow or breathe.
A number of factors can cause your thyroid gland to enlarge. Among the most common are:
- Iodine deficiency. Iodine, which is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, Lack of dietary iodine is the main cause of goiter
- Graves' disease. Goiter can sometimes occur when your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). In Graves' disease, antibodies produced by your immune system mistakenly attack your thyroid gland, causing it to produce excess thyroxine. This overstimulation causes the thyroid to swell.
- Hashimoto's disease. Goiter can also result from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder. But instead of causing your thyroid to produce too much hormone,
- Multinodular goiter. In this condition, several solid or fluid-filled lumps called nodules develop in both sides of your thyroid, resulting in overall enlargement of the gland.
- Solitary thyroid nodules. In this case, a single nodule develops in one part of your thyroid gland. Most nodules are noncancerous (benign) and don't lead to cancer.
- Inflammation. Thyroiditis is an inflammatory condition that can cause pain and swelling in the thyroid.
Not all goiters cause signs and symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur they may include:
A visible swelling at the base of your neck that may be particularly obvious when you shave or put on makeup
- A tight feeling in your throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
A goiter only needs to be treated if it is causing symptoms. Homeopathy medicines works well in goiter
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