Goiter

Friday, May 30, 2014

Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that in some cases produces visible swelling in the neck. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about goiters in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Goiter is an abnormal enlargement of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below your Adams apple.

Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and make it difficult for you to swallow or breathe.

The most common cause of goiter worldwide is a lack of iodine in the diet. In the United States, where the use of iodized salt is common, a goiter is more often due to the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones or to nodules that develop in the gland itself.

Not all goiters cause signs and symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur they may include:

Visible swelling at the base of your neck

A tight feeling in your throat

Coughing

Hoarseness

Difficulty swallowing, and

Difficulty breathing

Treatment depends on the size of the goiter, your symptoms and the underlying cause. Small goiters that arent noticeable and dont cause problems usually dont need treatment.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.