What is a Goiter?
When the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, a Goiter appears in the neck as a lump or swelling. The thyroid gland is found in the front of the throat just below Adam’s apple. It is possible for a Goiter to be smooth or nodular and is often painless. Some people with Goiter may have a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, or a feeling of tightness in the throat.
What are the types of Goiter?
There are several different types of Goiter, each with its unique symptoms and causes. The most common type of Goiter is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is caused by an autoimmune response that leads to inflammation and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Other kinds of Goiter include Graves’ disease, toxic multinodular Goiter, and simple Goiter. Each type of Goiter requires a different approach to treatment.
What causes Goiter?
The common cause of Goiter is iodine deficiency. But several other causes include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Radiation therapy
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Thyroid cancer
What are the symptoms of Goiter?
Goiters exhibit many symptoms based on their size and cause. Some common symptoms include:
- A feeling of fullness or tightness in the neck
- Hoarseness or a change in voice quality
- Difficulty swallowing and sweating.
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness when the arms are raised
How is Goiter diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a Goiter begins with a physical examination. The best endocrinologist in Mumbai will look for swelling in the front of the neck and will feel for any lumps or nodules in the thyroid gland. If the doctor suspects that you have a Goiter, then you may order some additional tests that include:
- Hormone test: The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. A Goiter can be diagnosed by measuring the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood. High levels of these hormones may indicate that the thyroid is not working correctly.
- Antibody test: This blood test detects abnormal antibodies produced by your body if you are predisposed to autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Thyroid ultrasound: Thyroid ultrasound is a diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the thyroid gland. A thyroid ultrasound can also help determine the size and shape of the thyroid gland, as well as identify any nodules or cysts.
- MRI or CT scan: A chest imaging test may be necessary if your Goiter has spread to the chest or is very large.
- Biopsy: A needle is inserted into the thyroid gland to obtain a sample of tissue or fluid. Further tests are performed on the specimen, including examination under a microscope.
Treatment for a Goiter depends on the underlying cause. For example, if iodine deficiency is causing the Goiter, then supplemental iodine may be prescribed by the best endocrinologist in Mumbai. If a tumor or infection is causing the Goiter, then treatment typically includes surgery or antibiotics. Other treatment options may include:
Medications: Different medications can be used to treat Goiter. The most common medication used to treat a Goiter is thionamide. It helps decrease the size of the Goiter by blocking the production of thyroid hormones.
Home care: In some cases, home care may be effective in treating Goiter. Home care includes iodine supplements if necessary and avoiding foods that contain large amounts of iodine.
In conclusion, Goiter is a condition with many causes and symptoms. It can be diagnosed through a physical exam and imaging tests and then treated with medication or surgery. If you experience any symptoms of Goiter, please see the best endocrinologist in Mumbai for diagnosis and treatment.