What is it?

The term Goiter refers to a swelling of the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland
The Thyroid is a gland located at the middle of your neck, below Adam’s apple. It produces a hormone called Thyroid Hormone. Goiter can manifest with a high, low or normal functioning Thyroid.
Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of Goiter world-wide. In iodine-rich countries (like the united states) the most common causes are auto-immune, inflammatory, or unknown.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Goitre

Signs & symptoms

most often Goiter appears without any signs or symptoms. You may sometimes feel a swelling at the middle of the neck.
You may experience symptoms resulting from the enlargement of the thyroid gland- difficulty swallowing or breathing, coughing or hoarseness.


Physical exam: your doctor will exam your thyroid gland and ask you about sign of overactive or underactive thyroid gland such as excessive sweating, hair loss, weight gain or loss and rapid heartbeat.
Blood tests:
Thyroid function tests- TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 (thyroid hormone)
Ultrasound of your gland
Thyroid scan: usually when the thyroid is hyperactive.


The treatment may include:
- Watchful waiting- if your thyroid function is normal and you can breathe and eat normally.
- Medication to balance the thyroid function and to treat the underlying cause if possible
- Surgery if the swelling interferes with your breathing or swallowing
- Radioactive iodine- you will swallow a pill that contains radioactive iodine that will travel to your thyroid and destroy it.
Many Goiters will disappear with treatment, other may evolve over time and will need further evaluation.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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