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Simple goiter occurs when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged. It can occur without any specific cause or by the emergence of thyroid problems.
This condition requires a medical treatment because the symptoms can lead to serious complications, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The most characteristic symptom of the disease is the appearance of a bump in the throat, caused by enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Sometimes the simple goiter can grow seemingly without cause, and another time, indicating problems in the functioning of the thyroid gland, which then begins to swell to a larger size, trying to produce more hormones, in order to match the amount the body needs.
The causes of simple goiter
In most cases, the causes of disease are not known, because the thyroid, is still functioning normally and there are no symptoms. Patients whose thyroid gland stops producing adequate amounts of hormones, it begins to enlarge to support the body’s need.
One of the causes of disturbances in hormonal may be the lack of adequate amounts of iodine, which is essential to our body in the production of thyroid hormones. Despite the lack of clear reasons, enlargement of the thyroid gland in the form of disease, doctors mention about some major risk factors:
- lack of products with the addition of iodine to the diet,
- use of medication with lithium and aminoglutethimide,
- age over 40 years
- people with pre-existing problems with simple goiter.
Regardless of the cause, you should consult with a doctor emergence of simple goiter, because it can cause some damage to the body.
The symptoms of simple goiter
The first, most visible symptom, is swelling of the thyroid gland. This may be a small bump or extensive swelling of the neck. Some people suffering from simple goiter experience symptoms of hypothyroidism as hard stools, constipation, general fatigue, joint pain, sadness, depression, fatigue, weight gain, hoarseness, swelling of the face and the like.
There are rare cases of pressure on the trachea or esophagus, which further revealed in problems with breathing, coughing, hoarseness or problems with swallowing.
The diagnosis and treatment of simple goiter
Simple goiter, like many other diseases, is diagnosed by screening and organoleptic tests. Later, are executed blood tests – which will assess the impact of disease on the production of thyroid hormones. In the case of suspicion of cancer, it is recommended to make additional tests like thyroid scan, ultrasound or biopsy.
Depending on the situation, some cases do not require treatment, and the body by itself deal with simple goiter. In more serious situations – where the simple goiter interferes the thyroid function and functioning of the whole body, it is necessary to use hormone therapy. When there is a threat to health or life, the operation becomes necessary.
Among the treatments for simple goiter are:
- a hormonal treatment supporting the thyroid gland
- radioactive iodine,
- surgical removal of the gland in whole or in part.
The prevention of disease is mainly based on small changes in the diet, such as enriching in iodine – for example in the form iodized salt.