What Are Goiters and How Do They Relate to Your Thyroid Gland?

Of the various ailments an endocrinologist treats, thyroid issues are among the most common. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland on both sides of the front of the neck, just below Adam’s apple. It’s one of the single most important hormone-producing glands in the endocrine system, responsible for creating chemicals that regulate the body’s metabolism, digestion, bone maintenance, heart rate, and other autonomous functions.

Thyroid goiters are lumps or enlargements of the thyroid itself and can be indicative of serious thyroid issues. If you find yourself with unexpected lumps or swelling on the front of your neck, it could be a goiter – and if so, you may need to seek treatment for thyroid disorders or at least have it checked out by a doctor.


Understanding Thyroid Goiters

There are a couple different types of goiters that can form on the thyroid. The most common is also a symptom of Grave’s Disease, in which the entire thyroid becomes notably enlarged. Grave’s Disease is among the most common thyroid ailments, and a prime cause of hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid over-produces hormones. This can cause several symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, attention-deficiency, and dangerously-fast weight loss.

Another common variety of goiter is called a toxic nodular goiter. Rather than the entire thyroid enlarging, this involves one or more distinct nodules forming on the surface of the thyroid – almost like a wart, under the skin. There are also signs of hyperthyroidism.

However, a nodule by itself is not necessarily dangerous. There are also nontoxic nodules which can form spontaneously due to a legitimate need for increased thyroid activity, which go away on their own once the job is done.

Finally, goiters called sporadic goiters can also be caused by certain foods – or lack thereof. In most cases, these are harmless or at worst suggest a more varied diet is needed. Foods known to promote sporadic goiters include peaches, cabbage, spinach, soybeans, and peanuts. In addition, a lack of iodine in the diet can lead to goiters, but this is rarely an issue because so many modern processed foods include added iodine to prevent iodine deficiencies.

Need Treatment for Thyroid Problems? Freeman Endocrinology Can Help!

In short, a thyroid goiter may or may not be a sign of trouble – but it’s best not to take chances. If you have goiters, contact Freeman Endocrinology for a check-up!


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