It is always an advantage to know the cause of a thyroid goiter so it can be treated properly and accordingly. Scroll down and learn the different causes of goiter!
What Causes Thyroid Goiter? How Does The Swelling Occur
A thyroid goiter is a condition where the thyroid gland increase in size. The most recognizable and obvious sign of a goiter is a lump in the neck area. It may feel tender to touch and a person with such condition may have difficulty in swallowing and breathing. A goiter can happen as an outcome of various maladies often associated with over and under-function of the thyroid gland. It can happen to anyone but it is more common in women. Below are the frequent factors that can cause the thyroid gland to enlarge.
1. Iodine Deficiency
Iodine deficiency is the primary cause of goiters and other thyroid disorders. Our body needs iodine in order to make thyroid hormones. It controls the body’s metabolism and plays a crucial role in influencing the function of vital organs such as the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin. Our bodies can’t produce iodine – this is why it is an essential part of our diet. It is commonly found in sea vegetables, beans, dairy products, fish, etc. When we don’t have enough iodine, the thyroid works harder to produce thyroid hormone. This scenario can cause the gland to swell and goiter will develop.
2. Hashimoto’s Disease
Hashimoto’s Disease occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone. It will cause hypothyroidism. And sensing a low level of hormone, our pituitary gland creates more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to stimulate the thyroid which can cause the gland to enlarge.
3. Graves’ Disease
Also known as toxic diffuse goiter, Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease which commonly occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of hormone causing hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the antibodies built by our immune system falsely attack the thyroid gland and forcing it to produce too much thyroxine. This overstimulation of hormone will cause the thyroid to balloon.
Thyroid nodules are solid or liquid-filled lumps or cysts that form within your thyroid and cause it to swell. A vast majority of nodules are not serious and don’t show any symptoms. You may not notice it until your doctor discovers it during a medical examination. But you don’t have to worry because more often than not, they are non-cancerous. However, thyroid nodules can be huge enough to be visible and give a patient with such condition of difficulties in swallowing and breathing.
5. Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer can cause enlargement on one side of the gland. This disease can occur when abnormal cells begin to grow in the thyroid gland. It is far less common than benign thyroid nodules. The majority of the people who have it cope extremely well because it can be detected early and treatment works fine. A biopsy of the nodule is an accurate way of determining if it is cancerous.
— The Thyroid Diet (@DietThyroid) October 7, 2016
Pregnancy has a great impact on the thyroid gland and its function. Human chronic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced during pregnancy. This can cause the thyroid gland to swell slightly. The thyroid can also go down throughout pregnancy due to high levels of estrogen and can block the thyroid.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland which causes the gland to swell. This condition may also cause an under or overproduction of thyroxine. During the course of this condition, cells in the thyroid become very inefficient in the conversion of iodine into thyroid hormones and they compensate by swelling.
Watch this video and learn more about the symptoms and treatment for thyroid goiter!
Thyroid goiter has different types that can greatly affect our metabolism, heart rate, digestion, respiration, and mood. So it is right to know and understand what causes this thyroid disorder. Awareness regarding this kind of condition is a strong leverage in order for us to counteract and cure this disease. Don’t hesitate to do some research and ask your physician about it before it worsens.
Do you know other causes of thyroid goiter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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