An enlarged thyroid, also called a goiter, occurs when the thyroid gland, which is located in the front part of the base of the neck, increases in size.
A goiter can be caused by a number of conditions including underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones, Graves’ disease, inflammation of the thyroid, also called Hashimoto’s disease, and thyroid cancer. However, many cases of enlarged thyroid occur due to iodine deficiency. This leads to the underproduction of thyroid hormones and ultimately to an enlarged thyroid.
A goiter affects more females than males, especially those in their thirties and forties. You probably have a goiter if you have a number of the following 10 enlarged thyroid symptoms.
Symptom #1: Tightness in the Throat
The location of the thyroid gland in front of the neck makes it easily noticeable in case of an overgrowth. Because of swelling, the thyroid gland can press against the windpipe, also known as the trachea, and cause breathing difficulty. Tightness in the throat may develop progressively over a period of time.
Since the windpipe and food pipe, otherwise called epiglottis, are found near each other, the swelling due to a goiter can lead to difficulties in swallowing as well. When these symptoms appear, they are a strong indicator of a thyroid disorder and medical attention should be sought. Additionally, thyroid-related swellings can occur among patients receiving radiation therapy around the neck.