What Is a Goiter?

By kara
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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When a part of the body becomes abnormally enlarged or inflamed, it is important to stop, take note, and determine whether it is a health issue that should concern you. Should you discover an enlargement in your neck just below the Adam’s apple, it could be a goiter. This condition occurs when your thyroid gland enlarges due to various circumstances. While it can cause a number of issues with your thyroid’s ability to perform basic functions, the size of the goiter itself can also act as a physical block in the throat, preventing you from swallowing.

A goiter can develop in almost anyone when the conditions are right. Still, statistics show that more women than men tend to have this health concern. There are several treatment options available to help, but first it is important for you to understand the symptoms and causes of a goiter.

1. Common Goiter Symptoms

The most obvious sign of a goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland. The swollen gland can make it difficult to handle simple functions like swallowing. In more severe cases, a goiter might make it hard for a person to breathe. This is accompanied by a tight feeling in the throat and may cause a general hoarseness of the voice. Some people with goiters report coughing fits along with strained breathing.

While there are a number of symptoms that can inform you of the presence of a goiter, it will not always be an easy catch. In fact, reports suggest that a number of people who develop a goiter do not show any signs or symptoms. Whether you exhibit symptoms comes down to the general size and severity of the goiter itself.


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