Non-Toxic Goiter Causes and Treatment

non-toxic goiter causesThe definition of non-toxic goiter refers to the swelling of the thyroid gland that is not linked to the excessive thyroid hormone production or development of malignancies. Under the influence of several factors, the thyroid gland may increase in size, which leads to the formation of goiter - a visible tumor in the area of the gland.

The most likely non-toxic goiter causes include iodine deficiency in the diet and the disruption of the pituitary gland which leads to the excess of thyroid-stimulating hormones. As a rule, the formation of goiter occurs slowly and gradually, sometimes over several years.

Although theoretically the formation of goiter is not dangerous to human health, in most cases, a complete removal of goiter is highly recommended, since its growth can pinch the trachea and obstruct breathing and swallowing. The typical goiter symptoms are shortness of breath, cough, feeling short of breath and "blocked" throat. The only way to get rid of the symptoms in the cases like that is the surgical removal of goiter.

Treatment of goiter

In the early stages of goiter formation, while its size is still small, recommended a treatment with a synthetic form of thyroid hormones is usually recommended. Under the influence of these medications the pituitary gland synthesizes fewer thyroid-stimulating hormones, which causes the size of the thyroid gland to go back to normal. This kind of treatment often does not always lead to the reduction of goiter, but it helps to prevent its further increase. If hormone replacement drugs do not work, the only solution is the surgical removal of goiter.

The removal of goiter by the means of surgery is necessary in the case when the growth of the thyroid gland leads to unpleasant symptoms, such as goiter pressing on the windpipe, causing coughing, voice changes, difficulty breathing and swallowing. In high-risk cases, the increased size of the thyroid gland can pinch the blood veins in the neck.

Another indication for surgical removal of goiter is a suspected malignancy. Such cases are associated with the formation of multinodular goiter, in which only one node can be malignant. Because the risk of malignancy in multinodular goiter is less than five percent for most patients, the removal of goiter through surgery based on the suspected cancer is not justified.

Finally, one of the rare surgical removal of non-toxic goiter causes is cosmetic unattractiveness. Often goiter expands to the point when it can be easily seen with a naked eye.  In such cases there are usually two recommended options: surgical removal of goiter or prescribing medications to prevent its further enlargement.