Your thyroid gland is a critical component of your hormonal health. It’s a key contributor to your growth, development, and metabolism. So, as you age, paying attention to the health of your thyroid, including any abnormalities, is important.
One possible abnormality is a goiter. In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t ignore a goiter to protect your long-term health.
What is a Goiter?
A goiter is a thyroid gland enlargement. With this condition, the entire thyroid gland may become enlarged, or small bumps known as thyroid nodules may develop.
Goiters can be caused by a variety of different factors, including:
- Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition that makes the immune system mistakenly attack the thyroid gland
- Iodine deficiency, as iodine, is essential for thyroid hormone production
- Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune condition that triggers thyroid gland inflammation
- Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid gland
- Thyroid cancer
- Pregnancy, due to increased levels of human chorionic gonadotropin
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Goiter
Having your goiter evaluated by an experienced ENT is the only way to pinpoint and address its cause. Left untreated, a goiter may continue to grow, increasing the risk of serious complications.
The possible complications of goiter can vary depending on its underlying cause. If the cause is an iodine deficiency, your physician can simply recommend adding more iodine to your diet. However, if thyroid cancer is the root cause of your goiter, early detection and treatment will be essential to your recovery.
Additionally, if your goiter is caused by a thyroid disorder or autoimmune condition, starting treatment will help you avoid related complications. For example, if Graves’ disease is left untreated, it can result in heart rhythm disorders, heart muscle changes, and even heart failure.
At ENT Associates, we offer treatment for various neck conditions, including thyroid problems and goiters. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get your goiter examined!