What does an enlarged thyroid mean?
Enlarged thyroid is very common symptoms of thyroid disease, in which the thyroid enlarges in the form of diffuse, uniform swelling, or nodular enlargement. It is often accompanied only by the symptoms of compression, with or without high thyroid symptoms or low thyroid symptoms. In most cases, the enlarged thyroid is a result of benign hyperplasia of the thyroid tissues, congestion and swelling of thyroid, inflammatory damage, tumor and cancer growth.
Many causes can lead to an enlarged thyroid
- Iodine deficiency, the most common reason for endemic goiter, as well as one of causes of hyperthyroidism.
- Iodine excess
- Thyroid benign adenoma, thyroid cancer
- Abuse of certain substances or drugs: thioamides, thiocyanate, phenylbutazone, lithium carbonate.
- Defectof thyroid hormone production: certain enzyme defect will affect the production process of thyroid hormone.
- Immune factors
- Inflammatory changes, viral infection
If you have an enlarged thyroid, some thyroid diseases may be considered:
- Simple goiter, the most common thyroid disease leading to enlarged thyroid.
- Hyperthyroidism, also called overactive thyroid or high thyroid.
- Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, in which the thyroid shrinks or increases in size.
- Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis
- Thyroid cancer and thyroid adenoma
How to do if you have enlarged thyroid?
The prevalence of thyroid disease is very high. That can occur in people of any age, especially more in women. Usually, patients discover the enlarged thyroid when they touch their neck and see themselves in the mirror. If you have an enlarged thyroid, do not worry too much about it. That's because the vast majority of diseases are benign and can be completely cured. Only a handful of cases are the tumor and thyroid cancer. This is not to say that the thyroid cancer is very rare. Just because there are too many non-tumor cases. So, if you have an enlarged thyroid, you should contact your doctor. They can clarify the underlying cause by special examinations, and then according to the causes, symptoms and progress, they develop a treatment plan.