While the common forms of goiter occur worldwide, sporadic cases occur most frequently in geographical areas depleted of iodine. These areas are often far from the ocean and remote, making them more vulnerable to the condition. Because iodine is important for the formation of thyroid hormones, people living in these areas may not be consuming enough iodine. In addition to dietary deficiencies, certain medications may cause nontoxic goiters, as well.
The thyroid gland can become hyperactive in areas that lack iodine. This can lead to the production of thyroid hormones. This causes the thyroid to enlarge to meet the pituitary’s demands. Graves’ disease and thyroid disease are other possible causes of goitre. Graves’ disease is caused by an over-stimulated immune system called TSH. This stimulates the thyroid gland uncontrollably. Thyroid conditions can also lead to goitre, which can include nodules or cancer.
Fortunately, goiters are rare in the United States, thanks to fortified salt. They can be difficult to manage depending on their size or functional status. To effectively manage patients with goiter, a multidisciplinary team of health professionals may be necessary. Before recommending any treatment, goiter specialists should first determine the type and function of the symptoms.
In addition to these factors, iodized table salt should be consumed to treat goitre. However, this practice is not effective in areas lacking in iodine. If the goitre isn’t treated properly, it can lead to hypothyroidism. A doctor may prescribe radioactive iodine for a large goitre, while iodized table salt is helpful in preventing endemic goiters.
Another study revealed that Ethiopia has a high rate of goiter in children. According to WHO criteria, goiter in Ethiopia is endemic, and children with goiter were most likely to have vegetables three times per week and have a family history. Additionally, consuming vegetables three times per week and salt stored near fire were associated with a higher risk of goiter, making this a potentially dangerous condition. Fortunately, simple goiter is curable, but if not treated, it can be a life-long complication for a child’s thyroid.
Simple goiter is not common in the United States. However, it is more common in countries that lack iodine. Symptoms of simple goiter may include a small nodule in the neck or a large neck lump. The doctor will examine the neck and thyroid for swelling. If there is any swelling, it is likely to be a goiter.
The severity and location of the condition will determine the symptoms of goiter. Simple goiter can disappear on its own, or it may get worse. Large goiters may require medical attention to ensure they are benign. A large goiter may be a sign of a malignancy, and if left untreated, radioactive iodine may destroy the nodules. In rare cases, a simple goiter can progress to toxic nodule status. A biopsy should be done to rule out thyroid cancer.