Tags: Thyroid Disorders | goiter | treatment | thyroid

How Should I Treat My Goiter?

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 10:08 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

Question: I have a goiter around my neck. Can you please explain what it is, and how can it be treated?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Goiters are descriptive terms for an enlarged thyroid gland, seen as a neck fullness or mass. The thyroid gland secretes a thyroid hormone that enables our metabolism to be regulated. This gland may enlarged, because of conditions that cause under- and overactive thyroid function, or as result of a tumor or autoimmune disease.
 
You need to see your physician for a thyroid evaluation. This will usually include a blood test for TSH and and an ultrasound or thyroid scan to evaluate a goiter or neck mass.

Treatment may be medical (often using thyroid replacement, iodine supplementation, or thyroid suppression medications) or surgical, or both, depending upon the results of blood tests and imaging.
 
If you think you have a goiter, see your doctor early. Treatment can become quite complex if it is delayed, and a goiter is often is more difficult to manage conservatively when treatment is delayed.

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