Hyperthyroidism (Goiter)

Hyperthyroidism (Goiter)

Goiter (hyperthyroidism) can be described as unusual growth of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits right beneath Adam’s apple at the nape of the neck. Though goiters are normally painless, a big goiter can induce coughing and make swallowing and breathing challenging (Brindles, 2019).


Thyroid hypertrophy, or goiter, is a protective response of thyroid follicular cells toward any mechanism that prevents thyroid hormone synthesis. Iodine deficiency is perhaps the most prevalent cause of goiter. Hashimoto thyroiditis is a common cause of goiter in nations that utilize iodized salt as well as in others where iodine shortage is not a concern (Ahmet, 2021). Iodine deficiency, on the other hand, is by far the most prevalent cause globally. Goiters come in a variety of morphological, hormonal, and clinical forms, although not all of them are caused by a lack of iodine.


Goiter is caused by a combination of demographic, environmental, and genetic variables (Ahmet, 2021). Graves illness, congenital hypothyroidism, inflammatory thyroid illnesses, and many more are among the causes.


Not all types of goiter exhibit symptoms and signs. Symptoms that may arise include coughing, hoarseness, difficulties in breathing, difficulties in swallowing, and having a swell on the base of the neck (Czerwonka, 2019).


The physician may determine that if the goiter is small and not troubling the patient, no treatment is required, but it should be monitored continuously for any developments. The main medication used is levothyroxine which is a thyroid hormone replacement medication. This medication is provided if the goiter is caused by an underactive goiter (Brindles, 2019). When the goiter is an overactive goiter, the patient is prescribed medication such as propylthiouracil and methimazole. If the cause of the goiter is an inflammation, the physician may prescribe a corticosteroid medicine or aspirin.

Patient/Parent education

An essential aspect of preventing the occurrence of goiter is consuming foods rich in iodine, such as sushi, shrimp, and cow’s milk, among many others. The patient should often use iodized salt (Ahmet, 2021). the patient can be advised to consider radioactive iodine treatment as it is critical in shrinking goiters.


Brindles Lee Macon. (December 12, 2019). What You Need to Know About Goiter. Retrieved From https://www.healthline.com/health/goiter-simple

Ahmet Can. (August 30, 2021). Goiter. Retrieved From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562161/

Czerwonka, L. (2019). Goiter. In Clinical Algorithms in General Surgery (pp. 431-433). Springer, Cham.


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