The functions done by the butterfly shaped, thyroid gland as part of our endocrine system is often taken for granted until we have a problem. A nodule or growth in the throat area is sure to raise everyone’s concern. The first worry is whether it is cancerous. After a medical consultation, if you are told that the lump is related to goitre, you are actually relieved. You are pacified and consider yourself to be saved since the growth is not cancerous.
Goitre is caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland and is not a tumour. But, in most cases, it can be a signal to some other health problems. Enlargement is the gland’s way of reacting to any discrepancy that prevents its normal functioning.
Goitre causes swelling at the front side of the neck base. Some people find it a cosmetic concern. The goitre lump can be either small or might be relatively larger.
If you have goitre, you are likely to develop severe cough, dizziness, hoarseness, panting, swallowing trouble, wheezing etc. Goitre also paves way for many neck related problems such as lump or swelling. Goitre might also signal towards more severe disorders such Grave’s Disease or iodine insufficiency.
Compared to men, women are more likely to be affected with goitre. However, frequent and repeated pregnancies might also lead to thyroid irregularities. If the goitre-related swelling is larger, breathing of air and swallowing of food becomes problematic. In such a case, no further delay should be made in consulting a surgeon.
An overactive thyroid gland results in hyperthyroidism. Increased heart beat, loss of weight despite a heavy appetite, rise in blood pressure etc are the possible symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
An under-active thyroid gland causes hypothyroidism. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, slowed physical and mental functions, depression, decrease in heart rate, constipation, easy weight gain etc