Facts about An Enlarged Thyroid Gland
An enlarged thyroid gland
can result from numerous medical conditions. Many people whose thyroid
is enlarged have benign thyroid disease such Hypothyroidism. Iodine
deficiency can create goiters or an enlarged thyroid gland.
People with Hashimoto’s Disease may develop goiters due to thyroid
inflammation. Enlargement of the gland may also be attributed to
The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck, about two inches
across. It lies just underneath the skin, below the Adam’s apple. The
two-halves of the gland connect in the middle, in the shape of a bow
As a rule, you can neither see your thyroid gland nor scarcely feel
it. But, if it enlarges, a prominent bulge may be visible either below
or on each side of the Adam’s apple. (Note: Females do have Adam’s
apples, contrary to popular belief!)
With a little effort, you may be able locate your thyroid gland to
reassure yourself its normal. Gaze into the mirror and focus on the area
where the neck and chest are joined. Swallow several times and you may
detect a slight movement signifying the gland.
Symptoms of an enlarged thyroid gland:
- Throat feels “tight”
- Persistent Cough
- Hard to swallow
- Difficult to breathe
- Swelling at the base of neck visible when looking into mirror
Consider taking a list of questions to your doctor appointment, such as:
- Do I have a serious condition?
- Do you know the root cause of the enlargement?
- How do you plan to treat the root cause?
- How will we resolve this issue?
- If we leave it alone, will it resolve on its own?
- If we don’t treat it, will it get larger?
- Is medication recommended? If so, how long will I need to take it? What are the potential side-effects?
Plus – any pertinent questions that come to mind.
Note: Quizzing your doctor about any prescribed medication is particularly important. Some mainstream medications increase your risk.
Be mindful, the thyroid gland depends upon iodine to manufacture the
thyroid hormone. It simply can’t do its job without adequate iodine,
although the gland doesn’t require huge amounts.
The thyroid gets frantic if we don’t consume enough iodine! It will
proceed to suck-up the body’s store of iodine and, in consequence of its
gorging the gland gradually grows larger and can form a goiter.
This type of goiter is rare in the U.S. now, but still is prevalent
in developing countries. However, the iodine problem still exists! Most
Americans probably consume too much of the mineral in iodized salt or
enriched bread, milk, etc.
If you already have any thyroid disease symptom, an abundance of iodine can cause the gland to churn out too much, or not enough, essential thyroid hormones.