Last updated:10-15-2008
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Definition and causes

If the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, it creates a swelling on the front of the neck. This phenomenon is known as goitre. The enlarged thyroid can range from being barely visible to the size of a grapefruit. In rare cases, a very large goitre press the air tube and allow swallowing and breathing difficulties.

Magnification of the thyroid is not necessarily a sign of disease in glands, and can be a normal phenomenon, especially seen in the context of puberty and during pregnancy.

Diseases that may be associated with goitre, is hypertyreose, hypotyreose or a lump in the thyroid. These diseases of the thyroid, however, also without goitre.

Another cause of goitre is too low jodindtag, this is not so frequent in Denmark long after one has started adding iodine to household salt. In very rare cases can goitre caused by thyroid cancer.


Your doctor will examine your throat to help determine the size and shape of the thyroid gland. There may be blood tests that determine the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. An ultrasound can be used to identify glands internal structure and look for nodules or cavities.

Treatment of goitre

If goitre due to low jodindtag are reading to supplement the diet with sufficient iodine, after which the glands will again shrink in size.

A small goitre, where there is no influence of thyroid-gland function, need not always be treated and can be reduced in size over time.

For minor or moderate goitre may be used radioactive jodbehandling, which can reduce goitre size.

If goitre is very large, the pressure symptoms or bothers purely cosmetic, it can be removed by surgery. After such a opration will require lifelong replacement therapy with synthetic thyroid hormone (see. Decreased activity in the thyroid gland).

Select and complications

In an operation on the thyroid is rarely seen complications, for example. in the form of reduced activity in biskjoldbruskkirtlerne. In 1 out of 5 goitre come back after such an operation.




Related articles:

Decreased activity in biskjoldbruskkirtlerne (Hypoparatyreoidisme)
Decreased activity of the thyroid (Myksødem)
Increased activity in biskjoldbruskkirtlerne (Hyperparatyreoidisme)
Increased activity in the thyroid (Tyreotoksikose)
Thyroid and biskjoldbruskkirtlerne (glandular thyroid and glandular paratyroidea)
Tumor of the thyroid (Tumors in the thyroid gland)



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