Thyroid swelling, also called goiter, is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland located in your neck becomes enlarged. In many cases, a swollen thyroid isn’t noticeable and doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, if it becomes large enough, you may experience some changes in your voice or difficulty swallowing.
If you are concerned about whether or not your thyroid gland is swollen, keep reading to learn how to check for it!
Symptoms of Thyroid Swelling
In most instances, a swollen thyroid goes unnoticed because it doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, there are some signs and symptoms that can develop as the size of the goiter increases:
- A visible lump at the base of your neck
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Voice hoarseness
- Neck tightness and discomfort
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect a swelling in your throat area, you should talk to your doctor right away to rule out underlying medical conditions associated with an enlarged thyroid gland.
A multitude of factors can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland including genetics, iodine deficiency mild-to-moderate hypothyroidism, Grave’s disease etc.
Genetics – playing its part
Studies have shown that genetics play a significant role in determining whether someone will develop an enlarged thyroid gland. If other family members have had similar issues related to their thyroids, it could be possible for you too.
Iodine is essential for proper functioning of our body cells including maintaining healthy functiong at cellular levels. Low dietary intake of this element leads to disease-causing hormones build-up inside the thyrois leading eventually resulting on disfunctioning on physical level.
Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism — a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. This inevitably leads to an enlarged thyroid resulting in symptoms related to physical discomfort.
How To Check: The Neck Test
The neck test requires nothing but a mirror and some water. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Stand or sit in front of a mirror with good lighting, so it’s possible to see your neck area clearly.
- Take a drink of water, making sure your Adam’s apple moves up and down as you swallow.
- Look at your neck while swallowing
- If there are any bulges or bumps that move along with your Adam’s apple, then call and make an appointment with your doctor – you could have a swollen thyroid gland.
What does the Examination involve?
If swelling goes unnoticed or starts causing uncomfortable symptoms, it is important to visit a doctor for further evaluation of medical professioner
The examination would most probably entail :
- During the clinical exam, doctors gently & thoroughly feel around the patient’s neck and asks themto swallow This helps them check whether there are lumps on either side wrapped around this soft tissue located under one’s chin bone from ear-to-ear. Activities such as swallowing can determine if concern exists regarding Thyroid issues; coughing reflex is also examined for respiratory system function.
- The next step involves assessing involved nodules through ultrasound imaging tests which will help physicians make decisions about further treatments
Various tests may be conducted once swelling has been confirmed by physical examination, under
a physician’s guidance:
– A blood test checking hormonal levels
– An iodine uptake test – measuring Thryoid function & their production ability via radio active tracer chemical intake albeit not commonly recommended.
Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause of your enlarged thyroid gland, so let’s take a look at some potential treatment options.
If iodine deficiency is found to be the cause and it has led to hypothyroidism, hormone supplements may be recommended by endocrinologist.
In in cases associated with immune system disorders such as Graves disease /hyperthyroidsim, medications that block this excess production leading reduced secretion are often prescribed
Surgery – Thyroidectomy should be considered when lumps continuously grow causing breathing & swallowing impairmentand if confirmed tocarcinoma
Swollen thyroids can go unnoticed but could evolve into much bigger problems. Patients must visit their physician for further diagnosis& treatment considerations on noticing any symptoms.
Keep an eye out for abnormalities while conducting neck checks, especially if familial cases have presented themselves in different family members.
1. What is a swollen thyroid?
A: A swollen thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland located in your neck becomes enlarged often leading resulting from underlying health conditions or ailments.
Are there any visible signs indicating a swollen thyroid?
A: A visible lump on one’s neck base region will usually indicate existence alongside other symptoms like hoarseness, discomfort and tightness around said area.
Will all people experience physical pain related to swelling?
A: No. In fact, many experience no pain or discomfort of any kind because sometimes smaal sized nodules exist without noticeable ill effects
Do Symptoms dictate required immediate medical attention ?
A: Certainly! If you encounter symptoms described, it would make sense visiting qualified endocrine professionalif existing.
- https://www. endocrineweb. com/conditions/thyroid/is-your-thyroid-making-you-sick-presentation-autoimmune-disease-example-hashimot
-https://medlineplus. gov/goiter. html
-https://www. niddk. nih. gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/graves-disease#q1