Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Goiter Overview

Another name for Goiter is Endemic Goiter.

What is an endemic goiter?
A person with endemic goiter has an enlarged thyroid gland. In endemic goiter, the thyroid cells are stimulated to grow, which may result in an over active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive one (hypothyroidism). A goiter that produces excess thyroid hormone is called a toxic goiter. A non-toxic goiter produces normal levels of thyroid hormone.

What are the symptoms of endemic goiter?
Endemic goiter may cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism or symptoms of hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include absent menstrual periods, anxiety, nervousness, diarrhea, fatigue, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, palpitations, muscle cramps, rapid speech, rapid pulse, weight loss, and neck swelling. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include cold intolerance, dry hair, dry skin, neck swelling, thyroid gland enlargement, lethargy, low body temperature, constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, fatigue, and weight gain.

How does the doctor treat endemic goiter?
Treatment for endemic goiter may include iodine supplements, thyroid supplements, vitamin supplements, and surgery.

Continue to Goiter Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Goiter References
  1. Aydin K, Kendirci M, Kurtoglu S, Karakucuk EI, Kiris A. Iodine and selenium deficiency in school-children in an endemic goiter area in Turkey. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul-Aug;15(7):1027-31. [12199330]
  2. Castaneda R, Lechuga D, Ramos RI, Magos C, Orozco M, Martinez H. Endemic goiter in pregnant women: utility of the simplified classification of thyroid size by palpation and urinary iodine as screening tests. BJOG. 2002 Dec;109(12):1366-72. [12504972]
  3. Elnour A, Hambraeus L, Eltom M, Dramaix M, Bourdoux P. Endemic goiter with iodine sufficiency: a possible role for the consumption of pearl millet in the etiology of endemic goiter. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan;71(1):59-66. [10617947]
  4. Zhao J, Wang P, Shang L, Sullivan KM, van der Haar F, Maberly G. Endemic goiter associated with high iodine intake. Am J Public Health. 2000 Oct;90(10):1633-5. [11030003]
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