Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Goiter Underlying Cause

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which regulates the activity of all cells in the body. The cells in the thyroid gland are stimulated by a hormone, called thyroid stimulating hormone, which is made by the pituitary gland in the brain. The thyroid cells use iodine to make thyroid hormone. A goiter occurs when the cells of the thyroid are stimulated to grow.

The thyroid cells are stimulated to grow, which may result in:

A goiter that produces excess thyroid hormone is called a toxic goiter. A non-toxic goiter produces normal levels of thyroid hormone.

Causes of goiter include:

Continue to Goiter Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2011 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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