Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland due to one of the following causes:

  • Iodine Deficiency
  • Inborn errors of thyroid hormone synthesis
  • Ingestion of goitrogens, such as cassava.
  • Side-effects of pharmacological therapy
  • Graves' disease
  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid cancer
The most common cause of goiters is iodine deficiency. Iodine is processed by the thyroid and turned into hormones which are necessary for the body's regulatory functions. When the thyroid doesn't have any iodine to work with, it will stop producing hormones, which causes the hypothalamus to react by telling the pituitary gland to grow additional thyroid cells. This causes the thyroid to grow in an attempt to rectify the hormone deficiency. If left unchecked, the thyroid can grow to tremendous sizes.

Many developed countries have started supplementing salt with iodine to lower the incidence of goiters. However, many people are starting to move away from common table salt in favor of specialized salts which do not contain supplemental iodine.

Surgery to reduce the size of the thyroid and supplemental iodine is necessary in the case of very large iodine deficiency goiters. In the case of goiters caused by Graves' disease, the patient may need to have the thyroid removed or might need to take medications that inhibit the thyroid hormones.

I rate this sick a 1 on my "lethality scale" (1-10)
and a 3 on my "disturbing scale" (1-10)

1 comment:

  1. I have been on porcine supplements and it's generics for 23 years. I still have many of the low thyroid symptoms and am trying to find a doctor to switch me to natural thyroid to see if it improves.