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Thyromegaly: Everything you need to know about this condition

Thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormone because it gets damaged. © Shutterstock

The swollen and enlarged gland is quite visible from the outside of the neck when a person had a goitre. A person who suffers from this condition finds it difficult to breathe and swallow.

Written by Kristina Das |Published : December 14, 2018 8:01 PM IST

Thyromegaly is a condition wherein the butterfly-shaped gland in the neck turns abnormally large. This condition is commonly known as goitre. There could be various causes associated with its occurrence, although the major reason behind it is insufficient iodine. Around the world one-third of the population suffers from a low iodine intake.

People who live far away from the ocean areas suffer the most from this condition because they do not get enough iodine intake through their diet. Basically, when the thyroid gland cannot make enough hormone, in order to compensate it enlarges.

What is thyromegaly?

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The swollen and enlarged gland is quite visible from the outside of the neck when a person had a goitre. A person who suffers from this condition finds it difficult to breathe and swallow. It can cause serious harm if the condition is left untreated, the thyroid gland can turn highly ineffective and stop making thyroid hormone at all or makes too much, this leads to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

What are the causes of thyromegaly?

The common causes of thyromegaly are:

Iodine deficiency: The main contributor to the production of T3 and T4 hormones is iodine. So, when the thyroid gland cannot make enough hormone it enlarges as compensation.

Graves' disease: Mistakenly the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and this is an autoimmune disease. The thyroid begins to overstimulate in a course of events and produce excess hormones.

Hashimoto's disease: Thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormone because it gets damaged.

Nodules: When the fluid-filled nodules grow on the gland this happens and make the gland large.

Inflammation: Inflammation of the gland is known as thyroiditis. It can be caused due to medication, radiation therapy or infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of thyromegaly?

The most common symptom of thyromegaly is enlarged thyroid gland. But some other common symptoms include tightness in the neck, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, coughing, etc. And some of the early signs of thyromegaly include dry hair and skin, depression, fatigue, constipation, weakness, stiff joints, etc.

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