Goitre

It's A really Dangerous Thing

Goitre or Struma can be generally noted in a person while he/she has a swollen thyroid gland which is located in neck. Iodine deficiency used to be the major cause of goitre, but it is now rare in developed countries due to changes in our diet. Now it remains a significant problem in parts of the developing world. Iodine is found in seafood; plant foods, such as cereals or grains; cow’s milk.

The thyroid gland (a gland in the neck that produces hormones) needs iodine to help manufacture thyroid hormones (chemicals released into the bloodstream that control the body's growth and metabolism). If your body does not receive enough iodine, your thyroid gland becomes underactive, and will expand in order to produce more thyroid hormones.

In the UK, iodine deficiency used to be a common problem until the early 1900s, when salt manufactures started to add small amounts of iodine to salt, which reduced the number of cases.

MOSTLY FOUND IN.....

Worldwide, the most common cause for Goitre is iodine deficiency, usually seen in countries that do not use iodized salt. survey taken in 2004 ( people having struma per 1,00,000 ) Goitre is more common among women, but this includes the many types of goitre caused by autoimmune problems, and not only those caused by simple lack of iodine.

Caution

However, in recent years, the number of people experiencing iodine deficiency in the UK has started to rise. This could be due to an increased number of people preferring a low-salt, non-dairy diet. Iodine deficiency can be a problem for people following a strict vegan diet.

Other Causes that may Goitre

1. If a person has Thyroid Cancer

2. Too much Iodine

3. Smoking

4. If a person has Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism

5. Pregnancy

6. Age above 50 years

7. It is found more in women

Treatment

If tests reveal your thyroid gland is working normally, and the goitre is small, no immediate treatment may be recommended. Your condition may just be monitored.

If you have a serious problem with your thyroid gland, you may need surgery. One study estimated that up to one-in-seven people with goitres may eventually require surgery.

While The Surgery

During surgery, the surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the front of your neck so they can see your thyroid gland. They will usually remove half of it. This should reduce the amount of thyroid hormones being produced and the size of your goitre.

The surgeon will attempt to remove enough of your thyroid gland to relieve your symptoms, while leaving enough so that normal thyroid hormone production can continue. However, you may require hormone therapy following surgery if this isn't possible.

Surgery to remove the thyroid gland is usually safe, but it may go wrong at several occasions.

Prevention

You can prevent goitre only if you follow a healthy diet which has proper and sufficient amount of iodine in it.