Top pediatricians treat goiter in children. Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck. Goiter is a fairly common condition that is believed to affect around 900 million people on earth. Goiter can be made up of one or more nuclei. It is most often benign, but cancerous nodules are sometimes diagnosed.

Types of goiter

There are several kinds of goiter:

  • Tumor goiter
  • Inflammatory goiter
  • The goiter with hypothyroidism
  • Vascular goiter
  • Simple goiter (no specific symptoms other than swelling)

Causes of goiter

The causes of goiter are many and different depending on the type of bulge. They may include:

  • Iodine deficiencies
  • Smoking
  • Congenital enzyme deficiency
  • Certain diseases: Graves’ disease, several forms of thyroiditis
  • Certain hormonal disorders, such as acromegaly
  • Taking certain medications
  • Consuming large amounts of certain foods (such as crucifers)
  • A family history

Symptoms of goiter

In addition to the swelling of the thyroid gland, which is noticeable and visible to the naked eye, goiter is accompanied by the following symptoms (in whole or part), which are caused by increased or minimized secretion of thyroid hormones:

  • Weight loss
  • Tremor
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Difficulty expressing certain sounds, change in voice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Constipation
  • Thickened neck skin
  • Chilliness
  • Diagnosis of goiter

The primary diagnosis of goiter is simply by palpation of the neck. Then, additional analyzes and examinations will make it possible to define the origins of the disorder in order to offer an adequate treatment: x-ray, ultrasound, scintigraphy, analysis of hormone levels, removal of part of the affected tissue for analysis (puncture-biopsy), etc.

Possible risks of complications

The most common complication is related to the aesthetic appearance of the goiter.

Rather rarely, this disorder can cause interstitial bleeding.

Finally, in 5 to 10% of cases, the nodules can become cancerous.

Treatment of goiter

The treatments prescribed depend on the size, course, and origin of the goiter. They may include:

  • Hormonal treatment
  • Removal of the thyroid gland (the patient will then have to take synthetic hormones for the rest of his life)
  • Small, asymptomatic goiter usually goes untreated. They are simply monitored for one or two annual visits.

Prevention

The only known way to decrease the risk of developing goiter is to consume enough iodine. In Western countries, it is added to table salt and sometimes to bread, which has significantly reduced the number of cases observed in recent decades.

Contact Top Pediatricians in Gastonia NC

Goiter, as you’ve read, is primarily a benign disease except in cases where cancerous lumps are diagnosed. There are different types of goiter, and the treatment of goiter in a child depends on factors like the size and cause.  You will need to visit a top pediatrician if your child has goiter. The pediatrician will decide on the best form of treatment for your child.

Contact  Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.