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What is Thyroid Swelling?

When thyroid gland located in your neck becomes inflamed and increases in size, it is known as thyroid swelling.
It is also known as a goiter or thyroiditis.

Many causes of thyroid swelling include:

  • Diet

Lack of iodine in your diet may cause goiter or your thyroid gland to swell. This is because thyroid gland requires iodine to make hormones and iodine deficiency can result in its overworking and swelling.
In this case, increasing the iodine intake in a diet is generally the only treatment required.

  • Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant will, on rare occasions, notice mild thyroid swelling. During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The hormone can cause irritation in the thyroid gland, producing a small to moderate sized painless goiter. Often there is no treatment necessary and the thyroid gland typically returns to its normal size shortly after childbirth.

  • Certain Medicines

Adjusting medicine dosages or replacing them might help.
On rare occasions, a goiter may be present with a more serious underlying condition.

  • Swelling

swelling caused by a lump on the thyroid gland is often a benign tumor or cyst but, in rare cases, it can be a cancerous tumor. Your physician will recommend a biopsy to determine the cause of the nodule and then treat it accordingly.

  • Grave’s disease

Thyroid swelling caused due to overproduction of thyroid hormones. If the swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss and insomnia, your doctor will often test for increased hormones in the blood. If hormones levels are high, a radioactive iodine uptake test is then necessary.

What is a possible treatment for thyroid swelling?

Treatment for thyroid swelling is not needed unless goiter causes difficulty in breathing or swallowing. Increased coughing or hoarseness may require intervention.

  • Medications

Aspirin and corticosteroid drugs treat just the swelling without addressing the cause.
Levothyroxine decreases the production of certain thyroid hormones and can shrink the growth.

  • Surgical intervention

It can be more invasive but can be directed at a specific area of the gland.

  • Radioactive iodine treatment

Ingestion of a capsule containing iodine mixed with radioactive chemicals to cause part of the gland to be destroyed.

Both surgery and radioactive iodine treatment:

  • Reduce the size of the thyroid swelling by removing part or all of the thyroid gland.
  • Require you to take hormone replacement medications indefinitely.

We at CMC provide you with all the facilities as well as specialists for the best treatment. Consult our ENT specialist if you notice swelling in your neck.