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What are the symptoms of goiter?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Sometimes, goiters are not large enough to cause symptoms. If your goiter grows to a certain size, you may be able to see it protruding from your neck or feel it in your throat. Some goiters can cause you to develop a cough or cause your voice to sound hoarse. You also may experience trouble breathing or swallowing.

The natural history of benign goiter is usually slow growth of the nodules. Therefore, observation can be safe. MNG (multinodular goiter) is treated if there is a suspicion of the nodules harboring cancer, the goiter is growing quickly, or if the goiter's large size is causing compressive symptoms, such as hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing. Use of thyroid hormone to attempt to suppress and shrink MNG is not indicated and puts patients at risk for hyperthyroidism. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.