What is a multinodular goiter?


Multinodular goiter is enlargement of the thyroid due to the growth of multiple nodules. The number and sizes of the nodules vary amongst individuals. There are two forms of multinodular goiter:

  1. nontoxic multinodular goiter
  2. toxic multinodular goiter

If the goiter makes normal amounts of thyroid hormone, it is known as a nontoxic multinodular goiter. If the goiter makes inappropriately high amounts of thyroid hormone, it is known as a toxic multinodular goiter.

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Benign non-toxic multinodular goiter

A goiter simply means an enlarged thyroid. A goiter can either be a simple goiter where the whole thyroid is bigger than normal or a multinodular goiter where there are multiple nodules. Multinodular goiters can be either a toxic multinodular goiter (i.e. makes too much thyroid hormone and causes hyperthyroidism) or non-toxic (i.e. does not make too much thyroid hormone). It is not known what causes multinodular goiters in most cases, but iodine deficiency (i.e. too little iodine in the diet) and certain genetic factors have been shown to lead to multinodular goiters.

Goiter occurs when your thyroid gland enlarges. A multinodular goiter is a specific kind of goiter that consists of multiple lumps that can grow on more than one part of your thyroid. The lumps that form a multinodular goiter can either be filled with fluid or solid.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

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.