Hyperplastic goitre, treatment, causes

Hyperplastic goitre, also known as diffuse hyperplastic goitre or nontoxic multinodular goitre, is a thyroid disorder characterized by the enlargement of the thyroid gland.

This condition is often noncancerous and generally does not result in overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones (euthyroidism).

To better understand hyperplastic goitre, let’s delve into its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Causes of hyperplastic goitre:

The exact cause of hyperplastic goitre can vary, but it typically arises from chronic stimulation of the thyroid gland. Some common underlying factors include:

  1. Iodine Deficiency: A lack of iodine in the diet is a major contributing factor, as iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. When the thyroid gland is deprived of iodine, it can become enlarged in an attempt to compensate.
  2. Autoimmune Disorders: In some cases, autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can lead to hyperplastic goitre. These conditions cause the immune system to mistakenly attack the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and enlargement.
  3. Age and Gender: Hyperplastic is more common in women and tends to occur in middle-aged or older individuals.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of hyperplastic goitre can vary in severity and may include:

  1. Neck Enlargement: The most noticeable symptom is the enlargement of the thyroid gland, which can result in a visible swelling in the neck.
  2. Difficulty Swallowing or Breathing: In some cases, the enlarged thyroid gland can exert pressure on the nearby structures, leading to difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  3. Voice Changes: Pressure on the vocal cords can cause hoarseness or voice changes.
  4. Thyroid Nodules: In some cases, nodules or lumps may be present within the enlarged thyroid gland.
  5. Fatigue: Some individuals may experience fatigue or weakness, although this is not exclusive to hyperplastic goitre and can occur due to various reasons.
Diagnosis:

Diagnosing hyperplastic goitre typically involves a combination of the following:

  1. Physical Examination: A healthcare provider will perform a physical examination to assess the size and texture of the thyroid gland.
  2. Thyroid Function Tests: Blood tests, including thyroid function tests, help determine if the thyroid is producing an appropriate amount of hormones.
  3. Imaging: Ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI scans may be used to assess the size and structure of the thyroid gland and to detect any nodules or abnormalities.
  4. Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA): If nodules are present, an FNA biopsy may be performed to rule out cancer.
Treatment:

Treatment options for hyperplastic goitre depend on the severity of symptoms and the underlying cause:

  1. Observation: In cases where the goitre is small and not causing significant symptoms, a “watch and wait” approach may be taken, with regular monitoring.
  2. Medication: If the goitre is related to iodine deficiency or autoimmune conditions, medication may be prescribed to address these underlying issues.
  3. Surgery: Surgical removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) may be necessary if the goitre is causing severe symptoms, compressing vital structures, or if nodules are suspicious for cancer.
  4. Radioactive Iodine: In some cases, radioactive iodine therapy may be used to shrink the thyroid gland.
  5. Lifestyle Changes: Ensuring an adequate intake of iodine through diet or supplementation can be beneficial, particularly in cases of iodine deficiency.

It’s important to note that hyperplastic goitre is typically a manageable condition, and with appropriate medical care, individuals can lead healthy lives.

If you suspect you have a thyroid issue or are experiencing any symptoms related to hyperplastic goitre, consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.