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What is a Toxic Goiter?

C. Daw
C. Daw

A Toxic goiter is a medical condition that involves over-activity in the thyroid gland. This affliction is more commonly known as Graves' disease, and is caused by the thyroid becoming inflamed to such a point that a goiter forms. A goiter is simply an enlargement that occurs due to toxicity of the thyroid. There are many complications from this condition, such as a lumpy red rash and eye problems, and various factors can be attributed to the disease. Treatment options are available, ranging from drugs to surgery, and they will be decided based on the specifics of each individual case.

Graves' disease, or a toxic goiter, has three common clinical problems associated with it. Dermopathy, which is any type of skin disease, with lumpy rashes and skin lesions, is the first symptom that is noticed upon people with this condition. The second problem is hyperthyroidism, which is basically the issue of having an overactive, or toxic, thyroid gland. The final clinical symptom that is documented for Graves' disease is ophthlmopathy, an eye disease that can cause blindness and protruding of the eyeballs in some cases. These are the common symptoms that have been documented in clinical studies, but various other mild symptoms can also occur, depending upon each individual patient.

Over activity of the thyroid gland may be referred to as toxic goiter.
Over activity of the thyroid gland may be referred to as toxic goiter.

There are many factors that can be attributed to Toxic goiter problems, including genes passed down through the family lines. Even though studies have shown that this can cause Graves' disease, other factors are more likely to come into play. Stress is one of the leading contributors to outbreaks, as well as smoking and medications. Radiation treatments performed around the neck can also cause goiters to appear, as can viruses. Many of these variables cause the condition to worsen, while a combination of them, along with certain genetic components, can cause the thyroid to become overactive and cause the condition to become a reality.

Treatment options available for people that are afflicted with Toxic goiter conditions begin with various forms of drugs. The main medication used will be an anti-thyroid drug that will slow the activity down. The final treatments that will be attempted will be the use of radioactive iodine, and then surgery if all other plans fail to work. These steps may not go in this order because each case is different, and if the condition is already extremely bad, then the doctor may choose to skip to surgery. These treatment plans will change from patient to patient, depending upon many different variables that will be reviewed before a treatment plan is decided upon.

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    • Over activity of the thyroid gland may be referred to as toxic goiter.
      By: Alexander Raths
      Over activity of the thyroid gland may be referred to as toxic goiter.