A Goitre (or Goiter) (Latin Struma) is a swelling in the neck (just below adam's apple or larynx) due to an enlarged thyroid gland. The most common cause for goitre in the world is iodine deficiency. Other causes are:
1. Hashimoto's thyroiditis
2. Graves-Basedow disease
3. juvenile goitre
4. neoplasm of the thyroid
4. thyroiditis (acute, chronic)
5. side-effects of pharmacological therapy
Iodine is necessary for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine (T3 and T4). When iodine is not available these hormones cannot be made. In response to low thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
Thyroid stimulating hormone acts to try and increase synthesis of T3 and T4, but also causes the thyroid gland to grow in size as a type of compensation.
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