Your Guide to Female Swollen Thyroid
Thyroid conditions can be a tricky affair, particularly for women. A swollen thyroid, or goiter, is one of many thyroid conditions. Understanding the symptoms and causes of female swollen thyroid helps to properly diagnose the condition and take the right course of action.
What is a Swollen Thyroid?
A swollen thyroid, otherwise known as a goiter, is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. The gland is usually located at base of the neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Two main conditions cause the gland to swell—too much iodine and an overactive thyroid—and can be easily observed.
What Causes a Swollen Thyroid?
Possible causes of a female swollen thyroid include:
Iodine is essential for proper thyroid functioning, and a deficiency can lead to an enlarged gland. To ensure enough iodine, pay attention to the foods you’re eating. Shellfish, seaweed, and iodized salt are good dietary sources.
An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, leads to an increase in metabolism. This, in turn, increases thyroid hormone and results in an enlarged gland.
What Are the Symptoms of Female Swollen Thyroid?
Typical symptoms of a swollen thyroid in females include:
- A lump, or enlargement, in the neck
- Hoarseness and difficulty speaking
- Pain and tightness of the throat area
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Visible swelling in the neck area
How is Female Swollen Thyroid Diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing swollen thyroid symptoms, your doctor may want to run several tests, including:
- Blood tests to confirm the presence of an abnormal thyroid hormone level
- Ultrasound to determine the size of the thyroid and extent of the swelling
- Thyroid scan to detect areas of thyroid cell activity
- Thyroid biopsy to remove a small portion of tissue from the gland to be tested
Treatment for Female Swollen Thyroid
Depending on the cause of the female swollen thyroid, your doctor’s treatment plan could include the following:
- Prescription thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine
- Antithyroid medications to reduce production of thyroid hormones
- Radioactive iodine to reduce the size of the thyroid
- Surgery to partially or completely remove the thyroid
A female swollen thyroid can be painful or uncomfortable, so it’s important to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a swollen thyroid, be sure to speak to your doctor about treatment options.
Keywords: female swollen thyroid, thyroid conditions, goiter, swollen thyroid, iodine deficiency, hyperthyroidism, swollen thyroid symptoms, treatment plan.