What is goiter

Causes of a goiter

In Germany, goiter is most often caused by iodine deficiency (iodine deficiency goiter). As a result, the cells of the thyroid gland multiply. In addition, when there is a lack of iodine, the pituitary gland releases more thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to stimulate the production of hormones. This causes the thyroid cells to enlarge. In addition, new blood vessels and connective tissue are created. The thyroid tries to compensate for the iodine deficiency and to utilize the iodine available as effectively as possible. At the same time, however, it is getting bigger and bigger.

Other causes of a goiter include:

  • Changes in hormones during pregnancy, puberty or menopause
  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis)
  • Thyroid autonomy
  • Acromegaly
  • Malignant tumor in the thyroid gland (thyroid cancer)
  • Other malignant tumors affect the thyroid gland
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Graves disease
  • Medicines (e.g. anti-thyroid drugs, lithium)
  • Altered thyroid enzymes
  • Ineffective thyroid hormones (hormone resistance)
  • Cysts in the thyroid gland
  • Bleeding after injury to the thyroid gland
  • Enlargement by (TSH and TSH-like substances, which are formed as a side effect in certain tumors