Treatment of goitre depends on the cause that caused the thyroid hypertrophy.
If goiter is a consequence of iodine deficiency, and if the level of thyroid hormones in the blood is normal (euthyroid goiter), the doctor prescribes iodine tablets . A diet rich in iodine is also recommended: fish or iodized table salt are good sources of iodine. For an ideal functioning of the thyroid are recommended about 150 to 200 μg of iodide a day. If the iodine treatment is not enough to cure goiter, the doctor can prescribe thyroid hormones (thyroxine tablets) in addition (especially if of course there is a hypothyroidism). During this treatment with iodine and hormones, regular checkups are very important: the doctor will take blood samples to check the thyroid values, and ultrasounds to check the size of the thyroid.
When the doctor prescribes thyroid hormones, it can be difficult at first to set the right dose of medication to take.
If there is suspicion of thyroid cancer, or in the presence of a very large goitre with nodules, surgery is necessary. Depending on the diagnosis, the surgeon removes parts of the thyroid or the entire organ. If the thyroid is completely removed, the patient should take thyroid hormones in tablet form for life.
In some cases (eg hyperthyroidism or thyroid cancer), irradiation with radioactive iodine of the thyroid gland may be an alternative treatment to the operation.
Read also :
> Nodule of the thyroid
> The thyroid
> Graves' disease