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Endemic goiter

  1. Reasons
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment

Diffuse endemic goiter

the increase in size of the thyroid gland (an endocrine gland that produces hormones containing iodine stores it in the body and regulates the processes of cell growth, metabolism), triggered by lack of iodine in the environment, and accordingly, in the human body.

The disease occurs most often in the highlands, but it happens in the depths of the continents. Sufficiently large concentrations of the disease were observed in Germany, France, Switzerland and the United States. Women and girls often suffer from iodine deficiency, since the gonads are closely associated with the thyroid.


This disease can be divided into two types, absolute iodine deficiency and a relative iodine deficiency.

Reasons that can cause such diseases as endemic goiter, is simple. Most often these is insufficiently balanced diet (absolute failure), which is not enough seafood, rich in iodine, some varieties of cereals, dairy products. Just in time for the food people consume ninety percent of the iodine needed per day.

The second reason for the occurrence of iodine deficiency diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (relative iodine deficiency) that, in fact, leads to defective uptake of particles of iodine. In such diseases of the stomach or intestine people may suffer from endemic goiter, despite a full, rich iodine diet. The remaining 10% of the daily requirement of iodine the body gets partially out of the water, partly from the air. In regions with low quantitative composition of iodine in the environment, the population often suffers from iodine deficiency (for example, the Northern part of Russia, including Moscow). Settlements with high background radiation, are faced with mass phenomena of endemic goiter. Nitrate, lithium carbonate, potassium perchlorate, sulfonamides medicines which can block the absorption of particles of iodine. It happens that the production of thyroid hormones is distorted at the genetic level and, as a consequence, endemic disease is inherited.


Endemic goiter causes certain symptoms associated with increase in thyroid glands General weakness of the body, discomfort (possible pain) in the chest in the heart area, headache. Thus, increasing the amount of thyroid that a human body partially compensates for the lack of the group of thyroid hormones. Often, this deficit turns into an ailment called


Symptoms that can occur when the disease endemic goiter dyspnea, shortness of breath, which is accompanied by compression of the throat, dry cough. At the most severe stage of iodine deficiency may develop heart disease, expressed as the increase in size and enhanced activity of the ventricle and the right atrium. The most difficult complications of diffuse goiter internal effusion of blood in the region of the thyroid gland, the development of acute

the transition nodal pathology in malignant form.


For the diagnosis of diffuse goiter conduct laboratory studies of blood (determined by quantitative composition of the group hormones T3, T4 and TSH, it appears the level of thyroglobulin) and excrement. Often patients have disturbed the balance of hormones of the thyroid group and noticed the high concentration of thyroglobulin, low levels of iodine in the urine. Ultrasound method of diagnosis using the tools that provides the opportunity to establish the type of pathology nodular or diffuse. Radioisotope scanning allows to determine the ability of the thyroid gland to function. A biopsy is a complementary tool to determine the purity, or of malignancy nodular.


Treatment of endemic goitre depends on the degree of increase of thyroid. If there is little hyperplasia, is often enough to pass a couple of courses of potassium iodide. Widely used the diet dominated by foods rich in iodine. Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed patient for complications of hypothyroidism. Identical substitute of artificial origin for hormone is Levothyroxine. At a late stage nodular endemic goiter without surgery can not do. Lest a return of the disease after surgery, the patient undergoes hormone replacement treatment.

Prevention of endemic goiter does not contain specific measures. The most effective prevention of iodine deficiency is considered to be the systematic use in cooking iodized salt. To trace elements of iodine are not destroyed during the heating process, salt is better to add after cooking. If in the daily diet use of fish and other foods rich in iodine can reduce the likelihood of disease endemic goiter.

Endemic goiter in children one of the most common diseases related to iodine deficiency. In most cases, this form of the disease is diffuse. Information research suggests that cases of the disease diffuse goiter in children 6%, and occupy approximately 25% of all endocrine diseases, characteristic for the child’s body. So, strongly influenced the two main factors the failure to complete the children’s diet and the worsening of the ecological situation on the planet. One-third of cases of child endemic goiter is diagnosed in adolescents (fourteen years). Complications in children be accompanied by the appearance of endemic cretinism, which include delayed physical and intellectual development. To avoid such severe consequences, and generally the diseases, provoked by iodine deficiency, prevention begin to exercise during pregnancy, continuing after birth and throughout a child’s life.