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How to manage goiter

Mrs Johnson has a swelling in her neck region for a period of time and the swelling refused to go despite the usage of antibiotics…

Mrs Johnson has a swelling in her neck region for a period of time and the swelling refused to go despite the usage of antibiotics and many painkillers.

 She initially thought it was just a mere swelling that would go down with time but after taking drugs without respite, she decided to visit the hospital.

To her surprise, she was diagnosed of goiter and booked for surgery.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said, globally, 30 per cent  of the world’s population is affected by Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDDs.) It said the prevalence of goiter worldwide is estimated to be 15.8 per cent varying between 4.7 per cent  in America and 28.3 per cent in Africa.

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Dr Ofure Eboreime, medical director of Ohize Medical Centre described goiter as an anterior neck swelling, adding that “It is a mass in front of the neck region.”

Ofure said the causes of goiter include physiological (pregnancy and puberty, especially in female), iodine deficiency in water and food, long use of cough syrup containing iodine, certain foods and vegetable (cabbage).

He said it is also caused by familial-genetic factors (meaning it is found in the families) and radiation among others.

He said the symptoms include neck mass, difficulty with breathing, difficulty with swallowing and unsightly.

He described the sign as neck swelling which may be more or huge and may compress the windpipe and blood tube supply or drain the brain.

The medical expert said diagnosis involves the history of the ailment, and examination to ascertain whether it is goiter or not.

He added that the diagnosis could also be made from ultrasound and x-ray.

Dr Eboreime noted that people believe that those with goiter were witches, adding “it is very wrong; an ignorant assumption.  The disease is caused by iodine and other deficiency.”

 He said the only treatment for goiter is by an operation to remove the mass on the neck region.

He however advised people suffering from goiter to see their doctor for diagnosis and treatment as early detection is key.


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