What is Thyromegaly? Causes and signs


The thyroid gland is a hormonal regulator of metabolic processes in the body. Despite its small size, it is responsible for the normal functioning of all organs and systems. Diseases of the gland affect the functioning of the whole organism, one of which is thyromegaly.


  • The essence of thyromegaly
  • Varieties
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnostics and treatment
  • Diet

The essence of thyromegaly

Thyromegaly is a significant increase in the volume of the thyroid gland. Normally, its weight is 15-25 g. More often, this pathology occurs in women. The enlargement of the gland may not be accompanied by a violation of its functions. In most cases, not only the size of the organ increases, but also its functioning increases, which is dangerous to health.


According to the increase in the volume of the thyroid gland, the following degrees of thyromegaly are distinguished:

1 – the size of the organ in the redistribution of the norm;

2 – the increase is not visible visually, deviations can be noticed when swallowing;

3 – the gland is palpated on palpation, lobes are released when swallowing;

4 – the pathology is visible to the naked eye, the neck is deformed, it thickens;

5 – visually noticeable enlarged lobes, a diagnosis of “goiter” is made;

6 – a huge gland puts pressure on neighboring organs.

At the last stage, it is difficult for the patient to speak, swallow food, or breathe. The thyromegaly of the thyroid gland is no longer a cosmetic defect, but is life threatening.

Depending on the functional activity of the thyroid gland, there are the following types of pathology:

  • euthyroidism – the function is preserved;
  • hypothyroidism – reduced;
  • hyperthyroidism – increased.

If the thyroid gland does not work properly, immunity decreases, a person often suffers from bacterial and viral diseases.

According to the etiology of origin and clinical manifestations, there are such forms of thyromegaly:

  • lymphomatous thyroiditis (chronic autoimmune goiter);
  • fibrous Riedel thyroiditis ;
  • subacute de Quervain’s thyroiditis (granulomatous goiter).


Morphological type omegalia is manifested by diffuse and nodular changes. The exact cause has not been clarified. The development of the disease is influenced by the following factors:

  • organ inflammation (thyroiditis);
  • iodine deficiency;
  • deficiency of vitamins and minerals, in particular, selenium;
  • bad ecology;
  • regular stress;
  • genetic predisposition (goiter in the family);
  • hormone therapy;
  • nodular or diffuse goiter;
  • adenocarcinoma and benign thyroid tumors;
  • radiation exposure;
  • chronic inflammatory processes of the nasopharynx.

Thyroiditis and iodine deficiency become the cause of diffuse thyromegaly. For the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, an adult needs 150 mcg of iodine per day.

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Thyroiditis is more often diagnosed in patients with diabetes mellitus, reduced immunity and allergic reactions. They are the most common cause of thyromegaly, occurring in 35% of cases.

The proliferation of the right lobe of the thyroid gland is associated with inflammatory processes or the formation of cysts. The left side of the organ also increases with cysts, tumor formations and diffuse goiter.


Typeomegalia of the thyroid gland is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • increased sweating;
  • pain in the neck, feeling of a lump in the throat;
  • violation of thermoregulation;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • heartache;
  • tachycardia, arrhythmia;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • panic, increased anxiety;
  • violation of reproductive function.

As the thyroid gland enlarges, the symptoms expand. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism and exophthalmos appear, the disease is manifested by weight disturbances (weight loss with a good appetite or obesity with a diet).

Symptoms of an enlarged thyroid gland in children
Enlarged thyroid gland

Symptoms of an enlarged thyroid gland in children:

  • obesity;
  • memory impairment;
  • violation of coordination of movement;
  • increased fatigue;
  • slowdown in growth;
  • delayed puberty;
  • poor condition of the skin, nails and hair;
  • high blood cholesterol levels;
  • decrease in blood pressure.

With such symptoms, it is necessary to start hormonal treatment, since thyromegaly of the thyroid gland will do much more harm than medications.

If the volume of the thyroid gland has increased against the background of acute thyroiditis, the symptomatology is pronounced. A high body temperature rises (up to 40 ° C), headache, nausea, vomiting, pain in the neck appear, lymph nodes increase, the voice becomes hoarse. A high level of leukocytes in the blood indicates an inflammatory process in the body.

The purulent form of acute thyroiditis is also acutely manifested. In the area of ​​the gland, pain appears, discomfort when swallowing and rotating the head. Painful sensations radiate to the back of the head, ears and mouth.

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Diagnostics and treatment

Early diagnosis is difficult. More often the patient goes to the hospital when health problems arise. An enlarged gland can be felt or detected by ultrasound.

Additionally, such examinations are carried out:

  • blood test;
  • immunogram;
  • test for the level of thyroid hormones and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is responsible for the synthesis of hormones in the gland).

If cancer is suspected, a biopsy is performed.

Against the background of subacute thyroiditis caused by infectious diseases, cysts and nodes in the gland often appear. Treatment is with corticosteroids and antibiotics.

If the thyroid gland is caused by acute thyroiditis, antibiotic therapy is performed. A course of multivitamins and immunostimulants is required to strengthen the immune system. With a purulent form, the formation in the gland is opened through the trachea, esophagus, or by an open way. The purulent contents will be removed.

With thyroiditis, after the suppression of the inflammatory process, the size of the thyroid gland returns to normal.

Hypothyroidism is treated with hormonal drugs, synthetic analogs of thyroxine and thyrotropin are suitable. With hyperthyroidism, thyreostatika is prescribed. In some cases, the excess hormonal function of the gland is eliminated by resecting part of the organ lobe. But then the patient must drink hormones for life.

With iodine deficiency, iodine and selenium preparations, immunomodulators are prescribed.


Diet food is important not only for medicinal but also prophylactic purposes. Sometimes it is possible to restore the normal size of the gland only by changing the diet.

With thyroiditis, food should be high in calories. Daily calorie content – not less than 1200 kcal. At lower values, the disease will, on the contrary, progress.

If the disease is caused by iodine deficiency, then you need to increase the amount of iodine-containing foods in the diet. You should eat seaweed, seafood, and iodized salt. Iodine is also found in persimmons, prunes, nuts and seeds, and lettuce.

Basic principles of the diet:

  • observe the intervals between meals no more than 3-4 hours;
  • eat meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits every day;
  • exclude from the diet soybeans, millet, smoked meats, spicy and salty dishes, from vegetables – zucchini, onions, cabbage and turnips;
  • give up alcohol, carbonated drinks and coffee.

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