A goitre or goiter, is a swelling of the thyroid gland, which can lead to a swelling of the neck or larynx (voice box). Goitre is a term that refers to an enlargement of the thyroid (thyromegaly) and can be associated with a thyroid gland that is functioning properly or not. Worldwide, over 90% cases of goitre are caused by iodine deficiency. Goitre associated with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may be present with symptoms of the underlying disorder. For hyperthyroidism, the most common symptoms are weight loss despite increased appetite, and heat intolerance. However, these symptoms are often unspecific and hard to diagnose. Regarding morphology, goitres may be classified either as the growth pattern or as the size of the growth: Worldwide, the most common cause for goitre is iodine deficiency, usually seen in countries that do not use iodized salt. Selenium deficiency is also considered a contributing factor.
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