A goiter is a swelling in the neck due to an enlarged thyroid gland from various causes, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The size may range from a single small nodule to a large neck lump. The swollen thyroid can put pressure on the windpipe and esophagus which can cause a cough, wheezing, breathing difficulties or swallowing difficulties. Treatment of a goiter depends on the underlying cause and the presence or absence of symptoms.
Reviewed By: Paul Ballas, DO, Attending Psychiatrist, Friends Hospital, Philadelphia PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.