September 16, 2009

Treatments for Toxic Multinodular Goiter

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Toxic Multinodular Goiter is condition that occurs when many nodules start to appear in the thyroid gland. This condition is associated with hyperthyroidism and could be a precursor to thyroid cancer if the nodules are inactive and not producing thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism also manifests itself as goiter just like hypothyroidism because the underlying mechanisms that take place are the same.

Goiter is normally caused by iodine deficiency in the system and this causes very low amounts of thyroid hormones to be secreted. Since the thyroid hormone is necessary for life as it controls the body metabolism, the body creates more thyroid cells to compensate for the low levels of the hormone in the body. This is what causes the enlargement of thyroid gland – a growth in the number of cells of the thyroid glands and not a swelling like an edema. In hyperthyroidism that is caused by Toxic Multinodular Goiter, nodules start to grow in the thyroid gland and this is akin to the cell division that takes place in hypothyroidism – and therefore the goiter. The method of treating this disorder as well as the more traditional goiter is either the surgical removal of parts of the thyroid gland or more commonly, the injection of a radioactive isotope of iodine into the blood. This radioactive iodine is absorbed quickly by the thyroid gland just as regular iodine would be but by absorbing this radioactive iodine, rapid cell death takes place. Not treating Toxic Multinodular Goiter, could lead to a possible cancer of the thyroid gland as an inactive nodules that do exist could be cancerous. The disease causes all the manifestations of a heightened metabolism like hyperkinesis, irritability, heat intolerance, muscle atrophy, increased appetite, a heart rate at rest of over 180 beats per minute – where the normal rate should be 72 beats per minute, weight loss and osteoporosis.

Some of the treatments that could help alleviate the symptoms of hyperthyroidism is the use of digitalis to reduce the heart rate and as a relaxant since digitalis is an antiarrhythmic. Chamomile would also be useful since it is a relaxant and can calm the patient to relive the irritability. The regular use of beta-blocking drugs is also required to relieve some of the symptoms of aggression that may occur. This is an extremely dangerous condition and hyperactivity that is caused by hyperthyroidism can kill by its side effects if not by the possible cancer.