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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A thyroid goiter occurs when your thyroid gland grows larger than normal. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control your body temperature, heart rate, and growth. They also control how fast your body uses food for energy. The amount of thyroid hormones in your body may increase, decrease, or both when you have a goiter.
- Thyroid medicine is given to bring your thyroid hormone levels back to a normal range.
- Radioactive iodine is given to damage cells in your thyroid gland and decrease the size of your goiter.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need frequent blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. If you had surgery, follow directions about how to care for your wound. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Eat iodine-rich foods:
Examples include fish, seaweed, dairy products, eggs, beans, and lean meat. Iodized salt also contains iodine. You may need to use iodized table salt when you cook and season your food. Iodine may be added to bread or to your drinking water. Ask for a list of foods that contain iodine, and ask how much iodine you need each day.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You begin choking or have new or increased trouble swallowing.
- Your voice becomes hoarse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek immediate care or call 911 if:
- You have redness, swelling, or drainage at your surgery site.
- You have sudden chest pain or trouble breathing.
- Your symptoms worsen, even after you take your medicines.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.