Facebook Pixel

AUDIO: Dr. Wood, What Exactly Is Goiter?

By Expert
Rate This

EmpowHer Asks: Dr. Wood, what is goiter?

Dr. Lawrence Wood is the founder of the Thyroid Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization that provides education about thyroid disease. He is newly retired from practice as an Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Goiter refers to enlargement of your thyroid gland. If the whole gland is enlarged it’s unlikely to be due to cancer, which usually starts as a lump within the gland. A general enlargement probably means that your thyroid is becoming overactive (hyperthyroidism) or slowing down (hypothyroidism).

Goiter usually begins as swelling in the lower front of your neck and is a sign that you should visit your doctor for a thyroid check-up to see if yours is malfunctioning.

Most goiter caused by a change in thyroid function will be smooth and non-tender except for situations in which the gland has become mildly inflamed (sub-acute thyroiditis).


We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



Get Email Updates

Goiter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!