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AUDIO: Dr. Wood, What Exactly Is Goiter?

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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).


Dr. Lawrence Wood recently retired from practice as an Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital with Internal Medicine Associates. He is particularly interested in thyroid and related conditions and in 1985 he created the Thyroid Foundation of America, a non-profit organization that offers free thyroid education and support to patients and their families. His publications include articles on the natural history of autoimmune thyroid disease and the association between thyroid autoimmunity, dyslexia, and attention deficient disorders. He is committed to patient centered care of the highest quality and feels fortunate to be involved in the creation of the Ambulatory Practice of the Future.

Visit Dr. Wood on the web at: www.allthyroid.org/

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.



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