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Nontoxic multinodular goiter (MNG) is a condition characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland with multiple nodules, without causing hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature.
MNG is a common thyroid disorder, often occurring in areas with iodine deficiency. Other factors like aging, gender (more common in women), and genetic predisposition also contribute to its development.
MNG typically presents with a visible swelling at the base of the neck. Depending on its size, it may cause symptoms like difficulty swallowing or breathing, hoarseness, or a tight feeling in the throat.
Diagnosis of MNG usually involves a physical exam, thyroid function tests, and imaging tests like ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scans. A fine-needle aspiration biopsy may be performed to rule out thyroid cancer.
Treatment options depend on the size of the goiter, the presence of symptoms, and whether the nodules are benign or malignant. Treatments can range from watchful waiting in asymptomatic cases, to thyroid hormone suppressive therapy, radioactive iodine treatment, or surgery in severe cases.
Preventing MNG involves ensuring an adequate dietary intake of iodine, particularly in regions where iodine deficiency is prevalent. Regular check-ups can help detect the condition early and initiate appropriate management.
Though MNG typically does not affect life expectancy, large goiters may cause discomfort and cosmetic concerns. Moreover, a small percentage of nodules can be malignant, necessitating prompt treatment.
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