Do I need surgery for colloid goiter of the thyroid gland: forms of the disease and treatment

The thyroid gland is made up of spherical cells called follicles. Their cavities are filled with colloid, which is a viscous, jelly-like mass. In the absence of any pathologies, it is homogeneous. The colloid is a carrier of hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland. In cases of manifestation of pathological processes, the follicles change. With an increase in their number and size, a thyroid disease develops, which is called colloid goiter.

At the moment of the development of medical science, it is impossible for scientists to find out why such a disease manifests itself and give an unambiguous answer. There are suggestions that it occurs due to age-related changes. According to other opinions, the culprit of the pathology is the lack of iodine intake in the body, which causes the growth of follicles.

Manifestations of colloid goiter

Colloidal goiter occurs when there is a violation of the outflow of a substance that fills the follicle. In this case, seals are formed, which are called nodes. If such a formation is non-single, then the disease is diagnosed as a multinodular colloid goiter. Seals can be of various sizes and structures. Large nodes begin to affect nearby tissues, as well as blood vessels or nerve endings. In such cases, the course of the disease can be complicated by hemorrhages or ischemic necrosis.

At the initial stage of the development of the disease, symptoms may not appear clearly. Most often, a visit to a doctor occurs after an intensive growth of the thyroid gland begins to occur. In this case, they say that a proliferating goiter develops. Such a disease is detected in almost 90% of all cases of nodular colloid goiter.

Colloidal cystic goiter of the thyroid gland may be the result of a developing true cyst. Such formations have a capsule that contains a liquid. And depending on their content, cysts are serous or colloidal. And also the process of degeneration of the existing thyroid node into a cyst is possible, which occurs in cases of violation of the blood supply to the center of the node. This leaves a cavity.

Most of the nodules that form in the thyroid gland are essentially cystic formations. Such a hollow round tumor can occur at sites of hemorrhage, hyperplasia (excessive formation of tissue elements) or dystrophy of the thyroid gland. Colloidal goiter with cyst formation can behave in different ways: for several years it does not manifest itself in any way and remains stable, but it can also increase quite rapidly in size.

At the same time, the production of hormones can change both towards a significant increase and a significant decrease. So, in the case of a diagnosis of “colloid goiter with cystic degeneration”, hypothyroidism develops due to the destruction of productive cells. You can determine the enlargement of the thyroid gland by probing yourself. This possibility appears after the growth of the node begins to exceed 1 cm in size. It should be noted that such a formation becomes softer the more it increases. The malignant nature of cystic formations is quite rare. Diagnosis of a malignant tumor with Hürthle cells occurs in only 5% of all forms of thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of the disease

The thyroid gland, which grows in size, begins to mechanically act on closely lying tissues and organs. In this case, the following symptoms appear:

  • pressure is felt in the front of the neck;
  • difficulty in swallowing begins to appear;
  • the sound of the voice becomes hoarse;
  • a feeling of sore throat makes you cough periodically;
  • in connection with the clamping of nerve endings and blood vessels, noises in the head and dizziness are possible;
  • with the rapid growth of the node due to inflammatory processes or hemorrhages, headaches may occur;
  • there is a constant feeling of having a coma in the throat.

Other symptoms of the manifestation of colloid goiter depend on which functions of the thyroid gland are impaired. In this case, the signs may be the following:

  • When thyrocytes are replaced by an overgrown colloid, symptoms of hypothyroidism occur. In this case, the patient may experience a decrease in appetite with simultaneous weight gain, weakness, swelling and dryness of the skin appear, the processes of thinking and metabolism become slow.
  • With the production of an excessive amount of hormones, symptoms of hyperthyroidism appear. In this case, the patient develops fatigue, irritability and even aggressiveness. Indigestion and frequent urination begin to bother. Perhaps a constant feeling of hunger and increased appetite, however, weight loss occurs. Heart rate and body temperature may increase.
  • Perhaps the development of the process of accumulation in the follicles of the colloid with normal production of hormones. In this case, an increase in the size of the thyroid gland occurs. In cases where colloid cysts affect nearby nerve endings and vessels, dizziness, shortness of breath, and difficulty in swallowing may occur.

Causes of colloid goiter

The reason for the development of nodular colloid goiter is currently completely unknown. It is most likely that the disease is a consequence of the pathological development of the entire thyroid gland. However, there are known factors that sufficiently influence the process of pathology development:

  • Lack of iodine in the body. Iodine deficiency predisposes to the development of the disease. However, in regions where the consumption of this element is normal, the prevalence of colloid goiter is also significant.
  • Age-related transformations of the thyroid gland. After reaching the age of forty, the cells wear out faster, and subsequently a significant part of them dies. A large cavity is formed in the follicle, which leads to the accumulation of colloid.
  • Hormonal surges in women. They occur during pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, and also due to abortion. In this case, failures are possible in the process of outflow of the colloid, which accumulates in the gland.
  • Ecology. When exposed to radiation, mutations in thyroid cells are possible. The impact of nitrates also adversely affects the functioning of the body.
  • Harmful conditions at work or undergoing radiation therapy courses.
  • hereditary factor.
  • Nervous exhaustion. Constant stress can lead to the pathological development of any organ, including the thyroid gland.
  • Frequent infections or inflammation. Such processes in the body lead to a weakening of the immune system. The thyroid gland becomes vulnerable to attack by viruses or bacteria.
  • Hypothermia. In this case, the process of outflow of the colloid is disturbed, and it stagnates in the follicles.


The appointment of treatment is possible only after a thorough examination. When performing the primary diagnosis, the endocrinologist performs palpation of the affected organ. As procedures to confirm the diagnosis, ultrasound and blood sampling for biochemical analysis, as well as determining the hormonal background, are performed.

According to the results of the ultrasound, the doctor will tell you what colloid goiter is, and what signs this disease differs depending on the type of goiter. With a multinodular goiter, several formations are traced, and the malignant tumor has an irregular shape and a heterogeneous structure. The cyst will appear with clear borders and a dark capsule.

In cases where the formations are larger than 1 cm, a puncture is required using the fine needle biopsy method. X-ray, scintigraphy, MRI and computed tomography are also used as auxiliary diagnostics.


The appointments that the endocrinologist prescribes depend on whether the hormonal background is disturbed in the body. With normal functioning of the thyroid gland, treatment may not be prescribed, which is possible with the stability of the pathology. In this case, dynamic monitoring is required. To do this, you must regularly visit the endocrinologist.

With the development of hypothyroidism, it is possible to use hormonal drugs to correct the balance of the background. In the event of hyperthyroidism, suppression of the excessive activity of the nodes is required.

Initially, conservative methods of treatment are used. In the absence of positive results, surgical intervention may be used. As an alternative, the use of treatment with radioactive iodine isotopes.

After identifying the disease, dietary adjustment is required depending on the diagnosis. With an increase in the amount of hormones, a high-calorie menu with an increased intake of vitamins is required. Hypothyroidism involves a diet with an increased content of protein foods, vegetables and fruits.

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