Understanding Goiter -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on April 21, 2021

What Are the Symptoms of Goiter?

The symptoms of a goiter include:

  • Swelling at the front side of the base of the neck, ranging from a small lump or multiple nodules to a general enlargement.
  • If you have hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), symptoms may also include weight loss despite an increased appetite, an increased or irregular heart rate, elevated blood pressure, feeling hot when no one else does, nervousness, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and hand tremors.
  • If you have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), your symptoms may include lethargy, slowed physical and mental functions, depression, a lower heart rate, feeling cold when no one else does, constipation, easy weight gain, and tingling or numbness in your hands.

Call Your Doctor About a Goiter if:

You should call the doctor if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms iwith teh presence of a goiter because you may have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism that needs treatment. Goiters are slow growing, but if you have a large goiter and are experiencing shortness of breath or voice changes, you should call the doctor. The goiter may be pressing on your jugular vein, windpipe, esophagus, or the nerve that runs to your larynx. The growth requires treatment and may need to be surgically removed.