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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can iodine deficiency cause swelling of the thyroid gland?

Answered by
Dr. Shehzad Topiwala


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 1663 Questions

Posted on Thu, 4 Oct 2018 in Lump
Question: Yes, I recently felt a mass in my neck. My Dr said it was my thyroid. What causes the thyroid to swell? He wants to do an ultrasound right away but I’ve only felt it for 2 days. I’m thinking maybe my diet is iodine deficient since I stopped using salt. Do you think I should wait or had the ultrasound done right away. I don’t have insurance.
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 1 hour later
Brief Answer:


Detailed Answer:


Sometimes thyroid swelling can occur spontaneously just like randomly in nature. Women are more prone to it, and in general, they occur frequently as one grows older.

Iodine deficiency can potentially lead to them too but regardless of the cause, an ultrasound is a reasonable start to evaluate them.

When I see someone like you in my practice, I typically order the following blood tests in addition to a detailed physical examination:

CBC (Complete Blood Count, also known as Hemogram; includes Hemoglobin, WBC and Platelet counts).

Electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium in particular).

HbA1c (Glycosylated Hemoglobin = your last 3 months' glucose average). Also known by other names such as glycohemoglobin or Glycated Hemoglobin or A1c.

Liver function tests (SGOT, SGPT, Albumin, Bilirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase).

Kidney function tests (BUN, Creatinine).

TSH (checks your thyroid)

None of these tests requires any fasting and can be done at any time of the day.

Correct diagnosis and treatment require the opportunity to examine the patient so you must see an endocrinologist in-person.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Shehzad Topiwala, Endocrinologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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