ZocdocAnswersDo goiters cause one to cough?


Do goiters cause one to cough?

Can a goiter make you cough? I have had a goiter for several months that is being treated right now, but every once in a while I have a severe coughing fit that seems inexplicable. Could this just be thre goiter irritating my throat?


Goiters can cause a cough. This however suggests a severe goiter that requires medical followup. I strongly encourage you to see your doctor to have this addressed. A cough is a natural reflex that our bodies have to clear the airways. Anything that blocks the airways can trigger a cough. Commonly we think of inflammation, say from an infection, causing coughs. However, if there is compression of the airway in the neck--one can cough. A goiter, or large mass, in the neck can compress the airway and irritate the larynx (voice box) and therefore cause a cough. It causes a cough by mass effect--by being so large. Therefore, if your goiter is causing a cough--then you need your goiter investigated. A goiter is swelling of the thyroid gland. It can be caused by over production of thyroid hormone, under production of a thyroid hormone, or simply growth (such as cancer). With treatment this should stop growing and even shrink. If someone has a goiter so big that it can causing airway problems--we worry that the goiter might collapse the airway. This sometimes (rarely) requires surgery. A small goiter should not cause cough. There are many other things that can however--like gastric reflux or asthma or medicines. I strongly suggest you talk to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.