ZocdocAnswersDo goiters cause one to cough?

Question

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?

Answer

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.

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