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Goiter is a swelling in the neck due to Thyroid disorders. These particular diseases are common in African communities affecting one in four individuals predominantly females. The thyroid is a two-lobed endocrine butterfly-shaped gland which is located at the base of the neck. This gland, which is part of the endocrine system, secretes different hormones (principally thyroxin and triiodothyronine) that regulate the rates of metabolism, growth and development. Thyroid also produces the hormone calcitonin. When the symptoms of a thyroid is underactive it is consider to be hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism when it is overactive. A goiter only needs to be treated if it is causing symptoms. Without this balance, the symptoms of thyroid disease affect every part of an individual’s function, from physical ability to emotional perception.
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