HomeStandard PeopleKeeping goitre is fatal

Keeping goitre is fatal

She thought the complications were related to childbirth and immediately consulted her doctor.
But to her shock, the doctor told her she had developed goitre, a condition she had never imagined would affect her as she had always been careful with her diet.
Masuka said she had not seen any swelling around her neck to indicate that she was suffering from the condition. She ignored the diagnosis and hoped for the better.
“Initially I experienced breathing problems twice or thrice a day but after five months it became more frequent,” she said.
“My voice also became hoarse and I was getting worried that it was becoming a threat to my life.”
She had to seek the opinion of another doctor who confirmed the earlier diagnosis.
“The doctor explained that the goitre was still growing but was cancerous,” Masuka said.
“He said it was vital for the operation to be carried out early to avoid serious complications in future.”
Fortunately the operation went well and Masuka has since fully recovered.
Aspect Maunganidze, a Harare-based surgeon said there were different types of goitre.
“The cancerous (malignant) are more dangerous than the non-malignant ones as they may cause death within six months if they are not treated early,” he said.
Maunganidze said the intake of certain drugs and foods, which contain elements such as lithium was known to interfere with thyroid hormone production.
He said lack of adequate iodine intake may also cause the condition, which, if not treated on time, might lead to different kinds of health complications.
“In the neck it can compress the trachea (airway) resulting in airway obstruction and eventually lead to death,” Maunganidze said.
“The compression of vocal cords’ nerves causes the hoarse voice and the compression of the esophagus causes difficulties in swallowing.”
He added that excessive production of thyroid hormones might also cause heat intolerance, irritability, mental instability, loss of weight, menstrual disturbances, heart palpitations and heart failure.
Maunganidze said treatment at public health centres was relatively cheap while private hospitals
can charge between US$3 000 and US$4 000 because of the many specialists involved.
More women suffer from this condition compared to men.

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