Symptoms of goiter in both men and women begin with growth of the thyroid gland, ranging from one nodule to a large lump in the neck, notes the New York Times. When some people have a simple goiter, they may show signs of insufficient activity in the thyroid.
In some cases, additional symptoms of goiter include cough, hoarseness or difficulties with breathing or swallowing. These symptoms result from the thyroid gland growing to the point where it applies pressure to the esophagus and windpipe, reports the New York Times.
Goiters come in several different kinds. Simple goiters can show up without any reason, when the thyroid gland is simply unable to create enough hormone to power the body. Insufficient iodine in one's diet is one possible cause of this, and the thyroid gland grows in order to compensate for the deficit. Toxic nodular goiter happens when the thyroid gland features one or many rounded growths known as nodules. These nodules produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, according to the New York Times.
Simple goiters are more common in women than men, but over the age of 40, both men and women are at elevated risk of a simple goiter. Eating broccoli, peanuts and soy elevate the risk, as do taking lithium or amiodarone, smoking cigarettes or suffering from other infections, as stated by the New York Times.