If left untreated, a large goiter can put too much pressure on the trachea and esophagus, limiting a patient's ability to breathe and swallow normally, reports EndocrineWeb. The presence of a goiter may also indicate more serious health issues such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer, claims the Mayo Clinic.
Patients that fail to seek treatment for a goiter may start to experience fatigue, sudden weight gain or weight loss, sleep deprivation and irritability due to an underlying thyroid condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The presence of a goiter may also indicate an iodine deficiency. Without iodine, the thyroid gland cannot make hormones and function properly, claims the Mayo Clinic. By not seeking medical attention for the goiter, patients run the risk of developing serious thyroid conditions that could have been prevented by increasing iodine intake, reports WebMD.
A goiter left untreated may also lead to frequent coughing, which can cause vocal hoarseness and difficulty speaking, states the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to serious medical issues, pain and discomfort, an untreated goiter may cause cosmetic problems, states EndocrineWeb. Patients may have difficulty hiding large goiters under clothing and accessories, which can cause depression and anxiety as an untreated goiter may continue to grow until patients seek medical advice.