A goiter is defined as a condition where the thyroid has become enlarged. Goiter in and of itself is not dangerous, and even when the thyroid is in an enlarged state it may be producing enough thyroid hormones (thyroxine & triiodothyronine) to meet the body's needs.

On the other hand, a goiter could result in your body producing too much or too little of these two important thyroid hormones, meaning that medical treatment may be called for.

An enlarged thyroid condition can be caused by a number of possible factors, including a lack of iodine in the diet, autoimmune diseases such as Grave's disease and Hashimoto's disease, cancer and others.

If you have been diagnosed with goiter by your doctor, you may have heard that radioiodine ablation for thyroid goiter is the way to cure your condition. Only your doctor can know for sure which treatment option is best, but here are 4 treatment options for goiter:

1. Wait-and-see:

In the case wherey your goiter is not very large and no thyroid hormone problems are detected, the wait-and-see approach may be best.

Synthetic thyroid:

For people with hypothyroidism, synthetic thyroid medications are available to supply the body with the thyroid hormones it needs to do its job. In some cases in patients with hypothyroidism due to goiter, synthetic thyroid medications can be given to the patient, potentially decreasing the size of the goiter.

3. Surgical removal:

Surgical removal, or ablation, of the enlarged thyroid gland is always an option. This total or partial thyroidectomy is recommended when the goiter has become so enlarged that it affects the patient's ability to swallow or breathe.

4. Radioactive iodine treatments:

Radioactive iodine treatment – also called radioiodine ablation – is recommended in some cases. It works by the patient taking the radioactive iodine orally. When this special iodine solution reaches the patient's bloodstream, it is absorbed by the thyroid – thereby destroying the thyroid cells. While this treatment often works as planned, destroying the thyroid gland, it can also result in an underactive thyroid. If this is indeed the result, then hormone replacement using synthetic hormone will be recommended.

These 4 treatment options are the most common to treat a goiter, including radioiodine ablation.