American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health | VOL. 19

Endemic Goiter and Its Relation to Iodine Content of Food

Publication Date Oct 1, 1929


GOITER has been described since ancient times; its treatment by t..J food supplies containing iodine was practiced in China thousands of years ago; and it is said that burnt sponges which contained iodine were used by the Phoenicians for the same purpose. I think it is well to establish in our minds just what we mean by goiter. In looking over the surveys which have been made in various countries, we find that a simple palpable enlargement of the thyroid gland exists in perfect health, especially in females where the enlargement of the gland is not uncommon at the catamenial periods and also during pregnancy. When the thyroid gland enlarges to the extent that it is visible, conspicuous, unsightly and may produce pressure upon the windpipe and other important structures of the neck, it may be termed goiter. Goiter is one of the best examples we have of an endemic disease. It occurs all over the world but is much more prevalent in certain localities, such as large valleys, mountainous regions, and elevated plains, where also the condition known as cretinism is found. Many theories have been advanced as to its cause, but the accepted idea at present is that it is due to a deficiency of iodine in the food or water supply of the particular locality in which goiter is endemic. We are speaking entirely of simple, not exophthalmic goiter, Graves' disease, or Von Basedow's disease. Here we have a pathological condition with extremely dangerous symptoms. Baumann, in 1895, discovered that the human thyroid contained an organic compound...


Enlargement Of Gland Food Supplies Cent Of Iodine Von Basedow Elevated Plains Basedow's Disease Exophthalmic Goiter Thyroid Gland Large Valleys Perfect Health

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