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Plummer's Disease Information

Plummer's Disease also known as toxic nodular goiter involves an enlarged thyroid gland that contains a small rounded mass or masses called nodules, which produce too much thyroid hormone. It occurs more commonly in elderly individuals, especially in patients with a long-standing goiter. The disorder is seen in patients 40-50 years old. Females are affected more than men. This disorder is never seen in children. Plummer's Disease is characterized by the autonomous function of one or more thyroid adenomas producing hyperthyroidism. Typically, persons affected by Plummer's disease develop a goitre many years before the onset of symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Toxic multinodular goiter occurs in 15-20% of patients with thyrotoxicosis. Treatment is based upon the patients clinical status. Toxic nodular goiter arises from a long-standing simple goiter and occurs most often in the elderly. Radioactive iodine, surgery, or antithyroid drugs (propylthiouracil, methimazole) are the treatments used for toxic nodular goiter.

Causes of Plummer's disease

The common causes and risk factor's of Plummer's disease include the following:

  • A long-standing simple goiter.
  • Heredity.
  • Too much thyroid hormone medication.

Symptoms of Plummer's disease

Some sign and symptoms related to Plummer's disease are as follows:

  • Increased appetite.
  • Heat intolerance.
  • Weight loss.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Menstrual irregularities (in women).

Treatment of Plummer's disease

Here is list of the methods for treating Plummer's disease:

  • Radioactive iodine, or antithyroid drugs (propylthiouracil, methimazole) are the treatments used for toxic nodular goiter.
  • Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, can control some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism until thyroid hormone levels in the body are under control.
  • Surgery is the preferred treatment for people with a large goiter who chronically relapse after drug therapy and for people who refuse or who are not candidates for the radioactive iodine therapy.


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