The enlarging of the thyroid gland, is what is known as goiter, and is locked in the neck region, just below the Adam's apple. Tissue growth within the thyroid grows in size, resulting in a swelling reaction to take place. It is a painless swelling of the thyroid gland, but it can cause difficulty swallowing, and brings about coughs. The thyroid gland secretes hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). When the gland doesn't secrete enough of these hormones, it stops the body from receiving these hormones, that allow normal bodily functions. There's also a condition of the gland secreting too much of the hormones (hyperthyroidism), or too little (hypothyroidism).
Causes of Goiter
The main cause of goiter is lack of iodine in the body, which is very important in sustaining normal hormone production from the thyroid. The two main kinds of goiter conditions, namely, endemic goiter (colloid), benign goiter and sporadic goiter (nontoxic), are common among people. Colloid goiter takes place in people who live in areas with poor iodine-content soil, thus affecting the food. Sporadic goiter, strangely, isn't known to show any causes, except that certain medications that trigger the thyroid to act up, when subjected to medicines like aminoglutethimide or lithium. Those who are susceptible to this condition belong to the following categories.
- Gender is female.
- Genetic background indicates a history of goiter in the family.
- Age is over 40 years.
- Iodine is absent from one's diet.
Goiter Symptoms and Treatment
The symptoms usually start with swollen glands being a major visible sign. It can either be a large neck lump or an affected single small nodule. Here are more symptoms that can take place as time lapses.
- Due to the pressure applied to the esophagus and windpipe, you can experience hoarse vocals, difficulty breathing, coughs and difficulty in swallowing
- Vein swells up
- Dizzy spells when one raises their arms over their head
- Tightness in the throat cavity
- Swelling at the base of the neck
- Person lacks concentration
- Easily emotionally upset
- Mood swings
Those who reach a stage where it is labeled as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, toxic nodular goiter or thyroid cancer, you need to seek treatment immediately with haste. When you get goiter at a nontoxic level, then the symptoms don't show due to its slow growth pace, avoiding any kind of treatment needed (if it reaches the nodules, it can prove to be cancerous, and will need immediate medical care).
For the other more aggressive kinds of goiter, the following treatment methods will be needed.
- There are thyroid hormone replacements, for those suffering from hypothyroidism - levothyroxine sodium. Over a period of time this can reduce the size of the goiter, and slow down the process of release of hormones that cause the thyroid to inflame.
- Corticosteroid or aspirin to treat the inflamed thyroid gland.
- Thyroid hormone replacements are required, like mentioned before, leading to radiation and surgical (to remove the whole / a little part of the gland - thyroidectomy) treatment of the goiter.
- Thyroid hormones are used to treat benign goiters, levothyroxine sodium, which is given to the patient once a day.
- Where there is a deficiency of iodine, patients are given potassium iodine or Lugol's iodine in small doses.
How to Treat Goiter Naturally
Goiter treatment consists of many medical ways of dealing with this condition, but natural methods are by eating foods rich in iodine, in its organic form and foods rich in cyanoglucosides.
Foods Rich in Iodine
- Whole rice
- Egg yolks
- Iodized table salt
Foods Rich in Cyanoglucosides
- Lima beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Bamboo shoots
Don't wait for the condition to build up into something that cannot be controlled. Have a healthy tomorrow.