Goiter is actually the swelling in the thyroid glands. The swelling can be abnormally large in size depending on how serious the condition is. Oftentimes, goiters are visible as neck bumps. It is unsightly and very painful. For people who have goiter, they may find it difficult to swallow and even normal breathing is a challenge.
Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of goiter. When there is not enough iodine in the body, the thyroid gland will not produce enough thyroid hormones. To compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones, the thyroid gland grows larger. Production of too much thyroid hormone can also cause goiter which is called toxic nodular goiter. Aside from iodine deficiency, other causes of goiter include infections, smoking, certain foods, genetics, gender, age and certain medicines. The simplest goiter can be prevented by using iodized table salt in your diet. Depending on the underlying causes, there are different ways on how to prevent and cure goiter.
When the goiter is caused by underactive thyroid, you can treat it with thyroid hormone replacement pills. If the goiter is due to iodine deficiency, the treatment could be potassium iodine solution or small doses of Lugol’s iodine. For hyperthyroidism or when high levels of thyroid hormones are produced, use radioactive iodine to lessen the swelling of the glands. The surgery needed to remove all or part of the gland is called thyroidectomy.
A goiter can be treated naturally by eating garlic especially if it is caused by iodine deficiency because garlic is iodine enriched. Including garlic to your regular diet can increase your intake of iodine thus treating the symptoms of goiter in the process. Grated garlic can be added to salads while soups can have a little more flavor when you add chopped garlic. If you don’t like garlic in your food, your option is to take garlic supplements in the form of pills.
Lessen Green Tea Intake
If you are a regular drinker of green tea and you develop goiter, it is time to take it to a minimum. Green tea may be a healthy drink because it contains antioxidants, however, green tea is also rich in fluoride that blocks the body’s absorption of iodine from the food you eat. As mentioned earlier, the body needs enough iodine to prevent goiter. Therefore, too much fluoride in your body can increase your risk of developing goiter. Green tea is healthy when you drink in moderation. Drinking too much green tea could put your health in danger. Compared to black tea, green tea contains twice as much fluoride. If you cannot avoid drinking green tea, at least reduce it considerably to help prevent or cure goiter.
Taking herbal medicine is another option on how to cure goiter. You can improve your thyroid function by using herbal medicines. Herbs like Motherwort, lemon balm, skullcap and bugleweed in the form of tonic or tincture are excellent for treatment of goiter particularly Grave’s disease. You can make tea from herbs like Echinacea and then drink it to boost the immune system. Hashimoto’s disease can also be treated using herbs such as ashwagandha and bladderwrack.
Goiter can also be treated by taking supplements. While it is true that Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease are both thyroid problems, they are also referred to as disorder of the body’s autoimmune system. When the immune system attacks the thyroid tissue, it can result to thyroid disorders. An immune system that functions really well may help prevent thyroid disorder. The symptoms of goiter are then regulated as well. Supplements that contain sterols and sterolins are good for your body as they help balance the immune system. These supplements are also good for the hyperactive immune system.