Goitre, sometimes also spelled goiter, is a growth in or enlargement of the thyroid gland. If a person has a goiter, it almost always affects the function of the thyroid gland. The vast majority of goiters are benign, and an iodine deficiency causes up to 90 percent of them. Goiters are especially prevalent in areas of the world where iodine is not added to table salt. Symptoms of goiter, in addition to a lump in the neck, include weight loss or gain and heart palpitations.
Medications help to reduce swelling and inflammation, and antithyroid agents. The medication suggested by your doctor for treating your goiter will depend on the cause of your condition.
Sometimes surgery is indicated to remove the goiter and to remove all or part of your thyroid gland. This is recommended for patients who have trouble swallowing or breathing because of the goiter and those who have tested positive for thyroid cancer. Depending on the amount of the thyroid gland removed, patients will have to take levothyroxine after surgery to replace their thyroid function.
Radioactive iodine is used to treat an overactive thyroid gland. This substance is taken orally and gradually kills active thyroid cells, reducing the size of the goiter. However, this treatment can eventually cause a patient to have an underactive thyroid gland. Note that radioactive iodine is these quantities is safe.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is another treatment for goiters. This treatment is used to treat an under-active thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. This medication replicates the normal thyroid hormone and effectively kick-starts the thyroid gland. It also can be useful in preventing a goiter from growing and in post-surgery thyroid cancer treatment.
Wait and See
Some goiters and other thyroid issues will resolve themselves will better attention to diet and lifestyle. For that reason, one of the first courses of action for non-cancerous goiters is to simply wait and see what happens over the next few weeks and months, with the doctor closely monitoring the patient’s progress.
There are also many home remedies for goiter. One of the most effective of these is adding kelp to your diet. Kelp is a natural source of iodine as well as being rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, as well as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3 fats, and fiber.
Dandelion greens area another popular home remedy for goiters. These greens are reported to help decrease the swelling of a goiter. To use dandelion greens, make a paste with a handful of greens and clarified butter and spread it on the goiter area. Alternately, you can take two leaves and spread them with butter and place them on the goiter.
Garlic helps to produce glutathione in the body, which is essential for healthy thyroid functioning. It also helps to reduce swelling. To use garlic effectively, chew two to three garlic cloves every morning, or, if you don’t like the taste of garlic, take a garlic supplement pill once a day.
Green tea is a popular remedy for goiter among herbalists. They recommend drinking a cup or two each day to help prevent goiter inflammation and to reduce the size of the goiter. To make green tea, pour boiling water over a teaspoon of green tea leaves and strain. Add a little honey for taste.
Watercress is another excellent source of iodine. This food is also rich in other minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to your thyroid glands, such as sulfur, germanium, and antioxidants. For maximum effectiveness, mix two tablespoons of watercress juice in an eight-ounce glass of water and drink three times daily.