GoiterGoiter is a condition when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged or swollen. Enlarger thyroid gland may cause coughing, breathing or swallowing difficulties, hoarseness and tightness in the throat. Goiter may also cause swelling of the neck.
CausesGoiter can be a consequence of excessive production of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland may produce too much hormone due to an inflammation or some disorder such as Grave's disease. Another cause of goiter may be Hashimoto's disease when the thyroid gland produces too little hormone. Goiter can also be caused by deficiency of iodine in your diet. Iodine is an important element for proper function of the thyroid gland. Women, especially pregnant women, are more prone to goiter than men.
TreatmentThe treatment of goiter depends on the severity of the symptoms. In case the swelling of the thyroid gland is small and it does not cause any health problems, your doctor will just monitor your condition. If your thyroid gland produces too little hormone, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy and medications. For over productive thyroid gland you may be treated with radioactive iodine. Inflammation of the thyroid gland is usually treated with medications. In the most severe cases, when the goiter is quite large and causes problems with breathing and swallowing, your doctor may recommend surgery. The surgical procedure involves removing a part of your thyroid gland.
DietSince you need iodine for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, you should include food rich in iodine in your diet. The best sources of iodine are sea food and watercress. Other excellent sources include citrus fruits, pineapples, strawberries, lettuce, turnips, tomatoes, onions, garlic and carrots. You should also eat whole rice, cucumbers, oatmeal and eggs, especially yolks. It is not recommended to consume alcohol and drinks which contain caffeine. You should also avoid eating too much sugar, greasy or sour food and products with white flour. You should eat smaller amounts of food more frequently during a day.
Natural RemediesGreen tea is an excellent natural remedy for enlarged thyroid gland. You should drink three or four cups of green tea for optimal results. You can make a compression with dandelion leaves and ghee. You should apply the compression on the goiter for a couple of weeks. Another useful natural remedy for goiter is a paste made of flaxseed powder and hot water, which is also applied on the goiter. It is also recommended to exercise, especially, do aerobics or run.