Health A to Z Last updated on 2021-10-15 09:11:01
How To Shrink A Goiter Naturally: Effective Home Remedies And Tips
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 5 Min Read
- Fact Checked
A goiter, which usually is presented as a swelling at the base of your neck, is the result of an enlarged thyroid gland. The butterfly shaped gland sits at the base of your neck or below the Adam's apple. Goiters don't usually cause pain but are very uncomfortable. Those that have this symptom often wonder how to shrink a goiter naturally. While this can be a discussion, it is important that you speak to a doctor should you start presenting with a goiter. Besides the neck swelling, there can be other symptoms that can be accompanying it. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a goiter can help you understand your treatment ahead, and the options you have.
Causes of a goiter
The common cause of a goiter is essentially iodine deficiency. In places where iodine deficiency isn't prominent, the cause of a goiter could be hyperthyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, there is an overproduction of the thyroid hormones . An example of this would be Graves disease, a type of hyperthyroidism where an immune system disorder causes the overproduction of thyroid hormones. The list below shows the other causes of thyroid enlargement:
- Hashimoto’s disease: a type of hypothyroidism that results in an underactive thyroid. A goiter can occur because the body reacts to the low thyroid hormone levels, and the pituitary gland produces TSH to stimulate the thyroid. - Pregnancy: the production of the HCG can cause slight thyroid enlargement - Thyroid cancer: Although uncommon, it is a possibility. - Thyroiditis: the inflammation of the thyroid can result in a painful swelling. Sometimes, the body also fluctuates in producing too much thyroid hormones or too little.
Problems with/due to a goiter
Before a treatment for goiter is suggested - whether home remedies or medical care - it is often observed to see if it will reduce on it's on. Goiters don’t always cause symptoms, but can get large enough to cause dry coughs and even hinder swallowing and breathing properly. Goiters that are small and unsympathetic don’t usually need treatment. However in some cases, medications and surgery are needed.
- Swelling at base of neck
- Throat tightness
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
Medical treatments for goiters
Before a treatment for goiter is suggested - whether home remedies or medical care - it can be reduced on its own. Thyroid function tests are needed to understand the cause for it and manage it accordingly. - Radioactive iodine therapy which is taken orally to reduce the thyroid gland function. - Antithyroid agent that would stop the gland from producing thyroid hormones. - In severe cases, a partial thyroidectomy is advised
But, how to shrink a goiter naturally?
Effective Home Remedies And Tips to shrink a goiter naturally
There are ways to help a goiter that don’t involve medications. While it does depend on the cause of your goiter, some cases can be helped by lifestyle changes. Before you change your diet, medicine schedule or anything you were advised to do, speak to a general practitioner first. (1) Prevent/treat iodine deficiency: Too much of something is bad, but making sure you’re getting enough iodine in your diet, will lower your risk of a goiter. Using iodized salt like they do in the United States or eating seafood regularly , are both easy and simple ways to incorporate iodine into your diet. An individual needs about 150 micrograms of iodine per day. Sources of iodine include: - Seafood: Tuna, shrimp, cod, seaweed - Dairy: Cows’ milk, yogurt, cheese - Selenium (which is also required for metabolism of thyroid hormones) source foods: sunflower seeds, onions, mushrooms, meats and eggs. The thyroid gland functions at its optimum with selenium. There are certain substances which will decrease iodine availability to our body and these are called Goitrogens- Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, kale, soy products.
(2) Avoid excess consumption of iodine: If the cause of your goiter is the production of too much thyroid hormones. Avoid too much of sea food or dairy products or iodized salt
(3) Castor oil: A few drops of the oil can be used to massage the swelling gently. Leaving it on overnight can help better. This is because castor oil is said to be an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the swelling. Using carrier oils such as almond oil can also help.
(4) Lemon and garlic: a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey and a garlic clove mixed into a drink in the morning can help as well. Vitamin C improves thyroid hormone metabolism. Also, lemon and garlic are anti-inflammatories, and the concoction is said to detox the body of toxins.
(5) Ashwagandha: 2 tablespoons of this ayurvedic bark powder with 150 ml of water, strained can also be of help. The herb is said to boost thyroid function, increasing the production of T3 and T4 hormones to some extent. This wouldn't be used for those with a goiter caused by excess hormones, of course.
(6) Fish oil: this supplement once a day can help in the metabolism of thyroid hormones especially in autoimmune disorders of Thyroid.
Thyroid hormones are tricky but very important in that they need to be managed properly. The right amount is needed for optimum functioning of the body. If you exhibit any symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, consult with an endocrinologist immediately. The cause of your symptoms - especially a goiter - needs to be determined before any treatment can begin. Don’t self diagnose because there are various reasons why a goiter can occur. So before you ask the question how to shrink a goiter naturally or proceed to try any remedies through self medication, make sure you speak to specialist first.
You'd be surprised how lifestyle changes can positively affect hypothyroidism. MFine follows through with your care from consultations with top endocrinologists and weekly meal reviews to round-the-clock access to health coaches. The 3-Month Hypothyroidism Care Plan offers quality care at your fingertips.
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