Goiter is a health condition that is usually characterized when the neck swells due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Most of the time, a goiter is painless. However, when left untreated, this may cause other conditions such as a severe cough and the difficulty for a person to breathe.
From the Latin word “gŏiter”, the resulting swelling may be visible as a lump in the front of the neck. Worldwide, about 2 billion people have a goiter. It is most common in areas where iodine deficiency is common, such as parts of Africa and Asia.
The cause of most cases is lack of dietary iodine. A goiter may also result from an abnormality in the function or structure of the thyroid, such as Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic autoimmune thyroiditis), congenital hypothyroidism, tumors within the gland, and other conditions that affect the production or release of thyroid hormones.
Before we delve deeper into natural remedies to shrink goiter, let’s understand first how goiter is detected and whether surgery is needed.
How Goiter symptoms are detected
Symptoms of a goiter can vary depending on the size and cause of the goiter, but may include a swelling in the front of the neck, difficulty swallowing called dysphagia, or a hoarse voice.
There are several ways you can tell if you have a goiter. One is to look for swelling in the front of your neck. You may also have difficulty swallowing or a hoarse voice. Another thing you can do is to get your thyroid checked by a doctor. The doctor will be able to tell if you have a goiter, even if it’s small.
If the goiter is large, you may experience pain in your neck or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, or changes in your voice. In the early stages of a goiter, many people do not experience any symptoms. Hence, you may want to check with your doctor in your next annual physical examination check up.
Goiters should be distinguished from goitrous hypothyroidism, which is a goiter caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone due to causes other than iodine deficiency, such as autoimmune diseases, surgery to remove the thyroid, or pituitary disease.
A goiter can be treated by surgery (on rare occasions), radioactive iodine therapy, or antithyroid drugs such as methimazole and propylthiouracil. Some people will need hormone replacement even after successful treatment of a goiter. The medications are typically given until the gland decreases in size to less than 4 cm (1.6 in) in diameter.
Given the common sign of a having a goiter, it is good to know that such condition is manageable and can be treated by natural remedies and methods.
Thyroid gland and thyroid hormones
The butterfly shaped thyroid gland is located below the Adam apple and above the breastbone. It is about 3 inches long and weighs less than an ounce (28 grams). The thyroid produces two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate how fast your body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls other processes in cells throughout your body.
The thyroid disorders can go in two ways: goiter or Hashimoto’s. Goiter can be caused by abnormal level of thyroid hormones, while Hashimoto’s disease is a disorder in which the immune system attacks and destroys your thyroid cells.
Home remedies for treating goiter
Despite the growing size of a person’s thyroid gland, it is still good to know that appropriate home remedies will help you address this problem. Overcoming this thyroid gland problem may require you enough time to heal; however, these tips have been proven helpful in addressing the disease.
Here are some of the natural ways of treating your goiter problem.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to be a good cure to goiter. Given its mildly acidic nature, apple cider vinegar has the ability to balance a person’s pH level within the body. As it heals the swollen thyroid gland, this vinegar will also detoxify your body and will enhance the iodine absorption at the same time. When enough iodine is present inside the body, the swelling of the gland will also decrease.
The application of apple cider vinegar as natural remedies is easy and does not involve any complicated steps or procedures that might make one reluctant to try it. All you need to do is mix apple cider vinegar with warm water and drink twice per day, once at breakfast and once at dinner. You might feel some discomfort when you first start to drink apple cider vinegar but it would be negligible and not crippling. Most probably, your goiter will experience a noticeable reduction in size in the span of 1 to 2 months.
This application, among other home remedies, is largely unknown because apple cider vinegar is not advertised as a treatment for goiters; hence it does not enjoy any patronage from people looking for such information. If apple cider vinegar was advertised for goiter reduction, you can bet that it would be a household name.
In order to make apple cider vinegar even more efficient in treating your goiter, add pineapple juice when you are mixing apple cider vinegar with warm water. That way, you will enjoy all the health benefits of apple cider and fruit juice at the same time.
Apple cider vinegar is known for its versatility and thus, it is not a surprise that apple cider vinegar can be used to shrink harmless goiter by virtue of its unique composition and could also improve thyroid health. It consists almost entirely of acetic acid, which is one of the most important organic acids in chemistry with a wide range of applications. Acetic acid has been used to dissolve gallstones, dissolve kidney stones, kill bacteria and fungi on contact, clean metals, produce cellulose plastics, make herbicides and much more. When apple cider vinegar is taken in the right dosage as directed earlier, it can play a role in reducing goiter size without posing any serious health hazard.
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Eat Foods with Iodine
Primarily, goiters or thyroid problems are mainly due to iodine deficiency in the body. Hence, in order to address the condition, a person is advised to eat more foods with enough iodine content or to replace normal salt with iodized salt. According to health experts, adults are advised to have about 150 micrograms of iodine per day. In order to replace the iodine that is lost in the body, make sure to load up your diet with iodine-rich foods to treat your goiter naturally. Obviously, you can also take iodine supplements if you feel necessary. Generally, with higher iodine uptake, it is likely you can help to reduce the small size of your goiter.
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Make Garlic Part of your Diet
It may sound absurd; however, garlic plays an important role in treating goiter naturally. It is known that garlic helps lessen the swelling of the thyroid gland and enhances the function of it at the same time. Every day, a person with goiter is advised to chew or eat three cloves of garlic per day. Adding this spice to your daily dish will also help you a lot in treating the condition naturally.
This watercress has been widely known to be a goiter cure. It has high iodine content, and in which, iodine is seldom found in the low-land grass like this herb. Given its richness in iodine, it is also good to know that watercress contains lots of vitamins and minerals which helps the body to recover from certain conditions and infections. All you need to do is to include this watercress in your daily diet and experience the best results given your religious intake.
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This is another advisable natural remedy that would help you address your goiter problem. Dandelion leaves are known to cure several health problems and goiter is one of them. This herb can be used in two forms; you can create a paste through the dandelion leaves, and or, drink dandelion leaves tea every day to treat goiter naturally. In order to reduce the swelling of your neck, apply the paste directly to the affected area. You can also take dandelion leaves tea for at least twice every day.
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Make Use of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another known natural remedy that cures goiter. Its high levels of lauric acid are believed to enhance the absorption of iodine inside the body. Further, coconut oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory property; thus, will also reduce the swelling of the thyroid gland. All you need to do is to include a good quality of coconut oil into your daily regimen and see the results after.
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There are also healthy juice choices that help treat goiter naturally. Pineapple and lemon juice are among the most notable cures for thyroid problems. These juices are known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help lessens the swelling of the thyroid gland. Meanwhile, you can also include crushed garlic into these juices and make sure to drink it every morning on an empty stomach. Apart from treating the swelling of your neck, pineapple and lemon juice also help release the toxins out from the body that has been accumulated over a period of time. If you do not have fresh lemon juice, you can consider mixing warm water with citrus juice concentrates as well.
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This is another herbal tea that you can drink every day to cure goiter naturally. It has been proven to reduce the inflammation of the thyroid gland given its refreshing effect to the body. All you need to do is to gather a handful of moringa leaves and place it on a hot water for a couple of minutes. Drink the tea at least once every day and this will surely give you the best relief.
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This is another natural treatment that helps cure goiter. In order to reduce the palpitation of the heart caused by hyperactive thyroid, drinking this natural tea every day will address the said issue. Studies have found out that motherwort tea has antiviral and anti-cancer properties and is also an ideal cure for hyperthyroidism.
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Given the natural herbs and remedies for goiter, another thing that you can do to address the condition is through neck exercises. upward neck stretch is believed to be beneficial in treating the hyperthyroidism. Doing the neck exercise regularly is believed to stretch the muscles of the neck. As a result, reduction of the swelling of the thyroid gland is also possible.
These are among the natural methods and remedies that you can apply to maintain good thyroid function. A person with such condition is required to give utmost focus on his or her diet and food choices and to check with professional for possible diagnostic of thyroid disorders. Hence, make sure to follow all these tips, take goitrogenic foods in utmost moderation, and keep your body healthy by exercising regularly. Given the positive effects of these natural treatments, it is still best to consult your doctor beforehand regarding the appropriate treatment you should take into consideration.
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