A goitre or goiter, is a swelling in the thyroid gland, which can lead to a swelling of the neck or larynx (voice box). Goitre rarely occurs when the thyroid gland is functioning properly. Over 90% cases of goitre are caused by iodine deficiency. The thyroid gland is in the lower part of the front of the neck. It lies just in front of the trachea (windpipe). It has a right and left lobe which are connected together by a narrower band of thyroid tissue. (It is roughly the shape of a butterfly.) You cannot usually see or feel a normal thyroid gland. If the thyroid enlarges it causes a swelling in the neck which is a goitre.
The common causes of goitre:
.Juvenile goitre due to congenital hypothyroidism
.High consumption of certain foods that neutralise iodine, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Other foods, like soy, may also induce goitres.
.Dyshormonogenesis, a genetic enzyme deficiency that interferes with normal thyroid hormone synthesis.
.Benign or malignant tumours of the thyroid gland.
.Certain drugs, such as lithium and phenylbutazone
Some symptoms of goitre:
.Diminished power of concentration.
.Swelling of the thyroid gland.
.Breathing problems, if the goitre is large enough to press on the windpipe (trachea).
.Swallowing problems, if the goitre is large enough to press on the oesophagus.
Treatment always depends on the size and cause of the goiter swelling and whether it is causing other symptoms. Many of those who suffer from goitre will require lifelong medication treatments in addition to any other treatment used. Fortunately for those who are against modern drugs or simply cannot afford them, there are home remedies which one may utilize instead.
. All foods containing iodine should be taken liberally. These are lettuce, turnips, carrots, garlic, onions, oats, pineapples, whole rice, tomatoes, watercress, strawberries, guavas, citrus fruits, egg yolks, and sea foods.
. Watercress is one of the best sources of the element iodine. A paste made of this vegetable can also be applied beneficially over the affected parts. It helps to reduce swelling.
. A teaspoon of swamp cabbage juice with tea almonds should be given once or twice daily as a medicine.
. Kachnar, botanically known as Bauhinia variegata, has been used as a folk medicine for treatment of goitre in India. About 30 ml of the decoction of the bark should be given twice a day in the morning on an empty stomach.
. Dandelion has been found valuable in treating goitre. The leaves of this salad vegetable should be smeared with clarified butter, warmed and bandaged over the swollen parts for about two weeks.
. The flax seeds should be grounded in water, heated and applied over the affected parts. The leaves of the tree should then be bandaged over them.
. Do the neck stretches and exercises daily. These help stretch the muscles that are attached to the thyroid gland. Aerobics and jogging also help relieve a person suffering from goiter.
. Regularly intake of water nut (shingara) lotus reed, stem to the lotus tube of Plancuperous tuberosus and pineapple.
. Take equal parts of sorrel leaves and olive oil and mash them. Spread this paste on the goiter. It would help relieve a person suffering from goiter.
. Cucumber is a rich source of diet for goiter affected people. It should be included in the daily diet in the form of salads.
. Fluoride, chlorine and iodine are related with each other in the sense of chemistry. They block an entrance of iodine into thyroid. So try to avoid chlorinated water, fluoridated water and toothpaste containing the same.
. Vitamin A is necessary for iodine. Take enough of that to cure goiter.
. Vitamin B complexes nourish the thyroid gland and also help to utilize the iodine. Take enough Vitamin B complex to prevent thyroid malfunctioning.
. Another best way to get rid of thyroid malfunctioning is go for fasting. Keep yourself on fruits and vegetable juices. After couple of weeks, start with light but nutritious diet.
. Regularly drinking barley water is one of the easiest natural home remedies for goitre.
. Take tea almonds with one teaspoon of juice made from cabbage leaves.
. Drink pineapple juice on a daily basis for controlling all your thyroid related problems.
. Bananas and oats are also very effective in stimulating the thyroid.
. Pound few cloves of garlic,make a paste and tie the paste in cloth,use as poultice over neck.