Having difficulty swallowing? Is your throat tightening, or you having problems breathing? Do you feel like your neck’s getting big all of a sudden? Watch out, because you may have bronchocele. To most of us, this condition is called goiter or goitre.
The thyroid gland is very important in regulating the body’s general nutrition, but when it experiences disorders like iodine deficiency, thyroid problems or infections, thyroid hormone problems and autoimmune diseases, goiter develops. The gland, located in front of the neck, swells abnormally, producing a noticeable and unpleasant-looking swelling. In some severe cases of goiter, the eyes can even pop out of their sockets.
Goiter occurs more frequently in women than men. Many people with goiter conditions decide to just wait for the condition to get better, but if you don’t want to put up with the unsightly and painful swelling, here are some tips on how you can get rid of goiter.
Goiter Causes And Symptoms
Before you can completely cure it, it’s best to know first what causes a goiter to appear. There are numerous possible reasons why you develop this condition, including:
- Iodine deficiency – The gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone without iodine.
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism – reduced or increased thyroid hormones
- Thyroid cyst
- Thyroid cancer
- Puberty or Pregnancy – sometimes causes simple goiter
- Diet – Some food items can cause goiter, like turnips
It’s easy to dismiss goiters, since they’re symptoms aren’t as alarming as other illnesses. Signs that you may have goiters include:
- Tight feeling in the throat
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Neck swelling
Once you’ve experienced these, it’s time for you to turn to tactics to get rid of the goiter.
Wait And See
Not all goiters are worrisome and cause for alarm. Sometimes, the condition is very minor, that all you have to do is wait for the swelling to subside. If the goiter isn’t very big or very painful, then try the wait-and-see approach. Don’t try anything, no medications or surgery. Wait for a few days, and see if the ailment pass. If it doesn’t, then it may be time for you to consult an expert.
Your Diet Matters
What you ingest affects the swelling and even the development of goiter. Since goiter is usually caused by lack of iodine, it’s best to eat food items that are rich in this nutrient. Carrots, salt, garlic are the best source of iodine in its organic form, so include these in your diet. Aside from these, plenty of Vitamin A is also recommended because it’s important for iodine. You can get this from spinach, milk, egg yolks, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and dried apricots.
Expert also recommend lettuce, seafood, onions, and whole rice to be included in the diet, since these aid in reducing neck swelling. Oats and bananas stimulate the thyroid. Tomatoes, pineapples and guavas also help.
If it’s a child who’s afflicted with goiter, breast milk is one of the best remedies.
Sometimes, fasting also cures goiter. Stay away from all types of food, except fruits, fruit juices and vegetables. The swelling will slowly ebb away. After a week or two, start eating a light, but nutritious diet.
If waiting and eating the right foods don’t relieve you of your goiter, then the best tactic will be to take medications. Modern medicine now allows people to cure themselves of their goiter dilemma effectively. Of course, the type of medicine to be ingested depends on the cause and your expected outcome.
For example, if it’s simply thyroid gland inflammation, doctors will just prescribe a corticosteroid or aspirin to treat the swelling. If it’s hyperthyroidism, medications that normalize hormone levels are more advisable. On the other hand, thyroid hormone replacement using levothyroxine is appropriate for people who have hypothyroidism, reducing the symptoms and cause the release of thyroid-stimulating hormones to slow down, allowing the goiter size to decrease.
If what you’re experiencing is Thyroiditis, a thyroid hormone supplement is recommended. It’ll bring back the thyroid hormone levels to normal, although it doesn’t completely take the goiter away. The supplement is ingested as a pill and is taken daily.
Another medication option for goiter is radioactive iodine. This works by treating an overactive thyroid gland, and is taken orally. Radioactive iodine reaches the thyroid gland through the bloodstream, destroying your thyroid cells. It results in a smaller goiter, but also causes your thyroid gland to become underactive. Most people who opt for this had to result to levothyroxine hormone replacement, all throughout their lives.
Turn To Surgery
In severe goiter cases, like if it already obstructs normal body functions or if there’s a suspicion of malignancy in the enlarged gland, surgery is the most apt solution. The procedure is called thyroidectomy, and is done when the goiter has symptoms that might cause cancer. Your doctor will tell you if you need to undergo this delicate procedure. It happens very rarely, but it’s the best way to get rid of goiter.
Goiter Home Remedies
In some minor goiter cases, running to the doctor or turning to medications isn’t needed. The health dilemma can be easily resolved using natural homemade remedies. There are many products available that’s said to cure goiter problems effectively. Here are some examples. See which one will work for you.
- Watercress – This prevents and cures goiter. Get the paste of watercress and apply it over your neck area.
- Dandelion leaves treatment – To subside the neck swelling caused by goiter, warm dandelion leaves for a while, then smear and bandage them over the affected area.
- Flax – The seeds are very effective in treating goiter. Ground them in water, then put over heat for a while. Let the mixture cool for a while, then apply it over the neck. It helps reduce the swelling.
- Swamp cabbage – Make a juice out of the leaves of swamp cabbage and tea almonds and take a teaspoon one or two times a day. It’s beneficial for primary goiter.
- Barley water – Include this drink in your diet to help lessen the ailment.
- Kanchanar – An herb used in Ayurverdic science, this works very well in curing thyroid-related illnesses. Use the leaves in relieving goiter, or find patent medicines which contain this herb.
- Kachnas or Bauhini variegate – A traditional Indian treatment for goiter. Make a 30 ml decoction from the bark and drink it twice a day, while your stomach is still empty.
- Massage treatment – Strange as it may be, some experts say that there are special massage techniques that can stop goiter problems. Reflexology, acupuncture and acupressure also work, as long as an expert performs them.
Dealing with goiter can be very difficult, but as long as you know the proper health tactics, you can say goodbye to this condition sooner than you think. Remember these when you’re nursing goiter.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like soda, alcohol and coffee. These can aggravate a viral infection in the throat, causing worse goiter symptoms.
- Exercise and stretch the neck muscles daily.
- Stop smoking.
- Take four or five small meals everyday, instead of the usual three heavy ones. Small meals let the body digest food more thoroughly, absorbing all the needed nutrients to cure goiter.
No one wants to have a large, unpleasant bump sticking out of their neck. If you have or if you think you’re coming down with goiter, remember these tactics and remove the dilemma. You’ll be thankful for having your smooth and flawless neck back again.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of goiters.