Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home Remedies for Goiter


A goiter is a swollen thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is found near the base of the neck. The thyroid gland produces and stores thyroid hormones. 

Thyroxin is the main hormone the thyroid gland produces. Thyroid hormones play an important role since it regulates bone growth, sexual development and the proper functioning of the body organs.

In order for the thyroid gland to produce the hormones it needs iodine from the food we eat. Iodine is a chemical element found in seafood, iodized salt and certain vegetables and dairy foods

When the body does not get enough iodine the thyroid gland is unable to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones the body needs . This will result in an under-active thyroid gland causing the thyroid gland to swell up and form a 'goiter.'

Sometimes the body may get too much iodine from food and this too can cause the thyroid gland to swell up.  An excess amount of iodine will result in the thyroid gland producing too much hormones. This type of thyroid gland is known as an over-active thyroid gland. An  over-active thyroid gland is also referred to as hyperthyroidism.

Goiters can also form due to the following reasons.

Viral infections which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland. This is called ‘thyroiditis.’

Graves' disease – an autoimmune disease which results in the swelling of the thyroid gland due to the overproduction of thyroid hormones.

Side effects to medicines such as Lithium which causes the thyroid gland to swell up.

Hereditary

There are two types of goiters: diffuse smooth goiter and nodular goiters. The difference between the two is in its size and how it’s formed.

Diffuse Smooth Goiters

The size of a ‘diffuse smooth goiter’ is quite large and can be caused by:

Nodular Goiters

Nodular goiters are smaller than diffuse smooth goiters, more like tiny lumps.

Nodular goiters can be divided into two types: multinodular goiter and single nodule goiter.

Listed below are a few home remedies used to treat goiters.

Foods

Eat foods rich in iodine: watercress, yellow vegetables, eggs, carrots, dark green vegetables, fish, kelp, seaweed, apple, pineapple, grapes and papaya.

Supplements

Primrose Oil, vitamin B-complex, Zinc, calcium, copper, magnesium and silicon are supplements taken to maintain a healthy thyroid gland. Consult with your doctor and ask how you can benefit from taking these supplements if you’re suffering from a goiter. 

Exercise

Do the following neck exercise 8 to 10 times every night.

While sitting upright on the bed or chair look up at the ceiling while stretching your neck as far as possible. Stay in this position for 10 seconds. Bring your head back to its original position. Relax for a few seconds and repeat the process. 

Sea Salt

Gargling with sea salt or sea-bathing can bring relief to a goiter.

To make a sea salt gargle dissolve ½ teaspoon of sea salt into a glass of warm water. Use this gargle twice a day (morning and evening) every other day.

© Suranee Perera 2012

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