Top Goiter Treatments

Top Goiter Treatments

A goiter can be toxic or non-toxic. A goiter that is non-toxic is simply an enlargement of the thyroid gland, which is not linked to malignancy or excessive production of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland can enlarge excessively and can be seen as a huge swelling in front of the neck. Normally, this gland is butterfly in shape, but with the enlargement, its shape can distort. There are a number of causes for goiter. In the past, the lack of iodine used to be the major culprit for this disorder but now it has become a rare occurrence because of the incorporation of iodized salt in our diet. Nowadays, rise in TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level contribute to the formation of goiter mostly. This rise in TSH levels occursTop Goiter Treatments insidiously and can be precipitated by defective synthesis of thyroid hormones. TSH is synthesized by the pituitary gland and it can enlarge our thyroid gland.

Thyroid Drugs

Thyroid drugs can be used for the treatment of moderate or small sized goiter. These thyroid drugs mimic like thyroid hormones, thus sending signals to the pituitary to produce less TSH. This, in turn, leads to the stabilization of the size of the thyroid gland. This method will probably not shrink goiter but it will prevent it from enlarging any further.

Thyroid Surgery

Following are some indications for thyroid surgery:

  • If a person does not respond to the thyroid drugs, then the best, next step is to opt for the surgery.
  • Another major indication for the surgery is pressure symptoms, for example the compression of esophagus and trachea, caused by a grossly enlarged goiter. Such patients complain of symptoms, such as cough, change in the quality of voice, choking episodes while sleeping; because on lying down the heavy goiter occludes the trachea thus producing the difficulty in breathing.
  • The thyroid gland has two lobes. Either both or a single lobe can be enlarged due to goiter. If only one lobe is enlarged, this can lead to the displacement of trachea, which normally runs straight from our mouth to our lungs.
  • In some case, the enlarged goiter can even squeeze our blood vessels which are running through the neck. This is an important indication for the surgical removal.
  • Top Goiter TreatmentsMalignancy is always an indication for the removal of thyroid gland. So, if there is any suspicion of malignancy, go for the surgery.
  • In a multi-nodular goiter, the chances of malignancy are slightly less than five percent. Presence of a dominant nodule in a multi-nodular goiter, raises the suspicion of malignant goiter. Same principle applies for a scan showing a cold nodule in the thyroid gland.
  • Lastly, a goiter can be removed for the cosmetic reasons. Sometimes it can enlarge enough to be noticed as a swelling, mostly in the front and sides, of the neck. This mass, or swelling, can be seen with the naked eye, even before the pressure symptoms occur. This can be a source of unease for some people. They can try, either thyroid medications or the surgical removal of thyroid, for getting rid of their goiter.

Everything You Should Know About Hyperthyroidism

Everything You Should Know About Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a state in which our thyroid gland becomes hyperactive and secretes increased amounts of the thyroid hormones. Basically, the thyroid is a gland which is butterfly in shape and is located a little below our Adam’s apple, in front of our neck. The hormones released by this gland regulate our breathing, body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism, weight, nervous system and various other functions of our body. When our thyroid gland is hyperactive, the increased hormone production speeds up our bodily functions, thus causing the following symptoms:

  • Tremors of handEverything You Should Know About Hyperthyroidism
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular heart beat or palpitations
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Trouble with sleep
  • Menstrual irregularities, such as no periods or light flow during periods.
  • Sometimes, a swelling might be present in front of the neck showing an underlying goiter.

Reasons Of Hyperthyroidism

Triiodothyronine and thyroxine, are also known as T3 and T4, respectively. These are thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Autoimmune disorder i.e. the Graves’ disease is the most usual cause of a hyperactive thyroid. In this condition, the body produces an antibody called TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin). TSI stimulates the thyroid to produces more thyroid hormones. It occurs mostly in middle- aged females and runs in kith and kin.
Either a toxic multi-nodular or nodular goiter can present as hyperthyroidism. Nodular goiters feel lumpy on palpitation during thyroid examination. Hyperthyroidism can also result from the thyroiditis. In addition to that, it can also occur in people who are taking medicines containing iodine (for example amiodarone) or those who consume lots of iodine (either in the form of supplement or iodine-rich foods). Lastly, some females can suffer from hyperthyroidism either during the pregnancy or during the first year following the birth of the baby.

Establishing The Diagnosis

Everything You Should Know About HyperthyroidismHyperthyroidism can be diagnosed on the basis of history of symptoms, physical examination of the thyroid gland and blood test for checking the levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and the thyroid hormones i.e. T4 and T3. In special cases, your physician might order a radioactive iodine uptake test or an ultrasound of the thyroid to examine it more closely for inflammation, nodules and hyperactivity.

Treatment Options For Hyperthyroidism

A hyperactive thyroid can be controlled with anti-thyroid drugs. These drugs can block the output of hormones from the thyroid gland. Examples of such drugs are propylthiouracil, methimazole etc. Nowadays, only pregnant women use propylthiouracil, during their first trimester. Another available option is therapy with the radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine is taken up by the thyroid cells and thus it destroys them. In some instances, women were found to have side effects to the radioactive iodine or lack of response to such therapies. Such women must be offered thyroid surgery. In thyroid surgery, a part or whole of the thyroid gland is removed. The selection of treatment depends upon factors like age, symptoms, severity of the disease, underlying cause, presence of pregnancy, other co-morbidities and possible side effects of the medicines.

What Causes Thyroiditis?

What Causes Thyroiditis?

When our thyroid gland is inflamed, it is referred to as thyroiditis. There are many kinds of thyroiditis and it is important to know about them, since each type has a specific treatment regime.

Hashimoto’s ThyroiditisWhat Causes Thyroiditis?

Chronic lymphocytic or autoimmune thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is the most usual variety of thyroiditis. This thyroiditis was named after Hakaru Hashimoto, a Japanese doctor who first explained this condition in 1912.

In this condition, the enlarged thyroid gland is always present, though the enlargement can be either on both sides or on one side of the thyroid. Initially the thyroid cells fail to convert iodine into the thyroid hormones. Thus, they try to compensate for this by increasing the number of thyroid cells, thereby enlarging the gland.

Uptake of the radioactive iodine might be high, this is a quite paradoxical finding since the patient is actually hypothyroid. But the gland is still capable of absorbing the iodine, even though it cannot manufacture thyroid hormone anymore.

With the disease onset, initially TSH levels rise as the pituitary tries to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more hormones. But the T4 level keep on falling, making the patient hypothyroid. These changes can either occur slowly over the span of years or it can happen in the matter of a couple of weeks.

  • What Causes Thyroiditis?First step should be the replacement of thyroid hormones in the form of thyroid drugs. This will not only correct the hypothyroidism but also prevent further increase in the size of the gland.
  • Research has shown that once the hormone replacing therapy has started, the gland will start shrinking.
  • In ninety-five percent of the cases, antibodies are positive and they are an important marker for the identification of this disorder, instead of using invasive approaches like surgery or thyroid biopsy.
  • The thyroid antibodies might be found in a person who has been cured or someone who is still on the hormone replacing therapy.

De Quervain’s Thyroiditis

This thyroiditis is also known as granulomatous or sub acute thyroiditis. Its incidence is less compared to the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this condition, the gland enlarges abruptly and is tender on touch and very painful for the patient.

Initially, the thyroid releases increased amounts of the thyroid hormones, rendering the patient hyperthyroid. After some time, it exhausts and stops taking up any iodine, thus making the patient hypothyroid.

  • Patient feels tired and sick and prefers to stay in the bed.
  • ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) is high; this is a marker for the inflammation.
  • Thyroid antibodies are absent.What Causes Thyroiditis?
  • Best treatment is bed rest, aspirin and steroid.
  • Almost all patients recuperate and their normal thyroid functions return.
  • Recurrences are not that common.

Silent Thyroiditis

This type of thyroiditis has the feature of both De Quervain’s and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There is no pain and biopsy is similar to the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. On the other hand, the uptake of radioactive iodine is decreased and thyroid blood test is also high, just like the De Quervain’s thyroiditis.

This condition is more common in the post-partum females. It generally does not require any treatment. The best treatment is bed rest and beta blockers.

Thyroid: The Cholesterol Connection

Thyroid: The Cholesterol Connection

Thyroid: The Cholesterol ConnectionAnimal foods contain a waxy stuff, called cholesterol, which is synthesized in our liver. It is carried around by special fat-transporting proteins present in our blood. It is essential for the production of many hormones and for the maintenance of nerve cells.

High cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, is caused due to the excess of cholesterol in the body. This excess can be produced by increased consumption of cholesterol or its improper metabolization by the body. Cholesterol has a tendency to deposit in arterial walls, particularly in the arteries surrounding the heart, therefore it can impede the blood flow in them, thus raising the chances of stroke and heart attack. High levels of cholesterol is a major risk for the heart diseases.

A number of people are fighting to keep their cholesterol levels low. They are using exercise, a balanced diet, cholesterol-lowering drugs etc. for this purpose. In some people, the culprit behind their increased cholesterol levels is hypothyroidism. In such patients, treating their hypothyroidism can automatically correct their cholesterol levels.

About Hypothyroidism

Hypoactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a condition in which your thyroid gland becomes hypoactive. Basically, the thyroid is a gland which is butterfly in shape and located a little below our Adam’s apple, in front of our neck. It produces the thyroid hormones which, in turn, regulate our metabolism, growth and development. When the production of thyroid hormones become inadequate, your metabolism slows down and consequently the cholesterol balance is impaired.Thyroid: The Cholesterol Connection

Hypothyroidism can having following symptoms:

  • Difficulty losing weight or weight gain.
  • Exhaustion or fatigue.
  • Asthenia or sluggishness.
  • Mood swings, anxiety, depression.
  • Dry or itchy skin.
  • Menstrual irregularities, such as heavier or more frequent periods.
  • Coarse, dry or thinning hair.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain, muscle cramps.
  • Intolerance to cold.

Diagnose Yourself For Hypothyroidism

If your cholesterol levels are high and you want to rule out hypothyroidism as the underlying cause, then trying the following steps:

  1. First of all, you can palpate you own thyroid gland to find out any abnormalities, for example enlargement, nodules etc.
  2. Secondly, you can assess your thyroid status by filing out a ‘Hypothyroidism Symptoms Checklist’. This is an elaborate checklist which assesses your symptoms and risk factors related to hypothyroidism. Moreover, you can use this list for the prognosis of your already existing thyroid disease and also determine if the medications are working for you.
  3. Ask your physician to check you TSH level, i.e. thyroid stimulating hormone. This particular test can identify your hypothyroidism and it can also help evaluate the underlying cause for your thyroid dysfunction.
  4. Thyroid: The Cholesterol ConnectionIf your TSH levels turn out to be normal, even in the presence of hypothyroidism, then you should try interpreting them another way. There are a number of methods to redefine a correct ‘normal’ range for the TSH. You can discuss it with your physician.
  5. Lastly, if you have normal levels of TSH but you also have family history of thyroid disorders or symptoms of hypothyroidism, then you must get you thyroid antibodies checked. If these antibodies are present in your blood, this signifies an underlying autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland.

Shrink a Thyroid With Nutrition

Shrink A Goiter With Nutrition

The thyroid gland is present in front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. When it enlarges, it leads to the formation of a swelling called the goiter. Lack of iodine in the diet can cause a goiter. This is true for the areas like South America, Africa and Asia.

Shrink a Goiter With NutritionAmong other causes of goiter, we have hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, which is an underactive and an overactive thyroid, respectively. Sometimes, this problem can occur without any obvious reason. Although, you have to take prescribed medication for the most thyroid disorders but in certain cases, you can use couple of complementary treatments, which could be added to the daily routine.

Step 1

Whenever you experience some problems with your thyroid, always see your doctor first. He will conduct a series of tests, for example blood tests, scans, ultrasounds and biopsies etc. to check the status of your thyroid gland. If needed, he might prescribe you certain thyroid drugs. If you want to try any complementary cure, such as minerals, vitamins, herbal remedies etc., then consult with him before adding it to your routine.

Step 2

If your doctor recommends it, you can add iodized table salt to your diet. Other food items which are a rich source of iodine include seaweed, shrimp, sushi, kelp and shell fish etc. On the contrary, if your physician points out that the iodine levels in your body are very high, then you must reduce its intake in your daily diet. Because, in certain cases, excessive iodine can overstimulate your pituitary and thyroid gland, thus leading to the goiter.

Step 3

Improve your diet and make sure it is a balanced diet and you are receiving all of the nutrients properly. If you are living near the ocean, add locally produced, fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products to your diet. This is because soil in the coastal areas is rich in iodine, and can be absorbed by the vegetation grown in it.

Step 4

Shrink a Goiter With NutritionThe deficiency of selenium can also decrease the thyroid functions. It can occur in certain cases, such as Crohn’s disease, in which a portion of your small intestine or stomach is resected or in phenylketonuria, in which you have to take a special diet which might be deficient in selenium. You can replenish selenium levels naturally, by adding cod, beef, turkey breast and canned tuna in your diet.

Tips and Tricks

  • A huge goiter, which is occluding your windpipe or throat, might require a surgery.
  • You can lessen inflammation in the case of an inflammatory thyroid disease, with the help of hot packs of the castor oil. These packs are used traditionally for reducing inflammation in disorders like joint pain, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, joint pain and pain in the lower back.


  • The deficiency of iodine is a grave issue which might lead to miscarriage, birth defects, weight gain, mental retardation and learning disorders. Therefore, you must follow your physician’s treatment plan cautiously.
  • Castor oil can be used externally only. Do not ingest it. Make sure to keep it out of the reach of pets and children.

Herbal Thyroid Treatment

Herbal Goiter Treatment

The enlargement of a thyroid gland is referred to as a goiter. A goiter might be visible as a swelling in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. As this swelling enlarges, it can cause pressure effects, such as hoarseness of the voice, feeling of tightness in the throat, difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing or cough etc. There are many causes of goiter, for example pregnancy, deficiency of iodine, inflammatory disorders, malignant or benign nodes, radiation, intake of foods containing goitrogens etc. It has been observed that the goiter can be shrunk naturally by using herbs. But before you try the herbal treatment, always consult a health practitioner for the expert advice.

Herbal TreatmentHerbal Goiter Treatment

Herbs act in various ways to reduce the size of the thyroid swelling. Certain herbs also contain iodine, such herbs are ideal for the treatment of the goiter caused by the deficiency of iodine. On the other hand, some herbs are effective for a hyperactive or a hypoactive thyroid as they can help in the regulation of the thyroid hormone production. You should confer with an expert, for advice on the preparation and dosage of herbs used, for the enlarged goiter.


Fugus vesiculosus, or Bladderwack, is a known seaweed species which is found worldwide. It contains iodine which makes it perfect for curing the goiter caused by the lack of iodine. Herbalists have been using it to regulate the thyroid function. It is especially effective in the case where thyroid disease co-exists with obesity, as it helps in losing the weight. Avoid using this herb for longer duration because it can block the absorption of iron in the body. Moreover, you must keep in mind to not use it along with other thyroid medication.


A perennial kind of herb known as Lycopus virginicus, or bugleweed, is native to North America. Traditional healers have been using the aerial parts of this herb to treat breast pain, overactive thyroid, weak heart and edema. It is full of substances like tannis, flavonoids and phenotic acids. According to the studies, bugleweed inhibits thyrotropin, which is a thyroid stimulating hormone. Excess of the thyrotropin can produce a goiter. Many herbalists have recommended bugleweed for the treatment of hyperthyroid conditions and enlarged goiter. Beware of using this drug if you are already taking thyroidHerbal Goiter Treatment medicines and diuretics.


Another perennial herb known by the names Leonarus cardiac, or motherwort, is found in Asia and Europe. The active agents I this herb are flavonoids, leonurine, tannins, alkaloids, iridoid, glycosides and stachydrine etc. This herb can effectively shrink the enlarged thyroid. Just like bugleweed, motherwort is also suggested for the treatment of a hyperactive or swollen thyroid gland. Herbalists especially recommend this herb for the treatment of thyroid diseases associated with heart symptoms, such as shortness of breath, breathlessness on lying down, palpitation, chest pain and tachycardia etc. But be careful to not use this herb along with other thyroid or heart medications.

So, if you prefer natural and organic methods of treatment, the above mentioned herbs are perfect solution for your thyroid problems like goiter etc.

Diagnosing Hypothyroidism

Diagnosing Hypothyroidism

Your general physician or an endocrinologist can diagnose and treat the hypothyroidism. Before making a diagnosis, a number of factors are considered, such as signs, symptoms, patient’s age, onset etc. This not only helps to determine the cause but also the severity of hypothyroidism. Final diagnosis is made after thoroughly reviewing symptoms of the patient, family and medical history, physical examination, risk factors and thyroid hormone blood tests. There are a number of blood tests for the thyroid but the best among them is the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test. Sometimes, you doctor might recommend total T4 or free T4 (free thyroxine) test.

Diagnosing HypothyroidismWhy Symptoms Alone are not enough?

The symptomatology of the hypothyroidism is very usual complaints which are even seen in the people with perfectly normal thyroid gland. Therefore, it might be difficult to establish whether your symptoms are actually due to a thyroid disorder. One way to figure this out is to ask about the duration of symptoms. For example, do you always feel chilly when others are felling warm? When did you start noticing lack of energy in yourself? If the patient is experiencing new symptoms, it might be associated with the thyroid disease. However, only an expert, such as a general physician or an endocrinologist, can make the final diagnosis.

Family and Medical History

Give your doctor an elaborate account of your personal, family and medical history. Make sure you discuss the following points:

  • Your general condition of health_ especially if you have observed any changes in your general health overall.
  • Your family history_ particularly if your first or second degree relative has suffered from a thyroid ailment.
  • Any history of thyroid surgery done or history of radiotherapy to the neck are for the treatment of cancer.
  • Any medication taken previously that can lead to hypothyroidism. (For example, lithium, interleukin-2, amiodarone, chemotherapy in the past).

Diagnosing HypothyroidismPhysical Examination

This examination is performed to look for the signs of a hypoactive thyroid. An in-depth examination is performed to find out the physical evidence of the hypothyroidism, such as:

  • Swelling around your eyes.
  • Swelling around your legs.
  • Slowing of the reflexes.
  • Dryness of the skin.
  • Slowing of the heartbeat.

Blood Tests

A number of blood tests are available for assessing the thyroid function. Their detail is as follows:

TSH test

TSH, also known as thyroid stimulating hormone, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. TSH regulates the thyroid hormone production. Therefore, levels of TSH in blood are proportional to T4 (thyroxine) levels in the blood. Abnormally increased levels of TSH depicts the presence of hypothyroidism.

Diagnosing HypothyroidismThyroxine or T4 test

Thyroxine is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid glands. Free T4 index and free T4 are the blood tests which in combination with the TSH test can tell a lot about the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Bear in mind that whenever T4 levels fall in the blood, TSH secretion from the pituitary gland will be increased. On the contrary, a high T4 level in the blood will suppress the TSH secretion through a negative feedback cycle. In simple words, if T4 decreases, then TSH rises and vice versa.

Meeting Iodine and Salt Needs

Meeting Iodine and Salt Needs

Although iodine and salt are related in their intake in the diet, such as in the form of iodized salt, but their functions are not much interrelated except for the hormonal functions. Before the 1920s, enlargement of the thyroid gland, that is the goiter, was a major health issue. Since goiter is mostly cause by iodine deficiency, so use of iodized salt was made popular to prevent this ailment. By taking this step, the number of the cases of goiter has fallen drastically. You might be taking adequate amounts of sodium and iodine from the salt but you should be mindful of the health concerns and recommendations about their intake in your diet.

Meeting Iodine and Salt NeedsConstituents of the Iodized Salt

Sodium is the main constituent of the salt and makes up 40 percent of the substance of the salt. The processed food contains salts in them. Therefore, consuming too much processed food can influence your daily sodium intake drastically. But mostly, the food manufactures do not utilize the iodized salt. That is why, you might be getting a good deal of sodium but an insufficient amount of iodine in you diet.

Daily Requirements of Iodine and Sodium

RDA or recommended daily allowance of the dietary iodine in adult, men and women, is 150 mcg per day. For the lactating and pregnant women RDA of the dietary iodine is 290 mcg and 220 mg, respectively.

Breast-feeding and pregnant women are more prone to the iodine deficiency because of the increased demand for iodine in them. There is no particular recommended daily allowance for the sodium intake but a maximum of 1500 mg of sodium can be consumed daily.

Sources of Iodine

Meeting Iodine and Salt NeedsIf you totally rely on the iodized salt to fulfill your daily requirement of iodine, then you would have to take at least half teaspoon of iodized salt in your diet, each day. But this way you might consume excess amounts of sodium. A better alternative will be to eat food items rich in iodine, for example low fat milk, nuts, tuna, cod, prunes, shrimp, seaweed and whole eggs etc. Almost all kinds of foods contain certain amount of sodium in them – from dairy foods and meats to plain nuts, vegetables and fruits. Therefore, even when you cut down added salt in your diet, it is extremely unlikely that your sodium intake will be insufficient. That is why, you need to be more concerned about your iodine intake since you are more susceptible to iodine deficiency as compared to the sodium deficiency.

Cut off Values for the Minerals

Daily intake of iodine should not exceed 1100 mcg. This is the maximum quantity of iodine that can be tolerated without any serious health risks, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, thyroid disorders and coma. Same principle applies to the sodium intake. Cut off value for the daily sodium intake is 2300 mg in a healthy individual. However, for people above the age of 50 years or those suffering from the hypertensive disorder should limit their sodium intake to 1500 mg per day.

Iodine and Sea Salt

Iodine and Sea Salt

Sea salt is very popular among the foodies due to its peculiar flavor and characteristic texture. It is a natural kind of salt obtained from the salty water of the ocean. Sea salt contain a little more amount of nutrients compared to the ordinary table salt. But, if you want to add a bit more iodine to the diet, iodized salt is a far better option.

Iodine and Sea SaltIodine Content of the Sea Salt

The sea salt contains iodine but its iodine contain is less as compared to the table salt. The reason behind this is that most of the varieties of regular salt are iodinated, that is, extra amount of iodine is added to them. But if you desire a strong flavor and a crispy texture of the sea salt and also require some extra iodine in your diet, you can opt for iodized varieties of the sea salt.

It is very difficult to ascertain the accurate quantity of iodine in iodinated sea salt but generally it is about 71 mcg in every ¼ teaspoon of it.

Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

In spite of the fact that table salt and sea salt have marginally different flavors and textures, their nutritional content is almost similar—even the iodine content—in the case of iodized varieties. Both table salt and sea salt have approximately equal sodium content. Although, table salt has a very fine texture which makes it good for cooking as it easily mixes with the rest of the content of the recipe. On the other hand, sea salt have slight amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium in it, as it undergoes negligible processing.

Daily Requirement of Iodine

RDA or recommended daily allowance of the dietary iodine in adult, men and women, is 150 mcg per day. For the lactating and pregnant women RDA of the dietary iodine is 290 mcg and 220 mg, respectively. Breast-feeding and pregnant women are more prone to iodine deficiency because of increased demand for iodine in them.

Iodine and Sea SaltIodine Sources

Besides iodized varieties of sea salt and iodized table salt, a number of food items are also good sources of iodine. Examples include seaweed, seafood and dairy products etc.

  • Cod: 3 oz. provides 99 mcg of iodine.
  • Yogurt: One cup provides 75 mcg of iodine.
  • Low fat milk: One cup provides 56 mcg of iodine.
  • Shrimp: 3 oz. provides 35 mcg of iodine.
  • Cheese: 1 oz. provides 12 mcg of iodine.


It should be kept in mind that consuming excessive amounts of any variety of salt, whether the sea salt or the regular table salt, can cause a rise in the blood pressure and also increase the chances of developing heart disease. In the case of sea salt, about 400 to 590 mg of sodium is present in a quarter teaspoon of it.

According to studies, consumption of sodium should not be more than 1500 mg per day. So, if you love sea slat for its singular qualities, you can use it but beware to use it in moderate amounts to keep you heart and health good.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine Deficiency

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is vital for the development of our brain cells and for the regulation and production of the thyroid hormones. Lack of iodine can lead to a disorder of the thyroid gland called as hypothyroidism. In this disorder, production of the thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine, is suppressed. While treating hypothyroidism, there is always a risk of developing hyperthyroidism due to overzealous treatment. In hyperthyroidism, there is excessive secretion of thyroxine. Deficiency of iodine can be life-threatening for the health and it might be an indicator of some underlying health issue.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine DeficiencyHyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is small in size yet it is the master gland of our body. It is located in the front of our neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It produces the thyroid hormones, such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland in which the thyroid become overactive and produces excessive amounts of thyroxine. Symptoms like drastic increase in the basal metabolic rate, resulting in rapid weight loss, sweating, an irregular or accelerated heartbeat, irritability and nervousness etc. can occur in this condition. Besides the deficiency of iodine, other culprits behind the hyperthyroidism can be Plummer’s disease, Graves’ disease, thyroiditis and toxic adenoma.

Deficiency of Iodine

Our body needs iodine for the production of thyroid hormones, such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. These hormones play a role in the development of cognitive system of infants and in the regulation of our metabolic functions.

The lack of iodine usually stems from insufficient intake of dietary iodine and it can cause grave complications, for example irreversible damage to the cognition of newborns and metabolic derangement, like hyperthyroidism. According to the WHO, iodine deficiency is the major cause of avoidable mental retardation. Studies done on the American population shows that their iodine intake is above average, but certain exceptions are there and in some cases deficiencies might occur, for example in post- menopausal and pregnant women.

Role of Iodine

Radioactive iodine is used as a cure for a hypoactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism. It is taken orally to shrivel the thyroid gland up and it can take 3 to 6 months for the symptoms to settle down. Nonetheless, this will also suppress the activity of your thyroid and you might be required to take measure to substitute for the consumed levels of the thyroxine hormone.

Hyperthyroidism and Iodine DeficiencyThis balance of the thyroid hormones and iodine levels is extremely sensitive and the overzealous treatment for the hypothyroidism can produce the reverse disease, i.e. hyperthyroidism.

Preventive measures

For the treatment of hypothyroidism, radioactive iodine plays an essential role but at the same time a suitable supply of dietary iodine must be ensured to keep the thyroid gland healthy. Standard values for the intake of iodine in the diet is 150 micrograms per day in the case of adult women and men, while in lactating and pregnant women the intake should be increased to 290 and 220 micrograms, respectively.

Natural sources of iodine include eggs, seafood, dairy and grains etc. Sea plants, for example seaweed and kelp are rich in iodine. Using an iodized salt can also ensure an adequate intake of dietary iodine.