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.

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.

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.

Excessive Iodine for Thyroid

The Risks of Excessive Iodine

Hypothyroidism is an ailment in which the production of thyroid hormones is inadequate. This problem can be caused by a number of reasons, such as the excessive use of iodine in the diet. Excessive consumption of iodine can block the activity of thyroid glands. This is a very rare problem in developed countries. Nonetheless, hypothyroidism can become a grave issue, so if you ever notice an issue with the thyroid gland, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Thyroid Gland And IodineThe Risks of Excessive Iodine

Iodine is a micronutrient, required by our body in the trace amounts. Seventy to eighty percent of iodine resides in our thyroid glands. Iodine is vital for the proper output of the thyroid hormones, which in turn is essential for our development and growth. This production of hormones can be suppressed by increased intake of iodine in the diet. Hypothyroidism may result which has symptoms like constipation, weight gain, depression, brittle hair and nails, joint pain, dry skin, sensitivity to temperature changes and hoarseness of voice.

Risk Factors For Hypothyroidism

The recommended daily allowance for dietary iodine in 120 mcg to 150 mcg. Consuming iodine more than 150 mcg will make you prone to the development of hypothyroidism. In addition to this, a middle aged or older woman suffering from some kind of an autoimmune condition or receiving radioactive iodine as a treatment is extremely susceptible to this condition. Similarly, if you are given anti-thyroid medications for hyperthyroidism, you might develop hypothyroidism as a side effect. Sometimes pregnant females can also develop hypothyroidism. In extreme cases, decreased intake of dietary iodine can also develop into hypothyroidism, but this is very rare in developed countries like America.

Prevention And Treatment

For the treatment of hypothyroidism, your physician will prescribe you synthetic agents which mimic like thyroid hormones such as levothyroxine. Dosage of levothyroxine will be adjusted in relation to the severeness of the condition. If underlying cause of your hypothyroidism is excessive intake of dietary iodine then you can prevent recurrences and relapses by refraining from the use of iodine rich food items. For example you can stop using table salt, kelp, shellfish, cow’s milk, turkey breast, cod, baked potatoes, lima beans, summer squash, garlic and Swiss chard etc. You can seek advice from your doctor regarding the changes in your diet.The Risks of Excessive Iodine

Keep In Mind

If not treated in time, hypothyroidism can take a grave course. You might develop symptoms such as puffy face, altered sensations of smell, a metallic taste in the mouth, burning sensation in the throat and mouth, thickening of the skin and a slowed speech pattern. In severe cases, you can even suffer from shortness of breath, fever, coughing, little or no urine output, shock and seizures. If you feel there is something wrong with your thyroid gland, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Tell him or her all of the details like what your normal iodine intake is and what symptoms you are suffering from. This will help him or her to plan out a proper treatment course for the cure of your disease.