Goiter is a condition characterized by abnormal thyroid growth such that a lump appears on the front of the neck. It's common to be scared by this, but don't worry; it is rare for goiter to signal a more serious medical disorder. With proper treatment, the thyroid will shrink and return to normal size, causing no further discomfort. Unfortunately, there are no very effective home methods to reduce goiter, so medical attention is important for treatment. If you notice an enlarged lump in the front of your neck, see a doctor and follow the instructions provided to recover.
Method 1 of 2: Using Medical Treatments
Goiter can have different causes, which is why the evaluation of a health professional is important. The neck will be examined to confirm that this is the disorder in question, and depending on the diagnosis, treatment will be prescribed. Follow the guidelines to recover without any problems.
Step 1. Observe the goiter and see if it slows down on its own
After your doctor's examination, your doctor may decide that your thyroid enlargement is not causing any problems and will suggest that you just observe; if there is no worsening, no specific treatment is likely to be performed.
Still, he should recommend that you return for regular checkups to monitor goiter; if there is growth or any type of disorder, the appropriate treatments will be indicated
Step 2. Use hormonal medications to regulate the thyroid
The enlargement of this gland may be due to hypo or hyperactivity of it, requiring the patient to administer medication for any of the conditions. Hormone replacement therapy should restore normal, balanced thyroid function, reducing its size.
- For hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), some of the most prescribed medications are thiamazole (Tapazol) and propylthiouracil (Propil). Thyroid function should be reduced and goiter will be treated.
- In the case of hypothyroidism (little active thyroid), levothyroxine (Puran) is the most common remedy, accelerating the functioning of the gland.
Step 3. Use anti-inflammatory drugs to treat swelling
In addition to hormone replacement, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce goiter. In most cases, over-the-counter ones, such as aspirin, will suffice; follow medical guidelines when taking them.
Corticosteroids are also viable options for when goiter does not respond to over-the-counter medications
Step 4. Submit to radioactive iodine treatments (iodine therapy)
This remedy is given orally and attacks the thyroid, being more common in cases of overactive gland. It works by decreasing her activity, reducing her size and freeing the patient from goiter. Always follow the doctor's dosages and directions for use.
Iodine therapy actually destroys the thyroid, requiring you to replenish hormones to that gland for the rest of your life
Step 5. Perform thyroid removal surgery
This option is reserved for more severe cases, in which the goiter is greatly increased, leading to respiratory problems. The surgeon will make a small incision in the front of the neck, scraping part of the gland and removing the goiter, relieving pressure on the neck.
The intention is to remove enough of the thyroid to resolve the goiter, but in such a way that it continues to work properly. It will not always be possible, therefore, hormone replacement therapy may be mandatory after surgery
Step 6. It is recommended not to try any kind of at-home and scientifically unproven method to treat goiter, such as consuming turmeric to reduce inflammation
There are none that have support from the medical community, so avoid them and follow the treatment plan outlined by the doctor.
Method 2 of 2: Getting the Proper Amount of Iodine
It is not very common, but goiter can arise due to insufficient or excess iodine in the diet. In the medical consultation, the specialist can make a recommendation to adjust foods with this component - depending on whether the amount in the body is excessive or insufficient. By balancing the body's iodine content, goiter may decrease or at least not increase. Follow the steps below to confirm that your iodine intake is being taken properly.
Step 1. Iodine supplements should only be given on medical advice
When the professional indicates that the component is present at a reduced rate in the body, many think that the use of a supplement is the solution, but it should only be taken if the doctor indicates it. Too much iodine can also cause thyroid disorders.
Step 2. Decrease iodine intake if goiter is due to excessive amounts
It is rare, but the high amount of the component can also cause the thyroid to enlarge. Take some measures to reduce iodine consumption and see if there is improvement:
- Give preference to salt without iodine.
- Reduce your intake of seafood and all types of seaweed.
- Cut iodine from your diet only if your doctor recommends it. There is a risk of suffering from other health problems due to the deficiency of this micronutrient.
Step 3. Incorporate 150 mcg of iodine into your daily diet
This is the recommended amount for people who need to get their thyroid back to work normally (as long as they don't have any other underlying disorder). If the goiter is really a result of the eating style, increasing the amount of iodine ingested will help to reduce it.
Everyone needs a sufficient amount of iodine in their diet, especially pregnant women, nursing mothers and children. With less than one year of life, the indicated amount is 110 to 130 mcg per day, while pregnant women should consume 220 mcg, and lactating women, 290 mcg
Step 4. Add salt with iodine to the feed
In most cases, the main source of this micronutrient is salt, which has it in the constitution; if you use non-iodine salt, switch to the other one to increase the amount of iodine in the body.
- Frozen and processed foods are usually quite salty, but they don't use salt with iodine and won't provide any benefit in this regard.
- Too much sodium can lead to other health problems, so don't overdo it. The FDA (responsible for regulating food and drugs in the United States) recommends consuming less than 2,300 mg a day, or a little more than a teaspoon. All the iodine needed for a day can be obtained by ingesting ½ tablespoon of salt with iodine (well below the daily limit).
Step 5. Eat seaweed twice a week
Most seafood is rich in iodine, but seaweed has an even greater amount of the micronutrient. Include the food in your diet at least twice a week, eating sushi or even seaweed as an accompaniment.
Fish and shellfish are also great sources of iodine
Goiter is generally not dangerous, but it is not something that can be treated at home. Natural methods are likely not to work unless the disorder is due to iodine deficiency. However, medical therapy is possible, so consult a specialist, have tests and follow the recommendations for proper treatment.