The goiter is an affection caused by an unusual swelling of the thyroid. This unusual swelling can be the result of a diet that is low in iodine. This was mainly observed in certain parts of the world, such as Asia, South America and even Africa. However, there have been cases where the consumption of iodized salt has significantly reduced the deficiency of iodine even in the United States of America, as stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Other causes of goiter can even be hypothyroidism (an affection in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive) and hyperthyroidism (an affection in which that thyroid gland becomes overactive). There have even been recoded cases of goiter that haven’t got a known cause.
Despite the fact that many goiters are treated through medication or even surgically, there are also some complementary remedies or treatments that can be safely tried at home.
The first thing you need to do if you think you have a thyroid problem is to see your physician. He will perform a series of tests that will help him determine if the goiter is a result of inflammation. You may have to go through several scans, biopsies and even ultrasounds so that you doctor can be absolutely sure of the cause of your affection. When it comes to setting a course of treatment, you should ask your physician if there are any complementary remedies that you could take instead of thyroid pills. He may recommend anything from minerals, vitamins and even herbal treatments.
You should also ask your physician about iodized table salt and iodine in general. If he recommends you to increase your iodine intake, you might want to also try eating more seaweed, sushi, shellfish, fresh fruits, vegetables and even shrimp apart from the usual table salt. On the other hand, if the doctor tells you that iodine is the one causing your goiter, then you should definitely avoid the above mentioned foods.
Selenium can also have positive effects for people who are suffering from a thyroid enlargement. Some foods rich in selenium are tuna, beef, cod and even turkey breast. Keep in mind that selenium is good for reducing thyroid function. This means that if your doctor diagnoses you with hypothyroidism, selenium should definitely be on your menu.
Patients should take into account the seriousness of an iodine deficiency as it may lead to miscarriage, birth defects, mental retardation, weight gain and learning disorders. This is exactly why you should always follow your physician’s recommendations.
Castor oil is often recommended as an effective remedy for goiters. However, you should keep in mind that castor oil should only be administered externally and should never be swallowed. All specialists strongly advise against the internal consumption of this compound. More than that, it should be kept out of the reach of pets and children.
Hot packs of castor oil applied to the inflamed areas may be incredibly effective. This remedy can even be useful for a number of other affections, such as joint pain, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even back pain.