Goitre Goitre Goitre. Nobody likes how it looks. For obvious reasons, Looks so painful. Definitely is! So, what is it anyway? It is an enlargement of the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland which is present at the front of the throat and below the Adam’s apple. Excessive stimulation of the thyroid gland by the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone can lead to Goitre.
Worldwide, the most common cause of Goitre is Iodine Deficiency. Iodine is a mineral found in milk, fish and some plant foods, and is also an additive in table salt.
Goitres can happen to anyone at any given point in their life. A person may be at a higher risk of developing a goitre with the following conditions:
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
- Radiation exposure (therapy inclusive) could be in a nuclear facility or test.
- Thyroid cancer.
- Family history of autoimmune disease.
- Women are more likely to develop goitres, especially during pregnancy or menopause.
- Swelling of the whole of the thyroid gland, called a diffuse goitre, or from individual lumps, called a nodular goitre.
Most common symptoms
- Throat symptoms of tightness, cough and hoarshness.
- Trouble swallowing (dysphagia).
- In severe cases, difficulty breathing.
Assessing the situation
- An ultrasound scan of the thyroid. This involves using sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body. It can tell if a nodule is a cyst or a solid lump.
- Also, Blood tests, CT Scan and an MRI Scan are carried out to assess the situation.
Treatment: This depends on the underlying cause.
- Goitre caused by hyperthyroidism is treated with drugs that slow down the activity of the thyroid gland. Treatment with radioactive iodine destroys some or all of the thyroid’s hormone-producing cells.
- Goitre caused by hypothyroidism is treated with lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
- Goitre caused by iodine deficiency is treated with iodine-rich foods, such as seafood and iodized salt.
- Benign thyroid nodules are reduced in size with the help of medications, or removed using surgical methods.
Here are some Tips to Prevent Goitre
- Add only iodized salt to food.
- Avoid over exposure to radiation, anywhere you go, technological devices or during a kind of radiation treatment.
- Simple exercises, such as neck stretches should be done on a daily basis.
- Foods to eat rich in iodine: Oats, Seafood, Cod Fish, Yoghurt, Turkey, Tomatoes, Carrots, Lettuce, Garlic, Strawberries, Eggs (Plus Yolk), Onions, Citric Fruits, Pineapples, Bananas, Vitamin A Rich Foods, Meat, Dairy Products, Pulses, Watermelons, Grapes and Dates.
Hope you enjoyed reading this!