WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSES GOITRE

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!

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