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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