What is Goiter?
A goiter is a condition of an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, just below Adam’s apple. Although goiters are potentially harmless, they make you cough and hard to swallow or breathe.
There are a number of causes linked to goiter, while the most common being is the inadequate iodine in the diet. Less common causes include the overproduction of thyroid hormones or nodules in the thyroid gland itself.
The thyroid gland produces the hormones thyroxine, called T4 and triiodothyronine, like T3. Mainly, T4 changes to T3 outside the gland. The role of such hormones are not limited to the thyroid itself only- instead, they help in certain bodily functions, including digestion, pulse rate, body temperature, mood and excitability, etc.
Usually, small goiters are manageable and do not cause a potential threat to the body. But for large goiters, you may need treatment.
The signs and symptoms related to goiter may include:
- Swelling in the front of the neck
- A feeling of tightness in the throat area
- Dizziness when the arms are headed over
In rare cases, signs may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
Some people who have a goiter may also have an underactive or overactive thyroid. Signs linked to hyperthyroidism may include:
- An increased resting pulse rate
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive sweating even at room temperature
- Shaking or trembling
Some people with goiter may also have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. The symptoms of which include:
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Menstrual irregularities
Several conditions may trigger the abnormal growth of the thyroid gland, such as:
Iodine deficiency: Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. In the effort to obtain more iodine, the gland may enlarge. This is even made worse even by a diet high in hormone-inhibiting foods, such as cabbage, broccoli, etc. Mostly our need for iodine is met using iodine-rich salt.
Grave’s disease: A goiter can sometimes trigger when the gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Grave’s is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, thereby, allowing it to secrete more thyroid. This hyperthyroidism may result in swelling of the thyroid.
Hashimoto’s disease: In some cases, underactive thyroid may also result in swelling. This is yet another autoimmune condition that attacks the gland so that it produces too little hormone. On observing that your pituitary gland may produce more TSG to active thyroid, and so it grows abnormally.
Multinodular goiter: In this condition, nodules or fluid-filled lumps develop on both sides of the thyroid, resulting in overall enlargement of the gland. It is important to note that most of these lumps are noncancerous and don’t advance to cancer.
Thyroiditis: It is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that can result in pain and swelling of the thyroid.
Pregnancy: The hormone produced during pregnancy, such as the human chorionic gonadotropin, may also result in the thyroid gland enlarging abruptly.
Thyroid cancer. Cancer of the thyroid gland also results in an enlarged thyroid gland.
Exposure to radiation. A person who went for radiation therapy to the head and neck is at an increased risk of developing goiter.
Certain medications. Some medical treatments, including heart drug amiodarone, etc., also increases your risk.
Ayurvedic treatment for Goiter
According to Ayurveda, goiter is an outcome of vitiated Kapha, but many times Vata is also held responsible. Vitiated Kapha mixes with fat tissues and results in heavy swelling in front of the throat, which is then called goiter or galaganda. It is classified into three types based on the dosha which is affected-
- Vataj: It is the result of vitiated Vayu that causes slight pain and is marked by dryness in the mouth and throat.
- Kaphaj: It is mainly caused by vitiated Kapha. It causes little pain and sweetness in the mouth, while it also appears large in size.
- Medoj: It is caused by vitiated Meda Dhatu. The result of aggravated Meda Dhatu could be offensive color and may result in oiliness in the mouth.
Ayurveda has many procedures and therapies to pacify the doshas and strengthen the functioning of the organs. Ayurveda also suggests a diet for a healthy body, such as avoiding processed sugar and foods rich in natural sugars.
Since thyroid problems also result in vitamin D deficiency, exposure to the sun is an excellent remedy to get rid of complications brought in by goiter.
At AyuKarma, we aim to help our patients with the health condition they are suffering. All the medicines are prepared using herbal concoctions and no other chemical substances.
If you want to know more about our treatment, consult us today.