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Goitre is a collective name for all forms of enlarged thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is on the front of the goitre and produces the hormone that controls metabolism. There may be several reasons why the thyroid gland is enlarged. For example, it may be due to nodular goitre, iodine deficiency or inflammation of the thyroid gland.
Goitre means you have an enlarged thyroid gland, but is not really a name for a disease. It is important to investigate the cause of goitre you have because the treatment is different for different types. In most cases, goitre is something you can live with without any hassles or treatment.
Different types of goitre
The most common type of goitre is nodular goitre. Nodular goitre can increase the size of the entire thyroid gland, often with irregular shape. In rare cases it may be harder to swallow or breathe as usual as the enlarged thyroid gland presses the pharynx or the trachea. Hormone production works mostly as it should if you have a goitre. But sometimes the nodular formation can have an extra high production of thyroid hormone. When you have too much thyroid hormone in your body, it is called hyperthyroidism or toxic nodular goitre. Goitre may also be due to inflammation of the thyroid gland. It may also occur in hypothyroidism if the thyroid glands produce too little thyroid hormone.
All you can do to prevent goitre is to eat food containing salt containing iodine. This is important because the natural iodine supply in Sweden is far too low. It is especially important to use iodine salt during pregnancy and lactation when the iodine requirement is higher. You can read the package if the salt is iodinated or not. Gourmets of various kinds are rarely enriched with iodine.
An examination is usually done to find out what kind of goitre you need and if you need treatment. When investigated, you may have blood samples for the doctor to measure the levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 and the regulatory hormone TSH. Through the blood test, the doctor can also see if the body’s immune system has formed so-called antibodies to the thyroid gland.
Sometimes a so-called fine needle biopsy is made. This means that the doctor will pick up cells from the thyroid gland with a thin needle. The sample is then examined under the microscope. Sometimes an ultrasound or computer tomography is done. Then the spread of the stalk appears and whether the trachea or esophagus is affected.
Goitre does not need treatment if it does not cause any discomfort, if the examination has given a good result and if a medical examination has shown that the metabolism is as it should be. If the hormone level is as it should, you can get a goitre operation for the following reasons: if the goitre makes you feel choked, for example, having trouble wearing a polo shirt or tie. You may also have difficulty swallowing or difficulty breathing. If the doctor suspects that there may be a malady in the thyroid gland, he or she may appoint surgery.
If the goitre is just diffused, it does not need surgery for medical reasons, but it is often assessed by a surgeon who decides in each case. Alongside with the goitre it is possible to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. If a larger part of the thyroid gland is removed, it is likely that you will need to deliver thyroid hormone life. You will then receive the drug thyroxine.
The thyroid gland is located on the front of the goitre below the larynx. Goitre may have different causes: in the nodular goitre, nodules form in the thyroid gland. Congenital disturbances in the formation of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 can cause stubborn and low metabolism in childhood. Lack of iodine in the diet. Disorders of other growth factors. Some substances and drugs may induce goitre. This applies, for example, to lithium, amiodarone and iodide salts in high doses. You may also have an inflammation of the thyroid gland. The most common type of inflammation is called autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto thyroiditis. Cysts and tumors can also make the thyroid gland enlarge, but most tumors are benign and do not mean you have cancer. However, it is important that a doctor investigates all cases of goitre. Sometimes it’s not possible to find the cause of the goitre. Goitre can be hereditary.
Thyroid diseases are partially inherited. You are more likely to have the disease if you have a thyroid disease in your family. For example, the risk of both high and low production of thyroid hormone may be increased. Four out of five who get enlarged thyroid are women. Enlarged thyroid occurs at all ages, but it is a bit more common during puberty and pregnancy.
Meet your thyroid
The thyroid gland sits on the front of the goitre below the larynx. It is three to four centimeters long and about six to seven centimeters wide with a narrower part in the middle. It looks like the letter H. The thyroid gland is soft and difficult to distinguish when you feel your goitre if it is not enlarged. The thyroid’s most important task is to control the metabolism of the body. The control is performed by the hormones thyroxin, T4, and triiodothyronine, T3, which are formed in the thyroid gland.
The thyroid function is governed by the hormone TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, which is formed in the pituitary gland in the brain. To balance the body, hormones must be produced in a proper amount. Sometimes the production of thyroid hormone is too low associated with goitre, which is called hypothyroidism. When hormone production is too high associated with goitre, it is called hyperthyroidism. If you have a goitre, thyroid hormone production usually works as it should.
Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is on the front of the goitre and produces hormones that affect almost all of the body’s functions. If the thyroid gland produces too little hormones, you may get hypothyroidism. Then you get low metabolism and your body is running low. You may also get hypothyroidism after the thyroid gland has been removed. The thyroid function is governed by the hormone TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, which is formed in the pituitary gland in the brain.
There are several kinds of hypothyroidism and the most common is that the lack of thyroid hormone is due to chronic thyroiditis. Then the immune system affects the organs and it causes a permanent inflammation of the thyroid gland that causes the function to slow down. Lifelong therapy with hypothyroidism is usually required.
If you have had hypothyroidism for a long time without treatment, you may have a swelling of your face and your voice may get lower. Hypothyroidism may occasionally cause enlarged thyroid gland, described above as goitre. You may feel a goitre and sometimes you may feel that the thyroid gland is bigger.
You should choose salt containing iodine. Apart from that, there are not so many ways to prevent the disease. At the beginning, there are usually no visible signs of hypothyroidism. Therefore, when you meet your doctor for the first time, it is important to tell you about your symptoms and previous illnesses. If you have close relatives who have a disorder of thyroid function, you should also tell your doctor.
If you wonder about your thyroid gland, discuss it with your doctor during a visit to the health center or at a health check. You can have a blood sample to find out if you have an underperforming thyroid or not.
The doctor determines the diagnosis of hypothyroidism by means of blood samples where the level of thyroid hormone thyroxin and the level of the hormone TSH is investigated. Low levels of thyroid hormone together with high levels of TSH are typical of hypothyroidism. To investigate whether, for example, an autoimmune disease is the cause, the doctor often tests the level of antibodies to thyroid oxidase, so-called TPO antibodies.
The study also includes the doctor’s examination of the thyroid gland. In some cases, for example, if the thyroid gland is enlarged, you will undergo a more thorough examination.
Some examples of surveys are these:
- An ultrasound examination that can show the thyroid size and if the irregularities in the thyroid gland is liquid or solid.
- A pulmonary X-ray or computer tomography that can show if the enlarged thyroid gland pushes the trachea within the sternum.
- A focal point of an enlarged thyroid that causes the doctor with a thin needle to pick up cells from the thyroid gland. The sample is then examined under microscope.
If you have been notified that you have hypothyroidism, it is good to answer the following questions from your doctor:
- How should I know if I get the right hormone dose?
- How does my other medicine affect my treatment?
- How often should I get in control?
- How long will it take before I feel good?
If too little thyroid hormone develops, you may need to take artificial hormone in tablet form for metabolism to be as it should be. If you get more severe hypothyroidism with very low hormone production, it can affect your heart and nervous system. You must then be treated at a hospital. Sometimes you may need to be on a sick leave for up to a month. The symptoms may initially remain, but usually they decrease and disappear after a few weeks of treatment. Sometimes it may take a long time before symptoms disappear.
Most people with hypothyroidism feel well after receiving treatment. It is usually lifelong and it is important that you continue your medication. You also need to check with your doctor regularly to check your values and tell you how you feel. It is important that your treatment is well-adjusted, that is, you do not take too little or too much medicine.
Non-treatment causes serious risks because thyroid hormone is a vital hormone. The doctor checks that thyroxine dose is appropriate. Signs of an excessive dose may be insomnia, feeling of warmth or high heart rate. It is uncommon with side effects and they usually depend on taking too high a dose of hormone for a long time.
In order to balance the body, the hormone must be produced in a proper amount. Hypothyroidism produces too little thyroid hormone. If the thyroid gland instead produces too much hormone, it feels like the body is at high speed. The condition is called hyperthyroidism.
Chronic thyroid inflammation
Chronic thyroid inflammation is an autoimmune disease, which means that antibodies are formed in the blood against cells in their own body. The immune system, which will keep viruses and bacteria away, is wrong and destroy the body’s own thyroid cells in this disease. You may have hypothyroidism if you have chronic thyroid inflammation because the disease over time causes the thyroid function to deteriorate to form less hormone.
Sometimes enlarged thyroid gland, but it may also decrease in size. This form of disease is usually divided into Hashimoto’s thyroid inflammation, as the thyroid gland is enlarged, and atrophic autoimmune thyroid inflammation that reduces the size of the thyroid gland.
Other causes of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may also have one of these causes:
- You have previously been used for enlarged thyroid gland, called goitre, or excessive metabolism
- The thyroid gland has previously been treated with radioactive iodine, drug or radiation to other parts of the goitre.
- You have a previous thyroid disease.
A temporary disruption of the production of metabolic hormones after you have been pregnant. It usually goes by itself, but in some cases treatment is needed. There is a form of congenital hypothyroidism, which is very rare but serious. Therefore, the thyroid function of all newborns should be examined with blood tests, so treatment can be started immediately. This treatment is lifelong.
Some medicines may cause hypothyroidism. This is a common side effect of medicines containing amiodarone, which is a cardiac medicine, or lithium used for various mental illnesses. A more common side effect is that of medicines containing carbamazepine or interferon. Therefore, the level of thyroid hormone should be regularly monitored when using these medicines. A pituitary disease can also cause hypothyroidism. This type is called secondary hypothyroidism, and is uncommon.
Pregnancy and thyroid function
If you have a subcutaneous function of the thyroid gland, it is important that you receive treatment in order not to reduce the possibility of getting pregnant. If you have hypothyroidism and are treated with thyroid hormone and your values are as they should be, it’s not harder to get pregnant. The crucial thing is that you have ovulation.
It is good if your doctor checks samples for metabolism before getting pregnant so that the thyroxine dose is set correctly. You should also contact your doctor as soon as you become pregnant as you often need to take an increased daily dose of thyroxine. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will be given more frequent controls to enable your doctor to change the dose of thyroid hormone when needed.
Hyperthyroidism – excess thyroid hormone
The thyroid gland is on the front of the goitre and produces hormones that affect almost all the body’s functions and control metabolism. If the thyroid gland produces too much hormones, you get hyperthyroidism. Then the metabolism increases and the body increases. The disease can be treated with drugs, radioactive iodine or with surgery.
Hyperthyroidism is usually divided into two types. One is Grave’s disease, which is due to the immune system increasing hormone production from the thyroid gland. The other is nodular goitre, which can consist of one or more nodules. Most get well after treatment, but there is a risk of relapse, especially in Grave’s disease. Hyperthyroidism is more common in women than men. The disease is unusual in children.
The most serious condition of hyperthyroidism, called toxic crisis, is unusual and means that metabolism increases due to the fact that the body is at high angles. Symptoms are severe sweating, high fever, palpitations and restlessness. Some individuals with hyperthyroidism gets an eye on the eyes. They can look protruding and staring out and get irritated with soreness, redness and perspiration. Almost half of those who get autoimmune hyperthyroidism, that is, Grave’s disease, can get this kind of trouble. In rare cases eye sensitivity may become more serious. For example, you can get double-headed, worse eyesight and protruding eyes, called exophtalmusus. Smoking can increase the risk of eye problems in Grave’s disease. Therefore, it is good to quit smoking with this disease.
You should contact a healthcare center or hospital clinic if you have symptoms that may indicate hyperthyroidism. There you can describe your concerns to the doctor, who assess the story and ask questions. If the examination and blood tests show that you may have hyperthyroidism, you can get a referral to a specialist in internal medicine or a specialist on hormone diseases, a so-called endocrinologist, for further examination and treatment. You may also need to meet an ophthalmologist if you have eye problems. If you do not receive treatment for your hyperthyroidism or have insufficient treatment, your heart is affected and you may, for example, get atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
In very rare cases hyperthyroidism can lead to a toxic crisis that occurs quickly and often after surgery or if you have had an infection. You may then be severely ill with high fever and must seek care immediately because the condition is life threatening.
You describe your inconvenience to the doctor who makes an assessment of the story and asks questions. Then the doctor continues with the following: a general body examination, feeling the thyroid gland, measures blood pressure and heart rate, sensitive to the skin if it is warm, moist and sweaty, check if your fingers dare, check the appearance of the eyes, blood sample. Then you can leave blood samples to measure the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. If you have elevated values, you are likely to have hyperthyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, the hormone that controls thyroid gland is low if you are healthy by the way. The hormone is called TSH. The production of thyroid hormone is also increased. The hormone that is measured is called Free T4.
In Grave’s disease, a certain type of antibody in the blood is very common. Antibodies are proteins that initiate defense reactions that destroy infectious agents. In Grave’s disease, they instead target the thyroid gland and stimulate it. These are called thyroid receptor antibodies and shortened TRA. If the examination has found that you have hyperthyroidism, the doctor continues to try to determine what type of hyperthyroidism it is about. It may be important for the treatment. If you have elevated TRA antibodies, Graves disease is most likely to occur.
Fatigue and anxiety can be seen for a long time after treatment, despite the fact that blood levels are good. But they usually disappear gradually in the vast majority. There is a certain risk of relapse after treatment. It is most common after treatment with thyrostatic drugs, but also occurs after other types of treatment. There is also always a certain risk of developing a subcutaneous function of the thyroid gland. Therefore, you need to regularly check with your doctor’s life..
What are the inconveniences of hyperthyroidism?
- You can lose weight because hyperthyroidism causes the body to go high and gives increased energy consumption.
- Muscle weakness is due to increased energy consumption and the breakdown of the muscles.
- You can get loose stomach because the food passes faster through the intestine.
- The mood depends on the sensitivity of certain nervous system substances.
The most common reason that you get too much thyroid hormone in your body is an over-function of the thyroid gland. This condition is often called poisonous goitre, although the thyroid gland is not always enlarged. Hyperthyroidism can be a so-called autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s immune system stimulates the thyroid gland to form too much hormone. Such a disorder explains just over half of the cases. It is not clear why the body’s immune system reacts in this way.
Hyperthyroidism, of autoimmune type, can also be called Grave’s disease, Basedow’s disease, or toxic diffuse goitre. Hyperthyroidism may also be due to the fact that too much hormone is formed in one or more tubules in the thyroid gland, called toxic nodular goitre. This is unusual before age 30. In some cases, a single nodule of the thyroid gland may produce too much hormone. It is called solitary toxic adenoma. There is also a certain type of hyperthyroidism that you can get if you have received too much iodine. This may happen, for example, when you are treated with cardiovascular medicines containing amiodarone or when using X-ray contrast media containing iodine. An inflammation of the thyroid gland, thyroiditis, can cause the gland to temporarily produce too much hormone. There are several types of inflammations that cause overproduction of hormone.
Hyperthyroidism can be hereditary. All thyroid diseases are partially inherited. If you have a thyroid disease in your family, you are more likely to get the disease yourself. Within one and the same, the risk of both high and low function of the thyroid gland may be increased. Hyperthyroidism does not contaminate. It is more common in women than in men. Overdose in the thyroid gland hormone is about five times more common in women than in men. The disease is unusual in children.
Natural remedies for thyroid
Spirulina is an algae that is used as a natural supplement. In addition to its innumerable properties it also has an efficacy as iodine supplement indicated for subjects with problems of thyroid dysfunction. Not all cases, however, is suitable: we find out when to take spirulina and in what dosage.
Spirulina is a blue algae known by the scientific name of Arthrospira platensis. This algae grows in particular conditions such as salt lakes that have alkaline waters. Spirulina is commonly used as a food supplement due to the high protein power it possesses. It is composed of many amino acids that serve our body to form endogenous proteins and among them are all 8 essential amino acids: methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, tenilalanine, threonine, tryptophan and vanillin. In addition, spirulina is rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), vitamin A, D, K and group B, a portion of carbohydrates such as rhamnose and glycogen, and finally mineral salts such as iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, iodine and potassium.
Spirulina is a natural nutrient supplement and manages to give tone and vigor to the entire body as a true natural reconstitute. Spirulina helps to support our immune system and therefore becomes great as a preventive measure and even after experiencing flu, degeneration or asthma. It is also perfect for sportsmen, for those who choose vegetarian or vegan foods, and also for children and the elderly. The presence of antioxidants helps to fight free radicals and thus prevents aging damage. Spirulina favors concentration and memory, so it is also indicated for those who are studying and for those who are faced with moments of intellectual or physical fatigue.
Still, spirulina, due to the presence of essential fatty acids, helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and fluidize the blood, lower the levels of bad cholesterol and have excellent anti-inflammatory activity overall. Finally, it is also recommended in stages where the highest nutritional coverage is needed such as pregnancy and lactation.
The thyroid gland needs iodine to work optimally and therefore spirulina becomes a great natural supplement for this mineral salt and other nutrients. In the case of hypothyroidism where the thyroid has a reduced function the spirulina can become even more a healthy adjuster to restore this thyroid activity. Spirulina is used as a natural supplement especially for iodine requirements since the presence of this mineral favors the production of thyroid hormones and thus acts to help restore proper thyroid function.
Conversely, for those who suffer from hyperthyroidism and therefore have excessive production of hormones, the situation may be unfavorable with an intake of spirulina given the wealth of iodine present in the algae. When a subject is suffering from hyperthyroidism, there are several unpleasant effects such as anxiety and agitation, nervousness and irritability, tachycardia and insomnia with increased sweating. The use of iodine-rich products, such as spirulina supplements, is therefore not recommended for those suffering from hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid patients should take the iodine diet that serves precisely for the proper functioning of the thyroid and to prevent it from developing goitre. The recommended daily dose is 150 micrograms of iodine that are usually found in the salt that is specifically added to iodine. For pregnant and lactating women, the amount of daily iodine increases up to 290 micrograms.
Spirulina intake as a natural supplement is recommended from 1 to 5 gr per day. Usually starting with a low dosage then assessing to increase depending on the body’s adaptation needs and response. However, it is essential not to exceed the recommended dose on the product to avoid overload and especially for people with thyroid problems overdose can lead to hypothyroidism with excess production of thyroid hormones. We can say that to cover the daily dose of iodine will be about 3 grams of spirulina supplement that in fact provides about 15 micrograms of iodine for each monodosis.
For those who still suffer from thyroid problems, it is always advisable to be followed by your doctor and it is always important to inform him about the use of spirulina as a supplement to iodine and other phytonutrients. This will help to control any addictive effects with drugs or with particular body sensitivity.
Spirulina is available in natural food stores and herbalist shops where it is sold in the form of dried powder or in single-dose capsules and tablets. The powder is very versatile so that it can be added in cooking recipes such as salads, fruit juices, fruit juices or other drinks to drink. While the capsules and tablets are more practical and transportable everywhere.
However, remember to carefully choose the spirulina as the sites of origin can be polluted and then verify the origin area and the quality of the raw material. Spirulina is grown in organic farming produce will guarantee the absence of chemical synthesis products and another attention to be taken will be the risk of the presence of heavy and polluting metals in the waters of the lakes where spirulina grows. Reading the label of the product we will have a lot of information about spirulina production and so buying choices can be more conscientious.
A powerful ally in the fight against thyroid disorders can be undoubtedly iodine. Whether using the iodinated salt by choosing blue fish and other foods that contain it naturally it is possible to provide the thyroid gland with the contribution it needs to restore its balance. Be careful, however, not to integrate iodine into your diet without consultation with your treating physician, as this substance is otherwise harmful in certain specific forms of thyroidism. The melissa is recommended for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. In the form of essential oil it can be used to carry suffumigi or a relaxing massage at the center of the forehead, near the nasal duct.
Nutrition for thyroid
In case of hypothyroidism, it is often recommended to integrate a rich iodine algae in the diet. It is very important in general, for both forms of thyroidism, a good night’s sleep. Nutrition in the event of changes in the thyroid gland is often geared to changes in the presence of iodine in your diet. The most well-known plant to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones is a seaweed rich in iodine, frequently along the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific, is Fucus vesiculosus. An important source of this substance are marine algae, including fucus and coconut oil. It is considered possible alterations in iodine requirements, increased by food such as cruciferous vegetables and soy, while legumes, corn and pistachios for their selenium content would be beneficial for the well being of the thyroid. Eat a lot of shelf fish, blue seaweed to re-activate her metabolism.
To stimulate the thyroid, it is also essential to supplement the daily diet for one month’s cycles at every season change with iodine-rich foods. The thyroid, first of all, works well if you consume a lot of vegetables and fruits, and especially salads of soybeans, broccoli, spinach and strawberries.
Among animal proteins it is preferable to give preference to those rich in iron (red meats cooked at low temperature) and iodine (fish, seaweed, sea food). It’s good not to overdo the diets rich in eggs and salami because they tend to slow the thyroid function. In the case of a diet rich in protein, it is good to introduce fruit and carbohydrates, except the sweetness: carbohydrates help the thyroid hormone T4 to become the active hormone T3. Avoid using too much fiber-rich cereals and dairy products that, taken in excess, may cause a metabolic slowdown. Remember to fill the deficiencies of vitamins and minerals that can accompany hypothyroidism with vitamin B1, iron, selenium, zinc, and copper supplements.
It is suggested that thyroid disorders vary greatly depending on the case, one must understand the origin of the dysfunction, have the opinion of an endocrinologist and possibly accompany it to that of a herbalist, to discuss the integrations with both specialists. The most common remedy in case of thyroid dysfunction is still fucus, which is by no means an algae that thrives in the cold seas. For its natural iodine content, fucus has a stimulating effect on the thyroid and is therefore excellent in case of hypothyroidism. This property was discovered in 1862 by Dr. Duchesne-Duparc, who found a weight loss in a patient who was being given it for a treatment of chronic psoriasis. He pointed out that weight loss was caused by the stimulation of the thyroid gland.
To fight obesity linked to a slowing down of metabolism, fucus mother tincture, 50 drops in the morning, associated with dewaxing 50 drops, is used to reduce the tendency to swelling of the edema. After 4 weeks, replace fucus with the Avena sativa gemotherapist, which has an action to regulate metabolism: they drink 50 drops a day for another month.
In the ayurvedic tradition we find another useful plant to promote thyroid activity, the commulor mukul, known in India as guggul: it acts on fat metabolism and has anti-inflammatory action at the circulatory and articular level. It is used in dry extract capsules, to be taken before meals for a month, in addition to Fucus, Pilosella and Avena.
The application of algae, acting as ‘ion exchangers’ and facilitating the penetration of minerals and algal active substances into superficial epidermal layers, helps to fight the stasis of metabolism, reactivate slow circulation and dispose of subcutaneous fat deposits. Just get herbalist’s ready-made seaweed and seaweed mud and apply it twice a week, in the evening, after the bath.
Finally, it is possible to use acupuncture practices, both in the case of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.