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Health > Goiter


Goiter Fact Sheet

Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland in the front of the neck. Associated with the overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones.

What to look for

  • swelling at the base of the neck
  • If you have an overactive thyroid gland, you may also experience weight loss despite an increased appetite, an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, nervousness, diarrhoea, muscle weakness, and hand tremors.
  • If you have an under-active thyroid gland, you may also experience lethargy, slowed physical and mental functions, depression, loss of hair, dry skin, a lower heart rate, an intolerance to cold, constipation, easy weight gain, and tingling or numbness in your hands.

Goitres can be any one of several types of growths in the thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck. A goitre may be a temporary problem that will remedy itself over time without medical treatment, or a symptom of another, possibly severe, thyroid condition that requires medical attention.


Goitres can occur when the thyroid gland produces either too much thyroid hormone or not enough.
Most goitres are caused by iodide deficiency, a key ingredient in the manufacture of thyroid hormone. To make up for the resulting shortfall of the hormone, the gland begins to grow. If the swollen gland causes breathing problems it must be removed.
If you consume too many foods such as soybeans, rutabagas, cabbage, peaches, peanuts, and spinach a thyroid growth called a sporadic goitre, can form.

Traditional Treatment

A goitre may require no treatment, especially if it is small and has succeeded in boosting production of thyroid hormone. However, if the goitre develops because of excessive thyroid hormone production, fails to produce enough hormone, or causes discomfort, you should seek medical help.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Alternative therapies treat goitres by attempting to boost production of thyroid hormone and correct the body's chemical imbalance.
Chinese Herbs - Notoginseng root (Panax Notoginseng) and Tang-kuei formula may help reduce the size of a goitre. Consult a Practitioner for correct dosages.
Herbal Therapies - To improve an underactive-thyroid condition, try bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) three times a day. Take it in tablet form.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you have a large goitre.

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