Goitre can occur as a normal feature of puberty and pregnancy and is not caused by disease. However goitre can be caused by a range of factors that may need medical attention. According to ayurveda this is caused by the aggravation of Kapha and diminution of pitta. If a person’s diet is low in iodine, the pituitary keeps sending chemical messages to the thyroid, but in vain. The thyroid gland enlarges as it attempts to comply with the pituitary’s demands. Apart from iodine deficiency, other causes of goitre involve conditions of the thyroid – such as nodules, cancer, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Causes of Goitre
The common Causes of Goitre :
Juvenile goitre due to congenital hypothyroidism
High consumption of certain foods that neutralise iodine, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Other foods, like soy, may also induce goitres.
Dyshormonogenesis, a genetic enzyme deficiency that interferes with normal thyroid hormone synthesis.
Benign or malignant tumours of the thyroid gland .
Certain drugs, such as lithium and phenylbutazone
Symptoms of Goitre
Some Symptoms of Goitre :
Diminished power of concentration.
Swelling of the thyroid gland.
Breathing problems, if the goitre is large enough to press on the windpipe (trachea).
Swallowing problems, if the goitre is large enough to press on the oesophagus.
Treatment of Goitre
Goitres are often removed because of cosmetic reasons or, more commonly, because they compress other vital structures of the neck including the trachea and the oesophagus making breathing and swallowing difficult
Benign thyroid nodules – are shrunk with medications, destroyed with radioactive iodine treatment or surgically removed, depending on the type.
is treated by surgical removal of the gland, followed by radioactive iodine treatment
If you have a small goitre that is not due to a cancerous nodule, and your thyroid is making the correct amount of thyroxine and T3, then you may not need any treatment.
If you have cancer of the thyroid, you will probably need surgery.
If these fail to work, part or all of the thyroid gland is surgically removed alternatively, some or all of the thyroid’s hormone-producing cells can be destroyed with radioactive iodine treatment.