12 Natural Remedies for Thyroid Nodules
The thyroid is a small gland you will find below your throat, precisely close to your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland regulates body functions like metabolism, heart rate, and the rate at which your body burns excess calories. Therefore, a thyroid nodule is a lump in the thyroid gland around the neck. Over 90 percent of all thyroid nodules are non-cancerous. Some are cysts that contain only fluid. Women experience more thyroid nodules than men. Thyroid nodules can also run in the family. Consider the natural remedies for thyroid nodules that I will explain in this post.
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of thyroid nodules
- Symptoms of thyroid nodules
- Causes of thyroid nodules
- Conventional treatment for thyroid nodules
- Natural remedies for thyroid nodules
What are Thyroid Nodules?
Thyroid nodules are growths that appear within the thyroid gland located in your throat. When the tissue grows abnormally, it creates a lump or nodule. Thyroid nodules can grow as a single lump or as multiple nodules, and they can either contain fluid or just be solid.
Thyroid nodules are pretty common, affecting about 65 percent of the general population. The estimated annual incidence of the condition in the United States is about 0.1 percent, about a 10% lifetime probability of growing one.
Most thyroid nodules are clinically insignificant and benign, but about 10 percent of the condition has a clinically significant cancer, 5 percent triggers compressive symptoms, and 5 percent becomes a functional disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules
The possibility of thyroid nodules symptoms is uncommon; actually, doctors usually discover nodules when they are performing other imaging studies and not because a patient is showing any signs or symptoms. However, some people with thyroid nodules, which constitute about 11 to 22 percent, experience compressive symptoms, which include the following:
- Neck Fullness: You can sometimes feel thyroid nodules when examining the throat and neck. You can even see it when there is welling below the neck.
- Dysphagia: This is another word for difficulty in swallowing, which can be one of the symptoms of thyroid nodules. The lump is triggering a sense of mass in the esophagus or it is not giving way to smooth passage of food, resulting in pain when swallowing.
- Odynophagia: This is another medical term that means the pain felt in the esophagus, throat or mouth while swallowing. Because larger thyroid nodules trigger pressure in the neck and throat, people can experience pain in these areas.
- Choking: Because swollen or large thyroid nodules can cause difficulty in swallowing, they can lead to choking.
- Dyspnea: Another medical term for shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, which may result from larger thyroid nodules.
In some cases, thyroid nodules can make the body produce additional thyroxine – a hormone the thyroid gland secretes. This secretion may result in anxiety symptoms, muscle weakness, excessive sweating, unexplained weight loss, racing heart, trouble sleeping, nervousness, and hyperthyroidism.
These symptoms can show in malignant and benign thyroid nodules, so they do not indicate the risk of thyroid cancer.
Causes and Risk Factors of Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules are pretty common, and various conditions can make them grow in your thyroid gland; those conditions include the following:
- Deficiency in Iodine: Low iodine levels may result in an increased risk of developing enlarged thyroid gland or goiters.
- Hashimoto’s Disease: This disease causes inflammation of the thyroid gland and can enlarge the gland. This condition is due to the underproduction of thyroid hormone and can totally destroy the thyroid gland itself.
- Thyroid Tissue Overgrowth: In some cases, a normal thyroid tissue may overgrow – adenoma is the clinical term for this condition. Nobody really knows the origin of this occurrence, but it can result in lumps in the thyroid gland and then trigger an overproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Thyroid Cyst: A cyst that contains fluid can develop in the thyroid, which may be the work of an abnormal thyroid tissue growth. These cysts are often a combination of liquid and solid components, but they are usually benign. However, the solid components in a cyst may become malignant.
- Thyroid Goiter: A thyroid goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland that results in a bulge in the neck. This disorder can occur when there is underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Thyroid Cancer: Most thyroid nodules are non-cancerous, and the thyroid nodules result from other factors. In some cases, however, the cancerous cells in the thyroid may cause nodules. If a nodule is painful, large, and hard, there is the risk of malignancy.
Below are some facts concerning the risks associated with thyroid nodules:
- Thyroid nodules are four times more common in women than in men.
- The new development of thyroid nodules and the increasing size of the condition relates to the hormonal changes of both testosterone and estrogen, which is why nodules are common in pregnant women.
- The frequency of thyroid nodules increases with age.
- Thyroid nodules have an association with iodine intake.
- Exposure to ionizing radiation (which can occur during occupational exposure or childhood) is linked to an increased risk of growing thyroid cancer. The level of radiation exposure required to increase the risk of cancer is higher than that generated by routine x-rays.
Conventional Treatment for Thyroid Nodules
Treating thyroid nodules depends on the original risk estimate based on a cytology or ultrasound report. The doctor will create a treatment plan after observing the estimated risk of malignancy and the severity and presence of symptoms.
If the enlarged thyroid nodule is causing compressive symptoms, the types of therapy below are effective for the treatment of benign thyroid nodules:
- Thyroid hormone therapy
- Radioactive iodine treatment
- Laser or radiofrequency ablation treatment
Conventionally, malignant nodules often require surgical removal. There are two popular ways of carrying out the surgery – complete removal of the thyroid gland (known as thyroidectomy) or partial (half) removal of the thyroid gland (known as lobectomy).
12 Natural Remedies for Thyroid Nodules
The following are natural remedies for thyroid nodules. You should consider using them if you are suffering from the condition.
1. Avoid Iodine Deficiency
It wouldn’t hurt to understand that iodine status is a significant determinant of thyroid nodules. Iodine deficiency can easily cause goiter and hypothyroidism because iodine helps to convert and release thyroid hormones. Conversely, thyroid nodules caused by low iodine levels can cause mood changes, weight fluctuations, sluggish metabolism, and heart complications.
There are ways you can avoid deficiency in iodine, but the essential step is eating foods rich in iodine, such as raw milk and eggs, organic yogurt, wild-caught cod, and seaweed. You can also take iodine supplements which, when taken in low doses, helps to normalize thyroid hormones production. However, ensure that you take iodine supplements under your doctor’s care, and ensure you leave yourself for proper monitoring for side effects. Overdosing on iodine can worsen thyroid disorder symptoms.
2. Eat Foods High in B Vitamins, Zinc, and Selenium
To eliminate thyroid nodules symptoms, ensure that you are receiving enough B vitamins, zinc, and selenium in your diet. These nutrients are good for proper thyroid function and help balance your thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid is the body organ with the largest content of selenium. In addition, selenium will help convert hormones T4 and T3. Some of the best selenium foods you can add to your diet to improve thyroid function include organic oats, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, halibut, pinto beans, sunflower seeds, and Brazil buts.
Foods that contain high B vitamins and zinc are also important for thyroid health; these foods include the following:
- Grass-fed beef
3. Avoid Inflammation-causing Foods
Inflammation is one of the causes of thyroid nodules and other problems related to the thyroid gland. Inflammation is capable of slowing down the production and conversion of thyroid hormone. Therefore, you should avoid inflammatory foods that will only worsen the issues. Inflammatory foods include foods with added sugar, processed foods, and other possible triggers, especially foods containing gluten.
4. Reduce Stress Levels
Both mental and physical stress can trigger a change in your thyroid hormone levels. To keep the endocrine gland from overloading, which can damage the body by altering the function of your thyroid and adrenal glands, you should get enough rest and manage your stress levels,
You can reduce stress by trying the natural stress-relieving methods, such as getting 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night, joining a support group or faith community, putting time aside in your day to do something relaxing and fun, and exercising (which is probably the most important).
5. Try Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb; it is also a traditional medicine in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is often used for thyroid dysfunctions. Other adaptogens you can use to relieve the symptoms of thyroid disease include licorice root, ginseng, holy basil, and hypothyroidism.
6. Reduce Toxic Exposures
Exposing yourself to chemical toxins can cause inflammatory reactions that prevent adequate thyroid function. You should avoid certain commercial beauty or cleaning products, hormonal birth control pills, and medications. It is also essential to understand that heavy metals like amalgam and mercury fillings can affect hormone balance, which is why you may have to see a holistic dentist to remove silver fillings.
7. Take Probiotics
Further research links hypothyroidism with small intestine disorders, such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Studies reveal that the overgrowth of certain bacteria can trigger thyroid dysfunction. Adding probiotic foods to your diet and taking probiotic supplements can help balance both the good and bad bacteria in your stomach, potentially improving the function of your thyroid gland and ultimately preventing nodules from developing.
8. Eat Enough Seafood
Seafood contains rich natural iodine. When you consume seafood regularly, your thyroid gland will contain extra iodine. Seafood consumption is one of the most effective natural remedies for thyroid nodules because iodine plays a significant role in curing thyroid nodules.
9. Make Use of Ginseng
For hundreds of years, ginseng has been one of the most sought-after herbs for curing many ailments. The anti-inflammatory properties contained in this Chinese herb are pretty effective for ulcer treatment. Take ginseng extract internally and regularly if you are suffering from thyroid nodules. The ginseng will help shrink the growth.
10. Consume Citrusy Fruits Everyday
Another powerful choice out of the natural remedies for thyroid nodules involves the consumption of citrus fruits because they reduce the formation of mucus and aid the treatment of thyroid nodules. Consume plenty of citrus fruits like orange, lemon, etc., each day to minimize the nodule size. You can also try fruit jams as an alternative.
11. Consider Taking Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are another cure for thyroid nodules because they reduce inflammation and help maintain tissue health. Try to incorporate foods rich in fatty acids into your diet. For example, consume more seeds and nuts because they are the best sources of fatty acids. Other natural sources of fatty acids include virgin and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, chia seeds, and avocados.
12. Coconut Oil
The polyunsaturated oil we use for cooking can adversely affect our thyroid glands. Research revealed that they could result in thyroid nodules and other related problems. Coconut oil is not only healthy but also free of polyunsaturated compounds. Also, it helps in boosting your metabolisms, which serve as the basis for your thyroid gland functions.
You are free to try out any of these natural remedies for thyroid nodules.
Regularly and constantly exercising your body will also go a long way in improving your thyroid nodules. Exercising your body will speed up the work of the natural remedies for thyroid nodules already provided above. The keys to good thyroid health are focus and discipline. You have to put in the work to see the result.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.