6 Effective Strategies For Reducing And Eliminating Cystic Thyroid Nodules
By Angelique Johnson
Did you know that you have a butterfly in your throat?
The thyroid is the butterfly shaped gland found at the front of your neck.
This is the organ that is responsible for producing and secreting important hormones that promote and regulate growth and development by helping to control how fast your metabolism functions (so if you’re short or too tall, here’s one of the culprits for you).
When things start getting problematic with this particular gland, cystic nodules can develop on the gland and from that point, things can start to go really wrong.
Small cystic nodules for the most part do not produce symptoms to let you know they’re there, but larger ones may actually be seen on the neck and can be so large that they can press on your windpipe or esophagus, making breathing and swallowing difficult. They are a common occurrence and are detected in only about 6% of women and 1%-2% of men.
These growths tend to secrete thyroxine (also known as T4), a hormone already secreted by the thyroid that is primarily responsible for regulating your metabolism.
Because of the extra thyroxin, you may experience symptoms such as nervousness, heart palpitations, intolerance to heat, tremors and weight loss.
Although more than 95% of thyroid nodules are benign (non-cancerous), the potential is still there, so tests are needed to determine if a nodule is cancerous.
There are treatments for thyroid cystic nodules, but most of them aren’t guaranteed to work or come with a wide range of serious side effects.
For instance, there is thyroid hormone suppression therapy, but this offers no clear evidence or assurance that the treatment will effectively shrink the nodules. There are anti-thyroid medications, but they can have serious side effects on your liver and then diving into surgery will actually involve completely removing the thyroid from your neck, even though it is an important factor for the overall function of your body.
What a wild, troublesome little butterfly, right?
Not all hope is lost though. Fortunately, there are some natural ways that can help you manage the symptoms of cystic nodules and even help them shrink.
1. Add More Iodine To Your Diet
One of the main culprits behind thyroid cystic nodule development is a lack of iodine. Incorporating more foods that contain iodine can help reduce symptoms and prevent more nodules from developing.
Sea vegetables, shrimp, shellfish, turkey breast and strawberries are some great iodine-rich foods to start with that you can add to your diet.
2. Stay Away From Sugar
Sugar in processed foods causes an inflammatory state in the body and helps promote insulin resistance. A study published in the journal Archives of Iranian Medicine found that those with insulin resistance were more at risk for developing thyroid cystic nodules.
Sugar has also been shown to help cancer thrive in the body. The stuff really isn’t all that sweet, is it?
3. Avoid Foods That Produce Mucus
Thyroid nodules love mucus, which is not good if you’re trying to get rid of them. The best way to reduce the amount of mucus in your body is to avoid mucus producing foods.
Cutting out margarine, deep fried foods, dairy and processed foods from your diet can help improve your condition and prevent it from getting worse.
4. Citrus Fruits Are The Way To Go
Since you’re trying to stop mucus from being produced, why not also destroy the mucus already present? Citrus fruits helps reduce or eliminate thyroid nodules by breaking down the mucus present in the body. They are also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immunity and fights off free radicals that cause cancer.
5. Reduce Alcohol And Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine both increase and exacerbate thyroid cystic nodule development. Coffee, sodas and teas are not good for someone prone to developing the nodules. However, herbal teas that do not contain caffeine are okay, as they help ease inflammation.
6. Calm Down
Because one of the symptoms of thyroid cystic nodules is nervousness and heart palpitations, stress management techniques can be vital for preventing such symptoms. Stress management can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Whether you enjoy practicing yoga, taking a hot bath, getting a massage, or reading a book, finding something that helps calm and relax you (and doing it often) can help prevent those pesky thyroid nodules from developing.
Angelique Johnson is a nutritionist from Miami, FL. Through her own journey in weight loss, she discovered her love for health and nutrition and realized she wanted to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle. Angelique has been featured as a nutrition consult on CBS4 Miami News and is a published author on many online health sites. She is passionate about debunking diet rumors and showing her clients how to have a healthy, balanced relationship with food.
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