Thyroid nodules are growths or lumps that form in the thyroid gland. They’re usually benign, however in some cases, they can be cancerous. Many people with thyroid nodules don’t have any symptoms, but some people may experience difficulty swallowing or breathing, hoarseness, or pain in the neck or throat.
If you have thyroid lumps, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove them. However, there are also some natural ways to treat thyroid nodules. Ayurvedic medicine involves a holistic approach with herbal supplements, diet and lifestyle changes to dissolve thyroid nodules and prevent recurrence.
What Are Thyroid Nodules?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Just below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate many important body functions including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, overall metabolism and weight.
Thyroid nodules are abnormal solid or fluid-filled lumps that form due to an overgrowth of the tissues within your thyroid gland. More than 95% of the thyroid nodules are not cancerous. However, in some cases, they can be cancerous or lead to other health problems.
If you have thyroid lumps, it’s important to work with an experienced doctor to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment.
Types of Thyroid Nodules
The type of thyroid lumps varies depending on their constitution (what’s inside them) and risk of malignancy (chances of being cancerous). Here are the types of thyroid nodules:
Cysts are the most common type of thyroid nodule and are usually benign. Thyroid cysts usually consist of fluid and are lined with epithelial cells. There are two main types of thyroid cysts: simple cysts and complex cysts. Simple cysts are usually small and filled with clear fluid. They’re usually not harmful and don’t require treatment. However, complex cysts are larger and may contain both fluid and solid matter. These can cause problems if they press on surrounding structures or if they become infected. Treatment for complex thyroid cysts may include surgery or hormone therapy.
An overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue is referred to as a thyroid adenoma. These are the second most common type of thyroid nodule. They may be either follicular or Hurthle cell adenomas. These tumors are usually slow-growing and not cancerous. However, they can occasionally become cancerous. Symptoms of a thyroid adenoma may include neck pain, difficulty swallowing, and hoarseness.
Cancerous Thyroid Nodules
Follicular neoplasms are thyroid nodules that have abnormal cells that grow in a follicle-like pattern. They may be either benign or malignant. Malignant thyroid neoplasms are the least common type of thyroid nodule but they are the most serious. The three types of malignant thyroid neoplasms are: Papillary thyroid cancer, Follicular thyroid cancer, Anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Nodule Symptoms
Most thyroid lumps don’t cause any symptoms and don’t need to be treated. But if a thyroid nodule does cause symptoms, is large, or is growing, you may need to have it checked out by a doctor.
Symptoms of thyroid nodules vary depending on their size and location. Here are some common symptoms:
- A lump in the neck
- Swelling in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in the neck or throat
- Hoarseness or other changes in voice
- Changes in the voice
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. They will likely perform a physical examination and order blood tests to check for thyroid problems.
Causes of Thyroid Nodules
There are a variety of possible causes of thyroid nodules. They can be caused by a number of things, including:
-Aging: As people get older, they are more likely to develop thyroid nodules.
-Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can cause thyroid nodules.
-Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease, can cause thyroid nodules.
-Certain medications: Certain medications, such as lithium or interferon, can cause thyroid nodules.
-Exposure to radiation: Exposure to radiation, such as that from radiation therapy, can cause thyroid nodules.
-Family history: Having a family member with thyroid nodules increases your risk of developing them.
-Iodine excess or deficiency: Imbalance in levels of Iodine can impact functioning of thyroid gland as it is the biggest iodine consuming organ in the body. Both iodine excess or deficiency can trigger formation of thyroid nodules.
Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules
The diagnosis of thyroid nodules usually begins with a clinical examination. Your doctor will feel your neck to see if there are any lumps or other abnormalities. He or she may also order blood tests to check your thyroid hormone levels. In some cases, you may need an imaging test such as an ultrasound or CT scan to get a better look at the nodule.
If your doctor suspects that the nodule might be cancerous, he or she may recommend a fine needle aspiration biopsy. In this procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the thyroid nodule to remove a small sample of tissue. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
If the biopsy shows that the thyroid nodule is cancerous, you will need treatment. Treatment options in modern medicine for thyroid cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Thyroid Nodules
In Ayurvedic texts, lumps, cysts and nodules are named as Granthi, which translates to tissue mass. Ayurveda states that the primary causative factor behind abnormal growth of the tissues as thyroid nodules in its initial stages is Kapha Dosha aggravation. Involvement of vata dosha can lead to hard and irregular lumps, which could be cancerous.
In addition, if there is presence of pitta dosha imbalance, more pronounced in later stages, then it also leads to inflammation, burning sensation and pain.
Ayurvedic approach for treatment of thyroid nodules is directed towards treating the root cause of a patient’s specific symptoms. Depending on the underlying dosha imbalance, your Ayurvedic practitioner will guide you with specific herbs, diet and lifestyle to treat thyroid nodules holistically.
Ayurvedic Medicines for Treatment of Thyroid Nodules
Ayurvedic medicines and herbs are helpful to balance thyroid function, reduce and prevent occurrence of benign thyroid nodules. Regular intake of Ayurvedic herbal supplements under guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner can help you to find relief from your symptoms and prevent invasive treatment procedures as surgery.
– Ashwagandha: It is traditionally used to treat thyroid conditions. It helps to regulate the production of thyroid hormones and can also help to reduce inflammation.
– Guggul: This herb has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and balance hormones. It helps to regulate the immune system and can also reduce thyroid symptoms.
– Shankhapushpi: It is traditionally used as an adaptogen to balance the immune system, reduce stress and promote mental relaxation.
Brahmi: This herb is traditionally used to treat sleep disorders and reduce stress. It helps to balance the immune system and can also reduce inflammation.
Trikatu: It is a blend of three spices that help to improve digestion and stimulate the appetite. It helps to reduce inflammation and can also help to regulate the thyroid gland.
Dandelion root: It is a bitter herb that helps to improve digestion and increase bile production. It helps to cleanse the liver and can also help to reduce inflammation.
Licorice root: It is a sweet herb that has been shown to be effective in balancing hormones. It helps to reduce stress and can also help to promote healthy skin.
Turmeric: It is a spice that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps to reduce inflammation and can also help to protect the liver.
Ginger: It is a spice that helps to improve digestion and reduce nausea. It helps to reduce inflammation and can also help to protect the liver.
Best Foods and Dietary Tips to Dissolve Thyroid Nodules
A healthy diet is important for maintaining a balanced thyroid. Here are some dietary tips and foods to help dissolve thyroid nodules:
– Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. These are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that help to reduce inflammation and protect the body.
– Include plenty of fiber in your diet. This helps to improve digestion and can also help to reduce inflammation.
– Include healthy fats in your diet. These help to balance hormones and can also help to reduce inflammation.
– Avoid processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. These can all contribute to thyroid imbalance and can also worsen inflammation.
– Drink plenty of water. This helps to flush out toxins and can also help to reduce inflammation.
If you are struggling to dissolve thyroid nodules, these dietary tips and foods can help. However, it is important to speak to your doctor or an Ayurvedic practitioner before making any changes to your diet.
Foods to avoid if you have thyroid nodules
There are certain foods which can trigger the symptoms of thyroid nodules and hence, should be avoided. These include:
– Gluten: It is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It can cause inflammation in the gut and can also trigger autoimmune reactions.
– Dairy products: They contain A1 casein protein which can trigger inflammation.
– Soy: It contains goitrogens which can disrupt thyroid function.
– Processed foods: They are high in sugar and unhealthy fats which can trigger inflammation.
– Caffeine: It can increase the stress hormone cortisol which can disrupt thyroid function.
– Alcohol: It can damage the liver and disrupt thyroid function.
Thus, it is important to avoid these foods if you have thyroid nodules. You should also consult with a healthcare practitioner to find out if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.
Lifestyle Tips for Natural Treatment of Thyroid Nodules
There are several things you can do to help keep your thyroid healthy and reduce your risk of developing thyroid nodules:
– Get regular exercise. Exercise helps to boost your metabolism and can help to keep your thyroid hormone levels in balance.
– Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to keep your thyroid gland functioning properly.
– Avoid exposure to environmental toxins. Try to limit your exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that may be harmful to the thyroid gland.
– Reduce stress levels. Stress can interfere with the proper function of the thyroid gland, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress effectively.
– Get regular medical care. Be sure to see your doctor for regular checkups and screenings, as this can help to catch any problems with the thyroid gland early on.
– Avoid goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. Some common goitrogens include soy products, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and certain fruits and nuts.
– Take thyroid medication as prescribed. If you have hypothyroidism, it’s important to take your thyroid medication as directed. This can help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules and improve symptoms.
Yoga Asana for treatment of Thyroid Nodules
Yoga has been shown to be beneficial for treating thyroid nodules. Yoga helps to improve the function of the thyroid gland and can help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules. some helpful yoga asanas for treatment of thyroid nodules include:
– Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand): This asana helps to improve circulation to the thyroid gland and can help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules.
– Halasana (Plow Pose): This asana helps to stimulate the thyroid gland and can help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules.
– Matsyasana (Fish Pose): This asana helps to stretch the neck and throat, which can help to improve the function of the thyroid gland.
– Ustrasana (Camel Pose): This asana helps to stretch the neck and throat, which can help to improve the function of the thyroid gland.
– Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose): This asana helps to improve circulation to the thyroid gland and can help to reduce the size of thyroid nodules.
Ayurvedic medicine is a safe and effective way to treat benign thyroid nodules and prevent thyroid disease in recurrence. If you are interested in trying Ayurveda for your condition, it is important to consult with an experienced practitioner who can tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Health Experts to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
Should thyroid cysts be removed?
There are many different types of cysts that can develop on the thyroid gland. While some of these cysts are benign and pose no threat to health, others can be cancerous. As a result, it is important to consult with a doctor if any suspicious growths are found on the thyroid. In general, thyroid cysts do not require treatment unless they are causing symptoms such as pain or difficulty swallowing. However, if a cyst is large or growing rapidly, surgery may be necessary to remove it. Thyroid cysts are usually benign, but it is important to have them checked by a doctor to rule out any serious health concerns.
What causes thyroid cysts to grow?
It’s not exactly clear what causes thyroid cysts to grow. However, it’s thought that they may be due to a buildup of fluid in the gland. This can happen for a number of reasons, including an overactive thyroid, inflammation, or damage to the gland. In some cases, thyroid cysts may also be inherited.
Do thyroid lumps go away?
Many people are surprised to learn that thyroid lumps are actually quite common. In fact, it is estimated that nearly half of all women will develop a thyroid lump at some point in their lives. While most of these lumps are benign, they can still cause anxiety and concern. The good news is that, in most cases, thyroid lumps will eventually go away on their own. However, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process. First, it is important to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. This will help to boost your immune system and encourage cell turnover. Additionally, you can try using a warm compress on the lump for 20 minutes each day. This will help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Finally, be sure to monitor the lump closely for any changes in size or appearance. If you notice anything unusual, be sure to consult with your doctor right away. With proper care and treatment, most thyroid lumps will eventually go away.
How does lump on thyroid feel?
A thyroid lump is usually not painful, but it can be if it grows large enough to press on nerves in the area. The lump itself may feel hard or rubbery. It may also be difficult to swallow if it is large enough to press on the esophagus. If the lump is cancerous, it may also grow quickly and cause other symptoms such as difficulty breathing or a hoarse voice. However, many thyroid lumps are benign (non-cancerous) and do not cause any symptoms. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor if you notice a lump on your thyroid so that they can perform tests to determine whether or not it is cancerous.
What is the difference between a cyst and a nodule?
A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can develop anywhere on the body. They are most commonly found on the skin, but can also occur in other tissues. Cysts are usually benign, but can sometimes become infected. A nodule is a small, hard growth that can form under the skin. Nodules are also usually benign, but can sometimes be cancerous. Both cysts and nodules can be painful if they press on nerves or other tissues. Treatment for both conditions typically involves draining the fluid from the cyst or removing the nodule surgically.