Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Goiter Home Care

Treatment for endemic goiter may include:

  • Avoid alcohol, or drink alcohol in moderation:
    • For men: no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day
    • For women: no more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day
  • Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
  • Vitamins:
  • Avoid food that interfere with absorption of iodine:
    • Turnips
    • Cabbage
    • Mustard
    • Soybeans
    • Peanuts
    • Pine nuts
    • Cassava root
    • Millet
  • If you are hypothyroid, avoid or limit consumption of brassica vegetables:
    • This includes cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, pak-choi, and turnips.
    • Brassica vegetables contain compounds that may interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.
    • For those who are not iodine deficient, receive adequate iodine in the diet, and are cooking these vegetables prior to consumption, this rarely presents a problem.
    • Consult your doctor for guidance.
  • If you are hypothyroid, limit consumption of soy-based foods:
    • They can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone.
    • Consult your doctor for guidance.
  • Other vegetables to avoid that may interfere with iodine transport in the thyroid include:
    • Lima beans
    • Cassava
    • Maize
    • Bamboo shoots
    • Sweet potatoes
  • Take your medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Avoid running out of your medication. Refill your prescriptions early.
    • Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel better.
    • If you feel worse, talk to your doctor before you stop your medication.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
    • Do not stop prescription medications without talking to your doctor.
  • Learn everything you can about endemic goiter:
    • The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be to participate with your doctor in making treatment decisions.
    • Ask your doctor about good sources for information.
    • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Goiter Warning Signs

Continue to Goiter Outlook

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Goiter References
  1. Aydin K, Kendirci M, Kurtoglu S, Karakucuk EI, Kiris A. Iodine and selenium deficiency in school-children in an endemic goiter area in Turkey. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul-Aug;15(7):1027-31. [12199330]
  2. Castaneda R, Lechuga D, Ramos RI, Magos C, Orozco M, Martinez H. Endemic goiter in pregnant women: utility of the simplified classification of thyroid size by palpation and urinary iodine as screening tests. BJOG. 2002 Dec;109(12):1366-72. [12504972]
  3. Elnour A, Hambraeus L, Eltom M, Dramaix M, Bourdoux P. Endemic goiter with iodine sufficiency: a possible role for the consumption of pearl millet in the etiology of endemic goiter. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan;71(1):59-66. [10617947]
  4. Zhao J, Wang P, Shang L, Sullivan KM, van der Haar F, Maberly G. Endemic goiter associated with high iodine intake. Am J Public Health. 2000 Oct;90(10):1633-5. [11030003]
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