Last Modified on Jul 18, 2014
What Is a Goiter?
The thyroid is the gland situated at the base of the neck. Responsible for regulating metabolism, the thyroid serves an important purpose in the body; however, several issues can arise in relation to this gland. One such condition is a goiter or an enlargement of the thyroid gland. While goiters are generally painless, an extremely large goiter may cause a cough as well as difficulty swallowing and breathing.
All goiters do not cause signs or symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms have been identified as indicative of goiters, though. A visible growth or enlargement at the base of the neck is one of the trademark signs of a goiter. Additional symptoms include a tightness in the throat, coughing or hoarseness, trouble swallowing and difficulty breathing.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing two hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine – and works in conjunction with the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to regulate the rate at which these hormones are produced and released. While a disruption in these processes may result in a goiter, having a goiter does not necessarily mean that an individual’s thyroid is not functioning normally. One of the main factors contributing to a goiter or thyroid problem is an iodine deficiency. Other issues may cause a goiter including such diseases as Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, cancer of the thyroid gland. Additionally pregnancy can cause changes in the thyroid.
Natural Goiter Remedies and Thyroid Treatment
Whatever the cause of a goiter, several natural remedies serve as effective goiter and thyroid treatments. Apple cider vinegar taken daily works to shrink a goiter and regulate the body’s systems naturally. Kelp powder, bladderwrack and iodine supplements are also effective options for treating a goiter. Likewise, minimizing stress and participating in calming activities such as yoga help relieve fatigue and adrenal stimulation and may also help diminish a goiter or thyroid issue.
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/09/2011: Diane from Ashburn, Virginia: "Please tell me how to get rid of goiter. I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar and it seems to be shrinking not completely gone. I have multi nodules in thyroid area. Thank you"Replies
02/16/2011: Nancy from Westlake, Ohio replies: "Hello! I am also trying to reduce the size of a goiter. What exactly are you doing with apple cider vingar? Thanks, Nancy"
03/08/2012: Monique from Ottawa, Canada replies: "I have benign multiple nodule goitre. I want to try something natural to shrink it. Could you tell me what quantity of apple cider vinegar was used."
01/21/2013: Tina from Syracuse, New York replies: "All goiters are different and some can be cancerous you need to find the cause of your goiter before attempting to use any of the suggested products... a goiter caused by idodine deficiency will shrink if you're taking something with iodine suppliments in it like kelp, but it will not work on a goiter caused by hormone difficiency or a cancerous, or tumorus goiter which is why some people see shrinkage and others do not."
07/10/2013: Healthhope from Seattle, Wash replies: "Hello everyone, I'm really needing feedback concerning a large Goiter I see here about painting feet? please instruct, apple cider vineger, and lugols I need to see a change and shrink this goiter! I believe its possible isn't it? I have to see an endo soon please give some feedback what has worked for you ? Has anyone destroyed a goiter naturally or know a doctor that has ???"
06/09/2014: Linda from Ontario, Canada: "Does anyone have any advice or experience using castor oil packs on a goiter? Thanks, Linda"Replies
07/17/2014: Deb from North Carolina, US replies: "Have not heard of using castor oil packs for goiter. Let me know if it works."
07/23/2013: Remus from Reynolds, Ga.: "Hello! My girl have a large goiter on neck, and to know what remedies that she can used to reduced it? She have problem swollening, etc. She have it over 15 years but as large. thank you."
[YEA] 09/25/2012: Nikita from Carrollton, Georgia: "I LOVE ACV and use it daily but at one point, I had also cut out salt with iodine from my diet. I didn't realize that I needed to get iodine from another source (sea kelp, soy milk, etc). After approximately a year and a half, I developed a goiter on my thyroid (August 2011). My doctor scheduled a neck ultrasound for me and I knew that the next step was a blast of radiation (the goiter was big). I did research (ON THIS SITE ESPECIALLY! ) and found out that long term use of ACV can leach the iodine from your body. I also discovered the connection between iodine and thyroid function. I immediately started taking kelp powder. My doctor was skeptical but after a few weeks, the goiter started decreasing in size. It was almost gone by the time I went for the ultrasound. My doctor was amazed :) He said that the ultrasound showed that I still had 5 nodules on my thyroid but my recent bloodwork showed that my thyroid is fine! I still take ACV but I now make sure to replace the iodine in my body."Replies
01/21/2013: The1model from Baltimore, Maryland replies: "Hi, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease about two years ago after having horrible symptoms. My Endo immediately scheduled me for the radioactive iodine treatment but I decided to miss that appointment. She dismissed my request to explore natural options to curve my symptoms and disease. I decided to change my diet, began exercising and started taking natural supplements. About six months later, all of my symptoms disappeared but my goiter did not shrink. Now about a year later, it seems that my symptoms are returning and my goiter is becoming even more enlarged. I am currently taking turmeric, mothers wort, selenium, ginger root, vitamin e, beta carotene and a couple more supplements as suggested from a few thyroid books. As a single mom, college student, full time employee, I am willing to take just about anything that will ensure my health in order to avoid surgery and radioactive therapy. How much kelp powder should be taken daily? And can this be taken along with ACV? Any suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated! Thanks!"
01/22/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "The1model: Kelp is an excellent source of natural Iodine, but in some cases it's not enough. Fallow the recommendations for Lugols Iodine/Iodide on this site. If this doesn't work try nascent Iodine.
Also, try Magnet Therapy directly over the affected area. Try a small music speaker magnet at least 10 min 2x daily. Also, take Zinc/C Lozenges as directed. People w/ Thyroid disorders often cannot convert Beta-carotene to Vit-A, so drop the Bc and take Vit-A soft-gels. I recommend taking the Vit-A by biting down on the gel and bursting it in the mouth while letting it diffuse through-out the entire local area (which includes both the very important Thyroid and Thymus Glands); you can also do this method with the Vit-E; swallow slowly."
05/15/2013: Natrod59 from Boca Raton, Fl replies: "Since you said "As a single mom, college student, full time employee... " I think it's worth mentioning that goiters can also grow from stress and adrenal fatigue. I find that yoga or deep breathing several times a day can relieve the adrenals and decrease my goiter. It appears hormones, adrenals, stress, toxins are all interelated and impacted by diet and stress as well. Good luck!"
05/29/2013: Gravespatient from Montclair, Nj replies: "The1model- do not take kelp as suggested by one of the posters on here. Iodine is the absolute worst thing a graves patient can take. It is like adding fuel to a fire. In graves disease, your body creates too much iodine. Find yourself a good endo thats willing to put you on antithyroid meds & work with you to make u feel better. Thats what I did!
P.S. Stress, as someone mentioned, is also not good either. I find that 30 minutes of exercise helps me."
[NAY] 12/29/2009: Denise from Las Vegas, Nevada: "Goiter on my neck
I have been taking kelp and bladderwrack every day. Nothing has worked. I wanted to know if DSMO cream will shrink my goiter?"
[YEA] 04/23/2014: Mari from California: "I've had an goiter for several years, but lab tests were always within normal. The right side of my thyroid is definitely larger than the left. Finally, one doctor did an antibody test and determined I have a diagnoses of Thyroiditis. I was always able to manage without meds, but a few months ago I started having trouble breathing at night and a couple of times had laryngospasms that were pretty frightening.
I was pretty desperate to find something that would help with my symptoms and read quite a bit about Lugol's solution. I sent away for a bottle and began adding 1-2 drops to water once a day. I have been taking it for several weeks now and have noticed my goiter is shrinking and getting softer. I also have no more trouble breathing at night or laryngospasms. Although, the starting dose said 4 drops daily, I decided to try a smaller dose as I believe a thyroid that hasn't been functioning properly probably needs to start slow.
Lately, I've increased to 3 drops/day without difficulty. I've also noticed my skin problems have cleared up and I attribute that to the Lugol's too."
05/10/2011: Lory from Tarlac City, Philippines: "This website has been a blessing to me. I am addicted to it! I hope someone could help me. My friend has a toxic goiter and she is taking medicine for it. Her condition is improving but I hope someone here knows some natural remedy for it. Please help!"Replies
02/09/2012: Diana from Houston, Tx replies: "Lisa, I'm 46 and just found out I have goiter thru ultrasound. I started taking iodine (Iodoral). How many tablets/day were you taking? What symptoms did you experience and how many months before it disappeared? My lab results came back okay and I've been referred to a surgeon for a biopsy. I must confess that I'm quite scared right now."
[NAY] 09/19/2010: Harley_girl_1000 from Mt. Dora, Fl: "10 years ago I developed goiter on both sides of the thyroid. Each side was as large as a golf ball and multi-nodular. The doctors said that my thyroid blood work was normal. One side spontaneously shrunk and the other continued to grow. I opted for surgical removal of the larger side and kept half of the thyroid. Although I am on natural dessicated thyroid, my life has never been the same. The day after surgery I felt strangely different. A month later I was impotent. My energy levels have never been what they were. It has affected my whole life and I've had to give up many dreams. Despite a careful diet and exercise, nothing was as good as my old thyroid. Not one of 4 endocrinologists mentioned iodine to me. Now I take several drops of Lugol's a week. I have heard that painting the goiter with iodine can help. China is injecting young brides with iodine to prevent cretinism. I know it is possible to shrink a goiter since the half that I kept was at one time larger than the half that was removed. This post is to emphasize NAY to surgical removal of the goiter."Replies
01/07/2011: Marisa from Halifax, England, Uk replies: "I wonder if the iodine has helped to shrink the remaining part of your goitre? Sorry to hear about your experience with goitre. I read in some literature by Dr Brownstein that iodine deficiency can be one of the causes of hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism. It seems that the lack of iodine in the diet causes the thyroid to malfunction which can present itself as either hyper or hypo. To effect a cure Brownstein recommends quite high doses of iodine. In fact for general deficiencies he recommends ingesting iodine at high doses for around a year or so, and then reducing the mg and going without for a month or so each year. He claims that iodine deficiency is one of the causes of loads of diseases. I'm hoping to experiment with supplements shortly for my goitre and hyper condition... After I'm over this nasty virus and chest infection. All the best to you. :-)"
03/16/2011: B from Orlando, Fl replies: "Hi Marisa, I have not been here in a while. During the 10 years that I had the large goiter I spent thousands of dollars on many doctors and endocrinologists. Not a single Doctor ever mentioned iodine. Prior to my surgery I requested an iodine loading test and my endocrinologist refused. I could write a book aobut the rudeness and superior attitude prevalent in the endocrinology field. It has been two years since my surgery and I have purchased Dr. Brownstein's wonderful book. Now I self treat with natural thyroid and iodine. I am convinced that the loss of my thyroid was solely caused by my dietary deficiency of iodine. My life is improving although it will never be what it was prior to the surgery."
02/05/2012: Jennifer from Pittsburgh, Pa replies: "Hi, I was pregnant for the 5th time and found out I had breast cancer and goiter at age 35. I read dr brownsteins book and wanted to go see him but can't b/c not taking new patients. Anyway, I've been loading the body with iodine. Not sure how long but I need to get a loading test thru a natural doctor again. It is very tight and uncomfortable, doctors just want to remove it. Not sure what to do. I'm on a very strict vegan diet now for a year. Let me know where you can get your own natural thyroid medicine?"
02/06/2012: Lisa from Rabat, Morocco replies: "Jennifer, do you mean your throat is tight and uncomfortable? This happened to me when I first started taking iodine (Iodoral). I believe it is caused by your thyroid enlarging to take in more iodine. It eventually went away. Are you also taking Vitamin C, magnesium, selenium and unrefined sea salt? These are recommended to take with iodine. I also was diagnosed with a goiter (by ultrasound) and after being on iodine for several months I no longer have one. You need very large doses of iodine if you have breast cancer, somewhere in the range of 50-300 mg/day.
In any case, DON'T let them remove your thyroid. You will be on meds for life."
02/06/2012: Jen from Aliquippa, Pa replies: "Thanks for your response to my goiter and breast cancer problem. I do take vitamin c, how much though? I did add the b2 and b3 and selenium along with lugols liquid. Thanks this has been so encouraging to me. I talked to a natural doctor today and he said my vertabrae could need aligned and my back has been out of wack lately. I had a feeling I wasn't taking enough iodine."
02/06/2012: Lisa from Rabat, Morocco replies: "You need 2,000-5,000 mg/day of vitamin C. I currently take about 4,000 mg. If you are not taking that much, you'll need to slowly increase since it can act as a laxative. You also should take magnesium if you aren't already."
10/16/2012: Bonnie from Los Angeles, Ca U.s.a. replies: "Hi, In the 30's my grandmother developed a goiter on her neck. Her doctor had her place Iodine on the goiter every day! (in those days I'm told Iodine sold was 100% pure)
My mother told me the goiter disappeared. True story."
10/16/2012: Christina from Manchester, Uk replies: "Hi Ladies, I am new to this forum and probably like you have been searching for support forums/ information on goiters. I was diagnosed with a multi nodular goiter in April 2011 while 7 months pregnant with our 3rd son. It was measured and I had a ultrsound and a biopsy. From all of the it has 5 nodules between 1-2cm and was benign. My docter therefore recommended monitoring it as my thyroid was neither over/underactive. They only recommended surgery and nothing about iodine.
I have been trying to paint it with iodine everyday and taking 800mcg of liquid kelp as well as a vegetarian diet and regular Bikram yoga. Thus far, nothing has changed and it has been about a year. I am losing a little faith but forums like this give an outlet and you realise the wealth of information sharing. Thank you and all the best with your journey."
10/17/2012: Andrea C from Cardiff, Wales replies: "You may need another form of iodine xx You did not say which 1 you are using, but it comes in many forms xxx You may need to try another 1 Love Andrea c xxxxxx"
01/11/2013: Keith from Angeles City, Philippines replies: "I am a 60 year old male and I have had a goiter for 15 years. I had it looked at by a doctor in a army hospital when I first noticed it and he had a cat scan done and said it was a fatty deposit non thyorid related. I have not had it looked at since. It is now the size of a softball. Never considered surgery and it does not affect me other than the noticeable lump. I am considering taking lodoral, vitc, magnesium, selenium and unrefined sea salt as mentioned in another reply but need to know the daily quantities of each. Can anyone help me?"
01/15/2013: Burnfree from Dexter, Mi, Usa replies: "Isn't a goiter an enlarged throid gland due to an iodine deficiency? A holistic nutritional supplement test told me I needed to use kelp. It helped with a thyroid gland that was very uncomfortable when I swallowed. I loaded up on large doses initially and now use a small maintenance dosage. Iodized salt could help too if there is no sodium restriction needed."
01/15/2013: Mariav from Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom replies: "Hi everybody, been reading all comments as am doing research for my lovely aunt who lives in Africa and has been suffering with her goitre for 20years. Shes seen docs and they are all suggesting surgical removal. She is petrified at the thought and has no money to fund for this. Her goitre is now the size of 2 adult fists put together. Shes having difficulty in breathing and can't carry heavy things as that puts a strain on her neck area. I last saw her 3 years ago. Her neck looks smooth but with a display of veins crossing everywhere. Am desperate to try anything you guys have used to see if it works for her. Thank you.xx"
06/22/2013: Sandra from Grand Prairie, Tx replies: "I was diagnose with mutiple nodules in 2009 saw an endocrinologist and had a fine needle procedure everything came out fine. He gave me no meds or diagnosis.... No hyper or hypo thyroid.... Told to come back in 6 months..... In between that time I tried essiac tea but was on high blood pressure meds and was having chest pains so I stop taking it.... At the time was taking lisinopril and found out I was allergic to that... It was giving me the chest pains but through research I found out that essiac tea ingredients and high blood pressure meds don't mix. Anyway went back for 6 months follow up and dr said nodules had shrunk and come back in 6 months for another follow up. He never asked did I do anything differently just come back in 6 months. 6 months later no change and he put me on synthroid... Took it for about a few months and stop taking them for no reason at all... Fast forward to present day had a sonogram on thyroid and nodules have not grown.... gave me another rx for synthroid/levothroxine... now my thyroid jumps/throbs occassionally and palpitations. New plan: lose weight and get off HBP meds and go back to essiac tea... It is now available in pill form called ojibwa. Also heard frankinscense oil & myrrh oil (essential oil 100% therapeutic grade only) is good for shrinking nodules. I am trying that now and will see what happens after 6 months follow up."
06/03/2014: Tt from Dhaka replies: "Hi, I was wondering if you had found any remedies for your thyroid nodules? Do you have an update on this? Thanks!"