A goiter is formed due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland and is commonly due to hypothyroidism. Changes in the gland are caused by the gland responding to low levels of thyroid hormone secretion from the brain.

The Thyroid then tries to compensate via feedback messages to the brain to produce more of these hormones. This over compensatory activity then results in enlargement of the gland.

The thyroid is a gland located just at the base of the neck (below the Adams Apple). The hormones it produces set the resting rate of energy production (metabolism) and also influence the nervous system. Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is an underactivity of the thyroid gland due to insufficient production of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4).


Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: hair loss and brittle hair, constipation, cool and dry skin, irregular periods in women, lethargy, listlessness, drowsiness, intolerance to the cold, weight gain, pale face and low basal temperature in the morning.

The common causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Genetics (hereditary)
  • Pituitary tumours or Hashimotos Disease
  • Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland)
  • Insufficient thyroid medication
  • Surgical removal of thyroid (thyroidectomy)
  • Stress
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Dietary deficiency of Iodine, Selenium and Vitamin D
  • Excessive consumption of Cobalt and Flouride


  • Foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, soya beans are implicated in hypothyroidism as they have the ability to block the production of thyroid hormones and are therefore recommended to avoid
  • Increase foods high in Zinc such as pepitas (pumpkin seeds), red meat, nuts, sunflower seeds, oysters and grains
  • Foods which are high in Tyrosine are cheese and dairy foods, spirulina, pork, yeast and tuna


  • Exercise is important for maintaining sufficient hormone levels (30 minutes daily at least 5 times/ week)
  • Check for food sensitivities such as gluten intolerance. Food intolerances may be a contributing factor to the underlying autoimmune condition. I suggest a visit to your GP to enquire into having an allergy test to determine trigger foods that may initiate inflammatory responses
  • A liver function test and a full blood test to determine nutritional status is also advisable
  • Please see a Naturopath to have a full case history taken as it is important to assess overall health and they will be able to provide the ongoing support that this condition requires
  • Sunlight is believed to stimulate the functioning of the thyroid gland (10 minutes/ day is all that is needed)


  • The trace mineral Selenium is important as an anti-inflammatory and nutrient for the health of the immune system
  • Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism due to a dietary insufficiency in the Western diet. This important mineral is found in seafood, seaweed (including kelp, bladderwrack, or dulce) and Celtic Sea Salt. Iodine is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine/T3 and thyroxine/T4)
  • Herbs to support thryoid function: Astragalus, Coleus, Reishi Mushrooms, Codonopsis, Watercress, Horny Goat Weed, Cinnamon, Blue Flag, Horsetail
  • Anti-oxidants help to reduce excessive free radicals which are produced by the inflammation and cellular disregulation and contribute to further malfunctioning of the thyroid gland
  • Many individuals with hypothyroidism exhibit low levels of Zinc, it is therefore recommended to perform a Zinc Status test (a health food store may be able to help you do this test). Zinc restores function to the thyroid
  • The amino acid Tyrosine is beneficial for thyroid function by stimulating the production of thyroid hormones