Inflammation of different glands and their surrounding areas, with simultaneous throbbing pain (this does not mean that pain will accompany the swelling in every case; and in chronic cases it is natural for there to be no pain); occasional fever, and aggravation of the swelling during the fever, are the symptoms of this disease.
Causes: 1. The liver and the spleen become weak due to chronic fever, and as a result, the immune defenses of the blood and lymph become diminished. When this happens, the glands of the body do not get the necessary support from them, and the gland or glands which are neglected most have to strain to continue their activity. Because of this over-exertion, the glands start swelling and enlarging.
2. Lack of iodine in the food causes those glands which need iodine to become weak, and in that condition they eventually become swollen.
3. If the body becomes deficient in shukra, the last-derived of all the bodily elements, due to the wasteful discharge of semen, all the glands lose their vitality, because it is the shukra which helps the glands stay strong and healthy.
Some of the important glands need shukra and iodine more than others, and therefore any deficiency is more detrimental to them. The thyroid gland of the throat is one such gland, so it easily succumbs to attack for any of the causes mentioned above. The two main supporting arteries of the thyroid, named “manya,” also become incapable of carrying out their normal functions and start swelling. As a consequence the whole region starts swelling and enlarging. The name of this disease is “goitre.” This type of swelling may also occur at the base of the ears, in the armpits and in the groin.
Treatment: Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Karmásana, Ud́d́ayana Mudrá, Mayúrásana, Bandhatraya Yoga Mudrá, and Práńáyáma concentrating on the controlling point of the relevant glands.
Evening – Sarváuṋgásana, Matsyamudrá, Agnisára Mudrá and Matsyendrásana. The patient has to observe carefully the procedures for sun-bathing, drinking water and fasting (see Appendix).
Diet: With this disease, iodine-containing foods such as milk and fruit should be taken in sufficient quantity. Bananas, papayas, pineapples, oranges, tangerines, jám and tomatoes are very good food for patients. The patient must also pay careful attention to the regular clearance of the bowels.
Dos and don’ts: This type of disease, involving glandular swelling, is found on a larger scale in the interior part of a country than in its sea-coast regions. So if it is possible for a patient to go to some sea-coast place for a change of air, it will yield a good result. Since there is a lot of iodine in sea water, the air near the coast is always found to be full of iodine.
Excessive seminal loss, in the case of the male, may cause the thyroid gland to swell, so one should be careful to preserve one’s semen.
Women who have given birth to a large number of children, or who are having menstrual trouble, especially excessive bleeding, or who have breast-fed their children excessively, may also be affected by swelling of the thyroid gland.
There is not much to fear if the swelling has only been present for a short time, because taking precautionary measures in the preliminary stage will keep this disease from becoming incurable. But if the disease persists and turns chronic, the above-mentioned dos and don’ts will have to be faithfully observed for a long period.