Goiter Disease in Afghanistan

  Written by: Muhammad Nasir Sirat

Goiter is a big, bulging, swelling of the neck that is a sign of the iodine deficiency afflicting an enormous number of Afghans.

 Few Afghans know what causes goiter.

 AEPO writer/producer has talked to some patients and a physician about this disease.

A woman, Zarin says: “I am suffering from goiter. I have enough appetite but I could not gain weight. I always feel tired and could not do my house chores.”

Mr. Ahmadullah Zurmati, an internist in Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Hospital, Kabul city says: “the patients of hypothyroidism (low thyroid) suffer from having no appetite but increasing weight, persistent constipation, and low blood pressure.

In the hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) the patient might be very active and he/she might have enough appetite but no increase in their weight.

anger, increasing heartbeat, muscle weakness, especially in the shoulders and thighs, shivering, hair loss, fingernail tingling, anxiety, and eyes irritation are the most common symptoms of goiter."


Mr. Shujauddin, a resident of Herat province says that sadness and grief are the causes of goiter.

Mr. Reza Waizi counts that the lack of dietary iodine is the cause of goiter.

Doctor Zurmati confirms what the people say and adds that some heart disease’s medicines also could be the cause of goiter.

How people treat this disease?

Mohammad Iqbal, a resident of Ghorband district, Parwan province says: "One of my relatives had the goiter. They collected Boswellia Papyrifera. Hocst from pomegranate tree andprepared an ointment from it and put it on the goiter and she recovered."

Doctor rejects home treatment of the goiter and says: “there are three types of goiter treatments: the first one is treated by medicines, the second one is treated by laser and the third type is treated by surgical operation.”

To prevent the goiter, one should eat vegetables, fresh fruits, chicken, fish, olive oil, nuts, dairy products, eggs and iodized salt.

Avoid Raw or half-cooked green leafy veggies, High-sugar foods, French fries and others.