Not only do we have to worry about frequently feeling fatigued, weak, and forgetful as we age, we also have to be concerned about numerous illnesses that we could develop. One being thyroid disease. Many of the symptoms of thyroid disease are confused with those of getting older, so many elders brush them off without giving them a second thought. In fact, according to MedicineNet.com, many adults over the age of 65 live their lives with an undiagnosed condition since their symptoms mirror those found with aging.
This thyroid condition can be the result of a thyroid gland that produces too much or too little of the hormone. Because of the exhaustion, as well as other emotional and physical symptoms, elders with thyroid disease could benefit from getting help from an elder care provider. Another way to help your aging parent is through knowledge. Learning as much as you can about their condition will give you an idea as to when the doctor should be informed of their symptoms.
Each person will be at a different level of this disease, so the symptoms can vary significantly. Yet, here are some of the most common symptoms found with people who have this condition.
Muscle aches and stiffness
Dry, pale skin
Lack of concentration
Low sex drive
The first step in getting an official thyroid disease diagnoses is through blood tests. This will allow the doctor to determine the elder’s thyroid function and hormone levels in order to prescribe the right treatment. Thyroid scans may also be recommended, which use radioactive iodine. A biopsy could help the doctor find out if there is any cancer in the tissue.
One type of treatment is for people with hyperthyroidism and consists of a synthetic thyroid hormone being administered. Anti-inflammatory medications and beta-blockers could also be used to reduce any inflammation the senior has when the thyroid glands become enflamed. Surgery could be required for seniors with severe symptoms, including having a hard time breathing or swallowing.
Thyroid disease is most commonly developed in people who have a family history of the disease. However, by not smoking, lowering stress levels, getting plenty of iodine, and exercising every day, your elderly loved one could drastically lower their chances of developing thyroid disease.
Thyroid disease can become debilitating if the elder becomes utterly exhausted and unable to accomplish even the most mundane tasks. This information will give you a better idea of what your loved one is going through and how you can help.