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Typical Thyroid Diseases Among Seniors

As adults age, it is not unusual for various organ systems to slow down or malfunction. This is also true of the thyroid gland. Some types of thyroid disease processes are more common among elderly residents. However, the symptoms are often not typical, which makes diagnosis more difficult. The following are a few of the most common thyroid diseases Columbus in-home care providers help manage.

Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis or inflammation of the thyroid gland is common in middle-aged and elderly women, though the problem can also arise in men. Examinations of the gland in women over the age of 60 revealed that 45 percent displayed the disorder. Treating the malady depends on the reason for the antibody attack. Anti-infective medications treat underlying infections. In other cases, patients may merely require anti-inflammatory medications.

Hypothyroidism

The term refers to a reduced production of thyroid hormone. The malfunction is more common in elderly residents and especially in women. In senior adults, symptoms might include cardiovascular problems, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels and anemia. Older loved ones might complain of constipation, experience weight loss, have arthritic-like discomfort and develop anemia. Some might also suffer from depression, cognitive difficulties or other mental health issues. An evaluation of physical symptoms combined with thyroid stimulating hormone levels is used to diagnose the disorder. Treatment involves taking thyroid replacement hormones.

Hyperthyroidism

When the thyroid produces an excess of hormones, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and severe weight loss. However, more common symptoms include depression, generalized fatigue or apathy. Patients may be required to take beta-blocker anti-hypertensive medications along with receiving radioiodine.

Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland may develop malignancies among seniors. Papillary carcinoma remains the most common of these cancers. However, the disease progresses faster among elderly adults compared to those under the age of 50. Malignancies may grow more rapidly or metastasize to other body regions. Depending on the type of mass, treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

When seniors are diagnosed with thyroid conditions, it’s often beneficial to have help around the house. Contact Home Care Assistance of Columbus at (614) 481-8888 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Care Manager. We will assign a highly trained caregiver to help your loved one with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, medication reminders, prescription pick-ups and more. We’ll even customize your loved one’s care plan with our proprietary Balanced Care Method to help your loved one adopt healthy habits including eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and socializing with friends and family. Let us help your loved one achieve the health and wellbeing he or she deserves.