Thyroid disorder is a serious concern that affects people with gradual ageing when the thyroid glands slowly cease to function precisely as in young age. One of the major issues with the inappropriate functioning of the thyroid glands is the reduced rate of metabolism in the body largely attributed by hypothyroidism. The thyroid disorders may often remain unnoticed except for some severe health complications.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Gland Disorders
The symptoms of hypothyroidism share similarities with other health ailments such as anemia, stress, depression etc. However, the relatives of people over the age of 65 years should consider taking the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Test (TSH Test) in case they observe the following complications evident over a continued period:
- Constipation and irregular bowels
- Reduction or Increase in body weight
- Tiredness and lack of energy or enthusiasm in daily activities
- Skin dryness and itching
- Inability to bear cold weather
- Disturbed cognitive functioning
- Weak muscles and tremors
Not all thyroid dysfunction cases are similar nor are the symptoms alike. Based on the medical conditions and complications, following are some vital thyroid gland disorders that require proper diagnosis and treatment for complete curing:
Multi Nodular Goiters
The development of thyroid nodule is quite likely in people aged over 70 years and even more. The enlargement of the multiple thyroid nodules or goiter causes pressure in the neck area that may result in mild discomfort or even severe pain in the area, jaws, ears etc. The extreme pressure may also pose difficulty in swallowing food or dry coughing. The over production of the thyroid hormone from these nodules in some cases result in major changes in the muscles and the heart, trigger stress and depression etc.
Hyperthyroidism or the excessive hormone production in the thyroid glands raises serious health concerns including muscle weaknesses, cardiac palpitations and irregular rhythms, shaking and tremors, pain in the chest area and associated problems. Left undiagnosed and untreated for a long time may increase the problems with severe conditions like osteoporosis, weakness, and cardiac diseases.
The greatest problem with elderly patients with hypothyroidism over the age of 60 years is that the disorder produces several non-specific symptoms that may often go undiagnosed initially. The common symptoms include weight gain, improper cognitive functioning, memory loss, constipation, skin dryness, weakness etc. The conditions may emerge in older adults due to family history with similar problems, treatment taken for hyperthyroidism, neck surgery or any radiotherapy treatment around the thyroid glands.
Caring and Treatment for Thyroid Disorder in Older Adults
Medical treatment of elderly patients will depend on the type of thyroid dysfunction and level of complications. Certain restrictions pertaining to diet pattern and care regulations may be imposed depending upon the severity of the problem. The family members of the elderly people with hyperthyroidism symptoms like tremors, muscle pain may consider the assisted care services as a major support and help required by the patient who may not be in a condition to manage his daily activities independently. The choice of medicines and treatment limitations will depend upon the intensity and toleration of the old age people in responding to the different medical procedures.