Take time during January’s Thyroid Awareness Month to learn about the thyroid. This small gland sits in the front of the neck near the throat. Many important organs rely on the thyroid. Learn the symptoms that can indicate something is wrong.
Signs of an Overactive Thyroid.
When the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone, processes within the body become enhanced. The heart may race and you may feel overly anxious. You might sweat excessively and have a hard time falling or staying asleep. Muscles in the legs and arms may feel weak.
People with too much thyroid hormone are often extremely tired. The condition starts when you’re younger, but it can be misdiagnosed as simple stress or anxiety. Graves’ Disease is the most common type of overactive thyroid and can cause eyes to look bigger than they should. A swollen thyroid gland (goiter) may occur.
Signs of an Underactive Thyroid.
Sometimes, the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. If this occurs, the body begins to shut down certain processes. People with too little thyroid hormone may feel cold all the time, become tired more easily than others, and have issues remembering things.
Sometimes, people with thyroid hormone deficiencies deal with depression. As the symptoms mimic so many other things, it’s important to pay close attention to symptoms and talk to your doctor about the blood test to check your thyroid levels.
Thyroid Hormone Imbalances Can Appear in the Elderly, Too.
While many people think of thyroid disease as something that’s caught when a person is younger, it can hit senior citizens. In seniors, symptoms can range from weight loss and constipation to heart arrhythmias and hand tremors. Goiters are often noticed more in seniors.
According to the American Thyroid Association, about 25 percent of seniors living in nursing homes have thyroid disease. Many don’t even know it. Some have memory loss that’s attributed to dementia. It’s always important to ask questions of your mom or dad’s doctor, especially if you know there’s a family history of thyroid disease.
Treatments for Hormonal Imbalances.
If the thyroid is not producing the correct levels of hormones, there are several medications that can help. Antithyroid medications are common. If they don’t work, radioactive iodine may be given. When thyroid hormones are causing the heart to beat too fast or feel like it’s fluttering, beta blockers are often used to help regulate it if there is no underlying heart disease.
Make sure your parent gets to all appointments and takes medications on time. Home care services can help with this. Caregivers can drive your mom or dad to medical offices and offer medication reminders. With treatment, it’s possible for your parent to live happily at home. With home care helping out, they’ll find it easy to manage the symptoms until the medications are working effectively.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Monticello, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida