During Thyroid Awareness Month, we should focus on the 1% of Americans who suffer from hyperthyroidism, which is one type of thyroid disease. Hyperthyroidism is especially prevalent in seniors, so know the symptoms to alert your doctor at the first sign.
What is hyperthyroidism?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ located on the front of the neck. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism, which is how quickly each cell in the body does its job. Hyperthyroidism is when too much of the hormone is released and the cells work too much and too quickly.
Why is it important that seniors know about hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is most common among seniors due to thyroid nodules. This condition can have subtle symptoms and is often misdiagnosed as dementia or depression. It is especially dangerous to those over 60 because it can cause a fast heart rate, leading to a potential heart attack, or it can speed up conditions such as osteoporosis.
Do I have hyperthyroidism?
Only a blood test can confirm thyroid disease. However, if you have a grouping of the following symptoms, you may wish to talk with a doctor.
- Change in appetite
- Nervousness or irritability
- Intolerance to hot environments
- Trouble sleeping
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- An enlarged thyroid (goiter)
If you are concerned, have a doctor check your hormone levels. In most cases, medication will balance the hormone levels and bring the body back to a healthier state. Call Freedom Home Care for special in-home senior care. We have expertly trained caregivers working hard to deliver personalized care for your loved ones who wish to live on their own.