A Guide to Thyroid Conditions and Senior Health

Checking the Lymph Nodes

As we age our risk of developing certain health conditions increases and thyroid conditions are among these. Knowing what these conditions are and how to detect them early on is the best way of staying independent and in good health. That is why our in-home respite care team is raising awareness about this condition – what it is, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated.

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a very small but very important gland that is located at the front of the neck, just below the larynx. It produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, heart and digestive functions, brain development, muscle control, mood regulation, and bone health. Because it controls so many important bodily functions, thyroid health conditions can lead to a wide range of symptoms and health problems.

Common Thyroid Conditions in Adults

Hypothyroidism. This is known as an under active thyroid, where the gland isn’t producing enough hormones to support the body’s functions. Symptoms often include weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin, weakness, and constipation. Treatment for this condition involves taking a synthetic thyroid hormone in medication form to supplement the gland’s low production.

Hyperthyroidism. This is an overactive thyroid, where the thyroid is flooding the body with excess hormones. Symptoms can include sweating, sudden weight loss, racing heartbeat, an enlarged thyroid gland, and difficulty sleeping. Treatment can include taking medication that slows thyroid hormone production, followed by treatment with radioactive iodine. Grave’s Disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism.

6 Risk Factors for Thyroid Health Conditions in Seniors

Anyone of any age can develop a thyroid health condition, but it’s important to be aware of the following risk factors that may make you more likely to develop these health problems:

  1. If you have a close family member with a thyroid disorder
  2. If you have Grave’s or Plummer’s disease
  3. If you have swelling or nodules on the thyroid gland
  4. If you or close family members have an autoimmune disease
  5. If you have an iodine deficiency
  6. If you are a woman over the age of 50 (more women suffer from hypothyroidism than men)

Professional In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in New Jersey

At United Methodist Communities, we strive to offer the very best quality senior independent home care options, including in-home respite care through HomeWorks. This program is about assisting older adults in the comfort of their own homes and providing them, their families and caregivers with personalized, compassionate care that prioritizes health, happiness, and independence. In addition to daily home care, we also offer pastoral care for spiritual and emotional support in the home.

For more information on our senior home care services and in-home respite care, please contact us today or visit our website at https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/home-respite-care-services-nj/

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