A Guide to Thyroid Diseases and Health Issues

It’s Thyroid Awareness Month, and our in home senior care team is bringing you these insights to help raise awareness of thyroid health conditions and how they affect seniors. By helping people recognize symptoms and receive treatment for these conditions, we hope more seniors can truly enjoy their Golden Years!

What is the Thyroid? 

This is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. Although it’s small, it has a huge role to play in the human body, releasing hormones that control your metabolism – essentially controlling the way each cell and organ uses energy.

It helps regulate hundreds of critical functions, including:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Body weight
  • Muscle strength and control
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Digestive functions
  • Mood
  • Bone maintenance
  • And much more

Because it affects so many different systems, it can be very difficult to link different (seemingly unrelated) symptoms to a thyroid health condition. Other indicators that you may be at risk include a family history of thyroid conditions, certain medical conditions like Graves or Plummer’s disease, and iodine deficiency.

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms 

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone, causing many of your body’s systems to speed up. You may only experience some of the following symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including sudden weight loss, anxiety or jitteriness, tremors in hands or fingers, irregular or pounding heartbeat, sweating, increased appetite, increased body heat, and muscle weakness. It can also cause your thyroid gland to become enlarged.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms 

This is when the hormone output of the thyroid drops below ideal levels, often causing the body’s systems to slow. Symptoms can include fatigue, lack of energy, feeling cold, dry skin, high cholesterol, brittle hair and nails, unexplained weight gain, muscle weakness and aches, and depression.

Treatment for Thyroid Conditions 

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication or radioactive iodine to slow hormone production, while hypothyroidism is treated by taking a synthetic version of the hormone produced by your thyroid to bring you up to healthy levels. It’s a fairly simple treatment that can make an incredible difference in your health and quality of life – all it takes is a blood test to diagnose.

Companionship, Skilled Nursing and Respite Care from In Home Senior Care Specialists 

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed our HomeWorks program.

Through this senior home care program, trained staff can assist seniors and their families through comprehensive in home care. Each care plan is designed around the client’s needs, filling in with necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home.

For more information on our seniors home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/elderly-home-health-care-nj/