Thyroid treatment for the elderly can cause several problems, with either under-treatment and over-treatment. It depends on the health of the patient and the diagnosis the patient already has. The following reports point out that not all will benefit from the addition of thyroid hormones, but there are ones that will.
This first story has to do with over-treatment and the authors make the argument that older people who have subclinical hypothyroidism do not need treatment due to few or no symptoms. This reasoning is due to the complications that can arise from adding thyroid hormones. However, the symptoms the patient experienced after starting thyroid hormones sound a lot like he had too much hormone; but the doctors decided to discontinue treatment, when maybe a lower dose would have helped him feel better. Just a thought.
My other thought is that instead of trying to adjust the dosage for the patient, the doctors just discontinued the medication without any consideration of how the patient felt. It seems any additional research was too much work for the doctors. I’m pretty sure there are patients out there who’s dose of of Synthyroid is different than 75 micrograms and they have gotten relief from their symptoms.
Here is the first story:
Older people may too often be diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and prescribed thyroid hormones, which can cause new troubles and expenses without improving their lives, researchers say.
Now, with that in mind, here is another story, with the exact opposite solution.
When your loved one seems depressed, or seems to be suffering from dementia, get a thorough check of the thyroid. Do not allow a personal physician to talk you out of this. The test is cheap, so cost is not an issue.
It seems that thyroid treatment for the elderly with dementia or Alzheimer’s is a necessary part of on-going care for them.
These two stories highlight the fact that different diseases you already have can affect how you are treated for thyroid disease.
This story has examples of how treating low thyroid function can greatly improved the quality of life of an older person.