We all have wonderful memories of our youthful days and may even long to relive those days. However, it’s important that you do not accept or mistake your present health conditions as part and parcel of ageing. In fact, it could be your thyroid that is responsible for how you have been feeling lately.
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder that commonly afflicts ageing women.1 It has been associated with increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and generalised muscle weakness.2 It may also cause decreased memory and slowed speech and thinking, while increasing women’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.2,3
Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to recognise and diagnose hypothyroidism due to:2
- Non-specific symptoms that are confused with ageing
- Co-existence of multiple chronic diseases
- Side effects of medications. For instance, certain blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs may cause tiredness and fatigue.
Since various factors can mask or mimic the symptoms, it’s important that you recognise the symptoms so that you can get checked and treated for hypothyroidism, if necessary.
Remember, it’s never too late to care for your health. Every simple step matters as it would make a big difference in helping you to age well and gracefully.
- Bensenor IM, Olmos RD, Lotufo PA. Hypothyroidism in the elderly: diagnosis and management. Clinical Interventions in Aging 2012:7 97–111.
- Rehman SU, Cope DW, Senseney AD, Brzezinski W. Thyroid disorders in elderly patients. South Med J. 2005 May;98(5):543-9.
- Tan ZS, Beiser A, Vasan RS, Au R, Auerbach S, Kiel DP, Wolf PA, Seshadri S.Thyroid Function and the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: The Framingham Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168(14): 1514–1520.