If you’re over 60, it’s quite possible that the feeling of “aging” is an underactive thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism is very hard to distinguish in older age. The typical symptoms that may be noticeable in younger patients are more veiled in advanced years, and the symptoms may be disguised as something else.
High cholesterol, for example, may seem like something that just happens as you get older. But if you live a relatively healthy lifestyle and don’t have a genetic condition but it’s still going up, it could signify something else.
In fact, if it’s already high and jumps inexplicably, it’s cause for concern.
Believe it or not, high cholesterol is a symptom of hypothyroidism. So, if you’re having your cholesterol levels checked and they’ve increased since your last checkup, it may be worthwhile to have a thyroid evaluation.
Heart failure can also be a symptom of low levels of thyroid hormone.
Lower blood volumes, weaker contractions of the heart, and a slower heart rate are all things to look out for. Now you might not be able to see these things specifically, but they will show themselves in ways like fatigue, shortness of breath, and leg swelling.
Constipation can also indicate hypothyroidism. If it sets in inexplicably, low levels of thyroid hormone could be slowing down the amount of time it takes for stool to move through your digestive system.
Other symptoms that may present include muscle and joint pain and cognitive decline. In fact, if you are being tested for dementia, thyroid testing is also recommended to avoid a misdiagnosis.
Hypothyroidism can be sneaky and disguise itself in several ways. Sometimes a few of these “common symptoms of aging” may appear, while other times it could just be one.
If you’re experiencing some unexplained fatigue, just aren’t feeling right, or cannot explain recent test results, talk to your doctor about your thyroid.