Hypothyroidism in older people

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Hi I have been hypothyroid for 20/25 years.  During that time my dose has been from 100 to 150mg, however I have been stable on 125mg for quite a few years.  I was around 45 when I was first diagnosed during a time of stress when my mum died with lung cancer.  I have just had my yearly blood tests and am awaiting the results.  From time to time I have I have occasions when I feel very cold and have to hug a hot water bottle and wrap up it could be warm or cold outside at the time.  My gp said probably thyroid but as it didn't happen very often i took no notice.  This year I have had a bad cold and recently a sinus and urinary infection and have been on 2 lots of anitbiotics.  I often feel very cold as described especially hands and feet.  Today it is warmer and although I don't feel cold my hands are .I should also mention that I can't stand the heat either once the weather gets hot I end up with soaking wet hair.  I thought that as you get older you could reduce your levothyroxine dose but can anyone tell me if they have had to increase it.  I am now nearly 69.  I do have other health problems and am on various medication.  Any thoughts please.  I should get results next week although if the tsh was high I would have thought they would have phoned straight away they usally do.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hello Libralady13:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease since 1987 and I am 55.

    As we age, our thyroid meds may need to change.  We may need an increase if we put on a lot of weight or have another problem like Diabetes.  Also some medications can block another, so spacing them apart can help. Usually a 2 hour span apart is okay. If you lose a lot of weight, they may need to lower your thyroid med.

    Thyroid disease also changes some as we menopause.  So for us ladies we also have that to deal with.

    Infections, can mess with the thyroid and levels can go even more Hypo as your body fights the germ. Boost your immune system and support of adrenal glands also.

    Another thing most often missed in Hypothyroid patients is our Iron count, and Ferritin level in particular.  Ferritin is a component of iron and needs to be above 70 or more to help with LEVO/Synthroid.  We can be low in that and just that alone can make Levo and other thyroid meds work poorly.

    Also ask for a blood cortisol level to see how your adrenal glands are doing, they work with the thyroid everday and each system depends on another.

    If you wish you can tell us what meds you take and maybe we can see if there is any problem with them.

    Any questions just ask,

    Shelly

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  As I mentioned I will have the results of my annual blood tests next week.  I have never suffered from low levels of iron except after the birth of my son which of course was dealt with.  Blood sugar levels have always been normal and I also take vitamin D3 as I was found to be low after having a dexa scan and diagnosed with osteopenia in 2012.  I have suffered from anxiety for a few years with ups and downs.  I have a lot going on at the moment with a possible move of house and I worry a lot about my health and my husband as he has medical problems as well. You asked about other medication  I take amlodipine for blood pressure 5mg, 125mg levo thyroxine as mentioned  mebervine before meals as I have IBS, Glaucoma drops and lubricants as I also have blepharitis, Symbicort and salbutamol for asthma just recently beconase nasal spray and an antihistamine for allergic rhinitis.  I sometime take ranatadine but not all the time as it makes me dizzy also gaviscon advance at night to stop nightime reflux.  I have had 2 cataract surgeries in the last few years.  I also have osteoarthritis in several joints and spine.  As far as I was aware there is no interaction with thyroxine.  I just find everything so overwhelming at times.  Thanks.
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    • Posted

      Hello Libralady:

      Your meds seem to be okay and do not block Levo.  Levo needs to be taken on an empty stomach.  Food can block it if taken with it.

      In some people Levo can stop working well if they gain a lot of weight fast or have problems with the thyroid not converting T4 into T3 well enough because of nodules or cysts in the thyroid gland.

      When you get your blood work back let me know how it is.  This will show a picture of what is happening.

      Regards,

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly.  Glad to say feeling much better now the rhinitis has really improved with the anitihistamine and beconase nasal spray.  I have finished the anitibiotics Keflex and it has taken a few days to get out of my system.  Now no longer feeling cold so musy have been either the thyroid struggling with the virus and infection or a side effect of the keflex.  I got my blood results to day.  Everything is ok Vitamin D is 82 blood sugar fasting 4.4 and TSH 0.89.  Everything else ok.  I think a lot of my trouble is the anxiety I suffer with especially now while we anticipate a move of house which is always stressful for anyone. We will be moving near to family so will see grandaughters much more than we do now as it is 200 miles away.  Thank you so much for your interest and help.

      Best wishes

      Carol

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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly I think you mentioned about being low in iron as well. My blood result was 13.7.
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    • Posted

      Hello Libralady:

      Glad you are feeling better and yes any infections can mess with our thyroid levels and other blood work.

      Also stress is another big factor too. Good luck on the move.  Your blood work is okay and that is a help.

      Regards,

      Shelly

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