Complications of Hyperthyroidism in Older Adults

Complications of Hyperthyroidism in Older Adults

Heart complications:

The working of our entire body may be disturbed by the acceleration of metabolism. This forces the human heart to consume more oxygen in order to perform the day to day activities.

Myocardium, which plays a key role in pumping oxygen in our body first works in “twin forces”, but then it is exhausted, its cells are reduced in volume, and some are replaced by connective tissue. This causes disturbances in the rhythm of our heart and provokes the occurrence of coronary artery disease. If left untreated, it may even lead to progressive heart failure. Rhythm disturbances may even lead to other deadly conditions such as stroke & other thromboembolic complications.

Fortunately, if you begin to take measures to reduce the increased level of thyroid hormones, most of the complications can be avoided. Unless, of course, this is done when the majority of myocardial cells are already replaced by connective tissue.

Extracardiac complications:

Hyperthyroidism affects not only your heart but it may also increase the risk of dementia as well as osteoporosis – especially in postmenopausal women.

Hyperthyroid (thyrotoxic) crisis:

Another dangerous complication of hyperthyroidism is thyrotoxic crisis. It occurs in the form of a severe disease, especially if a person has not received adequate treatment.

Thyrotoxic crisis is very similar to meningoencephalitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage. It is manifested by extreme mental agitation, trembling throughout the body, hallucinations, and delusions. If left untreated, the condition may prove fatal to the patient.

Treatment Options:

The main treatment for hyperthyroidism is medication. It consists of:

drugs that block the production of hormones: “Merkazolil”, “Propylthiouracil”;

drugs that reduce the heart’s need for oxygen. These are beta blockers: Anaprilin, Metoprolol or others.

If an increase in thyroid hormone production is caused by a cancer of the gland itself, then a surgical treatment and/or radiation therapy may be performed. Thyroid cancer can also be treated with radioiodine therapy.

If there is no cancer, but the gland itself is so enlarged that it squeezes the larynx, making it difficult to breathe normally, an operation is performed to remove the interfering parts of the organ.

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