How Does Hyperthyroidism Develop in Old Age?

How Does Hyperthyroidism Develop in Old Age?

About the thyroid gland:

This small organ is located on the front of your neck. It affects the working of the nervous system, the heart rate, the sex glands, and the growth and maturation of organs and tissues. The thyroid gland does so much work in the body that it is called the “conductor of metabolism.” And this is the only organ in the human body that needs iodine for its functioning. Enroll in a 2019 medicare advantage plans via

The thyroid gland performs its functions through 2 hormones:

thyroxin: it is designated as T4;

triiodothyronine: in the analyzes it is indicated as T3.

The two main glands, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary gland command the work of the thyroid gland. When T3 and T4 become more necessary, the amount of TSH decreases. Conversely, to reduce T3 and T4, the pituitary gland produces more TSH in order to stimulate the thyroid gland. This is known as “negative feedback.” During the diseases, this balance is likely to get disturbed. 15% of cases of hyperthyroidism in the elderly occur at the age of 65 years. Also, women are more likely to suffer from this disease than men in old age.

What happens in the thyroid gland during aging?

Normally, when a person is aging, their thyroid gland begins to lose its operational power. It produces less hormone T4 and in some cases T3. But this is not considered hypothyroidism in the full sense of the word. Also, the kidneys lose their capability to work properly as you age.

Causes of hyperthyroidism in the elderly:

In old age, autoimmune thyroiditis often develops. This is a disease in which your immune system attacks its own thyroid gland. As a result, iron first produces a large number of its own hormones (this is hyperthyroidism), and then it is depleted (hypothyroidism occurs). Thus, you can conclude that autoimmune thyroiditis is the main cause of hyperthyroidism in the elderly.

Other reasons that might cause this disease in older adults include:

  • Iodine deficiency;
  • granulomatous subacute thyroiditis;
  • nodular toxic goiter (Plummer’s disease);
  • consumption of iodine-containing drugs;
  • an overdose of thyroid drugs (“L-thyroxin”).

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