Re: Help Please
Since your GM has already been diagnosed, her TSH level is irrelevant now. Or are you asking because she recently started to take Synthroid and you want to make sure she actually is hypothyroid?
Yes, a person can have an in-range TSH with FT levels that are too low. That isn't to say that the FTs will necessarily be below the range; they can be low-normal - in range - and still be too low for that person. Most healthy people have FTs above the middle of the range. For a person in treatment, the FTs should ideally be tested to see if they are high enough. The TSH doesn't matter, because the pituitary automatically decreases the output of TSH when it senses enough circulating hormone is present.
The starting treatment for hypoT in the elderly is slightly different than in people under 65. It needs to be more conservative to protect the older cardiovascular system. It's possible that a patient who started treatment at a younger age could need some adjustment in her later years, but usually, the dose needs to be lowered rather than raised to compensate for an older, slower metabolism.
It's quite possible that your GM is having some health problems unrelated to her thyroid. We all wish that we could age so gracefully that we will never notice any decline in our health; but realistically, that hardly ever happens. At 55, I am nowhere near the same physical person I was at 32; I expect I'll be very different at 70. The most I shall hope for is to still have most of my mental faculties until I die.
If your GM is starting to have continence trouble, she should see a urologist. There are newer treatments for it that can be very effective. If all else fails, there are excellent hygiene products that will keep embarrassment in check.
Make sure she eats well. If she lives alone, it could be that she skips nutritious meals simply because she hates eating alone. Or cooking may be too much effort. If this is possible, maybe you could have dinner with her a couple nights a week. An occasion like that to look forward to may help her depression, too.
Clearly you love her very much. I don't know all the specifics of her situation, but there are a lot of resources available to the elderly today that were unheard of only 20 years ago. I hope you can find simple solutions to her problems.
Two things that are stressed over and over in health news these days is the importance of good nutrition (in the right amounts - not too much nor too little) and enough regular, moderate exercise. In my opinion, those are the most important things that can guarantee you the most healthful old age possible.
Last edited by midwest1; 06-02-2005 at 10:27 PM.