January Is National Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces and stores hormones that control vital functions like metabolism, blood pressure and heart rate. If your loved one has a thyroid problem, they could have difficulty achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and may frequently experience an abnormal heart rate.

It’s important to understand the types of thyroid problems, their treatments, and how our skilled nursing facilities can assist, especially in January during National Thyroid Awareness Month. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, serving various regions throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, can help care for your loved one’s thyroid problems at our skilled nursing facilities.

Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Your loved one could have an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism. With this condition, your loved one could be more sensitive to cold or suffer from frequent fatigue or recurring constipation. He or she may gain weight, have dry skin, experience thinning hair or develop a slow heart rate. It can also affect memory.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your loved one’s thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than normal. It causes symptoms such as the following:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Hair thinning
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Osteoporosis

Other examples of thyroid problems include a thyroid storm, Grave’s disease, thyroid goiter, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and thyroid cancer. The symptoms of these conditions can be similar to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Diagnosing and Treating Thyroid Problems

Our nursing team pays careful attention to all of our residents. When we notice a problem, we discuss it with you and your loved one’s primary care physician.

Once the practitioner determines a course of action, our nurses will administer the appropriate treatment as instructed by the physician. The treatment could include a medication to decrease hormone production, such as radioactive iodine or an antithyroid drug. On the other hand, your loved one may need medication to increase hormone production. If it’s thyroid cancer, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or surgery may be needed.

Our staff continuously monitors all residents for signs of health conditions like thyroid problems. These issues have symptoms with overlapping signs for other conditions, so we’ll follow up with a physician to order the correct lab work to confirm a potential diagnosis.

To learn more about the skilled nursing services we provide at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation, you can request a free consultation online.