Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a person’s thyroid doesn’t perform as well as it should. It’s underactive and doesn’t put out enough hormones. Having an underactive thyroid can cause many difficult symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, depression, weak muscles, and more.
While the medical treatment prescribed by the doctor will certainly help to ease the symptoms, there are additional ways to make life with hypothyroidism easier for your older family member.
Below are some lifestyle tips that can improve a senior’s life with hypothyroidism.
Take Care of the Emotional Side
Having a chronic condition can cause some difficult emotions. Your aging relative may feel anxious or even depressed. There is treatment available for both depression and anxiety. In addition, it can help to manage stress. Some ways older adults can relieve stress are:
- Yoga or tai chi.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Engaging in a form of exercise the senior enjoys.
Eat a Balanced Diet
There’s no set diet for people with hypothyroidism. Your older family member should try to eat a balanced diet that focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Eating several small meals per day can also help to combat the lack of energy that some people with hypothyroidism experience. Since hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, it’s also important to watch calories and be mindful of proper portion sizes.
Exercise is another good way to improve energy levels and keep weight down. It also helps with stress management. Your older family member should find a kind of exercise they enjoy doing and are likely to continue. For example, they might arrange a daily tennis match with friends or join a walking club.
Beware of “Thyroid Boosting Supplements”
There are a lot of supplements on the market that claims to increase thyroid function. Don’t fall for them. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so there’s no guarantee they’ll work. In addition, they could interfere with the senior’s thyroid medications, making them less effective or causing dangerous interactions.
Consider Using Elderly Care
Elderly care can help your older family member to manage hypothyroidism. One way they can do that is by reminding the older adult to take their hypothyroidism medications. In addition, an elderly care provider can encourage the senior as they try to exercise more and perhaps lose some weight. An elderly care provider can go for walks with them, drive them to an exercise class, and offer emotional support. Elderly care providers can even cook healthy meals that will support overall health and help with weight loss.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Glencoe, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.