If you think men are immune to hypothyroidism, unfortunately that’s not the case. This condition of the thyroid gland, which is caused by an underactive thyroid, is less common in men, however men also suffer from it. In older men, hypothyroidism can cause debilitating, and in some cases, life-threatening symptoms. Thus, it’s critical to know and understand the symptoms of this disease at its onset, so that men who suspect they have this condition can seek out timely diagnosis and treatment.
Although both men and women deal with a number of common symptoms, there are some symptoms that tend to have a stronger impact on men, especially if they are over 50.
According to the medical community, hypothyroidism in older males can cause muscle and strength loss, making it very difficult for patients to gain and maintain a healthy weight.
Diminished Sex Drive
Thyroid problems can cause many problems that can get more intense with age. Of significance is the loss of interest in sex. Almost 65% of men suffering from hyperthyroidism develop issues pertaining to erectile dysfunction and delayed orgasm.
Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
If low thyroid levels in older men are left unchecked for a long period of time, this condition could lead to low blood circulation, cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol.
Hyperthyroidism in older men can cause feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, low self-esteem and inferiority, which pose a greater risk for depression.
Men over 50 with hypothyroidism tend to feel sluggish and exhausted for no particular reason. Two reasons that hypothyroidism remains undetected in men is that women are more likely to experience this disorder, and medical professionals often view symptoms in men as the normal side effects of aging. If you are experiencing symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor and request a thorough thyroid panel screening, which includes the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, free and total T3, free and total T4, and other assessments such as a triglyceride test.
A variety of treatment options are available to those diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. They may include replacement thyroid hormone, like levothyroxine, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. Keep in mind the amount of some prescribed medication is based on body weight, so don’t be alarmed if your doctor prescribes you a stronger dosage than what is typically prescribed to women.