Guide Metabolic and Endocrine Problems in the Elderly

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The system can detect when a body has too much or too little of a certain hormone, the feedback system then sends signals to the appropriate gland s to regulate the discrepancy with a view of restoring homeostasis. If this equilibrium cannot be restored or maintained then a hormone imbalance may occur resulting and increase or decrease of hormone levels in the blood. Endocrine disorders with U. Conditions with the lowest incidence were adrenocortical carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, and pituitary adenomas.

Age-Related Changes in Thyroid Function

Certain disorders, such as hyperparathyroidism and thyroid disorders, were more common in females. As expected, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus was highest among ethnic minorities. Due to the complex and interconnected nature of the endocrine system, a wide range of conditions with distinct clinical presentations, can result in endocrine disorders. Due to the wide range of symptoms and conditions diagnosis can sometimes be difficult and where available a referral to an endocrinologist may be made.

In most cases blood and urine analysis will be carried out to determine hormone levels. Due to the complex nature of hormones and their interactions a change in one hormone level can have a detrimental impact on another, which can affect diagnosis and treatment.

Hormone Health

Many of the symptoms of endocrine disorders and be helped by physiotherapy. Although management may vary depending on the disorder diagnosed some of the goals are the some. Common goals are the management of pain, advice on the effects of stress on the body and how to manage through exercise and relaxation techniques, planning of exercise programmes which benefit muscle strength and flexibility, helps to manage weigh gain, releases chemicals such as endorphins which help with stress and anxiety and also induce feelings of well-being and relaxation [10] [11] [12].

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Age-Related Changes in Thyroid Function - Endocrinology Advisor

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Endocrine Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment

This gradually causes a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels, leading to menopause and the inability to reproduce. Low levels of estrogens and progesterone are also associated with some disease states, such as osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia, or abnormal blood lipid levels.

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Testosterone levels also decline with age, a condition called andropause or viropause ; however, this decline is much less dramatic than the decline of estrogens in women, and much more gradual, rarely affecting sperm production until very old age. Although this means that males maintain their ability to father children for decades longer than females, the quantity, quality, and motility of their sperm is often reduced.

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As the body ages, the thyroid gland produces less of the thyroid hormones, causing a gradual decrease in the basal metabolic rate. The lower metabolic rate reduces the production of body heat and increases levels of body fat. Parathyroid hormones, on the other hand, increase with age. This may be because of reduced dietary calcium levels, causing a compensatory increase in parathyroid hormone.

Encyclopedia of Endocrine Diseases

However, increased parathyroid hormone levels combined with decreased levels of calcitonin and estrogens in women can lead to osteoporosis as PTH stimulates demineralization of bones to increase blood calcium levels. Notice that osteoporosis is common in both elderly males and females. Increasing age also affects glucose metabolism, as blood glucose levels spike more rapidly and take longer to return to normal in the elderly. In addition, increasing glucose intolerance may occur because of a gradual decline in cellular insulin sensitivity.

Bone and Parathyroid Resource Center

Almost 27 percent of Americans aged 65 and older have diabetes. Skip to main content. Chapter The Endocrine System.