February 22, 2016 – Thyroid and Aging


Anchor lead: How does normal aging affect levels of thyroid hormone?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Many, many people take synthetic thyroid hormone because their own levels seem to be too low.  But an increasing body of research, including a recent study by Jenna Mammen, an endocrinologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, suggests the picture is a bit more complicated.

Mammen: Normal aging is a very complicated process and it’s sometimes hard to know what hormonal changes are beneficial compensatory changes and what hormonal changes are the result of progressive disease, and distinguishing those things is quite challenging.   :17

Mammen says monitoring is key.

Mammen: As we age actually our metabolism of thyroid hormone slows down and so one dose of thyroid hormone lasts longer and the levels go higher so a lot of people need a dose adjustment downwards as they get older. The best way to figure that out is to have the levels checked and talk with your doctor.   :17

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.