Tags: Thyroid Disorders | Myxedema | hypothyroidism

Myxedema Risks of Advanced Hypothyroidism: What You Should Know

By    |   Tuesday, 07 June 2016 09:48 PM

Myxedema is a serious condition that may occur from an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism. It often results when hypothyroidism is left untreated.

The thyroid gland normally produces hormones to regulate the body’s metabolism. When an underactive thyroid doesn’t release enough hormones, the metabolic process is disrupted.

Symptoms of myxedema include a thickening and swelling of the skin, according to Healthgrades. Other symptoms of myxedema and hypothyroidism include fatigue, lethargy, depression, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold.

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Myxedema is an advanced form of hypothyroidism, the Mayo Clinic reports. The symptoms of an underactive thyroid may become more severe when it is not treated properly. Myxedema is rare, but it is a life-threatening condition. It can lead to low blood pressure, decreased body temperature, decreased breathing, and coma.

Fever, behavioral changes, and increased swelling in the hands and feet could be signs of myxedema, WebMD reports.

Immediate medical attention is necessary when symptoms of myxedema occur, the Mayo Clinic notes. Myxedema coma could result from infection, stress to the body, or sedatives.

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Surgery, trauma, heart failure, stroke, certain medications, and not taking prescribed drugs may also contribute to myxedema coma in patients with hypothyroidism, WebMD explains.

Myxedema occurs more frequently in elderly patients and women, according to MedicineNet.com. Changes in the weather during the winter months might trigger the condition because of extremes in temperature.

Emergency medical treatment includes intravenous fluids to increase thyroid hormones as well as cortisol. Doctors may administer antibiotics for infection and glucose supplements when low blood sugar levels are detected. Although myxedema coma can result in death if not treated immediately, the early treatment helps to improve the condition, according to WebMD.

To avoid myxedema or myxedema coma, patients with hypothyroidism need treatment for their underactive thyroid as early as possible, especially when noticing symptoms. Taking their prescribed medication for the disorder helps to prevent myxedema. Recognizing the signs of myxedema and myxedema coma avoids life-threatening situations.

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Myxedema is a serious condition that may occur from an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism. It often results when hypothyroidism is left untreated.
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Tuesday, 07 June 2016 09:48 PM
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