Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | disease | thyrotoxic storm | symptoms | hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Disease: What Is a Thyrotoxic Storm and What Are the Symptoms?

By    |   Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 08:24 PM

Untreated and severe overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism can result in a condition called thyrotoxic storm, which is also called thyroid storm or thyroid crisis.

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and its main job is to produce thyroid hormones called T3 and T4 to regulate the body’s metabolism. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, speeding up metabolism.

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One common cause of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease.

Thyrotoxic storm is a rare and life-threatening potential complication of Graves’ disease, says the Mayo Clinic. It occurs when the already overactive thyroid gland releases a large amount of thyroid hormones all at once.

Not all people with hyperthyroidism will experience thyroid storm. It is most likely to occur in cases of severely undertreated hyperthyroidism, or in cases where hyperthyroidism has resulted in an infection, says Healthline. The site lists several events that can bring on a thyrotoxic storm including trauma, surgery, stroke, severe emotional stress, pulmonary embolism, congestive heart failure, and diabetic ketoacidosis.

WebMD says thyroid crisis can also be triggered in hyperthyroid patients when they are given iodine for a CT scan or radioactive iodine therapy.

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Thyrotoxic storm requires immediate emergency medical attention, says Mayo Clinic. Once it begins, patients can experience profuse sweating, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, seizures, severe weakness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dangerously low blood pressure, and eventually, coma or death.

Because it is life-threatening, treatment of thyrotoxic storm must begin immediately once it is suspected, even before lab tests can confirm the condition, explains Healthline. An anti-thyroid medication such as PTU or Tapazole will be given to quickly reduce the hormone output of the thyroid gland.

The best way to avoid thyrotoxic storm is to identify and properly treat hyperthyroidism before this condition can occur. Proper treatment of hyperthyroidism is ongoing for the remainder of the patient’s life.

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Untreated and severe overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism can result in a condition called thyrotoxic storm, which is also called thyroid storm or thyroid crisis.
thyroid, disease, thyrotoxic storm, symptoms, hyperthyroidism
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2016-24-07
Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 08:24 PM
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