Thyroid Problems

Equip yourself. Learn about thyroid problems.

Thyroid Storm

Thyroid storm is an uncommon, but life-threatening, medical emergency. It occurs as a complication of hyperthyroidism.

Causes

This situation may be brought on by several causes, including:

Ceasing hyperthyroidism medication use
Lung infections
Pregnancy
Radioactive iodine treatment
Surgery in cases of an overactive thyroid gland

Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and people with hyperthyroidism should talk with doctors to determine other things that may be risk factors as far as developing this complication goes. Just because a patient is not in one of these particular circumstances does not mean that he does not have or will not at some point have thyroid storm.

Symptoms

Thyroid storm symptoms are not necessarily the same in one case as compared to the next. Some things that may appear in certain cases include the following (an incomplete list):

Anxiety
Cardiac arrhythmia
Chest pain
Coma
Dehydration
Diarrhea
Disorientation
Extremely high temperature (up to 105 or 106 degrees Fahrenheit)
Heart failure
Increased heart rate
Shortness of breath
Sweating
Vomiting
Weakness


Diagnosis

As thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition, those who are suspected to be suffering from it should immediately be taken to -- or reached by -- emergency care. At that point it is up to the professional workers to make a determination as to whether they understand the person to be going through this particular condition or something else.

Treatment

A doctor or medical professional should determine the method of treatment for the condition if it is in fact thyroid storm. The patient is generally hospitalized. Some treatment options include:

Antipyretics (to control the fever)
IV fluids and electrolytes
Medications or iodide to block thyroid hormone production or release
Oxygen

Prognosis

In the past, an occurrence of thyroid storm typically was fatal for the patient. Nowadays, if the patient is given proper treatment then the survival rate is greater than 80 percent.