THYROID STORM

Life Threatening


It is terrifying to think that this condition called thyroid storm, may take your life.

It is an acute, life threatening, hypermetabolic condition in which the thyroid produces excess thyroid hormones (TSH).

When the body is in this overactive state, there is excess sweating, overheating, rapid heartbeat, weight loss, and eye problems.

This condition is accented with an extreme increase in body temperature which can go as high as 105 - 106 degrees.

The mortality rate is 90% if early diagnosis is not made. If early treatment is made, the mortality rate declines to less than 20%.

Normally the deterioration of the thyroid is gradual and can mimic other conditions before it becomes pronounced.

Medically known as thyrotoxocosis, this situation not only produces the above symptoms, there may also be nausea, vomiting, jaundice, voracious appetite with poor weight gain, abdominal pain, pulmonary edema, extreme irritability, restlessness and delirium.




Reasons for this Condition

There are various reasons for the increase in the thyroid level in the blood:

  • Radioactive iodine treatment
  • Over medicating with a thyroid hormone in a short amount of time
  • Stopping thyroid medication
  • Heart attack by someone who has an underlying hyperactive thyroid condition
  • Toxemia from pregnancy and labor
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

Treatment

Upon admission to the hospital, tests are taken to determine the blood cell count; blood level screening to determine sodium, potassium, calcium and electrolyte balance; blood sugar levels; thyroid levels; and, liver function.

The attending physician may prescribe either PTU (propylthiouracil) or methimazole in high doses to inhibit the production of the thyroid hormone T4.

He may use Lugols solution along with a beta blocker such as Inderal to stop the production of the thyroid hormone.

Oxygen may be administered along with cooling towels to reduce the body temperature.

Frequency of Thyroid Storm

There is no accurate figure to reflect the incidence of this condition.

However, it is recognized that thyrotoxicosis increases with age.

There is a higher incidence in older women due to the hormonal change. It is rarely seen in children and adolescents.


Easy Prevention

There is a quick and easy way to prevent this condition simply by adding either Iodoral pills or liquid Lugols iodine to your diet.


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