Why is thyroid Storm being a Life-Threatening Condition?

By: Researcher Taymur

Thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition associated with hyperthyroidism that is untreated or undertreated.

However the heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature of a person could rise to dangerously high levels during the thyroid storm. So thyroid storm is often fatal without prompt, aggressive treatment.

The thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck in the middle. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are the two primary thyroid hormones released by the thyroid. These control the rate of functioning of each cell in your body (your metabolism).

If you have hyperthyroidism, too many of these two hormones are produced by your thyroid. This causes all your cells to work too fast. For instance, your heart rate and respiration rate will be higher than they would normally be. You can even speak much faster than you normally do.

Understanding Thyroid Storm Causes

The storm of the thyroid is rare. This occurs in individuals who have hyperthyroidism but are not being treated properly. This condition is marked by the thyroid gland’s extreme overproduction of the two hormones. Not all hyperthyroidisms will develop a thyroid storm. This condition’s triggers include:

  • 1st is severe undertreated hyperthyroidism
  • 2nd is untreated overactive thyroid gland
  • 3rd is infection associated with hyperthyroidism

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After experiencing one of the following, people with hyperthyroidism may develop thyroid storm:

  • trauma
  • congestive heart failure
  • stroke
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • pulmonary embolism
  • surgery
  • severe emotional distress

Understanding Thyroid Storm Symptoms

Thyroid storm symptoms are similar to hyperthyroidism symptoms, but they are more abrupt, severe, and extreme. That’s why people with thyroid storm may not be able to seek care for themselves. Common symptoms include the following:

  • so racing heart rate
  • however restlessness
  • because of confusion
  • therefore high fever
  • so shaking
  • therefore agitation
  • because of diarrhea
  • so unconsciousness
  • therefore persistent sweating
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Understanding Thyroid Storm Diagnosis

Patients with hyperthyroidism who experience any thyroid storm symptoms are normally taken to an emergency room. If you are suspected of having symptoms of thyroid storm, call 911 right away. People with thyroid storm usually have higher heart rate and high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure).

A doctor will take a blood sample to determine the thyroid hormone levels. The levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) appear to be small in thyroid and hyperthyroid storms. Normal values of TSH range from 0.4 to 4 milli–international units per liter (mIU / L), according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). For people with thyroid storm, T3 and T4 hormones are higher than normal.

Understanding Thyroid Storm Treatments

Thyroid storm is rapidly developing and affecting all of your body’s systems. Treatment starts as soon as thyroid storm is detected — usually before the tests of the laboratory are prepared. Antithyroid medications such as propylthiouracil (also known as PTU) and methimazole (Tapazole) will be given to suppress the thyroid production of these hormones.

It requires ongoing care for hyperthyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism may be diagnosed with radioactive iodine, which partially kills the thyroid, or a course of thyroid function suppressing drugs.

Because it would harm the unborn child, pregnant women with hyperthyroidism cannot be treated with radioactive iodine. In those cases, the thyroid of the woman would be surgically removed.

Persons with thyroid storm must avoid taking iodine instead of medical treatment, as this may make the condition worse. You will need to take artificial thyroid hormone for the rest of your life if your thyroid is damaged by radioactive iodine therapy or surgically removed.

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Understanding Thyroid Storm Preventions

Maintaining the thyroid health plan is the most effective way to prevent the onset of thyroid storm. Take your medicine as directed. Keep all your doctor’s appointments and follow blood work orders as necessary.

Resources

aacc.org/publications/cln/articles/2013/may/tsh-harmonization

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18302101

thyroid.org/patients/patient_brochures/pregnancy.html

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