What Is A Thyroid Storm? Its Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Options

Thyroid storm is an extreme form of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrinal glands in the body responsible for many important protein-related functions. Occasionally the gland starts to produce really high levels of the hormone. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.

If hyperthyroidism sets in very fast or stays uncontrolled, it could result in a thyroid storm. If you are already in a hyperthyroid state, extreme trauma or stress could trigger a thyroid storm. Other causes for this condition can be infections of the lung, pregnancy, cardiac stress including heart attacks, thyroid surgery, stopping medication of hyperthyroidism, or even treatment with radioactive iodine.

Thyroid storm is a serious medical condition that should not be ignored. Immediate hospital care is important.

Some of the main symptoms of thyroid storm are palpitations, increased body temperature, anxiety, irritation, chest pain, breathlessness, increased sweating, weakness and even heart failure.  If you experience any of these symptoms and have a documented history of hyperthyroidism, it is important to immediately seek medical care. Any delay can lead to fatalities.

Thyroid Storm Treatment

There is no self-care or home treatment that should be attempted for a thyroid storm. If your friend or relative is showing signs of this condition, he or she should be immediately taken to a hospital or an emergency room. The medical treatment for this condition includes treatment for all vital organ systems along with helping the thyroid gland to reduce the increased hormone production. Medications and beta blockers may be given for the thyroid, along with medication for the fever and intravenous fluids and electrolytes. Treatment for heart failure would also be given as needed. Steroids are also used in really serious cases.

There is a rigorous monitoring the patient after the episode of the thyroid storm passes. The next course of treatment includes radioactive iodine or stronger anti-thyroid medication. Proper monitoring and a strict dose of medications is an important part of the follow-up treatment.

Thyroid storm is a very serious condition and often does result in death. If you have hyperthyroidism, you should regularly monitor your thyroid levels to avoid being caught unexpected. Treating hyperthyroidism aggressively can help reduce the risk of a thyroid storm.

For pregnant women in particular, proper monitoring is necessary. If the pregnant woman is suffering from transient hyperthyroidism, being cautious is important. You could endanger the baby’s life if the levels are not monitored correctly. Pregnant women often suffer from hyperthyroidism in the first trimester, a condition that usually corrects itself. It is still important to monitor to avoid a thyroid storm.

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