Anyone experiencing the symptoms should know that this is a life-threatening emergency.
- A Thyroid Storm is sudden extreme over activity of the thyroid gland.
- All body functions are accelerated to dangerously high levels.
- Severe strain on the heart can lead to a life-threatening irregular heartbeat, extremely fast pulse, and shock.
- Thyroid storm may also cause fever, extreme weakness, restlessness, mood swings, confusion, altered consciousness, or an enlarged liver.
Thyroid Storm is generally caused by untreated or inadequately treated hyperthyroidism and can be triggered by infection, injury, surgery, poorly controlled diabetes, pregnancy or labor, or other medical stresses.
A Thyroid Storm can occur when drugs being used to treat thyroid problems are stopped. Thyroid Storms are rare in children.
- Infections, especially of the lung
- Thyroid surgery in patients with an overactive thyroid gland
- Termination of medications given for hyperthyroidism
- Treatment with radioactive iodine
- Pregnancy or labor
- Severe medical stresses such as heart attack or heart emergencies
- Over-replacement of thyroid hormone
- Rapid heart beats / irregular heart beat
- High body temperature
- Palpitations / Chest pain / Shortness of breath
- Anxiety and irritability / confusion / disorientation
- Increased sweating / dehydration
- Rapid Weight Loss
- Weakness or fatigue
- Rapid heart rate
- Heart failure
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Stupor or Coma
Early in the 19th century, the mortality rate of a thyroid storm approached 100%. However, today, with the use of aggressive therapy, the death rate from thyroid storm is less than 20%.
The key to surviving is seeking help as soon as any of the symptoms appear.