Are Thyroid Problems Urgent? An Expert's Perspective

Signs and symptoms of myxedema require immediate medical attention as it can lead to death in some cases. Learn more about this life-threatening condition from an expert's perspective.

Are Thyroid Problems Urgent? An Expert's Perspective

Signs and symptoms of myxedema, a severe form of hypothyroidism, can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Myxedema is characterized by severe lethargy and unconsciousness, and if left untreated, can lead to death. In some cases, thyroid hormone levels become very high and symptoms get worse, causing a condition known as thyroid storm. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate care in an emergency room.

A prominent sign of thyroid storm is a high body temperature that rises to 41.1 degrees Celsius, which is well above the normal temperature of the human body. Other symptoms include confusion, body weakness, nausea, an irregular heart that can cause heart failure, vomiting. Emergency physicians should act immediately by reducing circulating levels of thyroid hormone and its formations. Fever and dehydration are treated by cooling the body and hydrating.

Some medicines will be given to control heart rate and reduce high thyroid hormone synthesis. Whenever a thyroid storm is suspected, you should go to the emergency room immediately. Thyroid storm requires immediate treatment because it is life-threatening and can develop and worsen rapidly. If you take too little medicine, you may have symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as constipation, feeling cold or lazy, and weight gain. Too many medicines can cause nervousness, sleep problems, and tremors (tremors).

If you have heart disease, taking too much medicine can cause an irregular heartbeat and chest pain. People who also have heart disease often start with a low dose of levothyroxine, which gradually increases. Sometimes the symptoms of hypothyroidism continue, such as slowness, constipation, confusion, and feeling cold. This can happen if you are not taking enough thyroid hormone or if your medicine is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Having bowel disease or taking certain other medicines can block thyroid hormone. If necessary, your doctor will increase your dose.

Hypothyroidism is a decrease in the activity of the thyroid gland that can affect all functions of the body. The speed of metabolism slows down, causing mental and physical slowness. The most severe form of hypothyroidism is myxedema, which is a medical emergency. Hypothyroidism can be caused by a problem with the thyroid itself (primary) or by the malfunction of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus (secondary). You feel hungry all the time, but no matter how much you eat, you keep losing weight.

You can't sleep or concentrate, and you feel hot and sweaty. If symptoms like these make you nervous, the problem may be an overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism. This small butterfly-shaped structure in the neck is the thyroid gland. It works by releasing hormones that help control the body's energy levels, a process known as metabolism. When you have hyperthyroidism, that little gland accelerates and releases too many hormones. Having too much thyroid hormone is like making your body move fast, everything accelerates.

That's why you feel trembling, hungry and your heart is pounding. So what causes hyperthyroidism? You may develop an overactive thyroid because you have received too much iodine, an element that your thyroid uses to make your hormones. Or, you may have a growth in your thyroid that is causing excessive hormone production. However, many people with hyperthyroidism have an autoimmune disorder called Graves' disease, which also causes their eyes to stick out. During an exam, your doctor may notice that your thyroid is larger than normal and that you have high blood pressure, tremors, or a fast heart rate.

These can all be signs of hypothyroidism. You'll probably have a blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels. If you have an overactive thyroid, you may need to take medicine to slow down the gland and its hormone production. Or, your doctor may suggest that you have surgery to remove part or all of your thyroid, or that you take radioactive iodine to destroy it. If you have surgery or treatment with radioactive iodine, you probably need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of your life to replace those that your body can no longer produce. Hyperthyroidism can't be prevented but once you have it it's usually pretty easy to treat with proper treatment you can finally get rid of your symptoms. While receiving treatment watch for an emergency condition called a thyroid crisis or thyroid storm which can occur if you have been under a lot of stress or have an infection If you have a fever fast and unstable heartbeat or feel less alert than usual call your emergency services number or go to the emergency room right away. In very rare cases a severe underactive thyroid can lead to a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma This is where thyroid hormone levels become very low leading to symptoms such as confusion hypothermia and drowsiness Doctors often want people to have annual thyroid function blood tests to check if thyroid hormone production is normal. When infections or genetic problems interfere with thyroid function the gland tends to produce too little (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism) thyroid hormone In rare cases the thyroid is surgically removed but health care providers should be especially careful as surgery can precipitate a worsening thyroid storm if hormone levels are already high. In rare cases a thyroid ultrasound may be used to evaluate a thyroid gland that during a physical exam appears to be abnormal When thyroid storm does not respond to these approaches plasmapheresis a blood filtering treatment is sometimes done to remove thyroid hormone from the bloodstream In these cases thyroid function usually does not return and you will need to take thyroid hormone medications from now on Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease that usually causes hyperthyroidism in which the...

Chester Lonabaugh
Chester Lonabaugh

Subtly charming twitter aficionado. Wannabe social media lover. Proud internet fan. Professional social media fan. Subtly charming coffee guru. Avid sushi junkie.

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