Thyroid Storm

Topic Overview

Thyroid storm (thyroid crisis) is a potentially life-threatening condition for people with hyperthyroidism. Thyroid storm happens when your thyroid gland suddenly releases large amounts of thyroid hormone in a short period of time. If you have thyroid storm, you will need emergency medical treatment.

Thyroid storm is more likely to develop when a person has a serious health problem in addition to hyperthyroidism or in people who have untreated or undertreated Graves' disease. The problem usually happens after a stressful event or a serious illness, such as a major infection. It may also be triggered by surgery or by using iodine for a CT scan or in radioactive iodine therapy.

Symptoms of thyroid storm include:

Thyroid storm can lead to coma, heart failure, or death.

Credits

Author Judy Dundas
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
Last Updated November 4, 2009

Last Updated: November 4, 2009

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