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:
- Feeling extremely irritable or grumpy.
- High systolic blood pressure, low diastolic blood pressure, and fast heartbeat.
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- High fever.
- Shock and delirium.
- Feeling confused.
- Feeling sleepy.
- Yellow skin or eyes.
- Symptoms of heart failure, such as breathing problems or feeling very tired.
Thyroid storm can lead to coma, heart failure, or death.
|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|