Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thyroid Storm

Our thyroid controls our metabolism, growth, body temperature, muscle strength, appetite, and the health of our heart, brain, kidneys, and reproductive system. All of this is controlled by our thyroid hormones: Triiodothyronine and Thyroxine. Our thyroid can have two types of defects hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. 

With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone(s) to help regulate our body correctly. These patient's will present with weight fain, fatigue, slower heart rate, constipation, dry skin, puffy face, muscle aches, impaired memory, and thinning hair. The causes included iodine deficiency, thyroid surgery, treatment for hyperthyroidism, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, medications, and even genetic. If untreated, our thyroid gland can go into what is called myxedema, or severe hypothyroidism. 

But, when our thyroid gland sudden released a large amount of our thyroid hormone in a short period of time, our body goes into a Thyroid Storm. The signs/symptoms: irritability, high systolic BP with low diastolic BP, tachycardia, N&V with/without diarrhea, fever, shock and/or delirium (confusion), feeling tired, yellowing of the skin or eyes, hyperglycemia, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland) on the neck, and even possibly unresponsiveness. 

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' Disease. This is an immune disease, which causes the increase of thyroid hormones, which can lead a patient into the thyroid storm.

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