Hyperthyroid Crisis (Thyrotoxic Storm) - Self-Care at Home

Thyroid storm, also referred to as thyrotoxic crisis, is an acute, life-threatening, hypermetabolic state induced by excessive release of thyroid hormones (THs) in individuals with thyrotoxicosis.

Symptoms of Thyroid Storm
  • Rapid heart beats (palpitations)
  • Greatly increased body temperature
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Disorientation
  • Increased sweating
  • Weakness
  • Heart failure

Diagnosis of Thyroid Storm

The following tests are usually performed to diagnose thyroid storm:
  • blood cell count,
  • electrolyte levels,
  • blood sugar level,
  • liver function, and
  • thyroid hormone levels.

Investigations of Thyroid Storm
  • Investigations for any underlying precipitant - eg, infection screen.
  • TFTs: elevated T3 and T4 levels, elevated T3 uptake, suppressed TSH levels.
  • Indications of decompensation of homeostasis - eg, renal dysfunction, elevated creatine kinase, electrolyte imbalance (due to dehydration), anaemia, thrombocytopenia, raised white cell count, abnormal LFTs (raised levels of transaminases, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin), hypercalcaemia, hyperglycaemia.
  • ECG.
  • CXR.
  • Arterial blood gases and pH.

Thyroid Storm Self-Care at Home

People experiencing thyroid storm are not able to function normally. Thyroid storm is always a medical emergency. People experiencing symptoms of thyroid storm should be taken to the closest hospital, because thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition.

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