Thyroid storm (thyroid crisis) is a potentially life-threatening condition for people who have 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.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMarch 15, 2018