Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What is a ‘Thyroid Storm’?

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 04:17 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Question: What exactly is a "thyroid storm?" My significant other is having thyroid and parathyroid tests and he also has problems during sleep. He does have hair loss and has had tremors for several months.

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
“Thyroid storm” is a rare but life-threatening condition when the body is flooded with excess thyroid hormone. Blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature rise rapidly and without much warning. If not treated rapidly, it may result in sudden death, stroke, or heart attack.
 
You will feel sweaty, short of breath, apprehensive, very anxious, and likely light-headed with a very rapid heart rate. If you have these symptoms, you need to go immediately to a hospital emergency room, as your life is in jeopardy.

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This condition is usually seen in untreated Graves’ disease, but can occur as a result of hyperthyroidism, thyroid medication, infection, thyroid surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, toxemia of pregnancy, goiter, withdrawal of thyroid medications, and severe stress.
 
It is best your significant other be under a professional's guidance for hyperthyroid management, as thyroid storm may occur at any time, especially with untreated hyperthyroidism. If a storm is suspected, call 911 without delay.

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