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
- Increased sweating
- 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.
- 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.