Thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition that develops in cases of untreated thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid).
Causes of Thyroid storm
Thyroid storm occurs in people with untreated hyperthyroidism. It is usually brought on by a major stress such as trauma, heart attack, or infection. Thyroid storm is very rare.
Thyroid storm Symptoms
Symptoms are severe and may include any of the following:
- Change in alertness (consciousness)
- Increased temperature
- Pounding heart (tachycardia)
Tests and Exams
- The systolic (top number) blood pressure reading may be high, and the diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure may be low
- Heart rate is increased
When to Contact a Health Professional
This is an emergency condition. Call 911 or another emergency number if you have hyperthyroidism and experience symptoms of thyroid storm.
Bahn RS, Burch HB, Cooper DS, et al. Hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis: Management Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Endocr Pract. 2011;17:457-520.
Mandel SJ, Larsen PR, Davies TF. Thyrotoxicosis. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 12.
|Review Date: 5/10/2014
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.