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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Myxedema coma is a severe form of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Myxedema coma occurs when thyroid hormone levels are not treated or controlled. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and weight. Myxedema coma can be triggered by not taking medicine to treat hypothyroidism. It may also be triggered by an infection, medicine, or a sudden stressful event, such as trauma or surgery.
- Medicines are given to increases thyroid hormone levels.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or endocrinologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
How to prevent myxedema coma:
- Manage your low thyroid. Follow-up with your healthcare provider or endocrinologist regularly to make sure your thyroid levels are in a healthy range.
- Keep yourself warm. Especially during the winter months. Being exposed to the cold may increase your risk for myxedema coma.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or feel ill.
- You have increasing fatigue.
- You have swelling in your face, arms, or feet.
- You run out of thyroid medicine.
- You have questions or concerns about the your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You faint or have a seizure.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
- You become confused or very weak.
- Your lips or fingernails are blue or white.
- Your signs and symptoms return or become worse.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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