Thyroid Storm

Topic Overview

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:

Thyroid storm can lead to coma, heart failure, or death.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised June 10, 2013

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