What is Myxedema Coma – Define Myxedema Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

The thyroid gland is one of the most important parts of the endocrine system which plays a vital role in the metabolism of the body. It is a butterfly-shaped gland present at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland produces two types of hormones known as T3 and T4. T3 and T4 hormones take up the iodine and boost the metabolism process of the body. Now, Let’s learn about the myxedema coma, which is a rare thyroid disorder.

To know about myxedema definition you need to know the hypothyroidism definition. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid problem which is due to the slow production of thyroid hormones or high TSH levels in the blood. However, when the low levels of thyroid hormones continue in the blood levels the result would be severe hypothyroidism. And this severe hypothyroidism when further left untreated leads to the condition called myxedema coma. 

myxedema coma

[READ MORE] What is Hypothyroidism?

Risks of Untreated Hypothyroidism

When the hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is left untreated for a prolonged period of time, then it may turn into something so severe. Like any other disease or illness, thus hypothyroidism also tries to progress toward the worse end of the disorder and leads to many other complications like heart strokes, mental illness, declined rate of respiration (functions of lungs) etc. These complications or risks are only a few among many others.

The risk of severe hypothyroidism also includes myxedema, swollen thyroid gland or enlarged thyroid gland and finally hypothermia. Although myxedema coma is a rare condition it is fatal to the person. Statistics say that everyone person out of the two patients of myxedema coma is met with the fate of death. (It is that dangerous!) So, just like any other disease, prevention is better than the cure, of course. But with myxedema even, early diagnosis is the way to a safe haven. 

Myxedema Coma

What is Myxedema Coma?

From what you have read in the above few lines, one thing is crystal clear, that you need to get immediate help for the myxedema coma symptoms. But before reading about the symptoms of myxedema coma, the knowledge of myxedema coma useful? Isn’t it? Define myxedema? Myxedema is a term which is used for severe hypothyroidism. Myxedema is a type of the coma which is due to the extreme lack of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Since these two hormones are the source of light which promotes the metabolism in our body, their abrupt cessation leads to great chaos in the functioning of the body. This myxedema condition leads to a temporary sleep state. 

Myxedema Coma Causes

Along with the hypothyroidism, these myxedema causes also trigger the myxedema coma. Most of the people with myxedema are the ones who have had the medical history of hypothyroidism, thyroid surgery or even a radioactive iodine treatment for hypothyroidism face etc. There are few more cause for myxedema coma. This myxedema cause is given below.

  • Infections such as lung or urine infections
  • Heart attack or heart disease
  • Stroke 
  • Trauma
  • Prolonged use of iodine
  • Recent Surgery 
  • Neglecting the intake of prescribed hypothyroid medications.
  • Certain medications like which include amiodarone, lithium, or phenothiazines.

[CHECK MORE] Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Adults

myxedema coma

Myxedema Symptoms

The myxedema crisis symptoms are the same as myxedema coma signs and symptoms because myxedema crisis and myxedema coma are practically the same medical illness but with different names. The signs of myxedema or the result of undiagnosed myxedema which determine the myxedema coma are as given below.

  • Disturbed Mental status 
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood sugar 
  • Puffy face hypothyroidism
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Myxedema madness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hyponatremia(A Condition in which the salt levels sorry, sodium levels in the body are too low.)
  • Hypercarbia (Condition defining the abnormally elevated levels of carbon dioxide or CO2 in the blood)
  • and Hypoxia. (it is a condition of insufficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the cells or tissue in the body.)

Myxedema Treatment

To treat a patient with myxedema, the first thing that is to be observed is raising the body temperature to normal levels. A person in a coma due to the inability of the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormones can lack the proper metabolism as discussed earlier, and they face sensitivity to cold. As the thyroid hormones are also in charge of maintaining the body temperature and changing it in accordance with the environment. Anyway, the best treatment for myxedema coma is to get thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Initially, this is started with the T3 and then slowly with T4 replacement. 

I am sorry to say this, but if in the case of the patient is an old one and he/she is also taking medicines like catecholamine for low blood pressure then the rate of sying or the chance of death is very high. Almost 30% of the myxedema coma patients die. So, guys if you know someone who is neglecting the hypothyroidism treatment or the pretibial myxedema treatment, please share them this article on myxedema coma or tell them about the dangers they are getting into. At least then they would be taking proper medication for myxedema signs and symptoms.

For a better myxedema treatment, consult an endocrinologist. 

[USEFUL READ] Yoga poses for Curing Thyroid

How to Diagnose Myxedema?

To get the treatment isn’t the differential diagnosis of myxedema coma important? Of course, it is. Without the confirmation that the illness is a particular one, any doctor cannot start the myxedema coma treatment. The Myxedema TSH levels and free T4 tests detect the possibility of being attacked by the myxedema coma. Myxedema diagnosis at home is practically not possible. Only clinical myxedema coma diagnosis is useful and nothing other than that. So, Don’t neglect the Hypothyroidism and get treated as soon as possible. Check some Myxedema pictures in the below sections and be aware of the Myxedema Coma with the help of these Myxedema Pictures.

Myxedema Pictures

myxedema coma
Myxedema pictures face

Panic cannot describe what’s happening in your mind right now. If you are one of the people, who are wondering the hazards of hypothyroidism and what to do about it; then this article on, myxedema coma can help you. Some of the victims of hypothyroidism complain that they are just saved from the hands of myxedema coma as they had their thyroid test done and they were able to get hypothyroidism myxedema coma treatment in time. As some might be asymptomatic, it is a good thing if you can get the TSH test every once in a while.

Check Some More Myxedema Pictures

Also, check some more Myxedema Pictures of the patients who are affected by Myxedema Coma. If you left your hypothyroidism condition without treating it you may experience the swelling in the areas such as neck (swollen thyroid), swelling in legs, puffy eyes etc due to myxedema coma. From the below Myxedema Pictures, you can have an idea about the swollen areas that are caused due to myxedema coma. So for the purpose of clarification check out the Myxedema Pictures that are given as follows.

Myxedema Pictures Showing The Affected Patient With Swollen Leg

myxedema coma

Myxedema Pictures Representing The Patient With Puffy Eyes

myxedema coma

Check Enlarged Thyroid Gland Syndrome With Myxedema Pictures

myxedema coma

[Essential Read] How to Treat Hypothyroidism to avoid Myxedema Coma?

Final Words

Hypothyroidism channels to myxedema issue only when myxedema hypothyroid is not treated at the earliest. If it is administered timely with proper hypothyroidism medications, then you have nothing to worry about. So, when you feel you are gaining weight then, get an immediate TSH test and check for the Myxedema TSH level, T3 and T4. Be prepared to fight the worst and stay tuned to My Thyroid Problems for more information on myxedema hypothyroidism. 

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