- Patient Comments: Myxedema Coma - Causes and Triggers
- Patient Comments: Myxedema Coma - Symptoms
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- What is myxedema coma?
- Who is affected by myxedema coma?
- What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
- What causes myxedema coma?
- What are triggers of myxedema coma?
- What are the symptoms of myxedema coma?
- How is myxedema coma diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for myxedema coma?
- How can myxedema coma be prevented?
What causes myxedema coma?
Most patients with myxedema coma have a history of hypothyroidism, thyroid surgery, or radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid disease. Very rarely, the problem is not caused by the inability of the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone; but rather is caused by the failure of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus to correctly signal the thyroid gland to perform its normal functions. In this situation, the thyroid gland is normal, but it is not receiving the signals from the pituitary gland or hypothalamus to make the thyroid hormone it is capable of producing.
What are triggers of myxedema coma?
Certain factors may suddenly trigger myxedema coma in a person with poorly controlled hypothyroidism. These include:
- drugs (particularly sedatives, narcotics, anesthesia, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), and amiodarone (Cordarone),
- heart failure,
- gastrointestinal bleeding,
- hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature), and
- failing to take thyroid medications as prescribed.