Hyperthyroidism can lead to a number of complications:
Nov. 20, 2012
- Heart problems. Some of the most serious complications of hyperthyroidism involve the heart. These include a rapid heart rate, a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure — a condition in which your heart can't circulate enough blood to meet your body's needs. These complications generally are reversible with appropriate treatment.
- Brittle bones. Untreated hyperthyroidism can also lead to weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis). The strength of your bones depends, in part, on the amount of calcium and other minerals they contain. Too much thyroid hormone interferes with your body's ability to incorporate calcium into your bones.
- Eye problems. People with Graves' ophthalmopathy develop eye problems, including bulging, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring or double vision. Untreated, severe eye problems can lead to vision loss.
- Red, swollen skin. In rare cases, people with Graves' disease develop Graves' dermopathy, which affects the skin, causing redness and swelling, often on the shins and feet.
- Thyrotoxic crisis. Hyperthyroidism also places you at risk of thyrotoxic crisis — a sudden intensification of your symptoms, leading to a fever, a rapid pulse and even delirium. If this occurs, seek immediate medical care.
- Hyperthyroidism. The American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/what-is-hyperthyroidism. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Soetters MR, et al. Optimal management of Graves orbitopathy: A multidisciplinary approach. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 2011;69:302.
- Brandt F, et al. A critical review and meta-analysis of the association between overt hyperthyroidism and mortality. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2011;165:491.
- Graves' disease. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/graves-disease.cfm. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Hyperthyroidism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec12/ch152/ch152e.html. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Graves' disease. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/graves/Graves.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Hyperthyroidism. National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hyperthyroidism/index.aspx. Accessed July 25, 2012.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. http://www.iom.edu/vitamind. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Bahn RS, et al. Hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis: Management guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Thyroid. 2011;21:593.
- Thyroid problems. Hormone Health Network. http://www.hormone.org/thyroid_problems.cfm. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Stan MN, et al. The evaluation and treatment of Graves ophthalmopathy. Medical Clinics of North America. 2012;96:311.
- Schwartz KM, et al. Dermopathy of Grave's disease (pretibial myxedema): Long-term outcome. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2002;77:438.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinon). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 14, 2012.
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