Myxedema coma is a rare condition that needs emergency care. It can occur in a person who has untreated, severe hypothyroidism. It usually occurs in older adults who have other illnesses, such as a serious infection or heart attack, along with their hypothyroidism.
These life-threatening symptoms may occur:
Mental deterioration such as apathy, confusion, and psychosis
Extremely low body temperature (hypothermia)
Extremely slow heartbeat (fewer than 60 beats a minute)
Death can occur if myxedema coma is not treated. Emergency treatment may include thyroid hormone replacement given in a vein (intravenously) and steroid therapy.
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism