Myxedema is disease cause by the non-productivity of hormone in thyroid gland. The name of the disease is derived from Greek like (Greek myxa, “slime”; oidema, “swelling”). #Myxedema is same which causes increased deposition of connective tissue components like glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, and mucopolysaccharides.

These type of symptoms are also seen in hypothyroid. This disease mostly occurs from childhood and it may affect more than one person of same family. As it can happen to anybody who has deficiency of thyroid hormone.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

The symptoms of this disease (myxedema) are mentioned below. The symptoms may appear because of low metabolic rate which happens from lack of production of thyroid hormone. This hormone is necessary component to stimulate metabolism.

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Sleepiness
  • Poor tolerance to cold
  • Mental sluggishness
  • Weight gain
  • General pain and aches in the body
  • Face seems puffy and waxy
  • Skin becomes dry and coarse
  • Hair of the body becomes coarse, dry and tend to fall early
  • Eyebrows may also fall in certain parts

The physicians mostly require physical examination of the patient to check the proper size of the gland. The size may vary from patient to patient. The result of the examination may reveal the symptoms mentioned below;

  • The nails would be brittle
  • Coarse facial features may appear
  • Pale or dry skin, which may be cool to the touch
  • Swelling of the arms and legs can happen
  • Thin and brittle hair of the person which can lead to early fall
  • A chest x-ray can show the size of the heart more than normal

These laboratory tests are done to determine the level and function of thyroid gland;

  • TSH Test
  • T4 Test

The laboratory test may bring these things into the knowledge of the physician.

  • The disease anemia appearance on a Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • The level of the cholesterol is increased
  • The enzymes of the liver are increased
  • The increase in prolactin
  • Decrease in the level of the sodium in the body of the patient

Treatment and Precautions of Myxedema:

This disease have treatments like other abnormal disease. It’s purpose is to correct the level of thyroid hormone in the patient. Below are certain medication and treatment details for such patients;

  • Levothyroxin is used mostly to bring the TSH level to normal range. This medicine is given at very low doze and specially if the patient have heart disease too. Then in that condition the doze is very small.
  • The therapy as lifelong is also used in most cases. But it is avoided if the patient have a condition called transient viral thyroiditis.
  • The medicine that is prescribe must be continued even after it is cured. And the level of hormone must be checked every 2-3 months.
  • The change in the brand of medicine should not be done without doctor advice.
  • High fiber diet is prohibited in these cases and nutritionist must be consulted along with the advice of the doctor.
  • Thyroid medicine is best when your stomach is empty.
  • Avoid taking the thyroid medicine with fiber diet or supplement like calcium, iron, multivitamins, antiacids.

Myxedema coma is the extreme condition that occurs in this disease. It occurs when the thyroid level of the body becomes extremely low. It is then treated with intravenous thyroid hormone replacement and steroid medications. Patients are also treated with supportive therapy in this case as oxygen, breathing assistance, fluid replacement and intensive care nursing. If you are treated properly and still feel the symptoms mentioned then again consult the doctor.

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Restlessness or shakiness
  • Sweating

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