Myxedema

Myxedema is the condition which occurs when the skin thickens and swells due to insufficient production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. The term Myxedema can be referred to as severe hypothyroidism.

Causes

When there is accumulation of tissue products in the skin like glycosaminoglycans, it causes Myxedema. Hypothyroidism is the foremost or almost always the cause of Myxedema.

Symptoms

The skin thickens due to Myxedema. Other symptoms can be linked with hypothyroidism, like fatigue, weight gain, depression, dry skin and brittle hair. If a person presses the skin of the affected area and removes it back, he shall not see any imprint on that area.

Tests

Firstly, doctors conduct physical examination. In this diagnosis, it usually involves physical observations and considering the symptoms told by patients. These symptoms are generally like dry skin, reduced heart rate, excessive fluid in lungs, puffy face, thickened tongue, thinning of eyebrows etc. if physician suspects such symptoms then patient undergo blood tests, chest x-ray for checking heart enlargement or pleural effusion, abdominal ultra sound to detect ascites, MRI scans to check enlargement of pituitary gland. 

Treatment

The most common treatment for Myxedema is to provide with the medication to replace the reduced thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is considered to be the most required or prescribed treatment. The other treatments are topical corticosteroids, which is used to reduce the inflammation which occurred due to thickened skin and other is compression stocking which is useful in decreasing the swelling occurred due to it.

Prognosis

Person getting into depression, dry or pale skin, fatigue, thickening of the skin, weight gain, constipation, brittle hair or fingernail are few outcomes of this disease. If it is not treated, it may give rise to life threatening consequences. Mortality for this disease is around 20%. Low blood pressure, reduced rate of respiration, lowered body temperature, coma are few of the fatal signs of this disease.

Prevention

There is no specific prevention for this disease or condition. New born babies can undergo screen for diagnosing its early development. A patient must visit doctor for regular check-ups and blood tests to check how much effective the medication is.

Treatment Cost

As there is no specific treatment for this condition, so it’s hard to give any idea about the treatment cost. The therapies used to control the condition or to compress the thickening of the skin cost different from doctors to doctors.