Urgent Care VS Emergency Care – Going for Thyroid Treatment
Thyroid glands are located in the front part of the neck and are essential for the production of hormones that regulate the metabolic rate. They also determine how fast our bodies absorb calories for energy production while regulating body temperature and control how the body utilizes vitamins. The hormones produced also play a part in managing body growth and maturation. When infections or genetic problems interfere with the thyroid function, the gland tends to either produce too little (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism) thyroid hormone. These conditions display some conditions that affect one’s quality of life.
The most common symptom is goiter which is an enlargement of the neck. Other symptoms are insomnia, weight loss despite having an appetite, lighter or heavier menstrual periods than normal, excessive sleeping, increased sensitivity to cold, trembling hands, increased or reduced heart rates, depression, among other symptoms.
If the symptoms are harsh, it’s wiser if you head to the emergency room where the doctor will take necessary blood tests to find out if you have a thyroid problem. The tests measure the level of TSH and at times thyroid hormone thyroxine. If the levels are manageable, the doctor will prescribe medications for your condition. If the conditions are beyond drug use, the doctor will take you through surgery or radioactive iodine therapy. Problem with some urgent care clinics is the unavailability of staff and equipment sophisticated enough to handle some of the thyroid problems like the surgery.
In some cases, the thyroid hormone levels become very high, and the symptoms become worse resulting in a condition known as thyroid storm. One prominent sign of the thyroid storm is high records of body temperature that escalate to as high as 41.1 Celsius which is way above normal human body temperature. This makes the thyroid storm a life-threatening emergency which calls for immediate attention best attended at the emergency rooms. Other symptoms include confusion, body weakness, nausea, an irregular heart that can cause heart failure, vomiting. If the condition is not treated immediately, it can cause death. Thyroid storms can erupt after recent discontinuing of essential medications for hyperthyroidism, recent treatment with radioactive iodine, recent medical stress such as heart attack and even a severe infection or ailment can trigger a thyroid storm. Emergency doctors are required to act immediately by reducing the circulating thyroid hormone levels and their formations. The fever and dehydration are treated by cooling the body and hydration. Some drugs will be administered to control the heart rate and reduce the high synthesis of the thyroid hormone.
When the thyroid hormones become too low, again the symptoms get worse and result in a severe condition known as myxedema coma. The condition is rare but life-threatening. The patients normally fall into a coma which makes it critical during stabilization. People with hypothyroidism approaching myxedema coma should be rushed to emergency rooms immediately before lives are lost. If a hypothyroidism patient contracts infections such as lung or urine infections, stroke, heart failure or even failure to take the prescribed drugs, he or she is susceptible to falling into myxedema coma. There could be some changes in the patient such as a fever, mental or behavioral change, shortness of breath, increased swelling of feet and hands that will signal myxedema coma. Rush the patient to the emergency room because most of these patients are not in a position to function properly. Be sure to alert the doctor that the patient has hypothyroidism for easier diagnosis.
Thyroid problems should not be taken lightly especially when symptoms worsen. Regular visits to your primary health provider will help keep up with your health and thyroid levels. Although rare, thyroid cancer, if not contained in its early stages, can be aggressive placing a patient’s life at risk. It appears as a lump in the neck, with a hoarse change in the voice. Good news is that the treatment is straightforward and an excellent team of emergency room doctors will be dealt with and eventually cured.
Although emergency room services can be costly, the sacrifice is worth it as your severe condition will be handled immediately and with intense care. If you have an insurance cover, the costs will be minimized, and the balance can be paid in cash terms or scheduled pay. The most critical issue is to save lives first. The complexity in treating thyroid problems makes it difficult for urgent care centers to handle such matters.
After discharge, it is advisable that you follow with the doctor to monitor your conditions and regulate the dosage. Aggressive treatment of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism will help the patient prevent the conditions from escalating to fatal conditions mentioned above; myxedema coma and thyroid storm. If you feel concerned about your thyroid conditions, call your doctor or the 911 helpline to receive emergency medical care. Visit us at Frontline ER to receive the best medical care.