There are not that many people in the world who know what thyrotoxic myopathy is. Those people who do not know should be aware that it is a neuromuscular disorder. This disorder occurs when there is an overproduction of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. It is also import that people know that thyrotoxic myopathy is one of the myopathies which are known to cause weakness in the muscles and the breakdown of muscle tissue.
Information on thyrotoxic myopathy
First of all, people need to know that this particular disorder needs to be treated as soon as it occurs because if it is left untreated it can lead to death. However, these worst cases do not occur that often. A person who is diagnosed with thyrotoxic myopathy needs not to worry too much because he or she will not suffer from any problems or lasting effects if the disorder is treated properly.
In order for the treatment to start as early as possible, people need to be able to notice the symptoms. It is important to know that the symptoms can be physical, acute or chronic.
In case of physical symptoms, people need to know that they are well known. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms of thyrotoxic myopathy are muscle weakness, degeneration of muscle tissue, fatigue and heat intolerance.
In case of chronic symptoms, people should be aware that they start showing up not that fast and after a certain period of time. The most commonly seen signs of chronic thyrotoxic myopathy are decreased exercise tolerance, increased fatigue and certain problems with finishing some specific tasks after a period of half a year. These symptoms must not be taken lightly because they can only get worse if people do not treat them on time. It is not uncommon for people to experience problems with swallowing and various respiratory problems.
Acute thyrotoxic myopathy is not as common as chronic one but people need to know that they can be affected by it as well. In case of acute thyrotoxic myopathy the signs are seen after a period of few days. Most people who suffer from acute thyrotoxic myopathy experience muscle cramps and muscle pain due to the fact that the muscle fibers are degraded rather fast by the acute thyrotoxic myopathy. Even though such signs like blurred vision and bulging eyes are not that common, people should know that they can occur as well.
Causes of Thyrotoxic Myopathy
People need to know that there are a few causes which are known to lead to thyrotoxic myopathy. However, out of all these causes there are just two of them which are usually connected with myopathy. The first cause is called multinodular goiter. This cause is known to occur when the thyroid gland becomes bigger in size due to it being studded with nodules. When that happens, the gland will produce a lot more tyrotoxine than it is needed.
The other cause which occurs quite often is a certain disease called Grave’s disease. This disease is characterized by the launching of the autoimmune attack of the body onto the thyroid gland and that then makes the gland to create more thyrotoxine than required.
Treatment of thyrotoxic myopathy
A person who is diagnosed with thyrotoxic myopathy will not receive treatment from just one specialist. In most cases of this disorder there is a need for a lot of specialists to collaborate in order for the proper treatment to be used. In most cases these specialists are a neuromuscular specialist, an endocrinologist, a surgeon and an ophthalmologist. A physical therapist is also involved in cases where the muscle degeneration is serious. The main goal of the treatment is for the production of the thyrotoxine from the thyroid gland to be reduced. It is important that the normal thyroid homeostasis is returned to its normal state. People need to know that there are three possible ways this can be done. These three ways are the use of medication, radiotherapy and surgery. The most commonly medications prescribed are beta-blockers, propylthiouracil and methizamole.
In case of radiotherapy, the radioactive iodine will be used in order for the thyroid gland to be destroyed because it is being overactive. The gland needs iodine in order to create thyrotoxine and other hormones but it cannot make the difference between the normal and the radioactive ones. When the thyroid gland takes the radioactive iodine it dies due to the radiation. This particular treatment is not a good one because if the entire gland is destroyed a person may end up developing hypothyroidism.
The third option is surgery and the goal of this treatment is to remove the portions of the gland which can be used as well for the restoration of thyroid homeostasis.
Relevant statistical data
According to the data, women are more prone than men to hyperthyroidism. However, it is the men with hyperthyroidism who suffer more from the development of thyrotoxic myopathy. Out of all the patients who were diagnosed with the disorder only 50% of them complained about the signs. The data shows that 75% of all the patients suffered from muscle fiber degeneration.