Thyrotoxicosis is a deadly disease. It is like running your car at the redlne 24/7. It causes "spontaneous combustion"! Of course, few die from this disease in the USA, but not so in Nigeria. In Nigeria, this disease is often diagnosed late and patients present with severe wasting from their hypermetabolic state. This poor lady is 23 years old and she is completely wasted. I can encircle her bicep with my ring and index finger and I have a small hand!
In the USA there are good drugs for comtrolling this disease. It can be cured with radioactive iodine. In Nigeria there are some drugs available but radioactive iodine is not an option.
In Nigeria, we treat these patients by first controlling their disease with drugs, then surgically removing their entire thyroid gland. Usually this works out well. When these patients return 3 months after surgery, they often have gained 20 lbs and feel reborn.
Occasionally, the story is not so happy. These patients can develop thyroid storm during or after surgery and they literally burn themselves up. Fortunately, we have developed a medical regimen that rapidly controls thryotoxicosis before surgery and thyroid storm rarely occurs.