Myxedema coma is a life-threatening complication of hypothyroidism characterized by:

  • altered consciousness
  • slow breathing
  • convulsions
  • hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • hyponatremia (low blood sodium level) and hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level)

Myxedema coma can be triggered by exposure to cold, infection, trauma, drugs (such as sedatives and tranquilizers) that depress brain function. It is most often seen in elderly women.