Ask The Expert
October 19, 2005
The medical term myxedema is most commonly used to describe the physical characteristics of a person who has untreated hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). One typical feature of myxedema is generalized puffiness, especially noticeable in the face around the lips, nose and eyes. Other findings include:
A diagnosis can be made with a simple blood test called a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Treatment with thyroid medication should result in dramatic improvement of the symptoms and physical characteristics over time.