Difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

Difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

A small butterfly-shaped gland, the thyroid gland throws a huge impact on your overall health by being located at the base of your front neck. First and foremost, the thyroid gland is responsible for the functioning of every organ in our body. In the scenario when the gland does not work properly, it can disconnect the body’s synchronization.
By playing a crucial role in the most bodily functions, the thyroid gland monitors metabolism and body temperature too.

Therefore, a disbalance in thyroid functioning could make your metabolism go up or down. A problem in metabolism functioning defines the two conditions hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. There is a difference in both these conditions which we are going to discuss further in this article.

Difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is known to be an endocrine organ that secretes thyroxin (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3).
Basically, these secretions serve to sustain the metabolic functions of the human body.


Hyperthyroidism is the condition of the excess of thyroid hormones. This follows an dispatch in the expected actions of the body. Mainly, the condition of hyperthyroidism occurs when someone ingests excessive iodine or thyroxin. The problems a hyperthyroidism patient will face are:

  • Loss of weight
  • Agitation
  • Tremor
  • Heat intolerance
  • Loss of libido
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding
  • Psychosis
  • Excessive sweating

The symptoms of Hyperthyroidism will include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
  • Fine trembling
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Pounding of your heart (palpitations)
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Changes in bowel patterns
  • An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Skin thinning
  • Hair loss
  • Nail Deformities

Hyperthyroidism can be treated by diagnosing the causes of the condition. The treatments of Hyperthyroidism includes:
Radioactive iodine: It involves consuming a pill or liquid that meant to get into your bloodstream to counteract the overactive thyroid cells.
Anti-thyroid medicine: This helps your body to suppress the production of thyroid hormones to some extent.
Surgery: Surgery includes removing most of your thyroid gland.
Beta-blockers: This kind of drugs decrease your heart rate and diminish tremors and anxiety.


When your body lacks thyroid hormones, it is known as hypothyroidism. A shortage of these hormones affects the expected actions. Hypothyroidism might happen due to a congenital cause, iatrogenic, or by radiation.
The problems a hypothyroidism patient will face are:

  • Dry skin
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Heavy menstrual bleeds
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Lethargy

The symptoms of Hypothyroidism will include:

  • Fatigue
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Thinning hair
  • Impaired memory
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression

The condition of hyperthyroidism might be a result of radiation therapy, Autoimmune disease, hyperthyroidism treatments, thyroid surgery, and certain medications.

Treatment for Hypothyroidism

However, hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition, proper medication can reduce the symptoms.
The best treatment for this condition is levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl). Taking this medication can deliver adequate levels of thyroid hormone to your blood. What happens is that levothyroxine restores your hormones level and thus, let the symptoms of hypothyroidism get disappear.

Hyperthyroidism versus hypothyroidism

Till now you might have understood what hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is. There are many similarities between them. More precisely, you can check below the hypothyroidism vs hyperthyroidism chart to know the difference between both of them.

Difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism


Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism
About Also known as overactive thyroid. Occurs when thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormones, thus accelerating the body’s natural functions. Also known as underactive thyroid. Occurs when thyroid glance is not secreting enough thyroid hormones, which leads to the slowing-down of the body’s natural functions.
Most Common Cause Graves’ disease, also known as toxic diffuse goiter Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis
Other Causes Thyroiditis, iodine deficiency, medication, thyroid nodules. Thyroiditis, too much iodine, medication, genetics, hyperthyroidism treatments.
Diagnosis Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test, thyroid scan, radioactive iodine uptake test. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test, thyroid scan, radioactive iodine uptake test.
Treatment Antithyroid medication (e.g, Methimazole) to slow overactive thyroid and, sometimes, beta blockers (e.g., Propranolol) to alleviate symptoms. Synthetic thyroid hormone (e.g., Levothyroxine) or carefully monitored iodine supplementation.
Occurrence Less common. Women more likely to suffer due to effects of pregnancy. More common. Women more likely to suffer due to effects of pregnancy.
Appetite Weight loss but increased appetite Weight gain but loss of appetite
Pulse Tachycardia Bradycardia
Skin Warm and moist Dry and coarse
Hair Fine and soft Thin and brittle
Temperature Intolerance Heat intolerance Cold intolerance
In Pets Occurs in about 2% of cats over 10 years of age and in 1-2% of dogs Can occur, but less common than hyperthyroidism
ICD-10 E05 E03.9
ICD-9 242.90 244.9
MedlinePlus 000356 000353
eMedicine med/1109 med/1145
DiseasesDB 6348 6558
MeSH D006980 D007037

difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

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