As someone who may have been diagnosed with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you are probably a bit familiar with your affliction. The symptoms of both of these diseases are a bit different as with one disease the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones, and with the other it is under active. In this article, let’s take a quick look at the major differences of hyperthyroidism versus hypothyroidism.
When your thyroid gland works harder than it should and produces too much thyroid hormone you suffer from hyperthyroidism. Someone who has too much thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) can be diagnosed with an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. People who suffer from this disease often times have a faster heartbeat, sensitivity to heat, rapid weight loss, and an increased appetite. This disease also can cause an increase to the size of the thyroid due to increased T4 levels.
So what causes hyperthyroidism? Typically thyroiditis, an irritation of the thyroid causes too much thyroid hormones to enter into your body’s bloodstream. Hyperthyroidism can also occur due to pregnancy in women. Another cause for hyperthyroidism is due to Graves’ disease. This is an auto-immune disorder that allows the thyroid gland to make too much of the thyroid hormones. Another common cause for hyperthyroidism revolves around the thyroid becoming swollen or due to small growths in the thyroid known as thyroid nodules.
Getting treatment for hyperthyroidism is important. If left untreated it can cause an irregular heartbeat as well as bone loss. Treatment of hyperthyroidism can be accomplished using various medications, surgery, and radioactive iodine.
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you know that your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones to properly function. This is important because your thyroid gland controls how your body’s metabolism functions. This is critical as your metabolism affects things such as caloric burn, body temperature, and your heartbeat. Without enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism slows down and can have negative affects on your body overall. When this happens, one of the first things people notice is weight gain.
While there is no medical cure for hypothyroidism currently, there are medications and holistic methods for treating the disease. These treatment plans sole goal is to increase the function of the thyroid gland. If the thyroid gland improves, the thyroid hormone levels will increase and assist in helping control your metabolism.
Hypothyroidism is a fairly common disease and affects nearly five percent of the population in the United States. The most common cause for hypothyroidism is due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease in which your body attacks itself. With this condition, eventually the thyroid will become so weak that it will no longer produce hormones as it should which causes hypothyroidism. This auto-immune disease happens more often in females versus their male counterparts. Other causes of hypothyroidism can include either radiation therapy or radioactive iodine treatments. This is due to the way radiation is destroying the cells in the thyroid gland itself. Thyroid removal surgery is also another cause of hypothyroidism, even if only a portion of the thyroid gland is removed.
So What Are The Key Differences Between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism?
Based on what was discussed above, the key differences between the two afflictions revolve around whether the thyroid is producing too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or is not producing enough hormone (hyperthyroidism). The amount of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream will affect your metabolism which is critical in how your body handles various tasks. With hyperthyroidism, one can expect symptoms such as more energy, weight loss, and anxiety. When you look at hypothyroidism on the other hand, you tend to have a slower metabolism which in turn causes tiredness, weight gain, and depression.
What Should You Do If You Think You Might Have Either Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism?
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of either of these diseases, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your general practitioner. Your doctor can further diagnose your condition and will most likely require you to take lab tests to check your thyroid hormone levels in your system. If you do indeed have either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism your doctor can outline the various treatment options. If you are looking for a more holistic method to relief of these symptoms, take a look at our hypothyroidism relief article.