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Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyrodism

“How does hyperthyroidism differ from hypothyroidism?” is the burning question that so many are seeking the answer to when it comes to understanding thyroid disease.  Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism affect the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the front part of your neck. The thyroid gland is the control center of your body that produces hormones to help maintain proper brain function, metabolic health, Hormonal and other vital organ functions. The thyroid also helps the body to use energy properly. The only commonality of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is that they both affect the thyroid gland.

The major difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is the amount of hormone output by the thyroid gland.  Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone (T4 thyroxine and T3 triiodothyronine). Essentially, hyperthyroidism is the opposite, meaning the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of the T4 and T3 hormones.  A good way to understand the difference between both types’ conditions is to look at the symptoms of each one.

Hyperthyroidism is often caused by Graves’ disease, which is an autoimmune condition that stimulates the T4 and T3 hormones of the thyroid.  Swollen thyroid and thyroid nodules are also related causes of hyperthyroidism.  The symptoms patients experience from hyperthyroidism helps in determining which thyroid condition they have.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling anxious
  • Itchy, red skin
  • Thinning hair and hair loss
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequently feeling hot.

In the United States, Hypothyroidism is most commonly caused by the autoimmune disorder known as, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The symptoms caused by hypothyroidism can often be associated with other conditions.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Cracking or dry skin and brittle nails
  • Irregular period
  • Yellowish tint to the skin
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Poor concentration or forgetfulness

It’s important if you experience more than one of these symptoms that you seek attention from a healthcare professional as soon as possible. The earlier hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is diagnosed and treated the better. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be treated with medication to help regulate the hormones of the thyroid gland. If medication doesn’t help with the hormone effects of the thyroid gland then in most cases other treatments are available. Unfortunately, there is no for hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and medication is taken for life to help manage the hormones of thyroid gland.

If you or someone you know has shown signs of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you need to have the proper testing completed by a doctor. To learn more about both thyroid conditions and additional treatment options, contact Dr. Hagmeyer at Naperville Institute for Neuro Metabolic Solutions.

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