Hypothyroidism Vs. Hyperthyroidism: What’s The Difference?

Howdy, bestie family! Thyroid illness affects approximately 20 million Americans. Up to 60% of individuals affected area unaware of their condition. 

If you or anyone close to you has recently been diagnosed with thyroid, it’s time to confirm if your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive, and of course, identifying some of the accompanying symptoms. Some of these signs can be quite aggravating. 

Today we will figure out the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, the most common thyroid conditions. What causes hypo or hyperthyroidism? What are the associated risk factors? What can be a suitable treatment strategy? We will discuss all this AND more.

What Is The Thyroid, And What Is Thyroid Disease?

For those of you who don’t know, the thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland located right below the Adam’s apple at the base of your neck. This gland produces thyroid hormone which passes through your bloodstream to all regions of your body. This crucial hormone regulates several aspects of your body’s metabolism, including how quickly you burn calories and how fast your heart thumps.

Thyroid diseases cause the gland to produce too much or too little of this hormone. You may feel restless or exhausted all of the time. You may also lose or gain weight, depending on how much hormone your thyroid produces.

Thyroid illness is more common in women than in males, especially after pregnancy or menopause.

Thyroid Illness Can Take Several Forms, Including Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism. Let’s Begin By Getting Some Clarity On The Basics Of These Conditions.

When your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to fulfill your body’s demands, you have hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. In the early stages of hypothyroidism, there may be no visible symptoms. However, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to a variety of health issues over time.

Hypothyroidism affects around 5 out of every 100 Americans aged 12 and above, however, most instances are minor and have few symptoms.

On the other hand, when your thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormones than you need, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism causes your body’s metabolism to speed up, resulting in unexpected weight loss and a faster pulse.

Hyperthyroidism affects around one in every 100 Americans aged 12 and above.

But what makes you vulnerable to these health issues?

There Are Various Reasons For Hyperthyroidism Or Hypothyroidism.

Let’s begin with the causes of hyperthyroidism. For starters, Grave’s disease is by far the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It’s an autoimmune sickness where your immune system assaults your thyroid, causing it to produce excessive hormones.

Apart from this, thyroiditis, an inflammatory condition that affects your thyroid gland, can also cause your thyroid gland’s hormone to flow out.

Now that sounds painful…

Some medications, cough syrups, seaweed, and seaweed supplements have iodine. Excessive iodine can lead your thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.

If you are taking hormone therapy for hypothyroidism, you may end up taking too much thyroid medication, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.

Last but not the least, if you’re over the age of 50, you need to check for thyroid nodules (nah-jools). These are growths on the thyroid gland that may become hyperactive and produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.

Similarly, hypothyroidism can also be caused by a variety of factors. The most common one is Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune illness where the immune system assaults the thyroid gland. Apart from this, thyroiditis, certain medicines, iodine, pituitary disease, and radiation treatment can all lead to hypothyroidism.

Sometimes, a thyroid surgery, which involves the removal of the thyroid gland can also cause hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism c an also be present at birth, known as congenital hypothyroidism.

But Is It Possible For Hyperthyroidism To Turn Into Hypothyroidism?

Well, yes! The medicine that is supposed to make your hyperactive thyroid less active may lead to this changeover. The activity of the gland may decrease dramatically in some circumstances, resulting in hypothyroidism.

Now That You Know The Basics Of These Conditions, What Are The Symptoms You Should Look Out For?

If you have hyperthyroidism, you may experience nervousness, irritability, fatigue, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, tremors and diarrhea.

Apart from this, rapid and irregular heartbeat, weight loss, mood swings, and goiter can also make things difficult for you. Remember that adults over the age of 60 may experience distinct symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Getting on to hypothyroidism, the symptoms may include fatigue, joint and muscle discomfort, weight gain, a swollen face, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, thinning hair, and decreased sweating.

Apart from this, heavy or irregular menstruation cycles, fertility issues in women, depression, slowed heart rate, and goiter can be warning signs of hypothyroidism.  Now, you should know that hypothyroidism is a slow-developing condition. Many people won’t even detect symptoms for months or even years.

Have You Been Wondering Which Is Worse, Hypothyroidism Or Hyperthyroidism? Here’s What You Should Know…

Hyperthyroidism raises the risk of cardiac rhythm problems, which can develop as Atrial fibrillation. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can also lead to osteoporosis and fractures. When compared to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism has fewer problems. Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism. Because weight gain and weariness are frequent indicators of aging, hypothyroidism is more difficult to detect.

Want To Know More? Let’s Understand Who’s At Risk For These Conditions.

You’re more likely to get hyperthyroidism if you have type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency or pernicious anemia. Hyperthyroidism is much more common for people who’ve had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem in the past.  Also, women in general are much more likely to have this condition than men. 

A family history of thyroid disease can also make you more prone to hyperthyroidism. Like most diseases, if you’re feeling symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it’s smart to check your family history to see if you have a predisposition. 

On the other hand, you’re more likely to get hypothyroidism if you have turner syndrome, pernicious anemia, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Women and individuals over the age of 60 are more at risk. Hypothyroidism can be a concern for you if you’ve had a thyroid problem in the past, or if you’ve undergone radiation therapy to the thyroid, neck, or chest. 

In the case of both diseases, you’re going to want to look up your family history. You’d like to know what your odds are of developing a condition in the future. 

Now That You Know All About The Symptoms Of These Conditions, It’s Only Fair We Talk About How The Diseases Are Diagnosed.

Nobody wants to go to the doctor. It’s especially nerve wracking when you’re feeling symptoms of a certain condition. A diagnosis of one of hypo or hyperthyroidism is a serious thing. Your doctor may use a variety of methods to make a diagnosis for hyper or hypothyroidism.

For one, they may examine your medical history, including questions about your symptoms. Also, they may schedule some thyroid tests to understand the condition clearly. Some of these tests are more comfortable than others. 

Want To Learn About Treatment Strategies To Deal With These Conditions? Let’s Begin By Considering The Options For Curing Hyperthyroidism.

Medicines, radioiodine therapy, and thyroid surgery are all popular ways to treat hyperthyroidism.

If we talk about medicines, anti-thyroid medications, which reduce the amount of thyroid hormone produced by your thyroid gland can be prescribed by your physician. You will need to take the medications for up to two years. This is the most basic therapy, although it’s not a long-term solution to hyperthyroidism. On the other hand, beta-blocker meds, which help with tremors, a racing heart, and anxiousness may be a better option for curing hyperthyroidism. They act immediately and might make you feel better while you wait for additional therapies to kick in.

Radioiodine therapy is a frequent and successful hyperthyroidism treatment. It involves swallowing radioactive iodine in the form of a pill or liquid. This causes the thyroid gland’s cells that make thyroid hormone to die. Other bodily tissues are unaffected. Unfortunately, almost everyone with radioactive iodine therapy gets hypothyroidism later on. Hypothyroidism is less difficult to cure, but it generates fewer long-term health issues than hyperthyroidism.

In rare cases, surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland is performed. You will need to take thyroid medications for the rest of your life if you have your thyroid completely removed. Some people with just part of their thyroid removed may also need to take medicine.

Consult your doctor about the foods, supplements, and medications you should avoid to get the maximum impact of the treatment.

Now, What About The Options For Curing Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is treated with medication that replaces the hormone your thyroid no longer produces. A blood test to assess your thyroid hormone level will be done about 6 to 8 weeks after you start taking the drug. If necessary, your doctor will change your dosage. You’ll undergo a blood test every time your dosage is changed. You’ll probably get a blood test in 6 months once you’ve found the proper dose. After that, the exam will only be required once a year.

If you take your prescription as directed, you should be able to keep your hypothyroidism under control. You should never stop taking your prescription without first speaking to your doctor.

If you have Hashimoto’s disease or other autoimmune thyroid problems, you might be vulnerable to iodine’s hazardous side effects. So talk to your doctor about the foods, supplements, and medications you should avoid.

We’ve All Heard That Prevention Is Better Than A Cure, So What Can You Do To Prevent Hyper Or Hypothyroidism?

Well there’s no definitive treatment to stop the conditions. They cannot be prevented. There are currently no successful ways available except routine monitoring for people who are more at risk. If you know you’re at risk, being checked regularly can be a smart idea.

Significant distinctions between hypo and hyperthyroidism must be considered to get a suitable treatment plan. You can schedule an appointment with a qualified thyroid specialist, such as an endocrinologist to understand the status of your condition.

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