What is the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?


The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland usually, located in the lower front of the neck below the larynx (the voice box). The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

The main hormone made by the thyroid is thyroxine, also called T4 because it contains four iodine molecules. Small amounts of another and more potent thyroid hormone containing three iodine molecules, triiodothyronine (T3), made by the thyroid gland. However, most of the T3 in the blood is made from T4 in other body tissues.

Thyroid hormones control the way every tissue in your body uses energy. They are essential to help each cell in your body’s tissue and organs work right. For example, thyroid hormone controls the body’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and the rate at which food is turned into energy (metabolism).



What are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism –

Is a condition of the thyroid. The thyroid produces tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are two primary hormones that control how your cells use energy. Your thyroid gland regulates your metabolism through the release of these hormones. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid makes too much T4, T3, or both. Diagnosis of overactive thyroid and treatment of the underlying cause can relieve symptoms and prevent complications. The term hyperthyroidism refers to any condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone produced in the body. In other words, the thyroid gland is overactive. Another term that you might hear about this problem is thyrotoxicosis, which refers to high thyroid hormone levels in the bloodstream, irrespective of their source.

Hypothyroidism –

Is an underactive thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood. Common causes are the autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, surgical removal of the thyroid, and radiation treatment. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your body lacks adequate thyroid hormone.  If you have been, diagnosed by your physician as having hypothyroidism, you are one of over five million Americans having this common medical condition. Some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency may affect as many as 5-10 of all women.


What is the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormones, thus accelerating the body’s natural functions. In contrast, hypothyroidism is the result of an underactive thyroid that is not secreting enough thyroid hormones, which leads to the slowing-down of natural functions. Hypothyroidism is much more common than hyperthyroidism and is usually, diagnosed by a blood test measuring the level of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) in the body. We often hear about these two illnesses: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, yet it’s very common for people not to know the difference between the two.

We will explain the symptoms of each disease below:-

The signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include increased heart rate tachycardia, increased activity of bowel movements, difficulty in sleeping, intolerance to heat, nervousness and palpitation, increased respiratory rate, increased moisture of the skin, increased metabolic rate, soft and fine hair, wandering mind, sweating, scanty menstrual periods, infertility, muscle weakness, nervousness and soft nails. Where else in hypothyroidism, there are symptoms such as bradycardia- decreased heart rate, constipation, intolerance to cold, memory problems, coarse dry hair, slow speech movements, slow walking movements, dry skin, brittle nails, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, infertility, puffy face, loss of eyebrow hair, and heavy menstrual periods.

The causes of hypothyroidism include medications like lithium carbonate, genetic, decreased level of iodine in the body, disturbances in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, and infections mainly viral and bacterial. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an immune disorder – the thyroid gland, attacked and damaged. And Hyperthyroidism, caused by any growth present in the thyroid gland. Grave’s disease is an immunological disorder affecting the thyroid gland. The classical feature of it is exophthalmos a protruding eye ball, which is absent in hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can also lead to thyrotoxicosis.

Treatment for Hypo and Hyperthyroidism

The treatment for hypothyroidism includes thyroid hormones. It is given lifelong to the patient. Thyroxine is the supplement, recommended to the patient. Thyroxine is T4 hormone of the thyroid gland. The patient, advised to take this medication early in the morning. The treatment for hyperthyroidism is anti-thyroid drugs which include propylthiouracil. It will decrease the production of thyroid hormones.

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism includes the estimation of levels T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones and TSH level. In hypothyroidism, there is the decrease in the thyroid hormones level T3 and T4 and increase in the levels of TSH. In hyperthyroidism, increased levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 and decrease in the levels of TSH. TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone.


The person suffering from the hypothyroidism has intolerance with cold, while the person with hyperthyroidism has intolerance with heat.


Hyperthyroidism is increased levels of thyroid hormones whereas hypothyroidism, decreased levels of thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism can lead to thyrotoxicosis and grave’s disease whereas hypothyroidism does not produce those diseases. There is faster metabolism in hyperthyroidism while there is a slow metabolism in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, treated by supplements of thyroid hormones and hyperthyroidism, treated by anti-thyroid drugs. Hypothyroidism shows, decreased levels of T3 and T4 and increased levels of TSH whereas, in hyperthyroidism, there is of T3 and T4 and a decreased level in TSH. Before taking any medications for hypo or hyperthyroidism, the drug interactions, considered. If there, high levels of thyroid stimulating antibodies in the blood of an infant treatment, exchanged blood transfusion. This will decrease the antibody levels in the blood.

Hence we conclude that both the disease are related to the imbalance in the regulation of the thyroid gland which secretes thyroid hormones. Hypothyroid is the condition also — underactive thyroid, results in the less production of the of the thyroid hormone, even less than, required amount, while hyperthyroid, which is also known as, overactive thyroid is the condition when the thyroid gland overproduces the thyroid hormones.

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