Difference between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

The hormone which regulates the production of thyroid hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and controls the functioning of the thyroid gland is called the thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH. Apart from this, it is also responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolic activities. Therefore, TSH plays a crucial role in our body metabolism and is controlled and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland, which is called the “master gland”.

Explore more: Pituitary gland

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism refers to the hormonal deficiency disorder, which is caused when the thyroid gland does not produce or release sufficient thyroid hormones or thyroxin.

Thyroid Gland

This hormonal disorder is quite common in today’s lifestyle. As per certain research analyses, it has been estimated that about 4 to 5 percent of the total population is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, among which women are more prone to this hormonal deficiency disorder compared to men. The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism usually vary, and it also increases along with age if proper treatment and medicines are not taken. There are many factors that influence the cause of hypothyroidism and they include:

  1. Iodine deficiency
  2. Disorder of pituitary gland
  3. Exposure of neck region to radiations
  4. Damage or removal of the thyroid gland through surgery, etc.

Explore more: Hypothyroidism

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism refers to a hormonal disorder, which is caused when the thyroid gland produces a higher level of thyroid hormones, especially the T3 and T4 hormones.

This hormonal disorder is quite common among people in the United States and is mainly caused due to an overactive thyroid gland. Similar to hypothyroidism, women are more prone to hyperthyroidism when compared to men. There are many factors that influence the cause of hyperthyroidism and the most common factor is an auto-immune disorder called Graves’ Disease. It is very hard to diagnose this hormonal disorder because the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism usually mimic the symptoms of other common diseases.

Explore more: Hyperthyroidism

Let’s learn the differences between Hypo and Hyperthyroidism.

Hypo and Hyperthyroidism – Comparisons

Hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism

Definition

The hormonal disorder is in which the thyroid gland is underactive and produces very few quantities of the thyroid hormone.

The hormonal disorder is in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces large quantities of the thyroid hormone.

Rate of Metabolism

Very low and decreased.

High and increased.

TSH Levels

Lower than the normal level.

Higher than the normal level.

Types

The three forms of hypothyroidism include primary, secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism.

The most common forms of hyperthyroidism include Graves disease, Plummer disease and toxic adenoma.

Common Causes

Genetics

Low-iodine diet.

Exposure to radiation.

Side effects caused by medications.

Underactive, damage or removal of the thyroid gland.

Thyroid nodules.

Swollen thyroid gland.

An autoimmune disorder.

Diagnosis

Thyroid hormone level test, blood test and other physical examinations.

Thyroid hormone level tests, blood tests and other tests for hyperthyroidism are based on an individual basis.

Signs and Symptoms

Fatigue

Depression

Mood swings.

Memory problems.

Severe hair loss.

Coarse and dry hair.

Coarse and pale skin.

Frequent constipation.

Weight gain or trouble in losing weight.

Muscle cramps with frequent muscle aches.

Fatigue

Anxious

Weight loss.

Nervousness

Itching red skin.

Excessive sweating.

Decreased concentration.

Unexplained weight loss.

Irregular and scanty periods.

Rapid or irregular heart rate.

Treatment

Medications to regulate thyroid levels, along with proper diet and physical activities to keep weight under control.

Medications include antithyroid drugs, Radioiodine and removal of the thyroid gland through surgery in very rare cases.

Also Refer: Difference between Hyperthyroidism and Goiter

This article concludes the introduction to hypo and hyper hypothyroidism and their differences. Stay tuned to BYJU’S Biology to learn more in detail about the different types of deficiency diseases, along with their causes, symptoms, and their treatments.

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