22+ Differences Between Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism

There is a vast number of people who are suffering from Thyroid, and many are not even aware of their existing condition. And those who are, do not know what type of Thyroid they have.

The thyroid gland in the human body secretes two hormones: Thyroxine and triiodothyronine. An imbalance of these hormones is simply referred to as “Thyroid Disease.” This hormonal imbalance is of two types: Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. 

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Key Differences –

Hyperthyroidism –

  1. Hyper means “more.” Hyperthyroidism refers to a state when the thyroid gland produces a more than normal amount of thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism is also known as “Overreactive Thyroid.” 
  2. It is often linked with an auto–immune condition called Graves Disease. 
  3. The common symptoms include weight loss, high or irregular heartbeat, fatigue, irritability, etc. 
  4. Risk factors for Hyperthyroidism include positive family history and prevalence of other autoimmune diseases such as Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Hypothyroidism –

  1. Hypo means “less.” Hypothyroidism refers to a state when the thyroid gland produces less than a normal amount of thyroid hormones. 
  2. Hypothyroidism is also known as “Underactive Thyroid.” 
  3. It is often linked with Hashimoto’s Disease. 
  4. The common symptoms include weight gain, painful muscles & joints, lethargy, etc. 
  5. The risk factors of Hypothyroidism are the same as Hyperthyroidism, i.e., positive family history and presence of other autoimmune conditions.

Comparison Between Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism

ParameterHyperthyroidismHypothyroidism
MeaningA medical condition marked up by increased secretions of thyroid hormones.A medical condition marked up by decreased secretions of thyroid hormones.
Metabolic ActivityIncreased MetabolismDecreased Metabolism
Also known asOveractive GlandUnderactive Gland
TSH levelsNormal or low levelHigh level
T3 levelsHigh levelNormal or low level
T4 levelsNormal or high levelLow level
Associated withGrave’s Disease, Plummer’s Disease, Thyroiditis, Plummer’s DiseaseThyroiditis, Goiter, Hashimoto’s Disease
WeightWeight lossWeight gain
Heart RateTachycardiaBradycardia
IntoleranceHeat IntoleranceCold Intolerance

Major Differences Between Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism 

To understand the differences between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism, it is essential to first understand the thyroid gland and the blood tests to diagnose the Thyroid and its subtypes. 

Thyroid And The Related Blood Tests

A butterfly-shaped gland situated in our neck is known as our Thyroid Gland. It secretes two hormones: Thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones are responsible for regulating our body’s metabolism.

An imbalance of these hormones disrupts almost every part of our body, and if left untreated, it can give rise to many other diseases. An Endocrinologist usually diagnoses and treats Thyroid problems.

When a person is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a thyroid imbalance, the following are the blood tests that are done to check a patient’s thyroid levels –

  1. TSH – TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This is the most and the first blood test done when a person is showing symptoms of thyroid imbalance. The Pituitary Gland secretes the TSH hormone, and the TSH blood test measures its secretions. 
  2. T4 – A T4 blood test is responsible for measuring Thyroxine hormone, which is secreted by the thyroid gland. 
  3. T3 – A T4 blood test is responsible for measuring the Triiodothyronine hormone, which is also secreted by the thyroid gland. 
  4. FT4 – FT4 refers to free T4. This test measures the thyroxine in the blood but without the protein to get an accurate measurement. 
  5. FT3 – FT3 refers to free T3. Similar to FT4, this test measures the triiodothyronine hormone without the protein present in the blood. 

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Normal values of thyroid blood tests –

  1. TSH: 0.40 – 4.50 mIU/mL
  2. T4: 5.0 – 11.00 ug/dl
  3. T3: 100 – 200 ng/dl
  4. FT4: 0.9 – 1.7 ng/dl
  5. FT3: 2.3 – 1.4 pg/dl

What exactly is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism refers to a medical condition that causes an increase in the production of thyroid hormones. It is mainly related to the increased production of the hormone Thyroxine.

This hormone is responsible for the body’s digestive, heart, and muscle functions. The presence of Hyperthyroidism denotes an increased metabolic activity.

Hyperthyroidism represents itself with symptoms such as –

  1. Weight loss
  2. Very high heart rate (Tachycardia)
  3. Heart palpitations
  4. Muscle weakness
  5. Heat Intolerance
  6. Lethargy
  7. Insomnia
  8. Anxiety and Depression
  9. Irritability and mood swings
  10. Irregular Period Cycle
  11. Hair Loss
  12. Heat Intolerance
  13. Stunted Growth (in the case of teenagers)
  14. Goiter
  15. Gut Issues

Factors that put you at an increased risk for developing Hyperthyroidism are –

  1. A Positive family history of Hyperthyroidism. 
  2. Presence of other autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. 
  3. Age above 60. 
  4. Female sex. 
  5. Pregnancy. 

Thyroid blood tests in case of Hyperthyroidism –

  1. TSH – normal or low levels of TSH can be seen in the case of Hyperthyroidism. 
  2. T4 – can show normal or high levels of T4 in case of Hyperthyroidism. 
  3. T3 – high levels of T3 are present in Hyperthyroidism. 
  4. FT4 – can show normal or high levels of FT4 in case of Hyperthyroidism. 
  5. FT3 – high levels of FT3 are seen in Hyperthyroidism. 

What exactly is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism refers to a medical condition that causes a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism affects the production of both the Thyroid hormones, i.e., Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine. Therefore, the presence of Hypothyroidism generally indicates reduced metabolic activity. 

Hypothyroidism presents itself with symptoms like – 

  1. Weight Gain
  2. Very low heart rate (Bradycardia)
  3. Irregular Heart Rate
  4. Muscle pain and weakness
  5. Joint Pain
  6. Fatigue
  7. Irregular menstrual cycle. 
  8. Anxiety & Depression 
  9. Irritability & Mood swings
  10. Cold Intolerance
  11. Gut Issues
  12. Hair loss
  13. Goiter

Factors that put you at an increased risk of developing Hypothyroidism are –

  1. A positive family history of Hypothyroidism.
  2. Prevalence of other autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. 
  3. Female sex.
  4. Age above 60.

Thyroid blood tests in case of Hypothyroidism –

  1. TSH – High TSH levels are seen in the case of Hypothyroidism.
  2. T4 – Low T4 levels are present in Hypothyroidism
  3. T3 – Normal or low T3 levels can be present in Hypothyroidism.
  4. FT4 – Low FT4 is seen in Hypothyroidism.
  5. FT3 – Normal or low FT3 levels are present in the case of Hypothyroidism.

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Thyroid Conditions associated– Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism

Thyroid Conditions associated with Hyperthyroidism –

  • Grave’s Disease
  • Plummer’s Disease
  • Thyroiditis 
  • Goiter

Thyroid Conditions associated with Hypothyroidism –

  • Hashimoto’s Disease
  • Thyroiditis
  • Goiter

Contrast Between Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism

Meaning

  • Hyperthyroidism – A state of thyroid imbalance where there is an increased production of thyroid hormones. 
  • Hypothyroidism – A state of thyroid imbalance where there is a decreased production of thyroid hormones. 

Amount Of Thyroid Hormones

  • Hyperthyroidism – An increased amount of thyroid hormones is secreted. 
  • Hypothyroidism – A decreased amount of thyroid hormones is secreted. 

Symptoms

  • Hyperthyroidism – The common symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include weight loss, fatigue, muscle pain, weakness, etc. 
  • Hypothyroidism – The common symptoms of Hypothyroidism include weight gain, muscle & joint pain, lethargy, etc. 

Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism: A Comparison

  HyperthyroidismHypothyroidism
Weight LossWeight Gain
TachycardiaBradycardia
Heat IntoleranceCold Intolerance
Muscle WeaknessMuscle and Joint Pain
FatigueFatigue
Irregular Menstrual CycleIrregular Menstrual Cycle
Gastrointestinal IssuesGastrointestinal Issues
GoiterGoiter
Anxiety & DepressionAnxiety & Depression
Mood Swings and IrritabilityMood Swings and Irritability

Also Called

  • Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is also known as Overactive Thyroid. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is also known as Underactive Thyroid. 

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Levels

  • Hyperthyroidism – Normal or low amounts of TSH are seen in Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – High levels of TSH is seen in Hypothyroidism

T4 (Thyroxine) Levels –

  • Hyperthyroidism – Normal or high levels of T4 are present in Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Low levels of T4 are present in Hypothyroidism. 

T3 Levels

  • Hyperthyroidism – High levels of T3 are seen in Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Normal or low levels of Hypothyroidism are seen in Hypothyroidism. 

Risk Factors

  • Hyperthyroidism – Risk factors for Hyperthyroidism mainly include family history and prevalence of other autoimmune conditions. 
  • Hypothyroidism – A positive family history and presence of autoimmune disorders increases the chances of developing Hypothyroidism. 

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Risk factors that put an individual at an increased risk of Hypothyroidism and Hypothyroidism –

  • A positive family history of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. 
  • Presence of other autoimmune conditions such as Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. 
  • Age above 60. 
  • Female Sex. 
  • Pregnancy. 

Associated Thyroid Conditions

  • Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is associated with Grave’s Disease, Goiter, Thyroiditis, and Plummer’s Disease. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is associated with Hashimoto’s Disease, Goiter, and Thyroiditis. 

Metabolic Activity

  • Hyperthyroidism – There is an increased Metabolic Activity in the case of Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – There is a decreased Metabolic Activity in the case of Hypothyroidism. 

Weight

  • Hyperthyroidism – Typically, a decrease in weight is seen in Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Generally, an increase in weight is seen in Hypothyroidism. 

Intolerance

  • Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism presents itself with heat intolerance. 
  • Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism presents itself with cold intolerance. 

Heart Rate

  • Hyperthyroidism – There is an increase in heart rate, also known as Tachycardia, in the case of Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism – There is normally a decrease in heart rate, known as Bradycardia, in the case of Hypothyroidism. 

Conclusion

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism are the two conditions caused by the imbalance of thyroid hormones secreted by the Thyroid Gland.

The major difference between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism is that the former is caused when there is an increase in the thyroid hormone secretions, while the latter is caused when there is a decrease in the thyroid hormone secretions. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the blood tests that are done to detect thyroid imbalance?

Following are the blood tests that are done to detect thyroid imbalance –

1. TSH – It measures Thyroid Stimulating hormone. Its normal range is 0.40 – 4.50 mIU/mL.
2. T4 – It measures Thyroxine hormone. Its normal range is 5.0 – 11.00 ug/dl.
3. T3 – It measures the Triiodothyronine hormone. Its normal range is 100 – 200 ng/dl.

Q2. What is meant by Hyperthyroidism? What are its symptoms?

Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition where there is an increase in the production of thyroid hormones.

It is also known as “Overactive Thyroid” since the thyroid gland produces more than normal hormones. 

The common symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include weight loss, Tachycardia, fatigue, muscle weakness, inability to tolerate heat, etc. 

Q3. What is meant by Hypothyroidism? What are its symptoms?

Hypothyroidism refers to a condition where there is a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.

It is also known as “Underactive Thyroid” since the thyroid gland is producing less than normal hormones. 

The common symptoms of Hypothyroidism include weight gain, bradycardia, lethargy, muscle & joint pain, inability to tolerate cold, etc. 

Q4. What are the major differences between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism?

The significant differences between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism are 

1. High amounts of thyroid hormones are secreted in Hyperthyroidism, whereas low amounts of thyroid hormones are secreted in Hypothyroidism. 
2. There is increased metabolic activity in Hyperthyroidism, while there is a decreased metabolic activity in Hypothyroidism. 
3. Hyperthyroidism usually presents itself with weight loss, whereas Hypothyroidism usually presents itself with weight gain. 


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