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Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism : Differences Based on Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Occurrences

Hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism affects the same gland; yet both these conditions have opposite effects on your body. Read below to know about some of the differences between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism

Thyroid glands or the butterfly –shaped glands found in front of your neck acts as the control center for your body. Hormones that are secreted by the thyroid glands, help in maintaining the heart, brain, muscles and other organs, and also help the body to properly use the energy. Sometimes there may be an overactive thyroids ( hyperthyroidism) or an under-active thyroid (Hypothyroidism) and these two conditions affect the thyroid in different ways and thus have different symptoms.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism: Basic Differences

Hyperthyroidism is also known as Overactive thyroid. It occurs when the thyroid gland over produces the thyroid hormones, and thus accelerates the natural functions of the body.

However, hypothyroidism is also known as the underactive thyroid. It occurs when the thyroid gland does not secret enough of thyroid hormones, which results in the slowing down of the natural functions of the body.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism : Differences Based On Their Occurrence

Hyperthyroidism is less common. Roughly only 1% of the U.S population have hyperthyroidism. It is known that women are more likely to develop this condition due to the effects of pregnancy.

However, hypothyroidism is more common. Nearly 5% of the U.S population, suffer from it. Here also, women are more likely to be affected, because of the effects of pregnancy.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism : Differences Based On Symptoms

Hyperthyroidism results in symptoms of a fast metabolism of the body. As a result of hyperthyroidism, you may experience more sweating, feeling hot, problems of falling asleep, racing thoughts, difficulty focusing on one task, forgetfulness, elevated heart rate and palpitations, change in bowel habits, weight loss, anxiety, nervousness or irritability, fatigue and menstrual problems. It must be mentioned that though you may experience a weight loss due to hyperthyroidism, it is not something to be happy about. It is associated with muscle weakness and constant fatigue.

However, in case of hypothyroidism, your whole metabolism slows down, the heart rate becomes slower than normal, the intestinal tract becomes sluggish, and there is less production of heat. Some of the symptoms that you might experience in hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin and dry hair, brittle nails, constipation, forgetfulness, muscle cramps, weight gain, depression, reduced menstrual flow, goiter or swelling in the front of the neck.

It must be noted that if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, then you need to talk to your doctor, and the doctor would order you the tests to see if you have a normal range of your thyroid hormone or if there is any fluctuation and can advise the best possible treatments for your condition.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism: Differences Based On The Causes

Hyperthyroidism is caused most commonly due to Grave’s disease, which is also known as toxic diffuse goiter. Some other causes include thyroiditis, medication, thyroid nodules and iodine deficiency.

However, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease, which is also known as Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. Some other causes of hypothyroidism include thyroiditis, genetics, an excess intake of iodine, medication, and hyperthyroidism treatments.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism : Differences Based On The Treatment

The diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, includes TSH or Thyroid stimulating hormone test, TSI or Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin test, thyroid scan, and radioactive iodine uptake test.

Though the diagnosis and tests are similar to find out both the thyroid condition, the treatment of hyperthyroidism differs from that of hypothyroidism. In case of hyperthyroidism, antithyroid medication like Methimazole is used to slow down the overactive thyroid and sometimes beta blockers like Propranolol are used to alleviate the symptoms.

However, in case of hypothyroidism, synthetic thyroid hormone or Levothyroxine is essential. Moreover, you also need to carefully monitor the iodine supplementation.

Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism: Other Differences

Some other differences between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are:

  • In case of hyperthyroidism, there is an increased appetite, while in case of hypothyroidism there is a loss of appetite.
  • In case of hyperthyroidism, the skin becomes warm and moist, while in case of hypothyroidism, the skin becomes dry and coarse.
  • The hair is fine and soft in case of people suffering from hyperthyroidism, while in case of hypothyroidism, the patient’s hair becomes thin and brittle.
  • Hyperthyroidism people have heat intolerance, while hypothyroidism patients have cold intolerance.


We knew about some of the differences between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. One must keep it noted that in case of you experience any of the symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you must talk to your doctor and get yourself properly evaluated and treated.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659
  2. American Thyroid Association. (2021). Hyperthyroidism (Overactive). Retrieved from https://www.thyroid.org/hyperthyroidism/
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284
  4. American Thyroid Association. (2021). Hypothyroidism (Underactive). Retrieved from https://www.thyroid.org/hypothyroidism/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 17, 2023

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