The Difference Between Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism

The Difference Between Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism

Created On
Feb 23 2023
Last Updated
May 23 2024

Are you confused about the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism? Learn the key symptoms and treatments in this informative blog post.


Do you know the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

These two diseases are both related to the thyroid, but they’re actually quite different in terms of symptoms and treatments.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what sets them apart so that those worried about their health can better recognize potential signs and get the right kind of treatment when needed.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4.

Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, depression, and dry skin.

Common causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune diseases, genetic factors, radiation therapy, or hormone medications.

Treatment involves medication to replace the lacking hormones and lifestyle changes such as diet modification and exercise.

Managing hypothyroidism is important because it can lead to complications such as heart disease, goiter, infertility, and joint pain, if left untreated.

What Is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces and releases excessive amounts of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) into the body.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and frequent bowel movements.

Thinning of the skin and hair loss are often early symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) and other serious complications, such as high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.

Treatment for hyperthyroidism typically involves taking medication to reduce the amount of thyroid hormones released into the body.

In some cases, surgery or radioactive iodine treatment may be necessary.

Testing for Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Now that you understand the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, you may wonder how to confirm if you have a thyroid condition.

It is important to get treatment for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism as soon as possible.

With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, you can minimize symptoms and lead a happy, healthy life.

To test for thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, doctors typically take a blood sample and use it to measure the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the amount of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones in the body.

A lab report with high T4, T3 hormones and low TSH indicate an overactive thyroid, while low T4, T3 and high TSH levels indicate an underactive thyroid.

People who suspect they have a thyroid condition can also test at home using a finger prick thyroid testing kit.

RxHomeTest offers convenient and reliable testing kits that allow you to collect samples at home and mail them to an accredited lab which many doctors also use. Our kit also checks for antibodies that sometimes attack the thyroid gland.

And for more complex issues, the reverse-T3 can be useful, which is often not tested by others.

Get peace of mind quickly without leaving your house—within just days, you’ll find out if you need to take further steps!

However, it's important to note these findings should not serve as an official diagnosis. Speak with licensed healthcare professionals about any concerns related to thyroid conditions.

Order an at-home thyroid test kit.

More from our health blogs:

All About Thyroid - an in depth summary.

Normal TSH Levels: What's Normal and Why? - a detailed look at thyroid stimulation hormone.

High TSH and Normal T4 Levels: Early Signs of Thyroid Problems - learn why this combination shows up in early stages.

Tips for Understanding Your Home Thyroid Test Results - a few quick tips after you complete the test.

Thyroid and Pregnancy - about the critical role thyroid plays during pregnancy.

Thyroid and Iodine - thyroid problems depend on lack or excess of iodine.