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The Difference Between Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism

March 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 187

What Is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is also known as over-active thyroid. It is a medical condition where the thyroid gland is over-active as it produces too much thyroid hormone making metabolism go at a faster pace than it should.

Here are some of the factors, diseases, and conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism:

  • Too much iodine
  • Thyroiditis or thyroid gland inflammation
  • Benign growths in the thyroid or pituitary gland
  • Too much thyroid hormone
  • Reproductive gland tumors
  • Grave's disease - An autoimmune disease where one's immune system attacks the thyroid gland itself.

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  • Concentration difficulty
  • Increasing fatigue, restlessness, and nervousness.
  • Mood swings
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shaking hands
  • Hair falling out
  • Skin flushing and itching
  • Increased appetite but does not gain weight
  • Irregularity in menstrual periods and flow
  • Increased bowel movements

Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis and Treatment

Physical exam and blood tests are the most usual tests done to determine whether you have hyperthyroidism or not. Most times, this condition is detected without the intention of doing so.

Here are the different kinds of treatment your physician might offer you:

  • Beta-blockers - For symptom control.
  • Radioactive iodine - The most common treatment that intends to destroy a part of the thyroid gland without harming other glands.
  • Anti-thyroid medicine - Works for those persons with very mild symptoms.
  • Surgery - Always the last option.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where in the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone making metabolism go at a slower pace than it should. This condition is the entire opposite of hyperthyroidism. It is also known as under-active thyroid.

The most common cause is thyroid gland inflammation and Hashimoto's disease. These viral and autoimmune types of diseases severely damages thyroid gland cells destroying them. Here are the other causes:

  • Congenital birth defects
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Radiation treatments
  • Thyroid gland removal
  • Viral thyroiditis

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Decreased bowel movements
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Unintentional weight gain
  • Memory problems

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is just the same with hyperthyroidism. However, treatment is the exact opposite. The most common treatment is taking the hormone lacking. Doctors usually prescribe levothyroxine.

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism at a Glance

Most thyroid gland diseases or conditions can be hereditary or genetically linked, while some is due to certain situational triggers like pregnancy. Both thyroid conditions are very treatable especially if caught early on.

These two medical conditions are totally inversely related to each other. One is too much while the other is too low.

For hyperthyroidism, the downside with the treatment is that they tend to reverse the hormone production of the thyroid gland too much that sometimes, it ends up to having hypothyroidism. Should hyperthyroidism be left untreated, it could lead to some serious consequences.

Dr. Jonathan Berns, D.C. helps people everyday in the Tampa, Florida area overcome the very misunderstood and often mistreated conditions caused from dysfunctional thyroids. Visit Tampa Thyroid Program at Integrative Physical Medicine of Tampa to learn more about thyroid management.

Source: EzineArticles
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