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The Differences Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid function is something that plagues countless numbers of people. The thyroid is a gland that is found on the middle of the neck. It is responsible for controlling the body’s metabolic rate, which is how people convert food to energy. The hormones that this gland produces are also helpful with the body’s ability to keep a steady temperature and how the body matures. People who may have a problem with their thyroid could either have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Both of these conditions come with characteristic symptoms and problems that make life difficult in some situations. Purmedica’s Hypitrol helps support instances of thyroid malfunction and may give people relief from some of the symptoms.


Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid where the gland does not produce enough hormones. Women are more likely to suffer from this disease than men due to the hormonal changes that women may face throughout life. Some women find that their thyroid becomes sluggish either during or immediately after pregnancy. The drastic changes that the body goes through can have an affect on your thyroid’s capabilities. The chances of developing hypothyroidism also increase as people age. Ignoring the symptoms of this disease may lead to more health problems that could jeopardize a pregnancy or increase the chances of developing heart disease.


One of the most common symptoms that individuals diagnosed with hypothyroidism notice is a decrease in their energy levels. They may struggle with getting through an entire day without nodding off to sleep. They may also feel weak and cold, no matter how warm the ambient temperature remains. Some sufferers report feeling muscle aches that may be related to their thyroid. A common ailment that people complain about is weight gain. Because the thyroid helps control your metabolism, it is often more difficult to prevent unwanted weight gain.


When you start noticing the common symptoms associated with this disease, it is important to make an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor can listen to your concerns and develop a plan of action to investigate the problems you may be having. First, he or she may physically examine your thyroid gland. Then, your physician may order a blood test that analyzes the level of the thyroid hormone in your blood. In order to make a diagnosis, the level of thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, needs to be elevated. Your doctor may also look at other parts of your thyroid health to determine the cause of the hypothyroidism.


Just as there are problems that arise from an underactive thyroid, an overactive thyroid is not healthy either. Hyperthyroidism is a disease in which your thyroid is producing too much of the hormone. After pregnancy, some women begin to notice the changes associated with hyperthyroidism and must seek treatment. Other instances of hyperthyroidism develop due to inflammation of the gland or infection. No matter the cause of the problem with the thyroid gland, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism can also lead to a higher rate of heart disease, complications for pregnant women and bone loss as people age.


There are certain signs and symptoms when there is a problem with an overactive thyroid. What many people discover initially is that they’ve lost weight without trying. While this may seem like a benefit to some people, any time weight is lost without a change to your diet or exercise, it needs to be investigated. One alarming symptom is the higher instance of heart palpitations or an increased heart rate. People with hyperthyroidism may also struggle with insomnia, nervousness or irritability.


Just like hypothyroidism, a diagnosis can only be made by your healthcare provider. To officially identify the disease, you must undergo a blood test. When analyzing the blood, your doctor should be looking at your TSH levels. The levels are typically lower than normal in hyperthyroidism. Additionally, your medical provider may explore your free T4 levels, which would read higher than normal for an overactive thyroid. The T3 number is important to examine as well, and a higher than average number may indicate a problem.

Treatment Options

Once a thyroid disorder has been identified, the next step is to discuss treatment with your physician. For individuals experiencing an underactive thyroid, they may be put on a permanent medication that helps restore the natural function of this gland. This may include a thyroid replacement medication or a thyroid hormone supplement. For people who have an overactive thyroid, their treatment options are a little different. Some doctors use beta-blockers to treat the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Another option is an anti-thyroid drug. Medical care providers may also choose to have their patients try iodine therapy.

Paying attention to the health of this vital gland is important to your overall physical state of being. Purmedica offers its own thyroid support for underactive thryoids in the form of the supplement Hypitrol. Keeping your thyroid gland running at optimal levels can help you maintain the proper enough energy to get you through the demands of daily life.