What Is The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism?

While people with hyperthyroidism tend to lose weight and tend to sweat excessively, those with hypothyroidism may gain or lose weight and feel colder.
What is the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two conditions that can affect the thyroid gland, which acts as a true control center for the body. It is responsible for releasing hormones that keep the activities of the brain, heart, muscles and other organs functioning properly, as well as helping the body to use energy in the best possible way.

We’re used to hearing about these two names, but do you know exactly what the difference is between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism? In this article, we will answer this question and talk about the characteristics and particularities of the two conditions. They affect women much more than men, so we need to be aware of their symptoms and diagnose them as soon as possible.

Exam to identify hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism

As the name implies, hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid, which produces more hormones than necessary to keep the body functioning normally.

The extra amount of hormones causes the metabolism to be constantly accelerated, and there may also be a lump or swelling on the front of the neck, due to the enlargement of the gland.

It occurs in approximately 1% of the population, and the most affected are usually women between 30 and 40 years old.


Symptoms are initially difficult to identify, but over time they can get stronger. The main ones are as follows:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • Weight loss and increased appetite
  • excessive sweating
  • heat intolerance
  • Irregularity in menstrual cycles
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Swelling in the neck region
  • sleep disorders
  • Anxiety and Irritability
  • Muscle weakness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms recurrently, see a doctor. He may be able to recommend tests that can identify this condition and begin treatment, which includes the continued use of medication and, in some more severe cases, surgical procedures to remove part of the thyroid.

Tips for living well

In addition, eating some specific foods can help regulate your function, reducing your activity levels to more normal levels. They will not solve the problem on their own, but can be combined with other forms of treatment for better results.

In the case of hyperthyroidism, it is important to consume a lot of protein from lean meats, dairy products, and especially soy. Add cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, spinach and broccoli to your diet.

Broccoli helps hyperthyroidism

It is essential to reduce the intake of foods that can further stimulate the gland’s action, and the main substance capable of doing this is iodine. So avoid fish, seafood and seaweed.

Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is characterized by a “deficient” thyroid, which produces fewer hormones than necessary for the body to function properly.

This condition is slightly more common than hyperthyroidism, affecting about 3% of the population. It also occurs more frequently in women, especially those over 50 years of age. Many women can suffer from hypothyroidism in the postpartum period as well.


Hypothyroidism slows down metabolism, thus affecting different body functions. Symptoms also start out shyly, so it can be difficult to see that there is a problem with the thyroid. Be aware if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant weight gain, even without exaggerating food consumption
  • Depression
  • cold weather intolerance
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty to reason clearly
  • liquid retention
  • Pale or yellowish skin

See a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible. The medications used will provide the hormones that the thyroid cannot produce on its own, so unfortunately, patients with hypothyroidism may need to use specific medication for the rest of their lives.

Tips for living well

It is also possible to combine the medications with healthy eating habits, including foods that stimulate the thyroid. The main one is iodine, a precursor of the hormone production of the gland, so increase the consumption of fish, seafood and kelp, also known as nori and widely used in Japanese cuisine.

Iodine for hypothyroidism

It is also important to avoid ingesting soy, as it contains a type of isoflavone capable of inhibiting thyroid functions, exactly the opposite of what people who suffer from hypothyroidism need.

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