Exploring the Differences Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that produces hormones that regulate various areas of the body, including metabolic rate, brain development, growth, and more. A range of conditions can affect the thyroid, affecting the hormones and disrupting the body’s natural functioning. Among them is hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid is underactive, and hyperthyroidism, when your thyroid produces too many of these hormones. Here are the key differences to look out for.


The thyroid gland controls your body’s metabolism. When the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones to keep your metabolism up to speed, it can cause weight gain. The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – where your body attacks its immune system, causing the thyroid to stop producing hormones.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism include a slower metabolism, weight gain, and fatigue. Your bodily functions may also be slower or decreased.


When your body makes too much of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, you may feel hungry more often, have a fast heartbeat, suffer from anxiety, lose weight, or be sensitive to heat.

Hyperthyroidism can be caused by an inflamed thyroid gland, a thyroid nodule that produces too much thyroxine (T4 hormone), or Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disease). Graves’ disease is often hereditary; however, it doesn’t have to run in your family for you to have it.

In some people, pregnancy can cause the thyroid gland to become inflamed (thyroiditis).

What Are the Differences Between Hyper and Hypothyroidism?

Both conditions can cause thyroid nodules, though they are usually benign. When you have hyperthyroidism, you have too much of the hormones, while with hypothyroidism, you have less of the hormones you need.

The other difference is the cause of each condition, as discussed above. Hypothyroidism is more common in the United States. If you believe you might have a problem with your thyroid, you should seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and treatment, as thyroid issues can become severe.

Where To Find Treatment for Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism in Fairfax, VA

To learn more about thyroid conditions, speak with a doctor at Prima Medicine. Please schedule a consultation today at 703-382-5776 for our Fairfax office, 703-775-4801 for our South Riding office, or 703-957-7271 for our Merrifield office. Prima Medicine serves Fairfax, South Riding, and the surrounding areas in Virginia.

Schedule a Consultation

* All indicated fields must be completed. Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
By entering your phone number, you agree to receive text messages according to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Accessibility Toolbar