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What’s The Difference Between Underactive And Overactive Thyroid

Testing Your Thyroid Levels

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According to the American Thyroid Association, there isnt one test for every situation; in fact, there are several kinds of thyroid tests. But if you are concerned about thyroid issues, or if your hormones are imbalanced, your doctor may provide an initial TSH level blood test. This is because the TSH level can serve as a tip-off to other, more specific issues.Whats a normal TSH level? Most lab companies have a wide reference as it relates to TSH levels , Dr. Rice says. So, if your results are somewhere between 0.4-4.0, youd be in the normal range. However, there is research that suggests that the reference range for TSH should be narrowed to 0.4 to 2.5, says Dr. Rice, which means that the normal range could be even smaller than some healthcare providers might think.Generally, healthy TSH levels are an indicator the whole system is working well, but thats an oversimplification at best. A normal T3 level might be somewhere between 100 to 200 nanograms per deciliter , while a normal T4 level falls between 5.0 to 12.0 micrograms per deciliter . Free T4, which tests for the amount of T4 that is available in the body, should range between 0.8 to 1.8 nanograms per deciliter .

Where Can I Find Support

Hyperthyroidism impacts you physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Its critical that you have a strong network of people you trust and can turn to for support.

It starts with your family. Since thyroid disease runs in families, being honest and open with your relatives is the best policy, as you might be alerting them to a problem they didnt even know to look out for.

To help you build your own support network outside of those closest to you, check out the Graves Disease & Thyroid Foundations community resources to find a support group near you. If you dont want to leave home, their online forum is another great resource for connecting and widening your net.

Whos At Risk For Hyperthyroidism

According to the National Institute of Health , hyperthyroidism affects approximately 1.2% of the population in the US. Although it occurs in both men and women, its up to 10 times more likely in females.

Youre at higher risk for hyperthyroidism if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease
  • Have pernicious anemia
  • Have primary adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addisons disease
  • Consume an iodine-rich diet or medications containing iodine
  • Are over the age of 60
  • Were pregnant within the past 6 months
  • Had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem such as a goiter;also known as a swollen thyroid gland;

What are;hyperthyroidism;symptoms?

Though an overactive thyroid brings on a constellation of high thyroid symptoms , some of them dont seem obviously linked to the condition . Heres what to look for.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Thyroiditis

When the thyroid becomes inflamed, it first sends a lot of thyroid hormone into your blood. That causes hyperthyroidism. During this time, you may not have any symptoms. Or any symptoms you do have may be mild and not last long.

After this first phase, you may fully recover. Or your thyroid may be damaged. A damaged thyroid can become underactive. This condition may also go away. Or you may have an underactive thyroid for the rest of your life. In this case you may need hormone replacement.

Each persons symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue & Thyroid Conditions

What is the difference between hypothyroidism and ...

Of the millions of people who are diagnosed with thyroid conditions, many of these people also develop adrenal fatigue.; Adrenal fatigue is a condition that involves the adrenal glands becoming weakened due to numerous factors that Ill be discussing here.;

Lets begin by talking about some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.; There are many different symptoms people can experience, but here are some of the more common ones:

;Extremely tired, especially in the morning;Find it difficult to obtain quality sleep;Crave sweet and salty foods;Feel stressed out most of the time;Decreased sex drive

Once again, there are other symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, but the ones listed above are some of the more common ones.;

Many Thyroid Conditions Are Due To Adrenal Gland Problems

Whats important to understand is that in most cases, the malfunctioning thyroid gland isnt the actual cause of the problem.; Other areas of the body are usually responsible for the thyroid condition, and while different areas of the body can be affected, in many cases its the weakened adrenal glands that lead to the development of the thyroid condition.; The reason this is important to understand is because when the adrenal glands are causing the thyroid gland to malfunction, if a healthcare professional aims their treatment directly at the thyroid gland and ignores the adrenals, there is absolutely no chance of restoring the patients health back to normal.

What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?

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Treatments For An Overactive Thyroid

An overactive thyroid;is;usually treatable.

The main treatments are:

  • medicine that stops;your thyroid producing too much of the thyroid hormones
  • radioiodine treatment ;where a type of radiotherapy is used to destroy cells in the thyroid, reducing its ability to produce thyroid hormones
  • surgery;to remove some or all of your;thyroid, so that it no longer produces thyroid hormones

Each of these treatments has benefits and drawbacks. You’ll usually see a specialist in hormonal conditions to discuss which treatment is best for you.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary from person to person and may include

  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Imaging tests, such as a thyroid scan, ultrasound, or radioactive iodine uptake test. A radioactive iodine uptake test measures how much radioactive iodine your thyroid takes up from your blood after you swallow a small amount of it.

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How Is Hypothyroidism Treated


Hypothyroidism cant be cured. But in almost every patient, hypothyroidism can be completely controlled. It is treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your own thyroid can no longer make, to bring your T4 and TSH levels back to normal levels. So even if your thyroid gland cant work right, T4 replacement can restore your bodys thyroid hormone levels and your bodys function. Synthetic thyroxine pills contain hormone exactly like the T4 that the thyroid gland itself makes. All hypothyroid patients except those with severe myxedema can be treated as outpatients, not having to be admitted to the hospital. For the few patients who do not feel completely normal taking a synthetic preparation of T4 alone, the addition of T3 may be of benefit.


What Causes Thyroid Disease

Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that impact the way the thyroid gland works.

Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

  • Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
  • Hashimotos thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the bodys cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
  • Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. Its usually a temporary condition.
  • Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
  • A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesnt work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

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How Does Each Thyroid Antibody Impact Your Body

The presence of each antibody impacts your thyroid gland in sightly different ways:

Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies

The presence of TPOAb is associated with Hashimotos disease.;

TPOAbs attack the healthy tissue of the thyroid gland and stop it from producing thyroid hormones. This is also know as having an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism.;

Up to 95% of people with Hashimotos will have TPO antibodies in their blood, making them the most obvious sign that you might have or will develop Hashimotos.

Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies

Thyroglobulin antibodies are another type of antibody associated with thyroid disease.

Like TPO antibodies, TgAb are also found in people with Hashimotos disease, but to a lesser extent.;

Thyroid receptor antibodies

This group of antibodies target the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone receptors in the Thyroid gland. This can cause the gland to overproduce Thyroid hormones, resulting in an overactive Thyroid ; or hyperthyroidism.;

Hyperthyroidism can lead to Graves disease, and the TRAb are the root cause.;

Drugs That Affect Thyroid Function Tests

Several drugs and medications can interfere with thyroid hormone productions;and levels in the body.

So when we are ordering tests and even treating people with those medications we need to have a high index of suspicion for thyroid abnormality because of medications.

Typical medications associated with drugs that affect thyroid function tests are Amiodarone, Lithium, dopamine agonists, steroids, metformin.

So if you are taking any one of these medications that can explain some of your symptoms but the test results might not be showing thyroid abnormality.;

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Diagnosing Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism

The first step in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism diagnoses is a simple blood test. Your doctor will likely ask you to fast for the test for the most accurate result. This means you cant eat any food after midnight.

A blood test will measure three types of hormones. The first is called the thyroid-stimulating hormone , which is released by the pituitary gland in the brain. A high TSH result, in this instance, means your pituitary gland is in overdrive, likely trying to compensate for an underactive thyroid gland. . A low result means youre getting an abnormal amount of thyroid hormones in the blood and may indicate hyperthyroidism.

The two other hormones your doctor may check include free-thyroxine and total triiodothyronine . Your doctor may also check Free-T4 levels, which is the measurement of T4 before its stored in various tissues throughout the body. Low levels of any of these hormones indicate hypothyroidism, while high levels point to hyperthyroidism.

Subsequent diagnostic tests depend on what your doctor finds in your initial bloodwork as well as during a physical check of your thyroid. An enlarged thyroid gland may require an ultrasound to diagnose possible cysts. A fine needle biopsy is sometimes used in conjunction with an ultrasound. This involves taking a small sample out of the cyst to screen it for cancer.

Hypothyroidism Vs Hyperthyroidism: How Do They Differ

Thyroid disease affects approximately 20 million people in the U.S. However, experts think that the majority of people with thyroid disease dont know they have it. It can affect every system in your body, so diagnosis is very important. Lets look at two common types of thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

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What Are The Treatments For Hyperthyroidism

The treatments for hyperthyroidism include medicines, radioiodine therapy, and thyroid surgery:

  • Medicines for hyperthyroidism include
  • Antithyroid medicines, which cause your thyroid to make less thyroid hormone. You probably need to take the medicines for 1 to 2 years. In some cases, you might need to take the medicines for several years. This is the simplest treatment, but it is often not a permanent cure.
  • Beta blocker medicines, which can reduce symptoms such as tremors, rapid heartbeat, and nervousness. They work quickly and can help you feel better until other treatments take effect.
  • Radioiodine therapy is a common and effective treatment for hyperthyroidism. It involves taking radioactive iodine by mouth as a capsule or liquid. This slowly destroys the cells of the thyroid gland that produce thyroid hormone. It does not affect other body tissues. Almost everyone who has radioactive iodine treatment later develops hypothyroidism. This is because the thyroid hormone-producing cells have been destroyed. But hypothyroidism is easier to treat and causes fewer long-term health problems than hyperthyroidism.
  • Surgery to remove part or most of the thyroid gland is done in rare cases. It might be an option for people with large goiters or pregnant women who cannot take antithyroid medicines. If you have all of your thyroid removed, you will need to take thyroid medicines for the rest of your life. Some people who have part of their thyroid removed also need to take medicines.
  • What Is Postpartum Thyroiditis

    Postpartum thyroiditis happens when a womans thyroid gland becomes inflamed after having a baby. This condition affects a small percentage of pregnant women, or about 3 in 100 to 2 in 25.

    The thyroid is a tiny gland in the front of your neck. Its job is to make thyroid hormones. These hormones travel through your bloodstream to all parts of your body. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy. They affect almost every organ in your body. When your thyroid doesnt make the right amount of hormones, you dont feel well.

    Postpartum thyroiditis may first make your thyroid overactive . This means it sends too many thyroid hormones out into the bloodstream. This can make parts of your body work too fast. But over time the condition leads to an underactive thyroid . This means it doesnt make enough thyroid hormones. Then parts of your body slow down.

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    Treating Abnormal Tsh Levels

    A doctor will diagnose a thyroid disorder by reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical examination, and doing multiple tests, including a blood test. In some, but not all, instances, you may need a thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan.

    Treatments for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can change over time, based on the severity of the condition and your response to medication.

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    Can You Have Both Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism


    After discovering more about the symptoms of hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism, you may be wondering: can you have both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism at the same time?

    Thankfully, the short answer to this question is âno.â Your body canât simultaneously experience hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Some people, however, do transition between the two conditions, so itâs possible to experience both kinds of thyroid problems in your lifetime. In fact, you can experience both conditions in the span of a few years or months.

    Sometimes, the shift between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is a direct result of thyroid condition treatment. Other times, however, this shift occurs spontaneously in your body. However, this type of spontaneous transition from hypothyroidism to hyperthyroidism is rare.

    When switches between under- and over-production of thyroid hormones are related to your thyroid condition treatment, itâs important to check with your healthcare provider regarding your medications or other therapies. Simple tweaks to your treatment protocol may be able to restore your hormonal balance.

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    The Thyroid And Hypothyroidism

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. The thyroid gland is responsible for making hormones that regulate your bodys metabolism, which is the bodys process of creating and using energy.

    There are several different disorders that can occur when the thyroid produces too many or too few hormones.

    Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid doesnt produce enough hormones. It interferes with the bodys ability to perform normal metabolic functions, such as effectively using energy from food products. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

    • weight gain

    Thyroiditis May Be To Blame For Switching Between Hypo

    What could be causing me to swing back and forth between hypo- and hyperthyroidism?

    Answer:You may be switching between these two disorders for several reasons. Before exploring possible causes, though, it’s important that you get a definitive diagnosis of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, if you haven’t done so already.

    The thyroid, a small gland at the base of the front of the neck, produces hormones that help control body temperature, influence the heart rate, regulate the production of protein and maintain the rate at which the body uses fats and carbohydrates.

    An underactive thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone. An overactive thyroid produces too much hormone. Symptoms may include unintentional weight gain or loss, persistent fatigue, palpitations, and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. But because other health problems cause similar symptoms, diagnosing hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism based on symptoms alone is not possible. Instead, a blood test that measures your level of thyroid hormone is required. If a blood test confirms hypo- or hyperthyroidism and verifies that you have switched between them, there could be several possible explanations.

    Two main types of thyroiditis exist. The first, subacute thyroiditis, involves pain that begins at the front of the neck and shoots toward the ears. Subacute thyroiditis is caused by a virus and often resolves on its own, without lasting problems.

    â Marius Stan, M.D., Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

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    It Probably Isn’t Causing Your Weight Gain

    You’ll often find an underactive thyroid gland cited as a cause of weight gain. However, whilst in extreme cases this condition can lead those affected to put on a few more pounds, it’s more likely that weight gain – even in someone with the condition – is down to a number of different factors.

    “Most people with hypothyroidism dont gain much weight,” reveals Simon Pearce, professor of endocrinology at the University of Newcastle and member of the Society for Endocrinology.

    “For the majority of cases of hypothyroidism, which are rather mild, treating it doesnt affect weight particularly; it’s only in the most severe cases.”

    “Weight gain has a number of causes,” agrees Dr Bernard Khoo, consultant endocrinologist at The London Clinic. “It’s multifactorial. It’s partly due to what people eat; partly it’s our activity levels; partly it’s something that you inherit from your parents. It could also be to do with gut bacteria; research suggests if you have a low population you can start gaining weight. Finally, poor sleep also plays a part in weight gain.”

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