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What’s the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism means you have too much thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism means you do not have enough thyroid hormone.

Each has varied symptoms, although, some of the symptoms do overlap. The thyroid hormone generally is controlling your metabolism—most of the time when you’re hypothyroid, think of everything as being ramped down. You’re tired, you’re slow, you’re fatigued.

When you’re hyperthyroid, everything is ramped up—you’re heart rate is high, you’re sweating all the time, and patients are usually anxious and on edge.

There are some overlapping symptoms, though, like depression, insomnia, or lack of sleep—all of which can be present in both patients who are hyperthyroid and hypothyroid.

If a patient is having any of these symptoms, it’s usually good to check the thyroid hormone levels—it could be too high or it could be too low. There can be hundreds of symptoms, so it is advised to consult with your family doctor or endocrinologist, if you have reason for concern.