Difference Between Graves and Hashimoto’s

Both Graves and Hashimoto’s are autoimmune diseases. Both disorders can increase the level of thyroid hormones in our blood. Even though they might seem to be the same, they are not. To draw out the difference between the two, we can say that Graves is related to hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is related to hypothyroidism.

Graves vs Hashimoto’s

The main difference between Graves and Hashimoto’s is that Graves is a disease that can be induced by the deficiency of iodine, whereas Hashimoto’s can be the outcome of selenium deficiency. To confirm Graves disease, one needs to go through a blood test, but the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s is a bit more complicated as it needs a biopsy.

Graves and Hashimotos

Graves is a disorder that includes hyperthyroidism. It stimulates several eye problems, and the patient can even lose a considerable amount of weight. Stress and scarcity of iodine can generate this condition, but even genetic issues can lead to it.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune syndrome that is capable of destroying the thyroid gland slowly. It is divided into two stages. In the early stage, the symptoms are not very noticeable. Many inconveniences like high cholesterol, high blood pressure are experienced in the later stage of Hashimoto’s.

Comparison Table Between Graves and Hashimoto’s

Parameters of Comparison GravesHashimoto’s
Stages Graves has only one stage. Hashimoto’s has two stages, the early stage and the late stage.
DiagnosisGraves is diagnosed by a blood test. Diagnosis of Hashimoto’s is done by a biopsy.
TreatmentTo cure Graves, the patient has to take anti-thyroid drugs. To cure Hashimoto’s levothyroxine needs to be taken.
SymptomsGraves causes bulging eyes. Here the bulging eyes are not seen.
Another termIt is also called Diffuse toxic Goiter. Another name for it is lymphocytic thyroiditis.
Effect on weightHere the patient faces weight loss. Here the patient faces weight gain.
Impact on menstruationIn this disorder, the absence of menstruation is observed. In this disease, heavy periods occur.

What is Graves?

Graves disease is also called Diffuse toxic Goiter, and it is a disorder that attacks the immune system. It causes the thyroid gland to increase the release of thyroid hormone. This disorder is known as hyperthyroidism. Due to this, the thyroid becomes overactive.

This disease can be the result of both external and genetic factors. Both men and women can have this disorder, and it has a bunch of symptoms that include the absence of menstruation, hair loss, insomnia, weakness, weight loss, diarrhoea etc.

As stated before, the reason for Graves can be external as well as genetic. The precise factor is not apparent, but extreme stress and PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can lead to Graves. It affects the eyes a lot. Thyroid eye disease is the most common indication of Graves.

Many ophthalmic problems arise with Graves, such as bulging eyes, pain and sensation in the eyes and in addition to that, redness and inflammation of the eyes. The seriousness of the problem can even lead to vision loss.

The treatment of Graves includes the insertion of antithyroid agents in the body. The remedy for it involves medication as well as surgery. Radioiodine therapy is also a part of the procedure.

What is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also called lymphocytic thyroiditis. Several pieces of research show that in the US, Hashimoto’s is the primary reason for hypothyroidism. This disorder can be seen in both men and women of all ages, but it is mostly found in middle-aged women.

Hashimoto’s is categorised as an autoimmune disorder in which persisting inflammation takes place. This results from the release of antibodies that are directed against the thyroid gland. This disease has several symptoms such as fatigue, irregular or heavy periods, weight gain, dry skin, depression, constipation etc.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or lymphocytic thyroiditis gets doctored with the help of levothyroxine. Many doctors proceed to reduce the size of the goitre. Under such circumstances, the patients should avoid consuming a lot of iodine. But in case the sufferer is pregnant simultaneously, then having sufficient amounts of iodine is a must.

Besides levothyroxine, other medicines also get used in the thyroid hormone replacement method. One tablet a day can maintain hormone levels. However, the person has to keep on taking the medicines for the rest of his/her life.

Main Differences Between Graves and Hashimoto’s

  1. Graves is also known as Diffuse toxic Goiter, and another name of Hashimoto’s is lymphocytic thyroiditis.
  2. Graves has only one single stage, but Hashimoto’s consists of two stages. One is called the early stage, and another is the late stage.
  3. To diagnose Graves, a blood test is required, whereas to confirm Hashimoto’s, a biopsy is needed.
  4. The treatment of Graves requires the patient to take antithyroid drugs while Hashimoto’s demands levothyroxine to be cured.
  5. Graves will cause bulging eyes in the patients, but this symptom is absent in Hashimoto’s.
  6. In Graves’ disease, the thyroid becomes enlarged and soft, whereas, in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the thyroid gets firmed.
  7. Graves can be caused due to excess iodine, and also smoking and stress can lead to it. On the other hand, Hashimoto’s can be caused by selenium deficiency combined with stress.

Conclusion

Diseases and ailments are not desired in any given scenario. However, we can not avoid them as they are part of mortal life. Graves and Hashimoto’s have many characteristic similarities. Nevertheless, the diagnosis process and treatment of the two are dissimilar.

Both the mentioned illnesses attack the thyroid gland, and the gland becomes enlarged when affected. Both can be induced by genetics as well as other external factors such as stress and smoking. Despite all the similarities, the disorders have different signs and symptoms. For example, one reduces weight, and another increases it.

People can get affected by this disease at any age, but middle-aged women suffer from these diseases more. In women, Graves can cause interrupted menstruation, but Hashimoto’s has the opposite effect as it causes heavy periods.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673674918157
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929707636246
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