Thyrotoxicosis vs Hyperthyroidism: Difference and Comparison

Hormones can be understood as a guide that helps us grow, and when our body administers them correctly, it helps keep our physical and emotional well-being on track.

But when hormones drown our body in excess amounts or release less of it, it can lead to dangerous consequences. Excess thyroid secretion in our body infects our physical appearance and imbalances our mood.

Key Takeaways

  1. Thyrotoxicosis is a clinical syndrome characterized by excessive circulating thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism is a specific form of thyrotoxicosis caused by an overactive thyroid gland.
  2. Hyperthyroidism is the most common cause of thyrotoxicosis, but other causes include thyroiditis and excessive intake of thyroid hormone medications.
  3. Treatment options for thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism may vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms.

Thyrotoxicosis vs. Hyperthyroidism

The difference between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism is that Thyrotoxicosis is a syndrome that alerts us about excess thyroid hormone secretion with no specific source. In contrast, Hyperthyroidism is a specific name for the condition when an excess amount of thyroid comes from the thyroid gland. Both medical conditions are related to the same hormone but differ in origin.

Thyrotoxicosis vs Hyperthyroidism

A commonly diagnosed hormonal disorder, especially in women, is called Thyrotoxicosis.

Hosts of reason can cause this disorder, such as inflammation in the thyroid gland which causes secretion of stored thyroid, or Grave’s disease can also cause the disorder.

The treatment is very easy, and antithyroid drugs can be used, but another option of radioiodine can also be used. In rare cases, amputation of the thyroid gland is also suggested.

Grave’s disease also causes hyperthyroidism, but the thyroid gland is the source of excess thyroid. Toxic nodular goiter is also characteristic of hyperthyroidism and follows it. It can be of two types one that is undisguised, and the other is clinical.

Suppose Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone is low with a high concentration of thyroxine, tri-iodothyronine, or both. In that case, it is the undisguised one, but it is clinical with a lower concentration of thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine.

Also Read:  Hypertonic, Hypotonic vs Isotonic: Difference and Comparison

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Thyrotoxicosis Hyperthyroidism 
Definition Grave’s disease causes it. It is caused by excessive secretion of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland.  
Indication It doesn’t indicate hyperthyroidism. It indicated thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism at the same time. 
Causes A malfunction of the thyroid gland causes it. It is caused by Grave’s disease and toxic nodular goiter. 
Prevalence It is not very common. It is very common. 
Cause It can be caused by drug stimulation.  It is caused by a malfunction of the thyroid gland. 

What is Thyrotoxicosis?

The condition can be termed thyrotoxicosis when too much thyroid hormone is present. It can be caused due to external factors such as drugs, or it could be due to Grave’s disease.

It can cause your body’s metabolism to work faster, which will reflect in your body weight and your heartbeat. It can also destabilize your mood. It is very common in older people; it especially affects the women population.

For a woman, if there is some irregularity in menstruation, it could indicate thyrotoxicosis. It can also be indicated by sudden or unexplained weight loss or irregular and high heart rate.

It can cause diarrhea and irritation and harm life when it takes a severe turn. It can be cured using antithyroid drugs, but in rare cases, it needs special medical attention.

Thyrotoxicosis is a general term for excessive thyroid hormone release in the body caused due to any factor. Hence, hyperthyroidism is a special condition of thyrotoxicosis.

Many methods can be used to understand the condition’s root cause, and in the pursuit of it, many other diagnoses can be recommended. Doctors do full physical and blood tests to determine the hormone level, etc., to ascertain the disorder.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

A special case of Thyrotoxicosis is when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces an excess amount of thyroid hormone Hyperthyroidism can be dangerous for our health.

The raised level of two hormones produced by our thyroid gland, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine, indicated hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can cause increased appetite but can be traced to sudden weight loss.

Antithyroid drugs can cure it, and amputation of the thyroid gland is also necessary for grave conditions. It can be ascertained when Grave’s disease is followed by a toxic goiter (Nodular).

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The symptoms of this medical condition are the same as that of Thyrotoxicosis. It can be caused due to some infection in the thyroid gland leading to inflammation which in turn pours out an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.

If an excess amount of radioactive iodine is stored in the thyroid due to consumption, it indicates hyperthyroidism.

In iodine-abundant places, the main cause is Grave’s disease. However, most cases are reported in low-iodine areas and affect the elderly population to a greater extent.

In this condition, the thyroid nodules tend to produce thyroid hormones independently. It disregards all the messages from Thyroid Stimulating Hormones or their antibody.

hyperthyroidism

Main Differences Between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism

  1. Thyrotoxicosis is a medical condition in which there is an excess of thyroid hormone in the body irrespective of the source, which is not the case in Hyperthyroidism as it is when the thyroid gland is hyperactive.
  2. Thyrotoxicosis can be caused by external factors like excessive thyroid drug intake, whereas Hyperthyroidism is caused by internal factors related to thyroid gland malfunction.
  3. Hyperthyroidism is a special case of Thyrotoxicosis, whereas Thyrotoxicosis is a general disorder related to the thyroid hormone.
  4. Grave’s disease is the primary cause of Hyperthyroidism in areas with high iodine, whereas a multitude of reasons can cause Thyrotoxicosis, Grave’s disease is one of them.
  5. Thyrotoxicosis is characterized by silent thyroiditis, whereas a toxic adenoma causes Hyperthyroidism.
Difference Between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism
References
  1. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/105072501300176453
  2. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0815/p623.html
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673611607824
  4. https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5128.abstract

Last Updated : 29 June, 2023

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9 thoughts on “Thyrotoxicosis vs Hyperthyroidism: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The author of this article makes a very convincing case for the importance of understanding hormonal disorders. The detail and thoroughness of this article are commendable.

    Reply
  2. This is some next-level talk about hormones. It’s nice to see content like this that stimulates the mind. Kudos to the author.

    Reply

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