Difference Between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism

Hormones can be understood as a guide that helps us grow and when our body administers them in the right amount it helps keep our physical and emotional well-being on track. But when hormones drown our body in excess amounts or it releases less of it then it can lead to dangerous consequences. Excess amount of thyroid secretion in our body infects our physical appearance and imbalances our mood.

Thyrotoxicosis vs Hyperthyroidism

The main difference between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism is that Thyrotoxicosis is a syndrome that alerts us about the excess secretion of thyroid hormone with no specific source whereas Hyperthyroidism is a specific name to 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 terms of 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, there is another option of radioiodine that can also be used. In rare cases, amputation of the thyroid gland is also suggested.

Hyperthyroidism is also caused by Grave’s disease but the source of excess thyroid is the thyroid gland itself. Toxic nodular goiter is also characteristic of hyperthyroidism and generally follows it. It can be of two types one that is undisguised and the other is clinical. If the level Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone is low with a high concentration of thyroxine or tri-iodothyronine or both it is the undisguised one but with a lower concentration of thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine, it is a clinical one.

Comparison Table Between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism

Parameters of Comparison Thyrotoxicosis Hyperthyroidism 
Definition It is the excess secretion of the thyroid irrespective of the source. 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 It is generally caused by Grave’s disease. 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?

When too much thyroid hormone is present in your body the condition can be termed thyrotoxicosis. It can be caused due to external factors such as drugs or it could be due to Grave’s disease. It can cause the metabolism of your body 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. When it takes a severe turn it can cause diarrhea, irritation and can be detrimental to life. It can be cured using antithyroid drugs, but in rare cases, it needs special medical attention.

Thyrotoxicosis is a general term for an excessive amount of thyroid hormone release in the body caused due to any factor hence, hyperthyroidism is a special condition of thyrotoxicosis. To understand the root cause of the condition many methods can be used and in the pursuit of it, many other diagnoses can be recommended. Doctors generally full physical tests, blood tests to determine the hormone level, etc., to ascertain the disorder.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

A special case of Thyrotoxicosis in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces an excess amount of thyroid hormone Hyperthyroidism can be dangerous for our health. Raised level of two hormones, produced by our thyroid gland, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine indicated the hyperthyroidism condition. Hyperthyroidism can cause increased appetite but can be traced to a sudden loss of weight.

It can be cured by antithyroid drugs and in grave conditions amputation of the thyroid gland is also necessary. It can be ascertained when Grave’s disease is followed by a toxic goiter (Nodular). 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, then it is indicative of Hyperthyroidism. In iodine abundant places the main cause is Grave’s disease however, the majority of cases are reported in low-iodine areas and effects the elder population to a greater extent. In this condition, the thyroid nodules tend to produce thyroid hormones on their own. It disregards all the messages from Thyroid Stimulating Hormones or their antibody.

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 the condition 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 malfunction of the thyroid gland.
  3. Hyperthyroidism is a special case of Thyrotoxicosis whereas Thyrotoxicosis is a general disorder related to thyroid hormone.
  4. Grave’s disease is the primary cause of Hyperthyroidism in areas with high iodine whereas Thyrotoxicosis can be caused by a multitude of reasons Grave’s disease is one of them.
  5. Thyrotoxicosis is very is characterized by silent thyroiditis whereas Hyperthyroidism is caused by the toxic adenoma.


The medical condition of Thyrotoxicosis is caused by an outpour of thyroid hormone and there could be a multitude of reasons for this. The more specific form of Thyrotoxicosis caused by malfunction of the thyroid gland is called Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is can be caused by bacterial inflammation and other factors as well. These diseases are prevalent in low-iodine areas but, can cases could be found in other areas as well where iodine is readily available in diets.

The condition of hyperthyroidism can be caused by external factors such as high intake of thyroid drugs, etc. Both the conditions are curable and are less prevalent after the rollout of iodized salt. The most common cure for the disease is antithyroid drugs but in many cases amputation of the thyroid gland generally happens in case of Hyperthyroidism.


  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

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