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Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism: Warning signs to look out for, treatments

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

January is Thyroid Awareness Month and it is important to note first that hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two conditions that affect the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, while hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much hormone.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Pallavi Patekar, Consultant, Internal Medicine and Diabetologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Navi Mumbai, explained, “Both of these conditions can cause a number of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain or loss, changes in mood and energy levels, as well as difficulty sleeping. Treatment for both conditions typically involves medication or other therapies to help regulate hormone levels. It’s important to understand the differences between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in order to properly diagnose and treat them.”

She revealed, “Warning signs of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin and hair loss. Other symptoms may include depression, memory problems and difficulty concentrating. For Hyperthyroidism some warning signs include sudden weight loss, increased appetite, rapid heartbeat and palpitations, fatigue and insomnia, irritability or anxiety, and muscle weakness. If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended period of time or if they worsen over time, it is important to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.”

Dr Mahesh Chavan, Consultant Endocrinology at Apollo Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, elaborated, “The thyroid gland controls every aspect of the metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland’s ability to synthesize enough hormone reduces. This in turn reduces the rate of metabolism leading to weight gain and slowing down bodily functions. Alternatively, when the gland synthesizes too much thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism occurs. Hyperthyroidism is characterised by increased heart rate, appetite, increase in sweating and weight loss. Hypothyroidism is characterised by with tiredness, dry skin and mood swings. For hypothyroidism there are medications to treat the disease. The medications is thyroid hormone given daily to restore thyroid function. Hyperthyroidism can be treated through medications, radioactive iodine, or surgery.”

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