Difference Between Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism
Although they both affect the same gland, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have opposite effects on your body. Learn the signs of each condition.
- Hyperthyroid state resulting from hypersecretion of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4)
- Characterized by an increased rate of body metabolism
- A common cause is Graves’ disease, also known as toxic diffuse goiter.
- Clinical manifestations are referred to as thyrotoxicosis.
See the following Cheat sheet of Hyperthyroidism VS Hypothyroidism.
Assessment for hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ disease
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Palpitations, cardiac dysrhythmias, such as tachycardia or atrial fibrillation
- Protruding eyeballs (exophthalmos) may be present.
- Heat intolerance
- Weight loss
- Smooth, soft skin and hair
- Nervousness and fine tremors of the hands
- Personality changes such as irritability, agitation, and mood swings
- Provide adequate rest.
- Administer sedatives as prescribed.
- Provide a cool and quiet environment.
- Obtain weight daily.
- Provide a high-calorie diet.
- Avoid the administration of stimulants.
- Administer antithyroid medications (propylthiouracil, PTU) that block thyroid synthesis as prescribed.
- Administer iodine preparations that inhibit the release of thyroid hormone as prescribed.
- Administer propranolol (Inderal) for tachycardia as prescribed.
- Prepare the client for radioactive iodine therapy, as prescribed, to destroy thyroid cells.
- Prepare the client for thyroidectomy if prescribed.
- Hypothyroid state resulting from hyposecretion of thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
- Characterized by a decreased rate of body metabolism
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Weakness, muscle aches, paresthesias
- Intolerance to cold
- Weight gain
- Dry skin and hair and loss of body hair
- Generalized puffiness and edema around the eyes and face (myxedema)
- Forgetfulness and loss of memory
- Menstrual disturbances
- Cardiac enlargement, tendency to develop congestive heart failure
- Goiter may or may not be present.
- Monitor vital signs, including heart rate and rhythm.
- Administer thyroid replacement; levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid) is most commonly prescribed.
- Instruct the client about thyroid replacement therapy and about the clinical manifestations of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism related to underreplacement or overreplacement of the hormone.
- Instruct the client in low-calorie, lowcholesterol, low–saturated fat diet.
- Assess the client for constipation; provide roughage and fluids to prevent constipation.
- Provide a warm environment for the client.
- Avoid sedatives and opioid analgesics because of increased sensitivity to these medications.
- Monitor for overdose of thyroid medications, characterized by tachycardia, chest pain, restlessness, nervousness, and insomnia.
- Instruct the client to report episodes of chest pain or other signs of overdose immediately.