Hyperthyroidism & Hypothyroidism Cheat Sheet

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.

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.
  • Hypertension
  • Heat intolerance
  • Diaphoresis
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • 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
  • Bradycardia
  • Constipation
  • 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.

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