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Difference Between Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism

Thyrotoxicosis vs Hyperthyroidism

In life, we’ll never know what diseases are already running in our blood. This is due to the fact that we also have greater chances of inheriting a particular disease from our fathers and mothers as well as from our grandmothers, grandfathers, and our great, great ancestors. This is a reality each human should be aware of. There is no perfect life. Everyone will and shall inherit a particular disease such as heart problems like hypertension, metabolic problems such as diabetic mellitus, and endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis.

Hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis are two endocrine related problems in our body. The endocrine system, as we all know, is responsible for the proper metabolism of chemicals in our body which have an effect on our overall well-being. Both of the said endocrine problems are different.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is a hypersecretion of the thyroid hormones. Our thyroid gland is responsible for producing these thyroid hormones. Our thyroid hormones are responsible for certain metabolic processes, such as hunger, temperature, and a lot more. Thyrotoxicosis, on the other hand, is a cause of hyperthyroidism. It is defined as too much thyroid hormones circulating in the blood which is more than those of hyperthyroidism. It is also called a thyroid storm, an emergency situation which may cause immediate death in the person having it.

Hyperthyroidism manifests hypermetabolic problems, such as always hungry, not gaining weight, having bulging and big eyes, tremors, diarrhea, fatigue, and muscle weakness. It is diagnosed with a blood test via T3 and T4. If these serum blood values are elevated, then the doctor confirms hyperthyroidism. Thyrotoxicosis, on the other hand, manifests an exaggerated manifestation of hyperthyroidism plus life-threatening conditions, such as tachycardia, increased bowel sounds, crackles, and dysrhythmias.

Lifetime medications are needed to maintain the normality of the thyroid glands. In cases that this is not applicable, surgery may be the best option. One of the causes of thyrotoxicosis or a thyroid storm is in the irregularity of taking meds or, at worst, is the total cessation of taking medications for your thyroid glands. In cases of a thyroid storm, the patient must be brought to the hospital immediately.


1.Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disorder while thyrotoxicosis is a cause of hyperthyroidism.
2.Hyperthyroidism is not an emergency situation and is not life-threatening, but it can become a thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis which is life-threatening if not treated with the right medications.
3.Both of the said conditions are treated with medications, but a thyroid storm requires a more critical intervention in the hospital for close monitoring.

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  1. Sorry but this is very wrong.

    Per Medscape:
    The term hyperthyroidism refers to inappropriately elevated thyroid function. Though often used interchangeably, the term thyrotoxicosis, which is an excessive amount of circulating thyroid hormone, is not synonymous with hyperthyroidism. Increased levels of hormone can occur despite normal thyroid function, such as in instances of inappropriate exogenous thyroid hormone or excessive release of stored hormone from an inflamed thyroid gland.

  2. Hmm I don’t agree. Your article seems to assume “once hyperthyroid, always hyperthyroid”?

    There are many cases where the body might go into a “hyperthyroid state” (named loosely, could be thyrotoxicosis even though no exogenous hormones were involved) such as following childbirth, or other “endocrine events” (menarche, menopause, any time of rapidly changing hormones).

    It is also possible to have hyperthyroid symptoms, even severe ones, following an infection: a viral infection or a (usually bad) gastrointestinal one: thyroid kicks in to save the day..

    I know (non-medicated) ladies who had a “hyperthyroid event” (lasting acutely one week, followed by lesser symptoms for 3-4 weeks) who later were HYPOthyroid for the next 10 years, with no respite for 5 years and only relative “stabilization” over the next 5. By hypothyroid, I mean their TSH was well over 5.5, their T3 was low or not tested, they had no energy whatsoever, were wearing 3 sweaters when 75-year-old were wearing a T-shirt, they had constant indigestion, sluggishness, they lost the outer third of their eyebrows, hair loss, gained weight without apparent cause and so on..

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