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How are the symptoms of hyperthyroid and hypothyroid different?

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The symptoms of hyperthyroid and hypothyroid are different in that they are often opposite each other, according to Mayo Clinic and WebMD. For example, symptoms of hyperthyroidism include sudden and unexplained weight loss, intolerance of heat and a fast heart rate. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include intolerance of cold, unexplained weight gain and a slow heart rate.

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Both conditions cause changes in bowel movement patterns, reports Mayo Clinic and WebMD. With hyperthyroidism, the person has more frequent bowel movements. A patient with hypothyroidism often suffers from constipation.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, brittle and dry hair that falls out, fatigue, and goiter, or a swollen thyroid, WebMD explains. People with hypothyroidism might also suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. White or Asian women are more likely to develop hypothyroidism, especially if they are older and already suffer from an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.

Increased appetite, insomnia, anxiety, sweating and trembling are symptoms of hyperthyroidism, states Mayo Clinic. People with hyperthyroidism may also suffer from Graves' ophthalmopathy, with symptoms such as protruding, swollen or red eyes, sensitivity to light, and tearing. As with hypothyroidism, women are more at risk for hyperthyroidism.

The treatments for both diseases are also different, according to WebMD and Mayo Clinic. A physician prescribes radioactive iodine, beta blockers and anti-thyroid drugs for a person with hyperthyroidism. A person with hypothyroidism takes a synthetic thyroid hormone in pill form and other drugs.

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