If you’ve been feeling sluggish and tired, or have unexplained weight changes, joint pain, or swelling of the thyroid gland then you may be wondering if it’s Graves Disease or Hashimoto’s – two common autoimmune diseases that both can affect your thyroid. Both conditions share many similarities, however, there are some key differences between the two that make them unique from one another when it comes to diagnosing, treating, and managing their symptoms. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of each condition, and explain the main difference between Graves and Hashimoto’s Disease so that you can better understand your diagnosis and create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
What is Graves?
- Graves Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland’s ability to produce sufficient amounts of hormones. It can cause the overproduction of hormones, leading to a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
- Graves Disease is one of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism and its symptoms include changes in heartbeat, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, and fatigue.
- While Graves Disease is usually treated with medications and targeted therapies such as radioactive iodine or antithyroid drugs, some people may need surgery to remove part or all of their thyroid gland. The exact cause of Graves Disease remains unknown but it has been linked to genetic factors as well as certain viral infections.
What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disorder in which the thyroid gland is adversly impacted by your body’s own immune system.
- Hashimoto’s affects more than 10 million Americans and can present with a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, and feelings of coldness.
- In Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland damaging it and leading to abnormally low levels of hormones released into the bloodstream.
- It can take months or years before Hashimoto’s is suspected or diagnosed. Hashimoto’s is typically managed through lifestyle changes plus hormone replacement therapy that replaces the lost hormones produced by the damaged gland.
If left untreated Hashimoto’s can lead to more serious illnesses such as anemia, heart failure, or even coma. It is important to educate yourself on Hashimotos so that you can recognize early signs and access proper treatment if needed.
Difference Between Graves and Hashimoto’s
Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s are two forms of autoimmune thyroid disease that have similar symptoms but have different underlying causes.
- Graves is an autoimmune disorder in which the body produces antibodies, causing it to produce too much thyroxine, a hormone that controls metabolism.
- In contrast, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is caused by the body producing antibodies that attack the thyroid gland directly, reducing the ability to produce enough hormones.
- Graves’ can cause hyperthyroidism which leads to many symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, muscle weakness, and an irregular heartbeat while Hashimotos can cause Hypothyroidism leading to symptoms like fatigue, depression, and constipation.
- As Graves and Hashimotos both lead to changes in your metabolic rate they should be taken seriously and proper tests performed if you experience any of their symptoms.
With proper diagnosis and treatment prescribed by a doctor Graves’ or Hashimotos can be successfully managed and further complications avoided.
If you have been diagnosed with Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease, it is important to understand the difference between the two conditions. Although both diseases involve the immune system, they are different in terms of cause and treatment. Graves’ disease is caused by an overactive thyroid gland, while Hashimoto’s is caused by an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. There are different treatments for each condition, so it is important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor. If you think you may have either of these conditions, please contact your healthcare provider today.