Difference Between Acquired Hypothyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism

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Acquired Hypothyroidism vs Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland results in inadequate thyroid hormone production, which is the hallmark of hypothyroidism. Although "acquired hypothyroidism" and "hypothyroidism" are sometimes used synonymously, "acquired hypothyroidism" refers particularly to the condition that arises after birth as a result of a variety of circumstances. These could include radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, autoimmune thyroiditis (such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis), certain drugs, or iodine shortage. On the other hand, congenital hypothyroidism results from defects in the thyroid gland's development or genetic makeup that exist from birth. The symptoms of acquired and congenital hypothyroidism are similar, with the former emphasizing the development of the condition later in life. These symptoms include weariness, weight gain, cold intolerance, and sluggishness.

Difference Between Acquired Hypothyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism

The following table lists the differences between hypothyroidism, a term used to describe all types of thyroid hormone shortage, including congenital and acquired hypothyroidism, and acquired hypothyroidism, which usually manifests later in life for a variety of reasons.


Acquired Hypothyroidism



Develops after birth due to acquired factors

Encompasses all forms of underactive thyroid gland, including congenital and acquired cases


Occurs later in life

Can be present at birth or develop later in life


Autoimmune thyroiditis, thyroid surgery or radiation, medications, iodine deficiency, etc.

Autoimmune disorders, congenital defects, thyroid surgery or radiation, medications, etc.


Results from acquired factors post-birth

Can be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life (acquired)

Treatment Approach

Typically involves addressing underlying cause and hormone replacement therapy

Often focuses on hormone replacement therapy to restore thyroid hormone levels


Similar complications to hypothyroidism, if untreated

Similar complications to acquired hypothyroidism, if untreated

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What is Acquired Hypothyroidism?

Acquired hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive later in life for a variety of reasons, resulting in insufficient thyroid hormone production. Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition that is present from birth, whereas acquired hypothyroidism appears later in life and can affect anyone at any age, though it is more prevalent in adults.

Features of Acquired Hypothyroidism

  • Fatigue and Weakness: Despite getting enough rest and sleep, patients with acquired hypothyroidism frequently struggle with ongoing weariness and weakness.
  • Weight Gain: One of the most prevalent signs of acquired hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain. Even with less food consumed and more exercise, it might still happen.
  • Cold Intolerance: Even in typical or warm circumstances, people with acquired hypothyroidism may experience extreme coldness. They could struggle to stay warm and need to wear several layers of clothes.
  • Constipation: The digestive system may slow down as a result of hypothyroidism, making it difficult to pass stools and causing constipation.

Causes of Acquired Hypothyroidism

  • Thyroid Surgery: If the residual tissue is insufficient to produce an acceptable amount of thyroid hormones, surgically removing part or all of the thyroid gland (a procedure known as a thyroidectomy) may result in acquired hypothyroidism.
  • Radiation therapy: When used to treat head or neck tumors, radiation therapy can harm the thyroid gland, which lowers the synthesis of thyroid hormone and causes hypothyroidism.
  • Iodine Deficiency: Acquired hypothyroidism can result from insufficient intake of iodine, a crucial ingredient for the manufacture of thyroid hormone, in areas with diets poor in the mineral.
  • Other Factors: In rare cases, pituitary tumors, specific genetic disorders, or chronic conditions that impair thyroid function can also lead to acquired hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Acquired Hypothyroidism

  • Weakness 
  • Weight increase
  • Intolerance for cold
  • Constipation
  • weakened muscles
  • Depression
  • weakened memory
  • abnormalities in a woman's menstrual cycle
  • swelling and puffiness

What is Hypothyroidism? 

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, resulting in inadequate production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, produces hormones (thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3) that regulate metabolism, energy production, and various bodily functions. When the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones, it can lead to a range of symptoms and health problems.

Features of Hypothyroidism 

  • Fatigue: Constantly feeling exhausted and low on energy even after getting enough sleep.
  • Weight Gain: Unexplained weight gain or difficulty reducing weight, typically accompanied by increased appetite.
  • Feeling extremely chilly, especially in the hands and feet, as a result of a slowed metabolism is known as cold intolerance.
  • Dry Skin and Hair: Brittle, easily broken, and thinning hair, along with dry, rough, and pale skin.

Causes of Hypothyroidism 

  • Radiation therapy or surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) can cause hypothyroidism if there is not enough thyroid tissue left to produce enough hormones. Radiation therapy is also an option for treating illnesses including Graves' disease and thyroid cancer.
  • Iodine Deficiency: Hypothyroidism can result from an iodine deficiency, a crucial component needed for the production of thyroid hormone, especially in areas with low dietary iodine levels.
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism: Some babies are born with hypothyroidism as a result of defects in the thyroid's growth or operation. These defects can be inherited or picked up during fetal development.
  • Other Factors: In rare cases, hypothyroidism can also result from congenital abnormalities, pituitary tumors, hypothalamus dysfunction, specific drugs, or environmental triggers.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism 

  • Swelling and puffiness
  • Joint discomfort
  • Brittle nails
  • A slow heart rate
  • Increased levels of cholesterol
  • Constipation
  • Weakened muscles
  • Depression
  • Weakened memory

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Similarities between Acquired Hypothyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism

Since both terms relate to the same medical illness marked by an underactive thyroid gland and insufficient production of thyroid hormones, acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism are very similar. Several significant parallels consist of:

  • Symptoms: Both acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism are commonly characterized by fatigue, weight gain, cold sensitivity, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, depression, memory impairment, irregular menstruation (in women), hoarseness, and puffiness/swelling.
  • Diagnosis: Blood tests to evaluate thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) levels are the standard diagnostic procedure for both acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism. 
  • Treatment: Thyroid hormone replacement therapy, usually with synthetic thyroid hormone prescription (such as levothyroxine), is the standard of care for both acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism. The purpose of treatment is to reduce symptoms and return thyroid hormone levels to normal.

In conclusion, there are numerous parallels between acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism, including symptoms, diagnosis, course of treatment, and possible side effects. Both of these disorders, which are caused by an underactive thyroid gland, need to be diagnosed as soon as possible and treated appropriately to enhance quality of life and avoid problems.

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What is Acquired Hypothyroidism ?

Acquired hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland becomes underactive after birth, usually owing to autoimmune illnesses or drugs, resulting in decreased thyroid hormone production and a variety of symptoms.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, leading to insufficient production of thyroid hormones.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, depression, impaired memory, menstrual irregularities (in women), hoarseness, and puffiness/swelling.

What is the difference between acquired hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism?

Underactive thyroid problems that arise after birth as a result of numerous acquired causes, such as drug side effects or autoimmune thyroiditis, are particularly referred to as acquired hypothyroidism. On the other hand, hypothyroidism is a more general term that includes both congenital and acquired cases of thyroid gland malfunction, regardless of the etiology or occurrence.

Are the symptoms of acquired hypothyroidism different from hypothyroidism?

No, the signs and symptoms of acquired hypothyroidism are identical to those of hypothyroidism and can include depression, muscle weakness, dry skin, constipation, lethargy, weight gain, and cold intolerance.

Can acquiring hypothyroidism lead to complications similar to hypothyroidism?

Yes, untreated hypothyroidism and acquired hypothyroidism can result in identical consequences, such as myxedema coma, infertility, neurological issues, and cardiovascular disease. For both illnesses, early diagnosis and effective treatment are crucial to avoiding consequences.