Know the Primary Hypothyroidism Vs Hashimoto

Primary Hypothyroidism Vs Hashimoto

Difference between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto: Primary Hypothyroidism is characterized by insufficient thyroid hormone synthesis, which is necessary for metabolic regulation. Numerous conditions, such as autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, iodine shortages, thyroid surgeries, radiation therapy, or specific drugs, can cause this. In particular, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's immune system, resulting in inflammation and ultimately hypothyroidism. Although there are many reasons for Primary Hypothyroidism, one frequent cause is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which gradually damages the thyroid glands and depletes hormones over time. Both disorders can cause weariness, weight gain, dry skin, sensitivity to colds, depression, and irregular menstruation in women, among other symptoms.

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Difference between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto

Reduced thyroid hormone production resulting from autoimmune disorders or iodine shortage is known as Primary Hypothyroidism. In autoimmune-driven Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system, leading to inflammation and hypothyroidism, which is frequently the main reason in some regions. The table below provides the differences between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto.


Primary Hypothyroidism

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis


Condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones, usually due to various causes.

Autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation.


Can result from factors such as autoimmune diseases, iodine deficiency, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, or certain medications.

Caused by autoimmune response, specifically targeting the thyroid gland.

Nature of Condition

Broad term encompassing various causes of decreased thyroid hormone production.

Specific autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid gland.

Relationship to Hashimoto's

One of the potential causes of primary hypothyroidism.

The most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in areas where iodine levels are sufficient.


May occur suddenly (e.g., following thyroid surgery) or gradually over time.

Typically progresses slowly over years, with initial symptoms possibly resembling hyperthyroidism before transitioning to hypothyroidism.


Fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss, depression, menstrual irregularities, among others.

Similar to primary hypothyroidism, with the possible addition of a goiter and neck discomfort/swelling.

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What is Primary Hypothyroidism?

An underactive thyroid gland that produces insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) is known as Primary Hypothyroidism. Numerous conditions, including autoimmune disorders (including Hashimoto's thyroiditis), iodine shortage, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, and specific drugs, can cause this insufficiency. Menstrual abnormalities in women, exhaustion, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss, and depression are among the symptoms.

Causes of Primary Hypothyroidism

  • Autoimmune Diseases: The most frequent cause is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, a condition in which the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system, resulting in inflammation and decreased hormone production.
  • Iodine Deficiency: Hypothyroidism may result from insufficient consumption of iodine, a nutrient necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
  • Thyroid Surgery: Reduced hormone production may arise from the partial or whole removal of the thyroid gland as a result of diseases such as thyroid cancer or nodules.
  • Radiation Therapy: When used to treat tumors of the head or neck, radiation therapy can harm the thyroid gland and cause Hypothyroidism.
  • Medication: A few drugs can affect thyroid function, including amiodarone, lithium (used to treat bipolar disorder), and several antithyroid drugs.
  • Congenital Factors: Deviations in thyroid development or function can result in congenital hypothyroidism in certain newborns.

Symptoms of Primary Hypothyroidism 

  • Weakness and Fatigue: Having low energy levels or feeling lethargic even after getting enough sleep.
  • Weight Gain: Unexpected weight increase or trouble decreasing weight despite following a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
  • Dry Skin and Hair: Brittle hair and nails, along with dry, rough, and pale skin.
  • Constipation: Having trouble passing the stool or having few bowel movements.
  • Pains and Stiffness in the Muscles: Widespread aches, stiffness, or weakening in the muscles.
  • Joint Pain: Often confused with arthritis, joint pain is defined as aching or stiffness.
  • Swelling: Fluid retention that results in swelling of the hands, feet, legs, or face (edema).

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What is Hashimoto?

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune illness in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and eventually thyroid tissue destruction. This leads to Hypothyroidism, which manifests as weight gain, weariness, sensitivity to cold, and dry skin. Blood tests and imaging scans are used in the diagnosis process. Thyroid hormone replacement medication is commonly used in treatment to control symptoms and address the autoimmune component through lifestyle changes.

Causes of Hashimoto

  • Genetics: Given that Hashimoto's Thyroiditis frequently runs in families, there seems to be a hereditary component to the condition. A person's chance of acquiring Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is increased if there is a family history of autoimmune illnesses.
  • Autoimmune Factors: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is mostly classified as an autoimmune disease, which means that thyroid tissue is destroyed and inflammation results from the immune system misidentifying the thyroid gland. The immune system assaults the body's tissues as if they were alien invaders and fails to identify them as "self" in autoimmune illnesses.
  • Hormonal Factors: The development of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may be influenced by hormonal imbalances, specifically thyroid hormones. Variations in estrogen levels, like those that happen during menopause, pregnancy, or adolescence, can affect thyroid and immune system performance.
  • Environmental Triggers: In genetically predisposed individuals, some environmental events may precipitate or worsen Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. These triggers could be bacterial or viral infections, exposure to chemicals, radiation, or cigarette smoke, or dietary variables like gluten sensitivity or iodine consumption.
  • Iodine Intake: Although iodine is necessary for the thyroid hormone to be produced, taking too much of it can cause or exacerbate Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, particularly in those who are already at risk for the illness. On the other hand, in certain instances, iodine shortage can also lead to thyroid malfunction and autoimmune thyroiditis.
  • Stress: Prolonged stress can impair immunity and play a role in the onset or aggravation of autoimmune illnesses, such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. The effects of stress on immunological function may be mitigated with the use of stress management strategies and lifestyle adjustments.

Symptoms of Hashimoto

  • Fatigue: One of the most common symptoms of Hypothyroidism, which is frequently linked to Hashimoto's thyroiditis, is feeling worn out or exhausted even when you're getting adequate sleep.
  • Weight Increase: Even with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, Hypothyroidism may be the cause of unexplained weight gain or trouble decreasing weight.
  • Cold Intolerance: One of the most common signs of Hypothyroidism is feeling unusually sensitive to cold temperatures, even in situations where people around you are not.
  • Constipation: Reduced thyroid hormone levels can cause the digestive tract to slow down, leading to constipation and slow bowel motions. 
  • Dry Skin and Hair: Hypothyroidism can cause brittle, easily broken hair and dry, itchy skin.
  • Muscular Stiffness and Weakness: Hypothyroidism can cause symptoms such as muscular stiffness and weakness.
  • Joint Pain: Similar to the symptoms of arthritis, some people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may have joint pain and stiffness.
  • Depression: Thyroid hormone fluctuations can have an impact on mood, resulting in depressive symptoms or depressing and hopeless feelings. 

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Similarities between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto

  • Underlying Cause: In regions with adequate iodine levels, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the most frequent cause of Primary Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism results from the thyroid gland's insufficient production of thyroid hormones in both diseases.
  • Autoimmune Cause: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is mistakenly attacked by the immune system, causing inflammation and thyroid tissue death. This autoimmune reaction frequently leads to Primary Hypothyroidism, which lowers thyroid hormone production.
  • Symptoms: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis-related Primary Hypothyroidism shares many of the same symptoms as Primary Hypothyroidism due to other causes. Fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, and irregular menstruation are some of these symptoms.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), and occasionally triiodothyronine (T3) levels are measured in blood tests, which are usually used to diagnose both diseases. TSH levels are usually higher in Primary Hypothyroidism while T4 levels are usually lower.

In summary, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that causes Hypothyroidism, whereas Primary Hypothyroidism indicates a lack of thyroid hormone production. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis primarily includes autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland, whereas Primary Hypothyroidism can have a variety of reasons. Despite having similar symptoms, both conditions require different therapies.

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What is Primary Hypothyroidism?

Low levels of thyroid hormone in the body are the result of Primary Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland is unable to create enough thyroid hormones.

What causes Primary Hypothyroidism?

Thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, iodine shortage, drugs, congenital thyroid abnormalities, autoimmune illnesses such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and injury to the thyroid gland from other diseases are some of the causes.

What is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is characterized by thyroid gland inflammation, which can result in hypothyroidism.

What causes Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?

The main reason is autoimmune dysfunction, in which the thyroid gland is inappropriately attacked by the immune system, resulting in inflammation and thyroid tissue loss.

What are the similarities between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto?

Both Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis cause low thyroid hormone levels due to thyroid gland dysfunction, resulting in similar symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and dry skin.

What are the differences between Primary Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto?

Primary Hypothyroidism is caused by an inability to produce thyroid hormones, whereas Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is caused by an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland, which results in hypothyroidism.