Difference Between Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism (With Table)

Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism are the two health conditions that are often misunderstood. The major reason behind that is that both of these health conditions are interrelated and in most cases have similar symptoms.

However, it is important to distinguish both the health conditions so that their treatment can be done at the correct time before the condition gets worse.

Adrenal Fatigue vs Hypothyroidism

The main difference between adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism is that in the case of adrenal fatigue, the regulation of the body temperature is often exaggerated and fluctuates after certain intervals. While on the other hand, in the case of hypothyroidism, the regulation of the body temperature is steady and does not change after short intervals of time.

Adrenal Fatigue vs Hypothyroidism

Adrenal fatigue is also known as adrenal insufficiency. This condition is caused in the body due to insufficient production or absence of one or more adrenal hormones.

Hypothyroidism is the condition that is caused in the body due to insufficient production or the absence of one or more hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

Comparison Table Between Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism

Parameters of comparisonAdrenal fatigueHypothyroidism
Changes in weightThe person goes through significant weight lossThe person goes through generalized weight gain
General body temperatureBody temperature stays about 97.8 or lower than thatBody temperature stays between low 90 to 98.6
Associated mental functionMental function is associated with brain fogMental function is associated with slow thinking processes
DepressionPerson may face depression in some casesPerson may face depression in many cases
Body temperature regulationBody temperature regulation of the is exaggerated and often fluctuatingBody temperature regulation of the body remains steady
Physical characteristics of the bodyThe physical characteristics of the person could be thin and sparse hair, thin and brittle nails, sunken periorbital tissue, thin and dry skinThe physical characteristics of the person could be coarse and sparse hair, normal to thick nails, puffy periorbital tissue, and oily or moist skin
Blood sugar levelsTend to hyperglycemiaNormal to hyperglycemia
Heart palpitationsThe person faces heart palpitations quite often.The person does not faces heart palpitations.
Temperature toleranceThe person becomes intolerant to low temperatures.The person becomes intolerant to high temperatures.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

The adrenal gland in our body produces several different types of hormones that have functions that play their part in the well functioning of the body. Due to any reason, when the adrenal gland stops producing one or more adrenal hormones then our body shows certain symptoms.

Adding all the symptoms caused in the body due to the absence of one or more adrenal hormones, the condition caused in the body is altogether known as adrenal fatigue. That is the major reason why the condition of adrenal fatigue is also known as adrenal insufficiency due to insufficient production of one or more adrenal hormones.

The major symptoms that are shown by the body in case of adrenal fatigue are tiredness, drastic weight loss, low blood pressure, hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration, and body ache. The main treatment for adrenal fatigue is by artificially stimulating the production of adrenal hormones in the body which are insufficient or absent.

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is another medical condition that is caused in the body due to insufficient production of thyroid hormones. Some other factors which can cause hypothyroidism could be an autoimmune disease, an exaggerated response by the body due to treatment of hypothyroidism, radiation therapies, thyroid surgery, medications, iodine deficiency, pregnancy, and other such cases.

Some of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism are tiredness, significant weight gain, irregular menstrual cycle, impaired memory, enlarged size of thyroid, body aches, slow heart rate, and other such factors.

Main Differences Between Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism

  1. In case of adrenal fatigue, the person suffering loses a significant amount of weight and is unable to gain weight even after a weight gain diet. While on the other hand, in the case of hypothyroidism, the person suffering goes through a generalized amount of weight gain.
  2. The body temperature of the person suffering from adrenal fatigue generally stays about 97.8 or lower than that. Whereas, the body temperature of the person suffering from hypothyroidism generally stays about a minimum of 90 to a maximum of 98.6.
  3. The mental function of the person suffering from adrenal fatigue is often associated with brain fog. On the other hand, the mental condition of the person suffering from hypothyroidism is associated with slow thinking processes.
  4. In most general cases, there are only a few cases when the person suffering from adrenal fatigue faces depression. Whereas, there are quite a several cases when the person suffering from hypothyroidism faces depression.
  5. The temperature regulation of the body of the person suffering from adrenal fatigue is often exaggerated and fluctuating at times. The temperature regulation of the body of the person suffering from hypothyroidism is steady. 
  6. The physical condition of the person suffering from adrenal fatigue could be characterized by thin and sparse hair, thin and brittle nails, sunken periorbital tissue, thin and dry skin. Whereas, the physical condition of the person suffering from hypothyroidism can be characterized by coarse and sparse hair, normal to thick nails, puffy periorbital tissue, and oily or moist skin.
  7. The blood sugar levels of the person suffering from adrenal fatigue tend to hyperglycemia. The blood sugar levels of the person suffering from hypothyroidism range from normal to hyperglycemia.
  8. The person suffering from adrenal fatigue faces frequent heart palpitations. Whereas the person suffering from hypothyroidism faces no such heart palpitations.
  9. The person suffering from adrenal fatigue becomes intolerant to cold temperatures. While on the other hand, the person suffering from hypothyroidism becomes intolerant to high temperatures.

Conclusion

Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism have similar symptoms. Moreover, there might be a condition when a person might differ between the health conditions at the same time. This might happen when both glands in the body, that is thyroid gland and adrenal gland might not produce enough amount of one or more thyroid hormones of adrenal hormones respectively.

References

  1. https://bmcendocrdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12902-016-0128-4
  2. http://www.drrobertbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Recommended-Reading-List.pdf