Hypers and Hypos: Certain Body Conditions That You Should Know About
Our body is an amazing machine that no technology can recreate in a factory. Our bodies are capable of specific movements that a machine can’t emulate. However, just like a car or any other mechanical device, our body needs certain things for it to run perfectly. Aside from food and water, our body also needs certain minerals to be healthy and functioning properly.
There are also states in which our body needs to operate normally. If a body isn’t in a specific state, it cannot function well and may lead to more injuries when forced. With that said, we often hear about hypers and hypos when talking about certain conditions that can affect the body.
Basically, a “Hypo” would mean a lack of a shortage, whereas “Hyper” would be an abundance of too much of something. Speaking of conditions, we can often hear medical professionals talk about these medical conditions. So what are these conditions? Here are some of them and their differences:
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
It’s very easy to distinguish between both conditions. In both conditions, the thyroid gland has abnormal functioning. The thyroid gland releases hormones that affect the metabolism of your body. Metabolism, in turn, is a process where the food you take in is converted into energy for your body to use.
The difference between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism can be easy to spot. Here are some details about the conditions, including their signs and symptoms:
The thyroid gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone for your body. This condition affects 4.5% of Americans. Hypothyroidism can cause the following symptoms:
● Weight Gain
● Constant Fatigue
● Increased Blood Pressure
● Edema or Puffiness(noticeable puffiness with the face is a common sign)
● Peripheral Edema or swelling in the extremities
● Thinning hair
● Dry Skin
The thyroid gland is overactive, producing too much thyroid hormone. The condition is uncommon compared to hypothyroidism, affecting only 1% of the American population. Hyperthyroidism has the following symptoms:
● Sudden, Rapid Weight loss
● Arrhythmia(Irregular Heart Rhythm)
● Increased appetite
● Sleeping problems
● Diaphoresis(excessive sweating)
If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms above, don’t self-diagnose, and more importantly, don’t self-medicate. The right thing to do would be to go to a physician and undergo specific laboratory tests to be sure about your condition.
Hypokalemia and Hyperkalemia
These conditions have to do with the level of potassium in your body. Along with other electrolyte imbalances, hypo and hyperkalemia are some of the most common. Potassium is a mineral that helps the nerves and muscles to function correctly. Potassium is also a crucial electrolyte that helps your heartbeat normally.
Lack of potassium usually results from not eating enough potassium-rich foods, abnormal losses such as excess vomiting, urination, sweating, etc. You can also get hypokalemia through too much alcohol consumption and excessive use of diuretics and laxatives. Here are some signs and symptoms of hypokalemia:
● Excessive Twitching
● Muscle Weakness
● Kidney Impairment
This condition is an excess of potassium in the body. The usual cause of hyperkalemia is kidney disease. Your kidneys are responsible for balancing the potassium levels in your body. A damaged kidney might not be able to get rid of the excess potassium in your body. Other causes are excessively high potassium diets, Addison’s disease, and diabetes. Here are some signs and symptoms of hyperkalemia.
● Excess Vomiting
● Shortness of Breathing
● Chest Pains
● Weak Pulse
● Polyuria(frequent urination) for people with normal kidney functions
● Oliguria(decreased urination) for people with kidney problems
As always, do not self-diagnose and self-medicate. Your doctor needs laboratory tests to measure your electrolyte levels to establish a diagnosis. Do contact emergency services if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above.
Hypothermia and Hyperthermia
When it comes to body temperature, you often hear these two terms. Although hypothermia and hyperthermia aren’t really considered diseases, some conditions directly affect our body temperature.
Hypothermia – This condition happens when the body suddenly experiences a drop in body temperature. People living in cold or snowy places are at risk for hypothermia. Too much exposure to cold weather or temperatures can cause hypothermia. Here are some signs and symptoms of hypothermia:
● Excess Shivering
● Loss of Motor Skills
● Excessive Sleepiness
● Slurring Speech
● Core Body Temperature continually drops below 35 °C
Hyperthermia happens when your body’s temperature is constantly rising. Excessive temperatures of 38 °C are considered hyperthermia. Fever and hyperthermia are two different things.
When your body is fighting off an infection, it may cause a rise in body temperature, hence a fever and a normal reaction. On the other hand, hyperthermia has to do with your core body temperature and your body’s inability to regulate it. Here are some signs and symptoms of hyperthermia:
● Muscle Pain
● Excessive Core Body Temperature of up to 38 °C or more
Both Hypothermia and Hyperthermia are fatal conditions if left untreated. If a person has been exposed to extreme temperatures, immediately call emergency services. Do not use methods that can quickly drop or raise body temperature in both conditions. Doing so can cause more harm and damage to the person.
These are just some of the many hypos and hypers you should know about. Unless you’re experiencing a minor headache, a few body aches, or a low fever, never self-diagnose and self-medicate. Always seek the help of medical professionals.