What's the difference between grave's disease and hyperthyroidism?

Graves' disease. Graves' disease is a type of hyperthyroidism, and it is typically an autoimmune process. Hyperthyroidism is simply the end result. There are other ways besides graves' disease that people can develop hyperthyroidism, including toxic nodules, certain medications and supplements, and temporary viral infections of the thyroid, among other causes.
Hyperthyroidism. There are many different causes of hyperthyroidism. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease most common in young women. Other common forms of hyperthyroidism are toxic nodular goiter, subacute thyroiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, and of course overreplacement with thyroid hormone. There are many other, less common forms of hyperthyroidism, some of which can be subtle.
One form of hyperthy. Graves' disease is a specific form of hyperthyroidism caused by an immune disorder. If addition to thyroid abnormalities (which occur in the majority, but not all of graves' disease patients), you can also have a variety of eye problems, skin reactions, bone resorption of the fingers and other non-thyroid abnormalities. It's treated like other forms of hyperthyroidism. See your endocrinologist.

Related Questions

What's the difference between hyperthyroidism and graves' disease?

Same but different. Hyperthyroidism has many causes, and grave's disease is one of them. Grave's disease is considered an autoimmune disorder. Eventually, many may end up with hypothyroidism.

Is there a difference between hyperthyroidism graves and thyrotoxicosis?

Yes. Thyroid conditions are very specific and it takes examination, and testing to diagnose & treat properly. Many times it takes weeks to months to get the proper diagnosis. This format is not ideal to answer your question. Your endocrinologist needs to see you and your pcp needs to be involved because we can help with other associated medical conditions.
Yes. Thyrotoxicosis describe high thyroid level in the blood which can be caused by many things, one of which is grave's disease (an autoimmune thyroid disease). There are tests available to know what's causing the thyrotoxicosis. You need to see a doctor for these tests and you should because thyrotoxicosis can be very dangerous.
Yes. Strictly speaking thyrotoxicosis is too much thyroid hormone in the blood due to any cause (including taking too much). Hyperthyroidism is a more specific term, implying too much thyroid hormone in the blood due to an overactive thyroid. Despite this distinction, most patients, and many doctors, use these terms interchangeably. Graves' is one specific cause of hyperthyroidism.

Can hyperthyroidism turn into graves disease? Can any docs explain?

Yes. Graves' disease is a form of hyperthyroidism. This is the most common form of hyperthyroidism and it involves the entire thyroid gland.

How do I tell if I might have graves disease or hyperthyroidism?

Symptoms and labs. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism (sweating, palpitations, nervousness, tremor) can be caused by other things, such as anxiety. You should have an enlarged thyroid, but this can be subtle. Elevated blood ft4 and low tsh. A nuclear medicine thyroid scan that shows high uptake mostly clinches the diagnosis. This can be treated medically or surgically, but you should see an endocrinologist for this.

What does the diagnosis "hyperthyroidism secondary to graves' disease" mean in layman's terms?

Graves disease. It means you have graves disease causing your thyroid to produce too much hormones. It doesn't go away on its own and will need to be treated.
See below. It means graves' disease is the cause of your hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism just means you have too much thyroid hormone. There can be several reasons for that; graves' is one of the common ones.

Could graves disease come from having hyperthyroidism?

Grave's Disease. Grave's Disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism. It probably means that the hyperthyroidism was caused by Grave's, not the other way around.

I have been diagnosed and undiagnosed with graves disease/hyperthyroidism since 2008 based on va, using outdated test ranges. Could I be suffering from it?

May need specialist. Outdated test ranges should not make the diagnosis so confusing. The interpretation of thyroid tests and the diagnosis of graves may be beyond the ability of some primary care practitioners. Ask your pcp to refer you to an endocrinologist or an internist who is knowledgeable in thyroid disorders.
Right now. The most important thing for you to know is what is happening with regard to your thyroid right now. What is your TSH and what are your thyroid hormone levels? Are you symptomatic in terms of hyperthyroidism (fast heart rate, palpitations, sweats, tremors, diarrhea)? If so, you will want to establish care with a good internist in consultation with an endocrinologist to control your thyroid.
See a doctor. Maybe consider seeing a different doctor or a doctor that is outside the va system. Blood work will need to be taken to help diagnose the issue (tsh, thyroid hormone levels etc.) your doctor will determine if you have any symptoms from the hyperthyroidism. Good luck.
Graves' Disease. Graves' Disease can cause intermittent hyperthyroidism, and be hard to diagnose in some patients. Seeing ONE doctor who can follow you longterm is important; an Endocrinologist would be a good choice for this. Ask if tests for antibodies to the TSH Receptor have been done, or could be done. Testing thyroid labs regularly and getting educated about symptoms to get tested for off schedule may help.

How can one have hyperthyroid (graves disease) if it doesn't run in the family genes? What can possible cause it?

It is autoimmune. Graves disease is thought to occur due to a combination of factors. It is not well establlished, but the hypothesis are that some people have some genes which prime for autoimmune diseases, then something in the environment triggers the immune system to recognize the thyroid as foreigner. The immune system makes proteins that bind the TSH receptor, increasing the production of thyroid hormones.