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Hashimotos vs. Lupus: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 29, 2024
Hashimoto's is an autoimmune thyroid disorder causing hypothyroidism, while lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease affecting multiple organs.

Key Differences

Hashimoto's thyroiditis primarily affects the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism, characterized by a slow metabolism. Lupus, however, is a more systemic condition affecting various body parts, including joints, skin, kidneys, and the brain.
The cause of Hashimoto's is related to immune system attacking thyroid tissue, resulting in decreased thyroid function. In lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in various parts of the body, causing widespread inflammation.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's often include fatigue, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold. Lupus symptoms are broader and can include joint pain, skin rashes, and fever, reflecting its systemic nature.
Diagnosis of Hashimoto's involves tests for thyroid function and antibodies. Lupus diagnosis is more complex, often requiring a combination of blood tests, physical examinations, and symptom assessment due to its varied manifestations.
Treatment for Hashimoto's typically involves thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Lupus treatment, on the other hand, may include anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and lifestyle modifications to manage the diverse symptoms.

Comparison Chart

Primary Affected Organ

Thyroid gland
Multiple organs (joints, skin, etc.)

Symptom Focus

Hypothyroid symptoms (e.g., fatigue, weight gain)
Systemic symptoms (e.g., joint pain, rashes)

Immune Response

Autoimmune attack on thyroid
Widespread autoimmune activity

Diagnostic Tests

Thyroid function tests, antibody tests
Blood tests, symptom assessment

Typical Treatment

Thyroid hormone replacement
Anti-inflammatories, immunosuppressants

Hashimotos and Lupus Definitions


A leading cause of hypothyroidism.
His fatigue and cold intolerance were symptoms of Hashimoto's.


Can affect skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
Lupus is challenging due to its impact on multiple body systems.


Can lead to various metabolic issues.
Managing Hashimoto's helped improve her overall metabolism.


A chronic autoimmune disease with systemic effects.
Her joint pain and skin rash were identified as symptoms of lupus.


An autoimmune disorder targeting the thyroid gland.
She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's after experiencing unexplained weight gain.


Diagnosed through a combination of symptoms and lab tests.
After several tests, her doctor diagnosed her with lupus.


Characterized by an underactive thyroid.
Hashimoto's often requires lifelong thyroid hormone therapy.


Characterized by periods of flares and remissions.
Managing her lupus involves addressing flare-ups as they occur.


Involves immune system attacking thyroid tissues.
The antibody test confirmed her Hashimoto's diagnosis.


Treated with medications like anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressants.
Her lupus treatment includes a strict regimen of medications.


A constellation of stars in the Southern Hemisphere near Centaurus and Scorpius.


See systemic lupus erythematosus.


Any of several other forms of lupus erythematosus.


(pathology) Any of a number of autoimmune diseases, the most common of which is systemic lupus erythematosus.


Originally, a cutaneous disease with the appearance of the skin having been gnawed, and occurring under two distinct forms. Now used as a generic term for over ten distinguishable diseases having visible cutaneous symptoms.


The Wolf, a constellation situated south of Scorpio.


Any of several forms of ulcerative skin disease


A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Centaurus


How is Hashimoto's treated?

Treatment typically involves thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Can Hashimoto's be cured?

There's no cure, but symptoms can be effectively managed.

What triggers lupus?

The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but it involves genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.

How is lupus diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves a combination of symptom assessment and laboratory tests.

Can Hashimoto's lead to other health issues?

Untreated Hashimoto's can lead to complications like heart problems.

Does diet affect Hashimoto's?

Diet can impact symptoms; some find gluten-free or anti-inflammatory diets helpful.

What causes Hashimoto's?

An autoimmune reaction against the thyroid gland causes Hashimoto's.

Is Hashimoto's hereditary?

Hashimoto's has a genetic component but is not directly inherited.

Is lupus contagious?

No, lupus is not contagious.

Can lupus be fatal?

Severe cases of lupus can be life-threatening without proper management.

Can children develop Hashimoto's?

Yes, children can develop Hashimoto's, though it's more common in adults.

What are the early signs of Hashimoto's?

Early signs include fatigue, weight gain, and cold sensitivity.

Is there a vaccine for Hashimoto's?

No, there's no vaccine for Hashimoto's.

Can lupus go into remission?

Yes, lupus can have periods of remission.

Can lifestyle changes help manage lupus?

Yes, lifestyle changes like diet and stress management can help.

Can lupus affect pregnancy?

Lupus can complicate pregnancy, requiring careful monitoring.

Is sun exposure a concern for lupus patients?

Yes, UV rays can trigger lupus flares.

How does stress affect Hashimoto's?

Stress can exacerbate symptoms and thyroid hormone imbalances.

What are the most common symptoms of lupus?

Common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and rashes.

How often should lupus patients see a doctor?

Regular check-ups are important for monitoring lupus.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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