The body normally produces antibodies to foreign substances such as bacteria; however, some people are found to have antibodies against their own thyroid tissue.
A condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is associated with a high level of these thyroid antibodies in the blood as well. Whether the antibodies cause the disease or whether the disease causes the antibodies is not known; however, the finding of a high level of thyroid antibodies is strong evidence of this disease. Occasionally, low levels of thyroid antibodies are found with other types of thyroid disease. When Hashimoto’s thyroiditis presents as a thyroid nodule rather than a diffuse goiter, the thyroid antibodies may not be present.
The immune system of the body normally protects us from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses by destroying these invaders with substances called antibodies produced by blood cells known as lymphocytes. In many patients with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, lymphocytes make antibodies against their thyroid that either stimulate or damage the gland.
Two common thyroid antibodies that cause thyroid problems are directed against thyroid cell proteins: thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin. Measuring levels of thyroid antibodies may help diagnose the cause of the thyroid problems. For example, positive anti-thyroid peroxidase and/or anti-thyroglobulin antibodies in a patient with hypothyroidism make a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If the thyroid antibodies are positive in a hyperthyroid patient, the most likely diagnosis is autoimmune thyroid disease.
Insist on having antibodies testing, and if you have been tested and show positive, find a doctor willing to treat you for high antibodies. Do not accept a doctor’s opinion that high antibodies has nothing to do with your symptoms, because it does, especially when it comes to Thyroid Eye Disease! The Thyroid antibodies are generally the last to improve, when treating Grave’s Disease. And that’s why Thyroid Eye Disease is the last symptoms to get improvement!
Thyroid Antibody Tests
|Thyroid Antibody||What will say on your documents||You can find that in:||When ordered:||Other Facts|
|Thyroid peroxidase antibody||TPOAb||Hashimoto’s thyroidistis; Graves’ Disease||When patient has symptoms suggesting hypothyroidism; when doctor is considering starting a patient on a drug therapy, such as lithium, that has associated risks of developing hypothyroidism when TPOAb are present||Has been associated with reproductive difficulties, such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, premature delivery, and in-vitro fertilization failure|
|Thyroglobulin antibody||TgAb||Thyroid cancer; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis||Whenever a thyroglobulin test is performed to see if the antibody is present and likely to be interfering with the test results; since the thyroglobulin test will be ordered at regular intervals after thyroid cancer treatment, TgAb will also be ordered at regular intervals;|
|Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody||TRAb||Graves’ disease||When patient has symptoms of hyperthyroidism to monitor effectiveness of anti-thyroid therapy|
If a pregnant woman has a known autoimmune thyroid disease (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease) or has another autoimmune disorder and thyroid involvement is suspected, then one or more of the thyroid antibodies may be ordered early in the pregnancy and then again near the end.
These tests are used to help the doctor determine whether the baby may be at risk of thyroid dysfunction since thyroid antibodies can cross the placenta and cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in the fetus or newborn.
Thyroid antibody testing may also be ordered when a patient with another autoimmune disorder has symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and/or when she has reproductive difficulties that the doctor suspects may be associated with auto antibodies.
Mild to moderately elevated levels of thyroid antibodies may be found in a variety of thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases. Significantly increased concentrations most frequently indicate thyroid autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.
In general, their presence suggests that there is autoimmune thyroid involvement and the higher the level, the more likely that is. Rising levels may be more significant than stable levels as they indicate an increase in autoimmune activity. All of these antibodies, if present in the mother, can increase the risk of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in the fetus or newborn.
If TgAb (Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody- ordered when the patient has symptoms of hyperthyroidism to monitor effectiveness of anti-thyroid therapy) is being used as a monitoring tool and has stayed high or dropped low initially but is increasing over time, then it is likely that the treatment has not been effective and the condition is continuing or recurring.
If levels are falling and/or have fallen to low or undetectable levels, then it is more likely that the therapy is effective.
In other words, if you have high levels of antibodies most likely your endocrinologist is not very successful in his methods of treatment and he will need to change the course of treatment (chose another method, or change the dosage).
A certain percentage of patients who are healthy may be positive for one or more thyroid antibodies.
Their prevalence tends to be higher in women and tends to increase with age. If a person with no apparent thyroid dysfunction has a thyroid antibody, her doctor will track her health over time. While most may never experience thyroid dysfunction, a few may develop it in the future.
How to improve Thyroid Antibodies is completely different question. When it is widely believed that there is nothing you can do about your Thyroid antibodies, and you should just wait, there are a few things that can be done. Check Immune System and Thyroid Antibodies here:—–>>>