When someone is not responding to traditional or nontraditional hypothyroidism treatment it may be time to dig deeper and run a thyroid antibody test. Thyroid antibody testing is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease known as hashimotos thyroiditis. This antibody test will help distinguish thyroiditis from other forms of thyroid dysfunction.
The antibody tests may also be ordered to help investigate the cause of a goiter or other signs and symptoms associated with low or high thyroid hormone levels. One or more thyroid antibody tests may also be ordered if a person with a known non-thyroid-related autoimmune condition, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or pernicious anemia, develops symptoms that suggest thyroid involvement.
Testing may be ordered when an individual has signs and symptoms of a low or high level of thyroid hormones without relief from tradition treatment. A low level of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) can cause symptoms, such as – Weight gain, Fatigue, Goiter, Dry skin, Hair loss, Intolerance to cold and Constipation. These symptoms typically subside when the thyroid it properly balanced, unless it is inflamed due to thyroiditis.
Another reason to run the thyroid antibody tests is when a high level of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can causes symptom that are not relieved by treatment such as – Sweating, Rapid heart rate, Anxiety, Tremors, Fatigue, Difficulty sleeping, Sudden weight loss, and Protruding eyes.
In our practice we run the thyroid antibody tests – Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and Thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb). Many offices just run the Thyroid peroxidase antibody only and they miss the thyroiditis condition. The presence of either thyroid antibody suggests that there is autoimmune thyroid involvement. The higher the level, the more inflammation is present. Rising levels may be more significant than stable levels as they indicate an increase in autoimmune activity.
Our first goal when we find a positive hashimotos thyroiditis test is to decrease the inflammation in the body. While doing that we need to find the source of the inflammation. It could be a lack of anti-oxidants, low vitamin D, intolerance or allergy to gluten or other food interactions, prolonged adrenal stress, prolonged blood sugar issues, and we actually see thyroiditis show up after pregnancy. The key is finding your starting point, and reversing it.