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Reduce Hashimotos Antibodies Naturally
Anna came to me after years of struggling fatigue, anxiety, and depression, with no clear understanding of why. She’d tried antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, but nothing helped. Then she had two miscarriages and a serious run with postpartum depression after the two pregnancies that she was able to carry to term. When she came to me, her story told me that there was a good chance she had an undetected thyroid problem. Her labs showed she had Hashimoto’s with significantly elevated antithyroid antibodies, including an anti-TPO antibody level of over 1200 . My energy and mood are really so low, Im always bloated, my skin is dry,: she told me, and I dont know what to do next. I cant keep going on with this fatigue and take care of my kids and my life. She began to weep and added, I really need help.
Who Has Elevated Thyroid Antibodies
While high thyroid antibodies are one of the diagnostic criteria for Hashimotos disease surprisingly there are other health conditions associated with their presence. It means that there is a risk that eventually the person may develop Hashimotos and/or hypothyroidism later on.
1. Thyroid antibodies levels were found to be mild to moderately elevated in associated diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus , thyroid cancer, thyrotoxicosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, pernicious anemia, autoimmune collagen vascular disease and type 1 diabetes.
2. According to different studies, high thyroid antibodies were reported in a range of 1229% in patients with chronic hives . There is an increased prevalence of thyroid autoimmune disease such as positivity of thyroid antibodies, Hashimotos disease with or without hypothyroidism in people with chronic urticaria. However, there are no cases of Graves disease described among patients with chronic hives.
Test for thyroid antibodies and thyroid function are especially recommended for those patients who experience chronic hives that cannot be attributed to an allergen or any other obvious cause.These tests can rule out involvement of thyroid autoimmunity or help to confirm it as being the cause of this condition.
One study estimated that up to 12.5% of women can have elevated TPO thyroid antibodies during the first two trimesters of pregnancy and it can negatively affect development of the fetus and child.
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What Are The Different Types Of Thyroid Antibodies
Antibodies that attack the thyroid are known as thyroid antibodies.
The three main types of thyroid antibodies are:
These markers can help determine whether thyroid disease is due to an autoimmune disease or not usually Hashimotos or Graves disease. Hashimotos and Graves disease are the most common causes of an underactive and overactive thyroid, respectively.
Thyroid antibodies are not completely specific to the thyroid gland. There is a degree of cross-reactivity which means other autoimmune conditions may also cause these antibodies to increase.
Do Antibody Numbers Matter
Some clinicians will say that once you have thyroid antibodies, you will always have thyroid antibodies, so the actual number doesnt matter, as the antibodies can randomly fluctuate. I respectfully disagree. Antibodies fluctuate in response to triggers , and in my exhaustive experience, they can be an incredibly helpful marker for tracking disease progression. That said, they should not be the only marker. We also want to look at your overall health and the big picture are you feeling better or worse?
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My Antibodies Are Raised But My Thyroid Function Is Normal Whats Going On
Some people have raised thyroid antibodies despite normal thyroid function. Data from our customers shows that this pattern occurs in around one in 12 people with no known thyroid disease, in keeping with other studies . This is more common in women and tends to increase with age. For Medichecks customers with a known thyroid condition, our data shows this pattern affects more than one in five.
If you’re not known to have a thyroid condition but have raised thyroid antibodies, there are three likely outcomes:
- Your antibody levels may gradually normalise with time or at least cause no health problems
- You may go on to develop thyroid disease in the future your risk is higher with raised antibodies compared to someone with normal antibody levels
- You may be prone to or have an underlying autoimmune condition, such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or coeliac disease that’s because thyroid antibodies aren’t completely specific to the thyroid
Because autoimmune conditions are largely influenced by genetics, there’s not much you can do to significantly reduce your risk of developing one of these conditions in the future. However, if you have a thyroid condition, there may be ways you can reduce your antibody levels.
Do High Thyroid Antibodies Require Treatment
While up to 95% of hypothyroidism in industrialized countries occurs due to autoimmune Hashimotos disease, tests for thyroid antibodies combined with ultrasound imaging can give a definite diagnosis of this autoimmune condition even before onset of hypothyroidism.
High thyroid antibodies are a definitive marker for chronic thyroiditis even in asymptomatic individuals and represent a risk factor for development of Hashimotos with or without hypothyroidism and are indeed a marker of future thyroid failure.
One recent study found that
Increased odds for autoimmune thyroid disease are associated with positivity to TPO or Tb thyroid antibodies during the 27 years preceding diagnosis.
This fact makes early diagnosis of Hashimotos disease very important because it can change the course of the disease.
Some research studies showed that prescribing a low dose of thyroid medication can delay or even stop the progression of Hashimotos to hypothyroidism, reduce the inflammation of the thyroid gland and lower levels of thyroid antibodies.
Besides a trial of thyroid medication, conventional medicine does not offer any specific treatment for high thyroid antibodies in people with normal thyroid function and does not consider that a treatment is necessary. Thyroid antibodies remain ignored in the majority of cases and are not used for monitoring of the treatment progress and evaluation of the severity of the autoimmune process.
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Treatment For Hashimotos Thyroiditis
Patients with elevated TPO antibodies but normal thyroid function tests do not necessarily require treatment. Similarly, patients with only slightly elevated TSH may not require thyroid hormone medication, either. They should repeat testing after 3-6 months to monitor thyroid status.
Overt hypothyroidism , however, can be controlled by replacing the amount of thyroid hormone that your thyroid gland can no longer make with thyroid hormone replacement medication. Hypothyroidism is not curable, but you can take medication to bring your TSH and thyroid hormone levels back to normal.
Nearly all hypothyroid patients can be treated as outpatients, not having to admit to the hospital.
Most patients with hypothyroidism will require lifelong treatment with thyroid hormone replacement medication. Finding the appropriate dose, particularly at the beginning, may require some trial-and-error. You should test thyroid levels every 6-8 weeks after any dose adjustment until achieving the correct dose. After that, testing your thyroid once a year is generally sufficient.
When on the appropriate dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication, it has no side effects. However, suppose your dose of medicine is too high or too low. In that case, serum TSH levels remain affected, and patients may have persistent symptoms.
What Are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
What I just described is what thyroid peroxidase does inside of the thyroid gland but this is completely different from thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
If youve been told that you have thyroid peroxidase antibodies, also referred to as TPO antibodies, then this information applies to you.
Your body creates antibodies to things that it wants to kill or get rid of.
In a healthy state, you should really never see antibodies to any part of your own body or tissues.
Because why would you want to get rid of something that is supposed to be in your own body?
Antibodies are usually created to help your body eliminate infections or viruses but they can sometimes be created by your immune system to target your own body.
When this happens you are said to have an autoimmune disease .
We can break apart the word to understand exactly what it means:
Auto , immune , and disease .
In the case of thyroid peroxidase antibodies, your own body is creating antibodies that target, damage, and destroy the thyroid peroxidase enzyme.
These antibodies are produced by the immune system and flow through your entire body until they find their target.
Once they reach their target their goal is to destroy it.
And because their target is located in the thyroid gland, your thyroid becomes the site of a war between your immune system and thyroid peroxidase.
As you might imagine, this results in damage to your thyroid gland which can become permanent if the damage is severe enough.
Antibodies To Thyroid Antigens
Table 1 provides a comparison of characteristics of anti-TSHR, anti-TPO, and anti-Tg antibodies.
Table 1. Characterization of different anti-thyroid antibodies.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Receptor
After expression on the thyrocyte cell surface, the TSHR undergoes cleavage within the hinge region at two or more sites loss of a C-peptide like region leads to an extracellular A-subunit linked by disulfide bonds to the B-subunit . Subsequently, some A-subunits are shed. Substantial evidence suggests that the shed A-subunit is the autoantigen initiating and/or driving the autoimmune response to the TSHR in GD . As shown by crystallization, stimulating TSHR monoclonal antibody M22 and TSH blocking monoclonal antibody K1-70 bind to closely overlapping epitopes at the amino terminus . In addition, neutral antibodies directed against the hinge region exist . These antibodies can induce generation of oxidative radicals and induce apoptosis. The balance between stimulating TSHR and neutral antibodies can provide a balance between thyrocyte proliferation and apoptosis. DNA released from apoptotic cells stimulates the immune response. Since shedding of A-subunits occurs in all humans, the presence of exogenous and endogenous factors Factors and Endogenous Factors) is mandatory for the development of GD .
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Treating Abnormal Tsh Levels
A doctor will diagnose a thyroid disorder by reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical examination, and doing multiple tests, including a blood test. In some, but not all, instances, you may need a thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan.
Treatments for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can change over time, based on the severity of the condition and your response to medication.
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Autoantibodies As Potential Immunological Markers
TG and TPO antibodies provide readily available evidence for Graves disease although not specific, their presence in a patient with hyperthyroidism strongly suggests the diagnosis. These antibodies are present in 2030% of cases 57 years before diagnosis . TSAb are not generally measured because present bioassays are laborious. TBII estimation is a commercially available surrogate and is useful in confirming the diagnosis of Graves disease in the absence of clinical evidence such as ophthalmopathy. TSAb or TBII levels have been investigated as predictive markers for the success of antithyroid drug treatment in Graves disease. Although patients with the highest levels tend to relapse the most, the results are insufficiently accurate for clinical use . The most important indication for TSAb assay in Graves disease is in women with known Graves disease during pregnancy to predict the risk of neonatal thyrotoxicosis .
Wilmar M. Wiersinga, in, 2004
Everything To Know About Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
This article was written by a Medical Doctor and reviewed by the thyroid health experts at ThyroMate.
ThyroMate articles uses only proven, accurate, credible sources in order to provide accurate, fact-checked information about thyroid health that is helpful and objective. All references are linked throughout the article and sources for each are cited at the end. Visit these links to learn more about the research studies and conclusions drawn from the research methods.
Information contained on this website is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always consult your physician for questions related to your health.
You have probably heard or come across the term thyroid peroxidase antibodies, but may not be quite sure what it means.
Indeed, TPO antibodies are frequently mentioned in terms of thyroid health and diseases that affect it. Proper management of thyroid diseases and keeping the gland healthy require a thorough understanding of thyroid hormones, enzymes, tests, and other aspects that provide insight into the way the butterfly-shaped gland functions.
Thats why in this article we are going to talk about TPO antibodies.
Before we discuss TPO antibodies, it’s useful to give a brief introduction to thyroid peroxidase.
Thyroid peroxidase is defined as a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones. The enzyme catalyzes iodide oxidation, thyroglobulin iodination, and coupling of iodothyronine.
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Recommendations For High Tpo Treatment
As experts suggest that with the correct amalgamation of medications, nutrition, and diet, you can reduce thyroid antibodies and its symptoms. Start focussing on the whole, unprocessed foods and eat fresh foods rather than frozen ones.
People with high TPO should be open to trying dissimilar eating habits until they find the one that best suits them.
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Why Is It Ordered
Detecting Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders
The TgAb test can help pinpoint autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Graves disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Your doctor may order the test if you have signs or symptoms of a thyroid disorder. Some symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism may overlap. For example, both can cause thyroid gland enlargement and neck swelling .
The following symptoms point to an underactive thyroid :
- Muscle weakness
- Heat intolerance
The TgAb test requires a blood sample. Results are reported as a number in units of IU/mL.
Monitoring Thyroid Cancer
Thyroglobulin antibody tests are usually performed alongside thyroglobulin tests to monitor thyroid cancer patients and check for cancer recurrence after surgery .
These two tests are done together because TgAb interferes with thyroglobulin measurements, resulting in falsely low levels. TgAb testing helps doctors determine the extent of interference. However, since this interference varies from person to person, estimating the true thyroglobulin levels can still be challenging .
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The Importance Of Thyroid Antibodies Even In The Absence Of Hypothyroidism
Thyroid antibodies have been connected to many symptoms even in the absence of hypothyroidism. When people are in stage 2 and they have thyroid antibodies, they may start to exhibit a whole bunch of different non-specific symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, stress, miscarriages, weight gain, and just feeling unwell.
Without verifying the presence of thyroid antibodies, these types of symptoms may not be associated with developing thyroid disease, and they may end up being misdiagnosed as other things such as anxiety, fatigue , depression, menopause, or even hypochondria. I have personally seen a number of clients who were diagnosed with depression and even bipolar disease as a result of being in stage 2 and already having elevated thyroid antibodies for years.
Remember, if these antibodies go unchecked, we are going to potentially start seeing a progression into stage 3, where we see subclinical hypothyroidism, stage 4 where we start seeing changes in TSH, and stage 5 which may include the progression of other autoimmune conditions.
Note that a small number of antibodies may be present in normal individuals without thyroid disease. According to UpToDate, roughly 5-27 percent of the general population will test for extremely low levels of antibodies . But, when you find elevated thyroid antibodies outside of this range, that is an indicator that the immune system is targeting the thyroid gland for destruction.
Stage : The Breakdown Of The Immune Tolerance
In the second stage, you start seeing the breakdown of the thyroids immune tolerance, and the person will start to have a white blood cell infiltration into the thyroid gland. Some of these immune cells are going to start grouping there. This is when we will also start seeing elevated thyroid antibodies. This stage can go on for many years a decade or more before a person moves on to stage 3 or 4, when we start to actually see symptoms and changes in thyroid function.
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Other Thyroid Antibodies Like Tpo May Be More Useful
Thyroid peroxidase antibody levels are a much stronger indicator of an increased risk for thyroid disease. TPO antibodies are 90% sensitive in detecting thyroiditis, and are effective in monitoring the progression and severity of thyroid conditions .
Unlike thyroglobulin antibodies, TPO antibodies can stimulate the immune system and cause inflammation in thyroid tissue, leading to the development of thyroid disease . However, monitoring anti-TPO antibodies come with their own limitations.
The normal reference range for TPO antibodies is less than 35 IU/mL. But a 2016 study published in the Journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research found:
- Those who had TPO antibodies below 500 IU/mL had a low risk of future progression to hypothyroidism.
- Those who were above 500 IU/mL still only had a moderate risk.
The Tehran Thyroid Study, which followed the course of thyroid disease in a large cohort of people over nine years, showed similar results: those with elevated TPO antibodies only had a 9-19% chance of becoming hypothyroid after 6 years of follow up .
If we consider this, elevated thyroid antibodies are not as consequential as many thyroid experts would suggest.
Ive commonly seen people with Hashimotos disease or elevated thyroid antibodies become hyper-focused on reducing their antibody test results to the normal reference range, and becoming unnecessarily stressed. The research suggests this isnt necessary.