I have discussed the causes of hypothyroidism earlier and mentioned that one of those causes is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s, which I have, is an autoimmune disease (just like Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, alopecia, rheumatoid arthritis, vitilgo, celiac disease to name a few).
As with any autoimmune disease, a dysfunctional immune system produces antibodies which attack our own bodies, in this case the thyroid gland. In many cases this attack is virtually silent, initial symptoms mimic other illnesses and it is not until real damage has been done and the thyroid gland can barely function that we look for answers.
For this reason it is very important that thyroid antibodies blood tests be conducted along with the other thyroid tests. Generally Hashimoto’s is confirmed with two antibodies tests, anti-TPO and TgAb. Anti-TPO attacks an enzyme in our thyroid gland, the Thyroid peroxidase, which is vital in the production of all thyroid hormones and TgAb attacks our thyroglobulin, a key protein in the thyroid gland, which is essential for the production of T4 and T3.
The ranges for each antibodies test in Australia are: –
– anti-TPO <60IU/ml, and
– TgAb <60UI/ml.
When I was first tested my anti-TPO level was >1300! (the lab could not record anything higher) against a normal range of <60. The GP I was being treated by at the time basically scoffed at the tests, saying only that “something was going on, but we do not really know what” and did not want to help me with any form of treatment despite the fact that my test results were awful and I felt like the living dead!