What Positive Thyroid Antibodies Mean

thyroid disorders can have many causes. Autoimmune disorders of the thyroid are the most well-understood .

If you have symptoms of a thyroid disorder, your healthcare provider may order antibody tests. These tests can help identify the campaign of your disease. They may besides help your healthcare supplier decide on a treatment plan .

This article discusses anti-thyroid antibodies, what they do, and why you may need an antibody test. It will besides help you understand what your test results mean .

Normal Thyroid Antibody Values
Verywell / Laura Porter

Autoimmune Antibodies and Thyroid Disease

The thyroid is a gland located in the front of your neck. It produces authoritative hormones that help control your metamorphosis and other torso functions .

Your thyroid gland gets its instructions from the pituitary gland, a small structure in your brain. The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone ( TSH ), which tells the thyroid gland to make thyroid gland hormone .

Antibodies are proteins your immune system makes to help protect you against infections. sometimes antibodies can mistakenly attack your own tissues .

Some thyroid gland conditions happen because antibodies attack the gland and interfere with its normal hormone-making procedure. These conditions are called autoimmune diseases of the thyroid .

There are several types of thyroid antibodies. Each one attacks a different target in the thyroid gland hormone production process. The most common thyroid antibodies are :

  • Anti- thyroperoxidase (TPO) antibodies
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor antibodies (TSHR-Ab)
  • Anti- thyroglobulin (anti-Tg) antibodies

Anti-thyroperoxidase ( TPO ) antibodies

The most common thyroid gland antibodies attack thyroid peroxidase ( TPO ). TPO is an enzyme in the thyroid gland that helps produce two crucial thyroid gland hormones :

  • thyroxine (T4)
  • triiodothyronine (T3)

TPO uses iodine, an crucial alimentary, to produce these hormones. Autoimmune antibodies stop TPO from using tincture of iodine. This causes hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid does n’t make enough hormones .

Anti-TPO antibodies cause excitement that can finally destroy all or part of your thyroid gland. The inflammation can besides cause it to form nodules or to become exaggerated .

Anti-TPO antibodies are associated with an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto ‘s disease. People with Hashimoto ‘s disease may have gloomy thyroid hormone levels, but high TSH levels. This is because the pituitary gland produces more TSH to try to tell the thyroid gland to make more hormone .

In pregnant people, TPO antibodies are besides associated with preterm labor movement and other problems.

It may take time for TPO antibodies to cause a measurable exchange in your thyrotropin levels. You can have positive TPO antibodies for months or years before you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Some people with positive TPO antibodies never become hypothyroid.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone ( TSH ) Receptor Antibodies ( TSHR-Ab )

thyrotropin starts the hormone-making serve by binding to structures on the thyroid gland gland called TSH receptors. TSH receptor antibodies ( TSHR-Ab ) can imitate the legal action of TSH. This causes hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid makes besides much hormone .

TSHR antibodies are besides called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins ( TSI ). eminent levels are associated with an autoimmune circumstance called Graves ‘ disease.

Anti-thyroglobulin ( Anti-Tg ) Antibodies

Thyroglobulin ( Tg ) is a protein that helps the thyroid gland function by rights. Anti-Tg antibodies attack thyroglobulin. This can cause hypothyroidism .

Anti-Tg antibodies are besides associated with Hashimoto ‘s disease .

Recap

Thyroid antibodies attack different parts of the hormone-making procedure. This may cause the thyroid to make besides much or excessively little hormone.

Thyroid Antibody Test Results

antibody levels can be tested with a blood sample distribution. The antibody test measures the total of antibody per milliliter or liter of lineage in “ external units. ”

normal values are :

  • TPO antibody: Less than 9 IU/mL
  • Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin antibody (TSI): Less than 1.75 IU/L
  • Anti-Tg antibody: Less than 4 IU/mL

bill that different laboratories may have unlike normal rate values .

What Anti-Thyroid Antibodies Mean for You

Thyroid discussion is not based on antibody levels. Treatment is based on symptoms and thyroid hormone levels .

antibody tests are utilitarian in finding the cause of your thyroid disease. They can besides help identify subclinical thyroid disease, which is thyroid disease with mild or no symptoms .

cocksure thyroid antibodies suggest you could have autoimmune thyroid disease. placid, they are only a piece of the visualize. They can help healthcare providers decide if discussion is needed. Healthcare providers will besides consider your symptoms, family history, and other rake test results .

You can have elevated thyroid gland antibodies and not require treatment. For model, if you do n’t have symptoms and your thyroid gland hormone levels are normal, your healthcare provider may not treat you. If you have mild symptoms or your thyroid levels are boundary line, you are more probably to receive treatment. The presence of antibodies may confirm subclinical hypothyroidism. early therapy might prevent disease progression, but this has not been test .

compendious

Some thyroid conditions are caused by autoimmune disorders. These are conditions where the body produces antibodies that intervene with the thyroid gland hormone-making process.

Thyroid antibodies may cause the thyroid to make besides much or not adequate thyroid hormone. An antibody test can determine the campaign of your circumstance.

Thyroid treatment is based on your symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, you may not need discussion.

A Word From Verywell

Autoimmune diseases normally merely affect one or a few organs. placid, if you have one autoimmune disease, you have a greater opportunity of having another one .

Autoimmune thyroid disease can be associated with other conditions thought to have autoimmune causes. This includes diabetes and incendiary intestine disease .

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are anti-TPO antibodies?

    These are antibodies that attack the thyroid peroxidase ( TPO ) enzyme, which produces thyroid hormones. They are associated with Hashimoto ‘s disease and are a bless that the immune organization is mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland. These antibodies interfere with TPO routine and can lead to hypothyroidism .

  • Why do people take a thyroid antibody test?

    A thyroid antibody test can be taken to help diagnose and treat thyroid disorders. They look for signs of an autoimmune thyroid disease, which can lead either to hypothyroidism ( first gear thyroid gland function ) or hyperthyroidism ( hyperactive thyroid ) .

  • What is Graves’ disease?

    Graves ‘ disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in hyperthyroidism. In this disease, the antibodies attack the thyroid gland and stimulate it to make an excess amount of thyroid gland hormone .

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