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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Hi, Katy:

      The action of the antibodies you have had measured would not have any impact on your current TSH readings because they do not interfere with the action of the pituitary which is where the TSH comes from. Antibodies have specific targets. It may help to think of antibodies as chemical “keys” looking for a lock that will fit them. In the case of Graves antibodies, the “lock” is usually tissues of the thyroid gland; there can also be a “lock” found in the muscles of the eyes, or some part of the skin (pretibial myxedema). But these antibodies do not attack the pituitary, or other organs in the body.

      In the endocrine system, there are usually pairs of glands that work together to regulate some aspect of our body’s function. The pituitary works with the thyroid gland to regulate the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood. It is a bit like a thermostat, if you will. If it detects too much thyroid hormone, it lowers the amount of TSH released (which stands for “thyroid stimulating hormone”); if it detects too little hormone in the blood, it will release more TSH, trying to get the thyroid to make more hormone. After RAI treatment, with some or most of the thyroid tissue gone, the pituitary continues to put out TSH in response to blood levels of thyroid hormone — only typically, this is now the levels of the replacement hormone that we are taking. The TSH readings are still a useful tool to regulating our replacement hormone needs.


        Post count: 93172

        Good Morning,
        Does anyone know why my thyroid antibodies tests results would keep coming back high.(Normal goes up to 130. Mine goes to 190 range and over. Howver the TSH keeps coming back normal? The docs have been watching my antibodies as a result of the eye problems. I had the RAI -magic coctail 2 years ago. As always your help is appreciated!

          Post count: 93172

          Hi everyone

          I am curious about the thyroid antibodies. I have thyroid antibodies in my system. Can the antibodies increase after the treatment? Or drop down to zero after treatment?? Is it something an endo has to check once a while?? Any information is appreciated!

            Post count: 93172

            Hi, Belinda!

            This site may have the info that you’re looking for:
            Thyroid Function Tests

            Antithyroid Antibodies:

            Antithyroid antibodies often are associated with and play a role in thyroid diseases.
            The antibodies of most clinical importance are the Antithyroid Microsomal
            (measured by the Antithyroid Peroxidase assay), the Antithyroglobulin and the
            Thyroid Simulating Immunoglobulin. The Antithyroid Microsomal Antibodies are
            usually elevated in patients with Autoimmune Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)
            and may be used to help predict which patients with subclinical hypothyroidism
            (Normal Free T4 and elevated TSH) will go on to develop overt hypothyroidism.
            Antithyroglobulin antibodies may also be elevated in patients with autoimmune
            thyroiditis, but this is less frequent and to a lesser degree. Thyroid Stimulating
            Immunoglobulins are associated with Grave’s Disease and are the likely cause of the
            hyperthyroidism seen in this condition. These antibodies attach to the thyrotropin
            (TSH) receptor in the thyroid gland and activate it. While Antithyroid Microsomal
            Antibody levels are usually highest in Autoimmune Thyroiditis, and Thyroid
            Simulating Immunoglobulins are highest in Grave’s Disease, each may be present the
            both diseases, as well as in family members without clinical disease. There are
            several other less common antibodies associated with autoimmune thyroid disease but
            they are usually not measured in the clinical setting.

            This site also has info about these tests: T4, FT4, T3, Resin T3 Uptake, TSH, and
            Reverse T3.

            Wishing you health and happiness, Debby

              Post count: 93172

              Hi, Belinda:

              Just like you were most likely made permanently immune to chicken pox once you had the virus and your body fought it off by creating antibodies to it, your antithyroid antibodies will persist after treatment. The treatments do nothing to the antibodies; they are designed to solve the problems that the the antibodies have created. According to my endo, doctors do not give frequent antibody tests because there is nothing they can do, yet, to get rid of the antibodies — no treatments for them that are appropriate at least. There are ways of suppressing the immune system, and the antibodies, but people then would be extremely vulnerable to every infection that came along. It is not a treatment that can currently be considered except for the realization of extremely short-term goals — i.e. transplant rejection or temporary lowering of the antibodies as was tried with one person on this board whose vision was so imperiled that the doctors felt it was worth a try.

              Bobbi —

                Post count: 93172

                Basically, every person has these antibodies. However, us people who have been diagnosed with Grave’s disease have something set off in our bodies to trigger off the antibodies to attack our thyroid gland. So we have a higher level than the norm. The antibodies look for a weak link and then they attack. What causes this attack is the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. Our doctor’s do not have the answers or even researcher’s are just maybe coming to understand it. In some people trauma or stress sets the antibodies off on their merry way but it has not been proven. There also is a tendency with people who already have weakened immune systems from other diseases such as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis in our system to also
                have another version of an autoimmune disease. Research that I have read says that auto-immune diseases work in pairs. for the majority of people. Even if you have Graves’yourself and no family member has it they may have another version of it and it predisposes you to it.

                For me I had a very high antibody count and had to have unpleasant immunisuppresant drugs. They worked for 6 months. But the plan was to stop after 6 months and in the 7th month my high antibody level continued up again..WHY.. No one knows. This time they were attacking my eyes.
                To end the story my levels have come down alot now and I am out of danger but for a year and a half they were too high.
                Just keep on top of everything and get copies of all of your bloodwork and ASK your doctor’s as many questions as possible to help you understand. If they can’t help you find one who can!

                  Post count: 93172

                  Hi DeniseD

                  You suggested I get copies of all my blood work. My endo showed them to me, and I copied the data and the normal ranges for my records. I do ask for copies if there were a lot of blood work done on me. What about the endo’s reports (or letters) to primary care physicians?

                  I feel different now becoming familiar with a lot of inside information about the Graves hyperthyroidism than I was at first a few months ago. I am grateful for this Graves Bulletin Board. Thanks once again.

                    Post count: 93172

                    Addendum: I left out one question in my last posting. I meant to add: Is it OK to copy down the numerical data instead of asking for copies of lab work? Thanks

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