Thyroid antibodies tests measure thyroid antibodies in the blood. Thyroid antibodies tests are simple, fast and can give you a lot of insight into your thyroid health. Read on to find out everything you need to know about thyroid antibodies, how thyroid antibody tests work and when you should consider taking a test.
What are thyroid antibodies?
An antibody is a blood protein produced in response to and counteracting a specific antigen. Antibodies combine chemically with substances which the body recognises as alien, such as bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances in the blood.
Thyroid antibodies are antibodies that develop when when a person’s immune system mistakenly targets and attacks the the thyroid gland or thyroid proteins.
Some common thyroid antibodies include: thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb); thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb); and thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TSHAb.
Thyroid antibodies mistakenly damages tissues in the body, can lead to chronic inflammation of the thyroid, tissue damage, and/or disruption of thyroid function.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a thyroid disorder, it is important to get screened as soon as possible to avoid the health complications that may arise as a result of the body’s autoimmune response.
What are thyroid antibodies tests?
Thyroid antibodies tests measure the volume of thyroid specific antibodies in the blood.
Blood tests detect the presence and measure the quantity of specific thyroid antibodies in the blood. Understanding the underlying cause of thyroid dysfunction can help doctors plan the best course of treatment for patients.
Thyroid antibodies tests may be used for several purposes including:
- Determining the damage caused by an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Determining the damage caused by an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Diagnosing an autoimmune disorder, such as Grave’s disease or Hashimoto;s thyroiditis
- Helping doctors to prescribe the best course of treatment for thyroid disorders
- To monitor the development of thyroid disorders such as an under or over active thyroid
- To evaluate the risk to the fetus in pregnant individuals with thyroid disease
- To estimate the risk of relapse after treatment for Graves’ disease
- To monitor patients previously treated for thyroid cancer
Who needs to take thyroid antibodies tests?
You should take a thyroid antibody test if:
- You are living with the symptoms of an overactive thyroid
- You are living with the symptoms of an under-active thyroid
- Have a family history of thyroid conditions
- Have an autoimmune condition such as celiac disease or type 1 diabetes
- You have a thyroid disorder and need to monitor the condition
Risk factors for thyroid disorders
Some of the risk factors for thyroid conditions include:
- Gender (females at higher risk)
- Family or personal history of autoimmune disorders (celiac, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Past trauma to thyroid gland
- Current or recent pregnancy
- Recent use of iodine contrast (such as that used in CT scans)
Some of the most common risk factors for hypothyroidisminclude:
- Age and gender (women over 60 at high risk)
- Preexisting condition (autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes or celiac)
- Pituitary gland disorder
- Pregnancy (women who are pregnant or who have had a baby in the past six months at high risk)
What does it mean when you test positive for thyroid antibodies?
Antibody tests are useful in finding the cause of your thyroid disease, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not.
Thyroid antibody tests help doctors decide if treatment is needed. Doctors will also consider your symptoms, family history, and other blood test results.
The presence of antibodies may confirm subclinical hypothyroidism. Early therapy might prevent disease progression, but this has not been proven.
At home thyroid tests
LetsGetChecked provide a thyroid anti-body test as well as thyroid hormone tests. If you are experiencing the above symptoms, or you fall into the risk factor category, you should consider taking a thyroid test.
LetsGetChecked provide thyroid testing that identifies all key markers associated with thyroid disorders.
- Thyroid antibodies - labtestsonline.org
- Do you need a thyroid test? - health.harvard.edu
- Thyroid antibodies - labtestsonline.org
- 10 Things That May Affect Your Thyroid Test Results - everydayhealth.com
- Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) - mayoclinic.org
- Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) - mayoclinic.org