Endocrinology, Diabetes Questions Neurologist

Why do my antibodies keep increasing?

Hello. A few years ago my doctor found significantly elevated Thyroid peroxidase antibodies. My TSH, T3, T4 are all within normal ranges. However, my antibodies keep increasing with every blood test check up. I am extremely worried this will eventually lead to full blown hypothyroidism. Why do my antibodies keep increasing? And how do I stop it? - I am gluten free, dairy free, exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Female | 32 years old
Conditions: Hashimoto’s disease

4 Answers

It is possible it may lead to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is usually easily treated. It may not lead to hypothyroidism, and the antibodies may remain steady. We do not know what causes the antibodies to rise, and we do not know of an effective way to arrest it.
Dear Patient: Very difficult question and answer. TPO antibodies may fluctuate over time; I have seen thyroid disease in people with low titers as well as high titers; I have some patients with high levels who have no disease. It is thought that the antibodies rise due to some trigger either diet e.g. gluten or dairy products, stress, vitamin D deficiency (levels higher than needed for replacement therapy to prevent bone loss), infections, hormonal changes or perhaps other auto immune diseases which you don't describe.

You are on a gluten-free diet; perhaps seeing nutritionist about other dietary triggers and taking vitamin D with levels of 50 would help in avoiding spikes. You should keep your regular appointments with your physician for follow up on thyroid problems or other issues related to immune system.

Respectfully,

Marvin A Leder, MD, FACP, FACE
Antibodies are produced by the immune system to counteract foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses in our systems. Sometimes the immune system gets it wrong and attacks our own tissue such as the thyroid, beta cells of the pancreas (Type 1 diabetes), our joints, our gut and other tissue. The immune system going array usually is due to a defective gene that is inherited. Hasimoto's thyroiditis is most common in females & can frequently be seen in mothers and daughters at the same time. Since the immune system stays array once it starts, the antibodies will increase with time as the damage to the thyroid continues. Yes this may lead to hypothyroid and require thyroid Rx. That's no big deal though. It requires one pill per day which is not too bad. I've been taking it for 26 yrs. and it's easy. So don't worry. I always treated people with antibodies even if thyroid was normal to keep them from forming a goiter. Don't worry.
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