Thank you so much...
So what happens when you have an elevated TPO AB? (mine is 3021)
Does it literally mean my Thyroid is being destroyed? If so, do you eventually have no more functioning thyroid? Will a High TPO AB mean you are hypothyroid due to destruction of the thyroid gland? You mentioned Hypo as well as Hyper can result in an elevated TPO AB...so is more like your thyroid is being attacked with too much as well as too little? Will taking a thyroid medication like Armour or Synthroid stop the attack or just supplement the missing thyroid hormone. I understand it is Autoimmune which I assume means we have no control over what is happening. Is there anything we can do to decrease the antibodies? How often should someone have the TPO AB Blood test taken? Is the first test a baseline that Doctors use to see how well a medication is working for you or just to indicate there is inflammation of the thyroid? My levels are hardly record breaking but I am interested as to why they may be elevated. Thank you so very much for you time.
Auto-immune means your confused immune system is attacking your thyroid as if it were an invading virus or bacteria. No one knows why this happens, though it can run in families. (other autoimmune diseases attack in other places - like in rheumatoid arthritis the immune system attacks the joints) Treatment depends on what illness you have, Hashi's or Graves.
In Hashi's is treated with hormone replacement for life. Armour and Synthroid (among other brands and generics) are used as replacement thyroid hormone. Take your time and get a good endocrinologist who is thorough and easy to talk to, the symptoms of Hashi's can be hard to describe and replacement therapy is a careful balancing act. Don't waste your time with a too-busy or bad tempered doctor.
Graves is treated with antithyroid drugs to reduce the amount of hormone. Surgery might be needed at some point to remove the thyroid completely. And again, a good endocrinologist is half the battle.
TPO levels often go down after a few years of treatment, in some they'll wax and wane but your immune system will most likely continue to attack your thyroid.
In other autoimmune diseases they have medications to suppress the wayward immune system - but they can be dangerous and cause serious infections or even cancer. Currently there is no immunosuppressant medication for autoimmune thyroiditis.
Last edited by AuntieLeela; 10-13-2008 at 05:39 PM.
WOW...thank you so much, you are very knowledgeable and I appreciate the insight. Just have a few more questions, if I might?
If I am Hypo and take a Thyroid hormone replacement will my antibodies decrease once I reach a therapeutic level? Will you loose the weight you have gained during the undiagnosed hypo stage? Eventually, once your levels are stable do all the symptoms disappear?
Your antibodies will probably decrease your first year on thyroid replacement.
You will lose weight, 5 to 10 lbs of water weight will come off fast. I started Levothyroxine (generic synthroid) in Feb of this year and I've lost about 15lbs and hope to lose 15 more. (haven't been trying lately - we have halloween candy in the house)
Six weeks after starting therapy they will retest your blood levels to see if any adjustments are necessary. All symptoms should resolve shortly there after. You'll need your thyroid levels rechecked yearly.
If your symptoms don't go away completely or new symptoms appear - that's where the importance of a dedicated, well educated and not-so-busy-that-they-can't-talk-to-you endocrinologist comes in.
Tweaking of hormone levels is common to address any lingering symptoms.
Last edited by AuntieLeela; 10-14-2008 at 12:05 AM.
So, is the water weight on a cellular level or interstitial tissue or ??? Why do you get so puffy when you are Hypo? I have read many blogs regarding this but I am not quite sure where it comes from? You tend to think of kidneys when you have extra fluid, but apparently not in this case. I understand hormones regulate many things in our body but this weight thing when Hypo is a new one for me. That is encouraging to hear that most symptoms disappear with time. My neck feels like a alligators skin which is not terribly attractive to say the least! Are there rules that work best for you when taking thyroid hormone replacement? Time of day, with food, with vitamins...etc.