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Old 07-24-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Question Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

I was diagnosed 3 years ago with hypothyroidism, and placed on synthroid. A year later, I was retested and told I had switched to Hyper and to stop taking the synthroid. A year after that, I was still found to have Hyperthyroidism. They sent me for an radioactive iodine uptake test, which came back with normal results. Went to an endocrynologist who ordered more blood tests and said my thyroid was improving and that it's probably thyroiditis and would probably resolve itself in the next couple of months. The only thing that doesnt make any sense is that the last couple of blood tests ran these last few months tested high for the Graves Disease Antibodies... so is it possible to have these anti-bodies, but not have Graves Disease??? The endocrynologists says this is possible, but Im not so sure... how can you have graves antibodies but not have Graves Disease? Thanks! My latest blood tests fell within normal ranges except for the one that was always low, but it seems to be rebounding? Thanks!

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:36 AM   #2
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

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Originally Posted by Birdflu View Post
The endocrynologists says this is possible, but Im not so sure... how can you have graves antibodies but not have Graves Disease?
My endo says the same and from what I've read over the years I believe so too. When you're HypoT your suppressive antibodies are "winning" but those stimulating can take over sometimes and make you HyperT for awhile. My endo says Graves can also be a "phase" in your autoimmune thyroiditis - I know a person that was very HypoT caused by Hashi's but then turned HyperT.

 
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

It would be interesting to see your latest labs if you want to post them here. Have you tested positive for Hashimoto's too?
Do your symptoms correspond with the diagnosis of hyper or hypo? How are you feeling now?

 
Old 07-25-2009, 09:14 AM   #4
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Question Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

I should have asked for a copy of my labs, but I didn't. I believe my labs have shown my TSH at .001 for awhile, and recently at .345 which is showing improvement.. but graves anti bodies still high. I always thought that Graves never went away once you got it... or is it possible I never had it? Arent anti-bodies proof of a disease? For example, you cant have chicken pox antibodies if you never had chicken pox? My primary physician was getting worried about my thyroid levels, but my endo said I shouldnt be that worried because it seems to be resolving itself? She has ordered more bloodwork in 2 months to see if it continues to improve. As for physical symptoms, besides being tired a lot (which could just be from work, life, etc), I wouldnt have known there was an issue with the thyroid. The blood tests are what brought it to the Dr's attention. I am certainly not losing weight (though I'm not overweight either), which is common in Graves. I also thought these series of tests I've taken could give a crystal clear picture of what the issue is, but it seems nobody is willing to make an official diagnosis. I will try to get the bloodwork and post the results soon.

 
Old 07-25-2009, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

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Originally Posted by FinnMaid View Post
My endo says the same and from what I've read over the years I believe so too. When you're HypoT your suppressive antibodies are "winning" but those stimulating can take over sometimes and make you HyperT for awhile. My endo says Graves can also be a "phase" in your autoimmune thyroiditis - I know a person that was very HypoT caused by Hashi's but then turned HyperT.
So what was the treatment or result in your friends case? Did it stablize on it's own?

 
Old 07-25-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

If you're repeatedly testing positive for Graves you more than likely have it. I believe the specificity of the Graves antibody test is pretty good.

Autoimmune disease is when the immune system itself is damaged and antibodies mistakenly attack self, whereas when you have chicken pox, which is a virus, this triggers a normal immune response, producing antibodies towards the virus. Antibodies for viruses and bacteria in some cases can go away (which is why you need a regular tetanus booster). Autoimmune diseases like Graves and Hashimoto's tend to not go away as long as you have a functioning thyroid. It's definitely something you and your doctors need to watch.

 
Old 07-25-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

Antibodies for viruses and bacteria in some cases can go away (which is why you need a regular tetanus booster). Autoimmune diseases like Graves and Hashimoto's tend to not go away as long as you have a functioning thyroid. It's definitely something you and your doctors need to watch.[/QUOTE]

I thought the same thing, repeated results show high levels of antibodies, must be graves... why is my endo coming to a different conclusion? And can Graves dissappear or resolve itself over time? If it doesnt, why are my levels beginning to normalize all of a sudden? Just some of the many questions I have ). After my bloodword in 2 months, I will be switching endo's because I'm not comfortable with my current endo's knowledge on the subect. If my tests show totally normal results with high graves antibodies, I will just keep an eye on it I guess?

 
Old 07-25-2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

Have you been tested for Hashimoto's antibodies too? It's not all that uncommon to have both Graves and Hashi's and that might account for the contradictory messages your Endo is giving you.

 
Old 07-26-2009, 12:33 AM   #9
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

Symptoms are not one size fits all. I have both Graves and Hashimotos. When I am very hyper, I am also extremely tired. When I am hypo, I have no appetite and I have not and do not gain weight. So symptoms can vary from person to person. Just something to keep in mind.

To Birdflu, you should find out if you have antibodies for both Hashi and Graves, you could have both like me! For many months I have "normal" labwork, meaning my TSH, Free T3 and T4 were always within "normal" range but I had positive antibodies for Grave and Hashi. Until recently, my TSH began to rise and is at a 6.4. I also developed Graves eye disease when my thyroid problems began, so if you have TSI antibodies, that it something to keep in mind. Some people develop the eye condition, while other do not.

 
Old 07-26-2009, 06:26 AM   #10
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

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Originally Posted by Birdflu View Post
So what was the treatment or result in your friends case? Did it stablize on it's own?
She stopped levothyroxine and eventually was put on Tyrazol (that's a hyperT drug) but I haven't heard from her for awhile.

My endo is convinced that I too have stimulating antibodies but has never said I probably have Graves (or Basedow as it's called over here). I don't think we get Basedow diagnosis if we're not HyperT or have periods of HyperT or have related eye disease .

 
Old 07-27-2009, 04:18 AM   #11
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

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Originally Posted by AlexaIn2006 View Post
I also developed Graves eye disease when my thyroid problems began, so if you have TSI antibodies, that it something to keep in mind. Some people develop the eye condition, while other do not.
So if you have both Graves and Hashi (I've considered this before), what is the treatment for when you have both? Do you treat whichever is winning the tug of war at the time? Or wait until one wins?

 
Old 07-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #12
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

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Originally Posted by Birdflu View Post
Do you treat whichever is winning the tug of war at the time? Or wait until one wins?
Yes you treat the current situation. Suppressing antibodies will eventually win but that can take years.

Last edited by FinnMaid; 07-27-2009 at 08:44 AM.

 
Old 07-27-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

It might be worth a look at a promising new treatment called Low Dose Naltrexone if you want to try to reduce your antibodies. Look it up and see what you think.

 
Old 07-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #14
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Re: Is it possible to have Graves anitbodies but not gave Graves?

Graves can and does go into remission, like other diseases that are auto immune. if your antibodies are higher than 125 chances are you will in the future perhaps begin showing hyper symptoms and labs. Mine were only 109 at diagnosis. I carry the antibodies for both. I think a lot of us do for whatever reason. I have always been treated for hyper with methimazole, always on a very low dose, that's all I can handle without going hypo.

 
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