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Antibodies that attack the thyroid
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Antibodies that attack the thyroid

What do you call this condition where the body sends out antibodies to attack the thyroid?  My pulmonologist likes to do a blood test on all his patients as a matter of course.  When he did, he found I have clinical hypothyroidism.  He did a second test just to make sure and tested for the antibodies.  The hypo rate stayed the same and antibodies were present.  He said that I don't need treatment for it yet, but I will when I get older.  I'm 35 now.  I also have not been able to get pregnant yet.  He said the hypo rate was probably not enough to constitute infertility, but referred me to an infertility specialist anyway because that's not his area of expertise.  We haven't had the money to go to that specialist while we are trying to get rid of our townhouse (the housing crunch hit us hard).  Someday, when the place sells and we can pay off the debts (hopefully in 2009!), I'll go see that doc.  I just want to understand this condition that my pulmonologist was warning me about.  He has moved on from our local clinic, so I can't ask him anymore.  What a loss to our little town.  Anyway, can you guys (doctors or civiliians) fill me in on what this is called, the symptoms I can expect, and the typical treatments I can start dreading now?   Thanks, I appreciate the information.  
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It's possible he was referring to Hashimoto. Do you have your blood results?
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139385_tn?1231292918
He didn't call it anything.  I do have the results.  I'll try to report what they said as well as I can since I don't know how to read these things.  

The second test says this:

Thyroid Peroxidase          >1000 H (out of range)          <35 IU/mL (reference ranges)

There's a hand written note about needing treatment in the future and possibly checking it every three months.  I assume that the every 3 months checking is for after treatment begins.  

The first test says this:

T4 Thyroxine (T4)          9.5 (result)          4.7-13.3 (ref. interval)          ug/dL (units)
TSH TSH                     3.11 (result)        0.34-4.82 (ref. interval)         uIU/mL (units)

Then, there's some scribble at the bottom that is indecipherable.  Does any of this make sense to you?
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213044_tn?1236531060
You will develop Hashimoto's eventually.

You have it now, but your thyroid function has not been impacted significantly yet. Your TSH is a little high.

You should have your bloodwork checked every three months starting now.

This may be affecting your ability to get pregnant.
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213044_tn?1236531060
I should correct myself.

You will have Hashimoto's when you start treatment. Until then you have an extremely high TPOab count.

Hashimoto's is defined as a high TPOab along with either a goiter, or low thyroid hormones.

Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease. It is the most common form of hypothyroidism. It is treatable, but it is a permanent condition. The antibodies do not go away as long as you have a thyroid.

Your TSH hints that you are sub-clinical hypothyroid, which means one out of five or six doctors might put you on hormone replacement if better testing shows your Free T4 and Free T3 are low enough to warrant medication.

It might not hurt to request a thyroid ultrasound and bloodwork to measure your Free T4 and Free T3.
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139385_tn?1231292918
Thank you for the response.  At least, I know what to start researching now.  Can you tell me what TPOab, T3, T4, Free T3, and Free T4 are?  I am totally new to this.  Your opinion:  If I can't afford to get these 3 month check-ups this year, next year when I change insurance providers will they call it a pre-existing condition?  
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665125_tn?1273027524
All of us have antibodies that protect us....

An autoimmue disease is when the antibodies some how, get the wrong message and they beging to distroy something instead of protecting it.

You have Hashimoto's Thyroidistis, how this is know is because of your TPOab are too high.  Normal is below <30 and yours are 1000, which are very elevated, however they can get much higher.  The reason the antibodies are so high is because they have a wrong message.  The wrong message that they have is that your Thyroid is an intuder so they are attacking it and trying to distroy it instead of protecting it.

Often times one will also have an enlarged Thyroid due to the attack, thus is the part of the name of the disease "Thyroiditis" which symply means inflammation, your thyroid is or will begin to inlarge.  Often times with this disease one will have "Thyroid Nodules" as well.  So the doctor will most likely or should order for you to have an ulra sound to check the size of your thyroid and to see if you have an noldules etc.

The T4 is the name of the hormone that is made by your thyroid and then the T4 hormone is converted to a hormone called T3 so your body can utilize it.  

The T4 and the conversion of it is what controls your TSH levels, the lower your TSH the better you usually feel.

You really need to do some internet research regarding Hashimoto's so you will have a much better understanding of this whole senario...

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's over 4 years ago, my TPOab were in the 1000's also and my T4 and TSH were in normal ranges just as yours are.  An ultra sound was done which showed my Thyroid was enlarged and I also had Thyroid Nodule(s).  So every every 3 months my blood was checked and every 6 months I had an ultra sound and also a fine needle biopsy to check the nodules for possible cancer cells etc.

My Thyroid meds were increased periodically over a 4 year period of time in attempt to shrink the Thyroid Nodule, the is called TSH Suppression Thereapy.  The thereapy kept the nodule at bay for 3 years and then suddenly I had 2 large nodules. Then 6 month later one of the nodules got even larger...  So my Thyroid was removed Oct 08.

If you have any futher questions, just ask;  Sonflower
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