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Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Sky high antibodies and hypothyroid symptoms

I have been on levothyroxine for 6 years since age 15 when I gained a quick 20 pounds over a short period of time. treatment with 100 mcg along with 12 of cytomel has kept my tsh optimal but have been unabe to get my free t3 tested despite requesting it 3 times. They kept testing t3 instead. Last time I asked what the problem was, they said they had entered the wrong lab code, supposedly because they "didn't usually request" this lab. Well, got all my other labs back weeks ago but still no sign of the free t3..they show it ordered but no results. They don't seem to know why either. Anyway, my question is more about my super high levels of antibodies, especially the tpo..they have been sky high the last two times tested. I am taking selenium with e added, vit d (it was very low finally got it back up to 30 with stoss therapy d3 50,000 bought on Amazon..taking 5000 daily now).. magnesium, and off and on thytrophin pmg, k2 and turmeric...I also have low ferritin although my serum iron is normal. just started to try gluten free diet recently as well. Getting desperate. My symptoms of weight gain, puffy eyes, eczema, and tiredness persist, and on top of that have fibercystic breasts. I had my serum iodine tested and was told normal. I am fishing for opinion here on what to test?try next? I was all set to try iodine supplementation until I read the negative with hashimotos. This runs in the family with mother and older sister having hashi.. Im a nursing student and stressed out to the limit...Help. please!
10 Responses
Avatar universal
Please post FT4 and TT3.  TT3 isn't as good a test as FT3, but we can still glean some info from it.  Be sure to post reference ranges with results.

Stress can raise antibodies and exacerbate the autoimmune reaction.  So, if your antibodies are stressing you out, the stress may just be increasing the antibodies, and...you can see where this is going.

Why are you so worried about the antibodies?  What are your antibody levels?
Avatar universal
Goolarra, here ya go..TPO 500 IU/mL 0-34; Thyroglobulin, Antibody 1447.9 IU/mL 0.0-0.9
tsh 0.751ulU/mL.... 0.450-4.500 ref
T4  total 7.4 ug/dl 4.5-12.0 ref
T3 209 ng/dl  71-180 ref
b12 939 pg/ml  211-946 ref
iron, serum 211 ug/dl  35-155 ref
ferritin, serum 23 ng/ml  15-150 ref
I have a real problem getting her to order any different thyroid tests.
Avatar universal
add to my problems, I had a severe allergic reaction to tree nuts for the first time when I turned 18. so now I have to be careful of that as well..the list of things I can safely eat gets smaller and smaller..
Avatar universal
Your T4 is only at 39% of range, and the rule of thumb, based on where many of us had to be to find relief of symptoms, is 50% of range.  On the other hand, T3 is above range.  It looks like you might not need all that Cytomel, although we do have to keep in mind that these are total T3 and total T4 tests.  Have you thought about lowering your Cytomel dose a bit?  

B-12 is on the high side, and serum iron is as well.  Are you supplementing either of those?  On the other hand, ferritin is very low.  In order for the final step to take place and thyroid hormones to be able to get out of the blood and into cells, cells must have enough ferritin.  I've seen the 90-110 range recommended for proper thyroid metabolism at the cellular level.

Your antibodies aren't all that high...and before you ask, no, I have not lost my mind!  LOL  Just for the sake of perspective, my TPOab was 900+, and my TGab was 3,000+ on diagnosis.  Those kind of antibody counts aren't unusual.

I was gluten free for close to a year for reasons other than thyroid.  It didn't do a thing for my antibody count, nor did it make me feel any better.  While there are claims that a g/f diet will lower antibodies, I have not found any scientific evidence of that, and it certainly was not my experience.  

How much selenium do you take?  Selenium is also claimed to lower antibodies, and although others on this board will disagree with me, I don't see any evidence of that in a large scale study.  The enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of T4 to T3 is a selenium-based enzyme...just curious if this might have something to do with your very high T3 level???

Sometimes you have to lean pretty hard on doctors to order the frees instead of the totals, but it's really worth it.  You can order them from online labs without a doctor's order.

Antibody counts can vary wildly even intraday.  Considering there is no way to eliminate them, trying to lower them or stressing about the level is an exercise in frustration.  The end result is the same, a thyroid that is functionally dead.  In fact, once that happens, you are on total hormone replacement, and the disease becomes much more stable and easy to manage.      
Avatar universal
I don't take b12 or iron. I do, however eat a lot of cereal, or did until this AG thing.. I haven't been taking selenium all that long..maybe a month..and only 200 at day. I also take thytrophin pmg  off and on because I read it can act as a decoy of a sort and direct the attack away from the thyroid...I am bummed to think there is nothing I can do to save my thyroid. I had also heard that synthroid pretty much will put the nails in the caskets so to speak on your thyroid..I read so many things, my head is just spinning..I was hoping the glutin diet might help heal my gut and maybe "fix" my autoimmune conditions.. As far as my t3 and t4 goes, the only luck I have ever had with my weight loss was when I added the cytomel. now, it seems, the weight is coming back on anyway..
Avatar universal
Thytrophin PMG is a bovine thyroid extract from which all the thyroxine (T4) has been removed.  The big question is "has all the T3 been removed".  If not, you could be taking a lot more T3 than you think you are.  The problem is that this is a supplement and virtually unregulated.

I have never heard of anyone who saved his/her thyroid.  Perhaps, antibodies are lowered somewhat.  I don't know.  Nor can I find an answer to the question "how many antibodies does it take to kill your thyroid".  If you have 1,000, does it kill it twice as fast as if you have 500?  Or is 500 plenty to do the job, and the rest are just overkill?

Synthroid, or any thyroid replacement meds, does not put the nails in the coffin.  Far and away, the most prevalent cause of hypo in the developed world is Hashi's.  Hashi's is a degenerative disease.  It's the disease, not the meds, that seals the lid.

You can try the g/f diet.  If you feel better on it, continue it by all means.  If you don't feel better, then don't continue because you think it's helping control your autoimmune disease.  It's not.

Your TT3 level worries me a bit.  While a good level of T3 should help you to lose weight, etc., too much can have a deleterious effect by increasing your RT3 (reverse T3) levels.  Have you ever had RT3 tested?    
Avatar universal
my doctor is not going to order any reverse t3..i am looking for a better doctor but its slim pickens around here as far as ones that are up on the latest in hypothyroid stuff. I was able to get the nurse practitioner to order a Rt3 a year ago and it was 20.7..mid range. my t3 was also mid range. my t4 was slightly low..
Avatar universal
how do you know when your thyroid is a goner? I didn't know it was a lost cause. I always thought it would somehow be rejuvenated with the right diet/treatment. That is kind of depressing at my age..Have you any thoughts on iodine supplementation? I would really like to consider it for my FCBreast..You seem very knowledgeable on this subject. I appreciate you taking the time to answer and explain things to me.
1756321 tn?1547095325
My mother is in remission for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. She changed her lifestyle and improved oxidative stress drastically. Thyroid cells can regenerate clearly since her symptoms have improved.  Not sure if all the thyroid cells can be repaired though but I'm interested in her next lot of lab results.

I belive the main reason she went into remission was getting rid of the drug that triggered her Hashi's in the first place - nexium. Lower stomach acid to that degree and you are lowering your absorption of antioxidants. When I had depleted stomach acid due to hyperthyroidism my antibodies rose to 1900. Oxidative stress alert!

"Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory and immune-mediated disorders including Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT)" You can read more about this on the study: Enhanced oxidative stress in Hashimoto's thyroiditis: inter-relationships to biomarkers of thyroid function.

And also a good article to explain oxidative stress: What thyroid patients should know about Oxidative Stress.
Avatar universal
RT3 can change over time, so information from a year ago isn't all that useful.  Some thyroid experts think the FT3 to RT3 ratio is the best measure we currently have of tissue thyroid levels.  It's difficult to get most doctors to order RT3; they act like it's just this side of going to the witchdoctor.  You can order RT3 online without a doctor's order if you're interested.  

I suspected my thyroid was gone when I was on a stable dose of meds for quite a while.  Once your thyroid is no longer dying off, you're on total replacement, and the periodic increases to compensate for the continuing degeneration of the thyroid tend to stop.  That was confirmed when I had my last ultrasound, which showed my thyroid, which used to be inflamed and enlarged (goiter) from Hashi's, to now be atrophied.  It's basically shriveling up.

Iodine, in some cases, can exacerbate the autoimmune reaction.  It can depend on what stage of the disease you are in.  If your thyroid is dead and gone, it doesn't matter anymore.
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