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Test results

I have been referred to see a specialist and I am waiting on appointment.  All I know is my dr told me something is wrong with my thyroid.  I have been experiencing insomnia, hair loss, stomach issues, anxiety, and racing heart occasionally.  I have had a few panic attacks as well but I don't know if any of this is related.  .So far these two labs are back,  I don't even know what questions to ask.
TSH 3rd Gen SerPl QN < 0.010 mcU/mL (low)  reference range 0.400 - 4.200 mcU/mL
TPO Ab QN 282.3 IU/mL (high)  reference range 0.0 IU/ml - 9.0 IU/ml
What does this mean?
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Avatar universal
Hi svanhoo1,

It looks like you might have hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) and possibly an autoimmune disease (Graves) which is causing the hyperthyroidism.

TSH = thyroid stimulating hormone, if this is outside "normal range" it can indicate a problem, usually below range indicates hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone which are T4 and T3).  There are a few different things that can cause hyperthyroidism, but since they've already tested you for thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO Ab) and that is high, it is possible you have Graves disease (or Hashimoto's - Hashimoto's most often shows up a hypothyroidism with a high TSH if there is a thyroid hormone problem, but early on I think it can also cause hyperthyroidism in some people, Hashi's is probably less likely than Graves though).

High levels of TPO antibody are found both in people with Hashimoto's, and about 50% of people with Graves disease.  

All the symptoms you have described are symptoms often associated with hyperthyroidism.  And if those symptoms are caused by hyperthyroidism, then treating the thyroid problem will helpfully stop those symptoms from happening.

I've never had hyperthyroidism (I had hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's/thyroid surgeries), so I don't know what the best treatment would be for you (and I'm certainly not a medical professional), but I will speculate what you might expect from the specialist:

They will want to do an ultrasound of your thyroid, to look for enlargement or nodules.  They may want to do an uptake scan to determine whether you have Graves disease or something else causing the hyperthyroidism.  (Even if they find nodules, this doesn't mean the nodules are cancerous - nodules are very common and most are benign, but since you have a thyroid condition it is good to look at your thyroid and see what's there.)

They may want to do a test for TSI - the autoantibody that causes the thyroid to produce too much hormone, to confirm you have Graves.

They should probably also test for free T4 and free T3.  (T4 = inactive thyroid hormone, T3 = the active form of thyroid hormone, which has a shorter half-life.  The thyroid produces both T4 which gets converted to T3, as well as some T3).  These both might be above their normal ranges, especially since you are experiencing hyperthyroidism symptoms.  These are the numbers that should change with treatment for hyperthyroidism and help doctors tell whether the medication is working or not.

They will want to treat the hyperthyroidism.  There are several ways to do this from most reversible to most permanent, they are: 1.) Treat with anti-thyroid medications like methimazole, which stops the thyroid from producing so much thyroid hormone, 2.) radioactive iodine - this kills off part of the thyroid and will decrease the amount of thyroid hormone produced, 3.) surgery: thyroidectomy - either partial removal or complete removal of the thyroid - if you have a thyroidectomy you will need to take supplemental thyroid hormone daily afterwards.  

I think the first and immediate step the specialist will want to take is to treat with an antithyroid medication, which should help decrease the hyperthyroidism symptoms you are experiencing.

Good luck - I know thyroid problems can cause a lot of anxiety, and I'm sure it's not helpful that one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism is anxiety, which is probably not helpful in this situation.  I hope you are feeling better soon.

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