Thyroid Autoantibody Test
Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
Your thyroid is a small gland that lies at the front of the neck. The primary function of the thyroid is production of the hormones thyroxine(T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. These hormones act on almost all the tissues and organs in the body and are important for the following main reasons: T4 and T3 play a crucial role in brain maturation during foetal development. T4 is also critical to the regulation of metabolism and calcitonin stimulates the movement of calcium in bone.
Autoimmune thyroid disease occurs when the immune system destroys the cells of the thyroid. Diseases associated with autoimmune thyroid disease include Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which results in hypothyroidism or a underactive thyroid and Grave's disease which presents as hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.
In autoimmune thyroiditis, there is typically an aggressive destruction of thyroid cells by various cell and antibody-mediated immune processes which is in contrast to the stimulatory effect seen in Grave’s Disease. The mechanisms behind these two disease states are not yet fully understood.
Antibodies binding to and blocking the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor have been identified and could contribute to further impairment in thyroid function. The result is inadequate thyroid hormone production and secretion, although, initially both preformed thyroxine (T4) and triodothyronine (T3) may "leak" into the circulation from damaged cells.
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Cold intolerance
- Slowed movement and loss of energy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Menstrual irregularities
- Hair loss from an autoimmune process
- Brittle hair and nails
- Muscle aches, cramps and weakness
- Loss of libido
- Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
- Mood swings
- difficulty sleeping
- Constant tiredness
- Heat sensitivity
- Muscle weakness
- Frequent urination
- Persistent thirst
- Loss of libido
Autoimmune disease of the thyroid is detected by testing for antibodies in the blood that attack the thyroid gland. The Cambridge Nutritional Sciences antibody Thyroid Test uses ELISA technology to measure autoantibodies to human thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (TG).
What will the test results tell me?
Disorders of the thyroid gland are often caused by autoimmune mechanisms that cause damage to thyroid cells and are indicated by the production of specific antibodies, primarily to TPO and TG.
TPO is an important enzyme involved in the production of thyroid hormones and TG is a protein found in thyroid cells that is also vital to thyroid hormone synthesis, as well as its subsequent storage and release.
Up to 95% of those with Hashimoto’s present elevated TPOAb and up to 80% show raised TGAb levels, with these percentages being approximately halved in the case of Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism).
TPO and TG antibodies (TPOAb/ TGAb) can appear raised a substantial time before any change in Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is detected, so this highlights the significance of screening these particular markers in relation to overall thyroid health. The results of this test will identify whether you have raised antibodies to TPO or TG an indicator of autoimmune thyroiditis.
If your levels are above the normal range then you need to consult your healthcare professional. Hypothyroidism can be treated with hormone replacement drugs while hyperthyroidism is treated with drugs, radioactive iodine treatment or surgery. With early detection and once treated, the majority of people lead a normal life.
Simply collect a finger-prick blood sample using the components provided in the Sample Collection Pack and send to the CNS Laboratory using the pre-paid envelop supplied. Results are available within 10 working days. You should consult a medical professional if your test results are above normal range.