Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
What is your Thyroid Gland?
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:
1. T4 and T3 play a crucial role in brain maturation during foetal development
2. T4 is critical to the regulation of metabolism
3. Calcitonin stimulates the movement of calcium in bone.
What is Autoimmune thyroid disease?
Autoimmune thyroid disease occurs when the immune system destroys the cells of the thyroid. Diseases associated with autoimmune thyroid disease include Hashimotoâ€™s thyroiditis and Ordâ€™s thyroiditis which results in hypothyroidism and Graveâ€™s disease which results in hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- weight gain
- sensitivity to cold fatigue
- panic attacks
- high cholesterol
- reactive hypoglycemia
- muscle weakness
- memory loss
- hair loss
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- Weight loss
- increased appetite
- high blood pressure
- hand tremors
- enlargement of the thyroid galnd (goiter)
- muscle weakness
- eye problems including inflammation
- swelling of tissue surrounding the eye, bulging of the eye
Testing for Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
Autoimmune disease of the thyroid is detected by testing for antibodies in the blood that attack the thyroid gland. The CNS Autoantibody Thyroid Test uses ELISA technology to measure autoantibodies to human thyroid peroxidase (TPO).
Thyroid peroxidase is an important enzyme involved in the multiple steps of thyroid hormone synthesis. Autoantibodies to TPO are associated with both Hashimoto''s thyroiditis and Graves disease. The presence of anti-TPO autoantibodies unequivocally confirms autoimmune thyroiditis and they are frequently the only indication of underlying disease. The detection of anti-TPO autoantibodies is evidence against goiter or hypothyroidism of non-autoimmune nature.
Results & Treatment
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. Once treated, the majority of people lead a normal life.
Sample requirements and test turnaround
Only a pin-prick blood sample is required. Results are available within 10 working days