How Is Hyperthyroidism Treated
Your doctor’s choice of treatment will depend on your symptoms and the cause of your hyperthyroidism. Treatments include:
- Antithyroid medicines block your thyroid from making new thyroid hormone. These drugs do not cause lasting damage to the thyroid.
- Beta-blockers block the effects of thyroid hormone on your body. These medicines can be helpful in slowing your heart rate and treating other symptoms until one of the other forms of treatment can take effect. Beta-blockers do not reduce the amount of thyroid hormones that are made.
Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer
About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.
Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:
- Are between the ages of 25 and 65
- Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
- Have a history of
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
Treatment For Eye Problems
You may need to see an eye specialist if you develop the eye problems of Graves disease. Relatively minor symptoms affect the eyes in about half of people with Graves disease. Measures such as artificial tears, sunglasses and eye protectors whilst you sleep may be sufficient to help.
However, about 1 in 20 people with Graves disease have severe eye changes. Treatment can then be more difficult and may include surgery, radiation treatment or steroid tablets.
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What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.
When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.
When Do You Need Treatment
Many hypothyroid patients feel at their best when theyre on medication and their thyroid levels are in the optimal TSH range of 0.5-2.00 , Dr. Henderson says. Since lab assays and ranges vary, the optimized levels for a patients specific lab can also vary. For elderly patients, the TSH target is in the 4.0 6.0 range.;
Most doctors commonly treat their hypothyroid patients with a daily dose of levothyroxine , a man-made version of the T4 thyroid hormone made by the body, some doctors recommend using both T4 and T3 as the treatment option. ;
With thyroid medication, the dosing has to be just right, Dr. Henderson says. Too much or too little of the medication can lead to side effects that affect a patients health.
In patients who are diagnosed as hyperthyroid, treatment can include antithyroid medications such as methimazole, that works to control the overactive thyroid. Some patients are given radioactive iodine, which is given in pill form to gradually and safely shrink the thyroid.
If you are experiencing signs of an under- or overactive thyroid, seek professional medical advice from your doctor or a specialist in endocrinology about these tests and treatments.
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The Easiest Way To Test Your Thyroid
If your doctor doesnt know about, refuses to check your thyroid or thyroid antibodies levels or doesnt order any other tests besides standard thyroid tests like TSH or TSH plus total T4, the easiest way to have your blood work done and get the answers is to order your Thyroid Home Test Kit online from a private lab.
The best part is you dont need doctors referral or medical insurance and dont even need to go to the lab . The thyroid test kit will be mailed to you and you mail it back to the lab and access your test results right after they are ready.
All lab tests are easy to order, have FREE shipping , with results sent directly to you within days. All from the safety of your home.
In People With Thyroid Disease
In people being treated for hypothyroidism, a low TSH level may mean:
- Overmedication with thyroid hormone replacement
- Interactions that cause increased absorption or activity despite an optimal dose of medication
- Central hypothyroidism
In people being treated for hyperthyroidism, a low TSH level usually means that further treatment is needed to reduce thyroid hormone levels.
It could also mean that a person must continue to be monitored to make sure thyroid hormone levels return to normal. This is often the case for people who have temporary thyroiditis related to pregnancy or chemotherapy treatment.
Treatment may need to be more aggressive
Medication may not be absorbing enough
Treatment may be more aggressive than needed
Medication may be absorbing too much
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Other Thyroid Tests You Might Need
To help your doctor diagnose the exact problem you have, you may also need tests of the following:
- T3 — the other hormone your thyroid gland makes, works with T4 to control your body’s energy use
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone — a hormone your pituitary gland makes, tells your thyroid to make T3 and T4
- Thyroid antibodies — proteins your immune system makes if it mistakenly sees your thyroid gland as foreign, like in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
High amounts of T4, T3, or both can cause an excessively high metabolic rate. This is called a hypermetabolic state. When in a hypermetabolic state, you may experience a rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and hand tremors. You may also sweat a lot and develop a low tolerance for heat. Hyperthyroidism can cause more frequent bowel movements, weight loss, and, in women, irregular menstrual cycles.
Visibly, the thyroid gland itself can swell into a goiter, which can be either symmetrical or one-sided. Your eyes may also appear quite prominent, which is a sign of exophthalmos, a condition thats related to Graves disease.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Other tests may be performed to further evaluate your diagnosis. These include:
Who Is At Risk For Hyperthyroidism
You are at higher risk for hyperthyroidism if you
- Are a woman
- Are older than age 60
- Have been pregnant or had a baby within the past 6 months
- Have had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem, such as goiter
- Have a family history of thyroid disease
- Have pernicious anemia, in which the body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells because it does not have enough vitamin B12
- Have type 1 diabetes or primary adrenal insufficiency, a hormonal disorder
- Get too much iodine, from eating large amounts of foods containing iodine or using iodine-containing medicines or supplements
What Imaging Tests Do Doctors Use To Diagnose And Find The Cause Of Thyroid Disease
Your health care professional may order one or more imaging tests to diagnose and find the cause of thyroid disease. A trained technician usually does these tests in your doctors office, outpatient center, or hospital. A radiologist, a doctor who specializes in medical imaging, reviews the images and sends a report for your health care professional to discuss with you.
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Recap + Final Thoughts
The presence of anti-TPO antibodies is never a normal sign.;
The presence of these antibodies combined with hypothyroid symptoms may indicate autoimmune thyroiditis.
If you are experiencing hypothyroid like symptoms then you should have a complete thyroid lab panel checked which includes antithyroid antibodies.;
Due to the various issues with diagnosing and managing thyroid abnormalities, it will be important for you to have a basic understanding of how to diagnose and manage your condition.;
Because autoimmune thyroiditis indicates both an inflammatory and autoimmune condition, it is treated differently from hypothyroidism.
For best results, patients should focus on a combination of supplements, diet, stress reduction and hormone replacement to reduce this inflammatory state.;
Doing this early may help to preserve thyroid function long term.
Now its your turn:
Are your TPO antibodies elevated?
Are experiencing any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism?
Leave your comments below!
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How I Reduced My Thyroid Antibodies From Over 2000 To Zero
This is Part 5 of my Healing Hashimotos series which outlines my personal experience with Hashimotos Disease. The other posts in this series include:
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional. This site is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice.
In 2010, I started on my personal roller coaster of recovery . And I mean roller coaster, just check out my thyroid antibody results
*FYI I was diagnosed in 2010, but at that time, my antibodies were just barely there. Then, I went a few years without further testing, and picked it back up in 2013. That is where we are going to start.
So, lets hop off this crazy coaster and look through the details of my thyroid antibodies journey since 2013.
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How Is Hypothyroidism Treated
Hypothyroidism cant be cured. But in almost every patient, hypothyroidism can be completely controlled. It is treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your own thyroid can no longer make, to bring your T4 and TSH levels back to normal levels. So even if your thyroid gland cant work right, T4 replacement can restore your bodys thyroid hormone levels and your bodys function. Synthetic thyroxine pills contain hormone exactly like the T4 that the thyroid gland itself makes. All hypothyroid patients except those with severe myxedema can be treated as outpatients, not having to be admitted to the hospital. For the few patients who do not feel completely normal taking a synthetic preparation of T4 alone, the addition of T3 may be of benefit.
SIDE EFFECTS AND COMPLICATIONS.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Thyroid Surgery
It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed . During this time you should avoid a few things, including:
- Submerging your incision under water.
- Lifting an object thats heavier than 15 pounds.
- Doing more than light exercise.
This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.
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Why Are My Thyroid Antibodies Still High
For those people with Graves Disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis who follow a natural treatment protocol, one of the primary goals should be to suppress the autoimmune response.; As you probably know, most endocrinologists dont pay attention to the autoimmune component, as they just focus on getting the TSH and thyroid hormone levels within the normal lab reference range.; But remember that Graves Disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis are not thyroid conditions, but instead they are autoimmune conditions which affect the thyroid gland.; Although not everyone with an autoimmune thyroid condition will test positive for thyroid antibodies, many people do have elevated levels.; And its not uncommon for these antibodies to remain high even after following a natural treatment protocol for a prolonged period of time.; Why is this the case?
Before I answer this question, lets briefly discuss the different types of thyroid autoantibodies.; Hashimotos Thyroiditis is characterized by thyroid peroxidase antibodies and/or thyroglobulin antibodies.; Graves Disease is characterized by TSH receptor antibodies, also known as TSI antibodies.; There are a few other types of thyroid antibodies, but these are the most common ones associated with these conditions.; Its also possible for people to have both types of antibodies, as Ill frequently see people have both TSI antibodies and TPO antibodies, and every now and then Ill see someone with all three of these antibodies.
What Is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Thyroid stimulating hormone is produced and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. It controls production of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, by the thyroid gland by binding to receptors located on cells in the thyroid gland.;Thyroxine and triiodothyronine are essential to maintaining the bodys metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and maintenance of bones.;
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What Is Thyroid Peroxidase
Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme made in the thyroid gland that is important in the production of thyroid hormone. TPO is found in thyroid follicle cells where it converts the thyroid hormone T4 to T3.
The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adams apple, wrapped around the trachea .
Elevated Tsh Reason #2 Stress Cortisol Or Adrenal Problems
Increased Cortisol due to problem with the Adrenal glands- Another important cause of high TSH is due to either acute or prolonged stress. Stress is far more complex than just emotional.
Cortisol is considered our primary stress hormone. Stress varies from person to person, but things like disrupted sleep pattern, hidden infections, emotional stress from toxic relationships, child hood trauma, heavy metals, environmental toxins, 2nd hand smoke, gut inflammation, fluctuating blood sugar levels, as well as food intolerances or food allergies.
These are all stressors on your body and can influence your thyroid levels as well as your immune system.
Keep in mind that too much or too little cortisol negatively affects thyroid gland. It is about Hormonal balance.
For todays video, lets focus on too much cortisol. Here is a study I came across titled elevated thyroid stimulating hormone is associated with elevated cortisol in healthy young men and woman.
This means that as cortisol increases so too does TSH and when TSH goes up you should expect thyroid hormone imbalances to occur.
Lets dig into another cause of elevated TSH.
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What Tpo Antibody Levels Indicate
When TPO antibody levels are found in profuse amounts in your blood, itâs a red flag that your thyroid gland may be malfunctioning because of an autoimmune disorder. Not everyone with high TPOab levels has a badly-working thyroid gland, but elevated levels are commonly seen in individuals with autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimotoâs thyroiditis.
Elevated Tsh Reason #3 Excess Iodine
Excess Iodine can shut down thyroid function.;While many people talk about Iodine deficiency causing hypothyroidism and high TSH, I want you to be aware that excess Iodine is equally problematic.
While it is true that Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones, iodine excess results in hypothyroidism-
This excess Iodine can come from CT scans, MRIs or any other diagnostic contrast imaging.
Another surprising area where you could be exposed to excess amounts of Iodine is your natural Thyroid supplements. I have a video coming out on this in the next few weeks.
Foods like Kelp, milk, sushi, seaweed, cheese, foods high in sodium usually contain high amounts of iodine and of course if can come from Iodized salt.
If you are going to check Iodine levels, do not check them in the blood. Iodine levels CAN NOT be measured reliably in blood given the considerable day to day variation of Iodine intake. You will need to speak with your doctor and get a jug to collect your urine in.
What Does A Low Tsh Level Mean
A TSH level below 0.5 mIU/L can mean that your thyroid gland is overactive. This is hyperthyroidism, which can cause such symptoms as , heat intolerance, increased appetite, and bulging eyes.
One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder in which your bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. also can be caused by or taking certain medications.
Other Diseases Associated With Autoimmune Thyroiditis And Elevated Anti
Not only will high levels of anti-TPO antibodies damage your thyroid, but it also is important to identify because the presence of this autoimmune disease increases your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.
Studies have shown that patients with Hashimotos and autoimmune thyroiditis conditions have a very large increase of developing other diseases like Celiac disease , type I diabetes mellitus, pernicious anemia and even adrenal insufficiency.
For this reason, the early detection of thyroidal antibodies becomes very important.
Treating and reducing the immune and inflammatory component to this disease can help reduce the risk of developing these other autoimmune diseases.
The presence of TPO antibodies in your blood should prompt your physician to order other tests to evaluate your autoimmune status.
This is particularly important in the case of Celiac disease which is so often undiagnosed and underappreciated .
Below Ive included an example of a patient of mine who had elevated anti-TPO antibodies on initial testing and further evaluation of her antibodies to gluten revealed she also had antibodies to the gluten protein.;
You can see above the high titers to tissue transglutaminase and gliadin antibody, both of which can be markers of the condition Celiac disease.;
Its always very important to identify the gluten sensitivity in patients because the removal of gluten can be curative in this autoimmune disease .;
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