Hashimotos’s disease is a very common autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid cells, which often leads to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Hashimoto’s is most common among women. The difference between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease is that hypothyroidism simply means an underactive thyroid gland, while Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid cells, which can lead to low thyroid hormone production.
Graves’ disease, also called Basedow or toxic diffuse goiter, also means that the body attacks the thyroid gland, but in this case it can lead to an overactive thyroid gland, ie hyperthyroidism. This also mainly affects women and is an autoimmune disorder.
It is possible to have thyroid antibodies without having elevated TSH levels.
Which thyroid functions are tested?
This test measures TPO antibodies (Thyroid peroxidase), Tg antibodies (Thyroglobulin antibodies) and TRAb (TSH receptor antibodies). It is possible to have normal levels of TSH, T3 and T4 and still have thyroid antibodies. If the thyroid gland attacks itself, it can lead to Hashimoto’s.
Symptom – Hashimoto’s disease
- Fatigue, sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Hair loss, brittle nails
- Memory problems
Symptoms – Graves’ disease
- Anxiety and irritability
- Sensitivity to heat
- Weight loss
- A fine tremor of the hands or fingers
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
What is the thyroid feedback loop?
The thyroid gland is part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, and the thyroid hormone secretion is exerted by what is called a negative feedback loop. Thyroid-releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus stimulates the release of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) from the pituitary. TSH controls the production of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 where T4 is the inactive form that is converted to the active form T3. It is the active form that is used by the thyroid gland. About a third of T4 is converted to T3 – provided we have a healthy liver, healthy gut flora and adequate nutritional levels (especially selenium and zinc). The transformation of thyroid hormones can be inhibited by factors such as heavy metals, environmental toxins, alcohol, cigarettes, inflammation, insulin resistance and certain drugs.
About the test
The thyroid test is a blood test that is collected at home via capillary blood. The sample is then sent to the lab for analysis and you will receive your answer digitally as soon as the lab has analyzed your sample. Shipping to the lab is included in the price.