Dr. David Clark, DC -Durham, NC-explains why anti-thyroglobulin antibodies are a hidden cause why you STILL have low thyroid symptoms.
Hidden Cause #8 why you still have low thyroid systems is kind of a cheat. You've probably heard me talk about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis before. And this hidden cause is related to that.
Hidden Cause #8 is antithyroglobulin antibodies---you’ve got Hashimoto’s and it’s attacking your thyroglobulin inside your thyroid gland.
Why are anti-thyroglobulin antibodies a hidden cause of low thyroid symptoms?
Well, it really shouldn’t be "hidden" because Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, bar none. It’s not iodine deficiency. It’s not tyrosine deficiency. It’s an autoimmune condition. Genes have been turned on that are causing your immune system to target and attack the inside of your thyroid gland.
What is Thyroglobulin?
Thyroglobulin is inside your thyroid gland. You use to make thyroid hormones--T4 and T3. If your immune system is attacking and destroying thyroglobulin, then your ability to make thyroid hormones over time decreases.
Evenutally you suffer low thyroid symptoms such as:
- inability to lose weight
- gaining weight on low calorie diet, or even though you exercise like crazy
- dry hair, dry skin
- high cholesterol.
Because you just can’t make thyroid hormones very well without enough thyroglobulin, you’ll start to develop those low thyroid symptoms at some point.
On lab testing, your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels may go up.... and your doctor may identify the elevated TSH ....and may diagnose you as hypothyroid. He/she will probably start you on Synthroid® or Armour® or something similar.
Here's a problem, though....
If you’ve got Hashimoto’s---and you’ve got the thyroglobulin antibodies---but the doctor doesn’t test for them....then you’re probably not going to feel very different, even if you're taking the medication.
The replacement hormones don't do much for the autoimmune attack on thyroglobulin.
This is a hidden cause because most doctors just don’t look for it.
Why don’t doctors test for anti-thyroglobulin antibodies?
Because, frankly, they wouldn’t treat you any differently if they found out you had it. This is the difference between the traditional medical approach and a more functional approach.
The standard, in-the-box medical approach says it doesn’t matter that you have an autoimmune condition.... It’s good enough to give you thyroid hormones and hope you feel better.
That doesn’t mean your doctor's trying to make you feel bad. It’s just the limitation of their training. They don’t know that there ARE other things you can do for it.
What should you be doing about Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies?
If you’ve been diagnosed hypothyroid – I don’t care how long you’ve been diagnosed – and you’ve never had a thyroglobulin antibody test or a TPO antibody test, you need to get those done.
If you’ve got Hashimoto’s you’ve got to jump into action right now. Here’s why....
You must understand that once you’ve got one autoimmune condition (like Hashimoto’s) it’s really easy to get another autoimmune condition. It’s easy to start attacking more tissues, causing more problems, causing more symptoms.
The other important thing you have to understand about thyroglobulin antibodies is the connection to Mercury toxicity.
A great study recently showed that having only high Anti- Thyroglobulin antibodies--not TPO antibodies-- is associated with high mercury levels.
Hidden Cause #8 is hidden because most doctors don’t look for it.
It’s not hidden to you anymore because now you know it’s something that could be causing all these low thyroid symptoms that you still have...
...Even though you may be taking medication
...Even though your other lab tests look normal.
Most doctors typically don’t run a full thyroid panel, which includes Anti- thyroglobulin antibodies, because in their mind they don’t need to because they really only have one tool to offer you: replacement hormones like Synthroid® or Armour®.
But if you have Hashimoto’s, the replacement hormones aren’t very helpful in the long run.
Sure, you can enjoy a “hormone honeymoon” where you feel good. for a few weeks or few months. Over time, your dosage keeps changing but you still feel bad.
I just wish that doctors would check for these things. I wish more doctors knew that there was something you can do for Hashimoto’s on top of giving thyroid hormones:
- Changing diet
- Make sure the GI tract is healthy--not leaky
- Decreasing inflammation and cytokine levels
- Improving Brain function
You have to be an advocate for yourself.
You have some powerful information now, so go find someone to get you tested.
And find someone who’ll know what to do if you show up abnormal. Okay?
That’s the second half of the battle; finding someone that knows what to do with Hashimoto’s.
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© 2012 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. David Clark, DC
Functional Neurologist (FACFN)
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist (ACNB)
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