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Dec 2023

Thyroid peroxidase antibody test: everything you need to know

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Dec 02, 2023

Thyroid peroxidase is a type of protein that your immune system makes when it mistakenly attacks the components of the thyroid gland. This autoimmune response damages the body tissues, which leads to chronic thyroid inflammation and also disrupts thyroid function. Therefore, testing for thyroid antibodies can help doctors understand the cause of thyroid malfunction and find the best treatment plan for your condition.

What is a thyroid peroxidase antibody test?

A thyroid peroxidase antibody test measures the amount of thyroid antibodies in your blood sample. This test is used to detect thyroid disease, such as:

  • Hashimoto’s disease: This condition, also known as “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis”, is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism develops when your thyroid gland does not release enough hormones. Thyroid hormones control the way your body uses energy. Therefore, a lack of thyroid hormones can disrupt your body’s functions.
  • Graves’ disease: This is one of the common causes of hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, which develops when your thyroid gland produces more hormone than your body’s needs.

If you have already been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, then your doctor might order this test to find out whether thyroid autoimmune disease is causing the problems. There are many types of thyroid antibody tests that check for different types of thyroid antibodies. Your doctor will recommend you tests depending on your symptoms, medical history, and family health history.

What does this test measure?

This antibody test measures different types of thyroid antibodies in your blood sample. These antibodies include:

  • Thyroglobulin antibodies: High levels of thyroglobulin antibodies indicate Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies: High levels of thyroid peroxidase antibodies indicates that Hashimoto’s disease is causing hypothyroidism.
  • Thyrotropin receptor antibodies: The presence of thyrotropin receptor antibodies can be a sign of Graves’s disease.

When should I go for this test?

Your doctor might recommend a thyroid antibody test to detect Hashimoto’s disease and Graves' disease. But before that, your doctor might suggest taking a certain blood test to check for thyroid hormones levels and determine whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Irregular menstrual period
  • Sensitivity to cold temperature
  • Joint pain
  • Depression

The symptoms of Graves' disease include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased heart rate
  • Swollen thyroid
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Bulging of the eyes
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety

What can I expect in a thyroid antibody test?

Fasting is not required for this test. During this test, a small sample of your blood will be taken from your hand. Then it will be sent to the laboratory for examination. After this test, you might notice a slight bruising on the area where the blood has been taken.

What does the test results mean?

  • A negative test results indicate that no thyroid antibodies were found. The symptoms are not related to an autoimmune condition.
  • A positive result of thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies indicate that you may have Hashimoto’s disease.
  • A positive result of thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyrotropin receptor antibodies may indicate Graves’s disease.

However, make sure to consult your doctor for a better interpretation of your test results.