Straight thyroid issues or auto immune disease?

Is someone able to explain the difference please? And how do you know which one you have? I am hypo and I have been tested for antibodies which came back negative. Does this mean I have straight thyroid issue?! I am struggling with vitamin deficiencies at the moment and I've read that if you have auto immune you can have vitamin and gut issues. Bit confused (although, to be fair, it doesn't take much these days :-) )

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  • Is your own immune system making lymphocytes (specialised white blood cells) which actually attack your thyroid, resulting - eventually - in its destruction?

    If so, that is autoimmune.

    Some people, like me, simply found their thyroid hormone levels dropping for no obvious reason.

    Although vitamin and gut issues seem relatively common in people with autoimmune issues, there is absolutely no reason to think that they do not also occur in at least some people with other causes.

    For example, stomach acidity seems to drop in many people when they are hypothyroid. So anything which needs decent stomach acidity to be made absorbable could be affected by that alone. Including vitamin B12 and iron.

    Rod

  • So, would a doctor automatically test for lymphocytes? I have had a private blood test where white and red blood cell count was specified, would this have picked up lymphocyte presence?

  • No. Don't think we have a clinical test that can detect the specific form of lymphocyte.

    The antibody tests are usually thought to provide quite a good assessment of whether or not you have autoimmune thyroid issues - or not. An ultrasound scan is quite a useful additional diagnostic approach.

    Rod

  • Thanks Rod. I've had an ultrasound on my thyroid and had an antibody blood test, neither produced anything to worry about so do I assume my thyroid has let me down for no obvious reason?

  • Just like mine! :-)

    There are many possible reasons but without the help of a doctor, or enough money to do lots of your own tests, you might never find out. :-(

    Like me.

    Rod

  • Mmmm! How frustrating. I know a cause isn't going to make any difference, whats happened has happened, but it would be good to know why. I found out tonight that my mums cousin has over active thyroid and her daughter has under active so I guess it's in my family, although distant. My nan died very young though at 55 from a stroke, she also put on quite a bit if weight in the years leading up to this. It would have been 37 years ago now, makes you wonder whether she suffered from this and was never diagnosed :-( if that was the case, I guess I need to think myself lucky mine has been discovered :-)

  • Trouble is, we don't know if knowing a cause would, or would not, help! If it were a deficiency, an excess, an infection, or various other things, then maybe something other than simply keeping thyroid hormone levels topped up would help?

    I am fairly convinced I'll never now the cause for me. After all, no-one is really looking!

    Rod

  • I feel sure reasons my thyroid began to fail was firstly under stress from glandular fever and secondly under the stress of living under a lot of pressure.

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