I went to the endocrinology clinic yesterday (and yet again I got to see a different endo) and he mentioned something that I've not heard before, he asked had I had my TPO tested? I said I didn't even know what that was and he said this is normally done when you first get diagnosed but he could see on my record that it's never been done. I'm a bit blurred with the facts as I was so happy that he seemed to actually be looking for a cause rather than just saying all my levels are ok that I can't remember properly what he said but the gist of it was that if a blood test shows that something is attacking the thyroid ... or with it the TSH level? ...then I would need to be prescribed a course of selenium. I can't wait for my results to come back as this just might be the little thing that makes all the difference to me. I'm surprised though that I've not heard about this TPO level?

14 Replies

  • TPO is a kind of antibody that can affect the thyroid.

    Take a look at the link above. TPOAb is positive in people with autoimmune thyroid disease. 90% of the people in the UK with hypothyroidism have autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • thanks humanbean, I'll have a good read of this later.

  • Quite a few people with hypothyroidism take selenium anyway. I buy mine from Holland and Barrat.. 200 mg a day. The uk soil is mostly depleted of selenium so they have to feed it to cattle.

    I know opinion is divided upon whether we sould take it or not, but I am in the yes camp.

    Xx. G

  • I'm willing to try anything galathea, especially if the endo checks my levels and tells me I need this supplement then I will happily take it.

    Many Thanks x

  • Well, I hope he's checking your selenium levels as well as your TPO. The idea is that selenium decreases the number of anitbodies, but if you're not deficient, it's not a good idea to take it because too much is toxic.

    But even if you decrease the anitbodies, if your thyroid has already been damaged, you will still have to take thyroid hormone to replace what it can't produce.

  • Hi greygoose

    I don't remember what he said about checking selenium levels but I do remember saying to him 'so if you find out I've got antibodies and I take selenium, will that cure my hypothyroidism?' ...... and he said No!

    He also said 'if something isn't obvious with a disease then it's good to look outside the box at other things as everything might look normal but it could be being masked by something else?' That's not something you usually hear is it as a thyroid patient?

  • Revsie, looking for TPO antibodies isn't thinking outside of the box but an endo suggesting supplementing selenium if TPOab are positive is. Sounds like you've found yourself a good 'un.

  • oh I really hope so, but I've never seen him before in the clinic so it'd be just my luck if he was just filling in for the day due to two of the regulars being away?

  • No, as I said before, if the antibodies have already damaged your gland, you'll still be hypo, even without the antibodies. In order to stop the damage, it's advisable to have a TSH suppressed. Do you have a copy of your last blood test? Be interesting to see your levels. :)

  • I'm still waiting for my blood results greygoose as my appointment was only just over a week ago, but if I get them I'll definitely post them and would appreciate your comments? Thanks

  • You're welcome. :)

  • TPO = Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies = hashimotos Auto immune attack on your thyroid = underactive thyroid= HYPOTHYROID

    Have you tried going gluten and dairy free as for some people that helps hugely

  • Hi reallyfedup 123 - I've not tried going gluten or dairy free as it seems too big a challenge at the moment but I'll definitely keep it in mind. Thanks.

  • I've just had confirmation from the endo that I've tested positive for TPO. That's literally all it said on the letter, no blood results just the one sentence. I contacted the endo's secretary to check what happens now and she looked up my next appointment and said they'd be sending for me in 3 months. I've just e-mailed her again to ask if I can have a copy of my blood test results and to put me forward for any cancellations as I'm eager to see what comes next now that I've been tested positive?

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