Hashimotos antibodies tests

Hi - another question after finishing reading STTM.

She mentions the importance of getting the two antibodies tests and not just the one. When I asked for it last year they only gave me the Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies test and not the other one. I also wanted to ask whether I should have had ranges given to me. When the results came back it just said 'negative'. Is that how it works? I suppose you either have antibodies or you don't but I just wanted to check these two things.

In sum:

The importance of both tests to ascertain hashis

Do you just get a positive or negative answer?


22 Replies

  • Foggymoggy, most people have some antibodies but if they are below the range will be negative and when over range positive. Ranges differ, thyroid peroxidase 0-34 is common, in my area it is 0-100, and there are others. I was told I had antibodies but didn't know to ask for results and ranges back then. The result and range is included in my medical records which I 'bought'.

    Patients may be negative for thyroid peroxidase (TPOab) and have high thyroglobulin (TgAb) antibodies which is why they are advised to ask for both, but NHS often will only test for thyroid peroxidase. Positive TPOab and/or TgAb means you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's).

  • Thanks Clutter. So do I need to ask for both? And do I ask for ranges and results for the one (thyroid peroxidase) that was done over 16 months ago?

  • Foggymoggy, if you're getting private antibody tests ask for both. Its up to you whether to request the ranges from your GP practice. Not sure there's much point if you're restesting unlesss you want to compare results.

  • Well, I wasn't thinking of getting them done privately...can't I get both done on NHS? And yes, even if I get retests it would be useful to compare.

  • Foggy, you can ask but I doubt GP will do thyroglobulin antibodies.

  • Thanks. Then similar questions as I have re Cortisol saliva tests. How much are the antibodies tests? Will the NHS treat them seriously in the event of significant results? I understand you can get kits at home but sending them off before deterioration is a problem that's been mentioned.

  • Foggy, I've not done a saliva cortisol test so can't advise. As to GPs acting on results, if they aren't trained to use and interpret them I think it unlikely they'll act on them.

  • So it's best to have them with a view to treating yourself, I guess, and learning what's going on, although if you were able to show your pattern of Cortisol throughout the day, rather than just a serum at one point (which i've had three times) would they not be interested in then? Maybe someone here with experience of this may come on and feedback.

  • Foggy, it might be better to post a question asking whether any GPs have acted on saliva cortisol results.

  • That's a good idea - thanks - will do :)

  • The other one is Thyroglobulin antibodies.

    In my view, you should always get the ranges. For these antibody tests, the ranges vary hugely. But in each case there will be a cut-off - above that is positive, below is negative (though sometimes there is a "a bit higher than usual but not high enough to be classified as positive").

    If, for example, the line is drawn at 100, then have 3 or something similarly very, very low is obviously negative. Having 80 (or another high number less than 100) could mean that the number is rising - and you should have a repeat test. So there is some meaning to a raised but not positive result.

  • Thanks Helvella - do you think I'll be able to get the numbers and ranges at this late stage, bearing in mind the one test was done 16 months ago?


  • Foggymoggy,

    TPO antibodies may be present in both Graves and Hashimotos disease and attack the enzyme Thyroid Peroxidase found in the thyroid gland.

    TGAb are present in Hashimotos only and attack the key protein called Thyroglobulin in the thyroid gland.

    There is discrepancy as to whether one or both sets of antibodies are required for a Hashimotos diagnosis.

    My doctor always checks for both sets but I understand most doctors don't.


  • Thanks Flower. In STTM she suggested you needed both. I also feel in the dark just having a 'negative' result for the one test only with no clue to what the actual numbers and ranges were.

  • Ask for ranges FoggyMoggy,

    Your surgery might charge as results are more than 40 days old. Charges vary from 10p to cover paper & ink to £10 admin fees.


  • Thanks Flower :)

  • Have you watched these short videos about three antibodies?

  • Thanks Heloise - I just watched them. I found the last one especially interesting. I have low TSH, low T4 and low T3 so am thinking it's my pituitary rather than Hashimotos but I can't get any further with GPs on this.

  • I googled tertiery hypothyroidism and found some articles the other day. I don't think this is one of them but possibly of interest and you might try the googling. It does involve the pituitary and hypothalamus.


  • Many thanks Heloise - I shall look at that and the one below :)

  • I think this was it, plus the link within the article.


  • Thanks so much :)

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