Hashimoto's Antibodies

Was reading a few posts earlier and found something interesting that Greygoose said.

When I was first diagnosed with Hashi's in 2013, many people on a thyroid forum, not this one, told me that this would be the start of your autoimmune journey. One leads to another and once my thyroid is destroyed by the anti-bodies, they will go one to cause other issues which will result in things like Coeliac, Lupus, MS, Arthritis, etc. 

Obviously this scared me. I have some walking issues and I feel varyingly rubbish and ok, but mostly rubbish. The first Endo I ever saw told me my thyroid was destroyed long ago. Other Endo's have not agreed with this. I go to an Endo department of a hospital and you see whoever is on that day.

I saw Greygoose mention that the antiibodies from the Hashi's will not go on to destroy other areas to cause other autoimmune diseases, (please correct me if I have misunderstood). 

So what do these antibodies do in your body when the poor ole thyroid has gone?

Sorry to sound a bit dumb.

17 Replies

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  • Once the antibodies have totally destroyed it, I assume they disappear, nothing else to feast on!   Thyroid antibodies are specific to the thyroid so won't attack other parts of the body/organs/tissues.  However, when you have one autoimmune disease you just have to be careful that you don't slide into others.  Just make sure your thyroid treatment is doing its job, your vitamins and minerals are up to scratch and make sure you pay attention to your diet - the gut is the most important thing to get right - as Hippocrates said in 460-370 AD "all disease begins in the Gut" and I may be wrong but I think I have read somewhere that this is where autoimmunity begins.

    Jx

     

  • Yes I think you are right there. I do go through periods of upset tummies and then normal. Sometimes I get like an IBS type thing. But I try to eat well as 99% of our food is fresh, home cooked meals with lots of good veg and proteins. 

    So I guess the question from here is when the antibodies are gone, do you just have Hypothyroidism or is the disease still there doing something else?

  • It's not that the thyroid antibodies cause other autoimmune diseases. It's some deeper, unknown cause, which means that very often autoimmune diseases are seen in clusters.

    If you continue to have symptoms when optimally treated one or more of these could be the problem. so long as you are eating gluten, that is any food with wheat, barley, or rye, it is worth having a blood test to exclude celiac. They are available cheaply over the internet. One in five approx of those with hypot will have celiac, so most don't, but it is a high enough chance to test for.

    So you could already have a second autoimmne disease, or one could develop in future, but the specific hypot antibodies are not to blame for that.

  • Yes, I agree with you, thyroid antibodies themselves won't cause other autoimmune diseases.  But if we assume autoimmunity begins in the gut, if gut issues are left untreated like allergies, candida, bacteria etc it is more likely that we could end up with other autoimmune diseases.    It does seem to be true that science hasn't quite figured out what actually causes autoimmunity in some people but I read somewhere the other day that there is a possibility that the massive bombardment of chemicals in our modern day lives confuses or overworks the immune system to such an extent it starts attacking itself.   

  • In answer to your last paragraph, thats a good question.  I assume what you are saying is that, if and when your thyroid is totally destroyed could you still be considered to have Hashi's if the antibodies have nothing to attack and have become inactive.  I don't honestly know the answer to that.   I also assume any tests for TAb would give a negative result, so I guess that must leave you with hypothyroidism that needs full replacement.    Hopefully someone else might be able to elaborate on that - interesting question.

    With regard to your IBS symptoms, have you been tested for allergies?

    Like you I don't eat anything that I haven't cooked myself.  About 9 months ago I changed my diet, adding in more good fats and oils and cutting out wheat and sugar (even though I don't have a particularly sweet tooth and I am not coeliac).   I had a very unexpected, and unwelcome change - I lost a stone in the space of about 3 weeks.  Unwelcome because I only weighed 9 stone to begin with and now I had everyone worried, including myself.   Its slowly going back on, up to about 8.5 stone now.  I say this because although I am not coeliac I had an intolerance for wheat and buckwheat products and my gut feels much happier without it. 

  • Daizeefoo,

      Antibodies are a response to autoimmune attacks (Hashimoto's), not the cause.  When there is no thyroid function left due to atrophy, thyroidectomy* or RAI, thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies disappear but the damage caused by Hashimoto's can't be reversed so the patient will still be hypothyroid and require replacement.

    I had positive thyroid peroxidase antibodies but was euthyroid.  After thyroidectomy and RAI Hashimoto's symptoms cleared up because there was no longer a thyroid or thyroid cells to target and annual tests confirm I have undetectable thyroglublin and thyroglobulin antibodies.  I'm hypothyroid because I don't produce thyroid hormones.

    Graves disease is a different process and and Graves may go on to attack other organs after removal of the thyroid.

    * Hashimoto's may continue when a lot of thyroid cells remain in the thyroid bed after thyroidectomy.

  • How many years can it take for Hashi's to "disappear" or ceasation of Hashi's symptoms? Or can it possibly not disappear? 

  • DaiseeFoo,

    How long is a piece of string? :(

    Symptoms cleared immediately after I had thyroidectomy. Symptoms which I'd been told were non-thyroidal because I was euthyroid!   I had thyCa so the surgeon removed as much thyroid material as possible.  I've been told that patients who have a lot of thyroid remaining in the thyroid bed after thyroidectomy have continued experiencing Hashi symptoms.

    I think symptoms will continue as long as there is some thyroid function.  Once the thyroid is 'dead' Hashi's is likely to disappear.  Other than thyroidectomy or RAI the best way to reduce thyroid function which reduces Hashi attacks is to suppress TSH.

    _____________________________________________________________

    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Do you know your B12 level ?  When it is below 500 - you can experience neurological symptoms like the ones you describe.

    b12deficiency.info/signs-an...

    I have Hashimotos - diagnosed in 2005.  My anti-bodies have reduced - at last - after being Gluten Free for almost three years.

  • My B12 was good last blood test but since mum's death I have been a bit lacks on my vitamins these last couple of months.

    Will report the blood test results when I get them. Thanks for the link.

  • Needs to be around a 1000.....

  • Hi, I saw a video clip on here a few weeks ago that said anti bodies too affect other organs and tissues. It seemed to make sense at the time. Can't find the link now but I think it was a Dr David Clarke. Just started a gluten free diet myself and hope it works for me. :-)

  • Tried to find Dr Clarke's video on UTube, not sure I got the right one, was it about gluten sensitivity?   You are right in that antibodies can affect other organs and tissues, but - the autoantibodies that attack the thyroid are 'organ specific', they don't attack anything else.  There are others called 'systemic autoantibodies'  and these can attack a variety of organs/tissues etc, but not the thyroid - as far as I know - someone please put me right if this is not the case.

    Good luck with your gluten free diet, Dr Clarke seems to say its a winner, even if you don't have gluten sensitivity.

  • Heloise posts his videos - maybe check out her posts !

  • Thanks Marz, will check it out

  • It may well be that autoimmunity starts in the gut, but no one knows. The most explained autoimmune disease is celiac, according to Dr Fasano, but even there many mysteries remain.

  • Thank you all for your replies. 

    With regards my B12, I have a blood test due in a couple of weeks in time for my Endo appointment, so I will know my levels then. 

    With regards the Hashi's and the antibodies; it's an interesting concept that maybe we lose the autoimmune disease, but maybe not. I might actually ask the Endo at the end of the month. 

    This maybe why people say they heal their Hashi's?

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