High TgAb! What does it mean?

We have a private thyroid test done once a year for our son who is now 9 years old.

We have just received his latest test results, TSH, FT4 and TPOAb are all within the reference range, however his TgAb is too high. We were told by the testing company to start monitoring his thyroid health a little more regularly than just once a year but I would like to know if HighTgAb can fluctuate and also what causes TgAb to go high? I have just made an appointment with our GP for next week but I know that our GP will probably not have an explanation for us.

Can anyone help please? Thank you.

13 Replies

  • It means he has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - what doctors call Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Which is the leading cause of hypothyroidism. The body's immune system attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland. Eventually, he will go hypo, which is why they say to keep and eye on his thyroid.

    Can you post all his results? Just 'in range', could be anything.

    Antibodies do fluctuate, but the root of the problem never goes away. It is there for life.

  • Hello,

    Thank you so much for your reply. We have got a GP appointment next week, I presume and hope that our GP will want to check things out.

    His latest results (blood test on 22.08.2016) are these:

    TSH 2.2 (0.64-6.27)

    FT4 13.28 (11.50-22.70)

    TgAb 150.06 (0-60)

    TPOAb 32 (0-60)

    We do not know his FT3 levels, the lab didn't do the test.

    His previous annual test results were as follows:

    August 2011 (age 4 years)

    TSH 2.9 (0.3-6.9)

    FT4 13 (5.6-21.00)

    FT3 7.0 (3.7-7.0)

    TgAb 50 (0-60)

    TPOAb 28 (0-60)

    April 2012 (age 5 years)

    TSH 2.5 (0.64-6.27)

    FT4 15.73 (11.50-22.70)

    TgAb 33.3 (0-60)

    TPOAb 27 (0-60)

    August 2013 (age 6 years)

    TSH 2.84 (0.64-6.27)

    FT4 13.24 (11.50-22.70)

    TgAb 0.00 (0-60)

    TPOAb 0.3 (0-60)

    August 2014 (age 7 years)

    TSH 1.62 (0.64-6.27)

    FT4 11.00 (11.50-22.70)

    August 2015 (age 8 years)

    TSH 2.15 (0.64-6.27)

    FT4 10.01 (11.50-22.70)

  • So, his TSH has almost always been over 2, which shows his gland has been struggling. But I don't think it's high enough to interest a doctor - unless things are very different where you are!

  • Yes, that is exactly what I thought, doctors tend to go by TSH results but my aim is to at least get a referral to a pediatric Endocrinologist and demand that they monitor his thyroid health. Do you think that it is reasonable to ask for a referral based on my son's test results? I would feel a lot happier if we saw a specialist rather than just a GP.

  • Yes, I think so, given the antibodies. I think everyone's thyroid should be kept under yearly review, at least, given that thyroid problems are getting more and more frequent. The filthy world we live it poisons us and our thyroids suffer. I think he should be kept a close eye on, yes.

    Have you put him on a gluten-free diet? That could help lowering the antibodies. Won't cure the Hashi's, but could lessen the symptoms caused by the antibodies themselves. :)

  • I can only agree with everything Greygoose says; as usual...:-)

    I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and it is not as scary as it sounds at first. It won't affect his treatment in any way once he is diagnosed with hypothyroidism; it just means that they will know why his thyroid gland stopped working properly. As Greygoose pointed out, it's the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

    One thing I have noticed over the years (diagnosed in 2000) is that I tend to feel better if my TSH is really low, or rather suppressed...when I was first put on thyroxine, sixteen years ago, I was told to keep my TSH below 1.5 but above 0.8 (the reference ranges where I live are 0.2-4.0). In the years since, I have experimented a lot on my own, and I have noticed that the antibody and anti-thyroglobuline levels tend to stay in range when my TSH is around 0.01-0.02. This means most doctors freak out and say I'm hyperthyroid (overmedicated), but I think I feel better when my antibody levels and anti-thyroglobuline levels are in range (which only happens if my TSH is suppressed).

    I am not saying your son will need a really low or even suppressed TSH to feel well, far from it. I just wanted to mention this as I know I'm not the only Hashimoto's patient feeling better with a suppressed TSH. Unfortunately, most doctors are clueless when it comes to non-conventional treatment of thyroid disease.

    For me, it's easy to keep my TSH suppressed with NDT, as it seems T3 has a tendency to do that (the same is true for synthetic T3).

    Best of luck to you, your son and your whole family!

  • Yes, it is advisable to keep the TSH suppressed - less gland activity, less antibody activity. But, that doesn't work for everyone, and doctors go bananas! But then, they don't really know what the TSH does!

  • Sorry, I realised I put the wrong reference ranges in my earlier reply; I accidentally used the one for free T4, not the TSH...I have now corrected it.

  • I don't know who your private testing company is, but if you paid for a full thyroid test and the lab refused to do the Free T3, I suggest you kick up a stink. You should get what you paid for.

  • The testing lab was chosen by a private doctor we saw in Slovakia. It is this doctor who did not request FT3 test but now that TgAb has come back positive I will phone them tomorrow and ask if the FT3 can be done retrospectively using the same blood sample and if this is not possible then I will try and get our GP to re-test.

  • For information on Hashimoto's Disease see links from Izabella Wentz, a sufferer who managed to put her Hashi's into remission and wrote a book about it.




    I've never read her book (I don't have Hashi's) but it gets lots of good reviews.

  • Thank you, this sounds like it could be very helpful, I will certainly get the book. Many thanks again.

  • As usual, i don't agree with much what is being said here.. there are many articles and stories of people who have put hashi's, as well as other autoimmune disease into remission often permanently. Worth a try in my opinion. Here is just one reference..


    Also see Dr. Isabella Wentz.. and google reversing autoimmune disease..its all there.

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