Thyroid UK
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Understand what TPO antibodies is

Hi I'm on levothyroxine 50mg just been put on 50 was on 25mg after my bloods come back they up to 50mg . I'm not understanding really what it all means as now my Tpo antibodies come back positive as well feel so unwell down keep crying tired . Trying to keep going and work . Just won't to feel well when will I start to feel better. Should I take time of work . Can anyone help me understand my bloods results more .

4 Replies

Les, post your results with their reference ranges and members will comment

Positive antibodies confirm autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's, which is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it. Hashi's isn't treated, it's the resulting Hypothyroidism that is.

Adopting a strict gluten free diet can help reduce the antibodies. Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein thought to trigger antibody attacks. Supplementing with selenium L-selenomethionine 200mcg daily and keeping TSH suppressed can also help.

Some information


Thank you this is a big help my thyroid function test come back T4 level 8.4 TSH level 18.5 TPo just says positive. Only been on the 50mg since Friday feel worse today feeling sick tired even more so down don't no what to do . Need to go back to work tomorrow just feel to ill to go back .


I'm sorry you're feeling so unwell but it will take a while to get back on track as your TSH level is still a little high. It sounds like you have Hashimotos thyroid condition because you have Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies TPO. Sometime people feel unwell when they start on thyroid medicine while their body adjusts. If you can take a week off work without jeopardising your job it might take the pressure off you. Could you explain to your manager that you will be back on track but people often feel unwell when they adjust to the medication and you need a week out?


Les, it's going to take some time to start feeling better.

You haven't put the reference ranges (please always do so if you post future results as ranges vary from lab to lab) but your TSH is obviously way over range and I imagine that your FT4 is below range.

The aim of a treated hypo patient generally is for TSH to be 1 or below or wherever it is needed for FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper part of their respective reference ranges.

You will need retesting and increases of 25mcg levo every 6-8 weeks until you feel well and symptoms abate.

When having thyroid tests, always book the earliest appointment of the morning, fast overnight (water allowed) and leave off Levo for 24 hours. This is a patient to patient tip and gives the highest possible TSH which is needed when looking for an increase in dose or to avoid a reduction. Also, it means that you can compare results accurately each time.

It's not unusual to feel worse at first but things will gradually improve. It takes 6 weeks to feel the full effect of a dose change.

If you don't feel well enough to work then ask your GP for a sick note (if they're still called that!) so that you have time for your Levo to start working and start feeling better.

It would be a good idea to ask your GP to test vitamins and minerals. These are often low or deficient when hypo and they need to be at optimal levels for thyroid hormone to work properly. Ask for

Vit D





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