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Thyroid Diseases

Can High Thyroid Antibodies Cause These Symptoms?

09/13/2007

Question:

I have had my regular thyroid hormones checked several times this year as I have all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, but they all came back normal, except for when I insisted on antibodies to be checked. The only antibody test done was the thyroid peroxidase test which came back high at a level of 467 with the range being <35. My mother has Hashimotos, my sister has Grave`s, my other sister hypothyroidism and my dad has hypothyroidism. I was also told earlier in the year that my thyroid felt enlarged. I have had severe anxiety with no previous history anywhere of that, red flushed palms and fingers, dry skin, hives, eye discomfort, irregular heartbeat-told it was pvc`s-no prior history of heart disease. When both my sisters were undiagnosed they had the same heart symptoms as well. Frquent stools, sometimes constipated, other times not, shaky hands, deep muscle pains in the forearms, shoulders, and shin area that comes and goes, fatigue with occasional energy bursts and a weight gain of 45 lbs over the course of 7 months.

I was an avid outdoorsmen as well as a person who enjoyed working out prior to getting sick. I have had all the carcinoid, pheochromocytoma, lupus, ana, lyme, cardiac, gastro, blood glucose, dual strand dna, metabolic, ct scans and various other tests done with all being normal. I was treated for bronchitis 1 month ago with prednisone and zythromax and my irregular heartbeat and eye discomfort went away and never returned. I don`t have anxiety as severe as I did have unless I have any form of caffeine the day before. One other note is that I have been told that with hyperthyroidism you don`t gain weight, however my sister with graves disease gained 55 lbs. prior to being diagnosed and treated.

My question is this: Eventhough my TSH is in the normal range but I have peroxidase antibodies of 467, what is the best course of action for treatment of the symptoms at this point, since I haven`t received anything for this as of yet? Thank you.

Answer:

Given the fact that your TSH is normal, I do not believe that any of your symptoms are being caused by your thyroid, and I do not believe that any form of thyroid treatment will relieve these symptoms. The fact that the antibodies are high means that you probably have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, but this wouldn't cause any symptoms without giving you an abnormal TSH. Your symptoms are puzzling and I don't have an explanation for them. It sounds like your doctors have left no stone unturned in trying to come up with an explanation. However, with a normal TSH, I don't think further thyroid evaluation or treatment will result in any alleviation of your symptoms.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University