Identifying If You Are Autoimmune Even If Your Antibody Tests Are Negative!
As we talked about in an earlier post, identifying that someone has autoimmune hypothyroidism and not primary hypothyroidism means a huge difference in the way we want to help them. If you are autoimmune we need to address the immune system and what is causing it to be “out of control”. If you have primary hypothyroidism then the best support may be thyroid medications. It’s just that most people don’t have primary hypothyroidism.
So, how do you know if you’re autoimmune? How do you know if your immune system is attacking your body?
We just talked about the fact that we run tests, specifically TPO and TGB antibodies, to see if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Sometimes thyroid antibodies are negative because of the way the immune system is behaving.
You can be truly autoimmune, but the immune system can’t mount an antibody response for the test to be positive (this actually happens quite frequently). When this happens, it’s best to look for other clues that you have autoimmune attack on your thyroid.
One of the simplest clues that indicate that you may have an autoimmune thyroid as the primary cause of your thyroid symptoms is that you already suffer with other autoimmune disorders such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Lupus and more.
Another clue that you’re autoimmune is that your symptoms may wax and wane. Symptoms that wax and wane are a sure sign that you are most likely suffering from an autoimmune condition.
A third clue is that you have a basket of supplements you have used or are using to try and feel better –we mean a truck-load. We’ve had people bring in so many bottles of supplements it wasn’t funny. In many cases, the supplements that they are taking were actually making them worse (but that is another topic)!
Number four…your health fell apart after you got sick or had some type of stressful event. Whether it be the death of a family member, a really bad emotional experience, or even a pregnancy, some stressor will often times precede the decline in health. When someone tells us that it seemed to all start after… that’s when we are definitely thinking autoimmune problems.
Number five… If your TSH levels fluctuate every time you get them checked or your doctor is constantly changing dosages of your thyroid medication, you can bet you are likely autoimmune.
Number six… If you’ve been to 12 or 15 or 20 different doctors and you have a stack of medical records sky-high, your lab tests are “normal”, and no one seems to know what is wrong, you probably have an undiagnosed autoimmune condition.
And finally, don’t just have your antibodies run once if they are negative. Because the immune system waxes and wanes, the antibody tests should be run multiple times before deciding they are truly negative.
Don’t suffer another minute! Call Dr. Dranko or Dr. Gorlesky at (919) 556-1033 to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation Meet & Greet today.