What are thyroglobulin antibodies?
Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a protein needed to make thyroid hormones. If you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, you might produce antibodies against Tg, called thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). This test checks for the presence of these antibodies.
What is its function?
A TgAb test can help check if you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, like Hashimoto's disease.
What can cause it to change?
TgAb might be present if you have an autoimmune thyroid disease — about 60-70% of people with Hashimoto’s disease will have raised TgAb levels.
Autoimmune thyroid disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include:
- a family history of autoimmune diseases
- being female
- iodine intake
- certain medications
What are the most common symptoms?
If your TgAb levels are rasied, you might have an autoimmune thyroid disorder. This can cause an under or overactive thyroid.
If your thyroid is underactive, like with Hashimoto's disease, common symptoms include:
- weight gain
- dry skin
- brittle hair
- sensitivity to cold
- memory problems
- muscle aches
- hoarse voice
If your thyroid is overactive, like with Grave's disease, common symptoms include:
- weight loss
- increased appetite
- excessive sweating
- sensitivity to heat
- irritability and anxiety
- heart palpitations
- difficulty sleeping
In women, high or low thyroid hormones might affect your period — for example, it might cause heavy or irregular periods.
What can I do to change my levels?
There are a number of nutrients that are important for your thyroid function:
- Iodine — needed to make thyroid hormones
- Zinc — needed to make thyroid hormones
- Selenium — needed to thyroid hormones
- Iron — plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism
- Vitamin D — plays an important role in your immune function and low levels are linked to autoimmune thyroid disorders
If your levels indicate you have a thyroid disorder, it’s important to work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan.