Thyroglobulin antibodies are antibodies that recognize and bind to thyroglobulin, interfering with its function. Thyroglobulin is critical for thyroid hormone production, so thyroglobulin antibodies usually indicate thyroid disease. The thyroglobulin antibodies test is usually ordered after thyroid abnormalities have been detected with some other testing, such as TSH and free T4. It is ordered along with TPO antibody testing.
The thyroglobulin antibody level cannot be too low.
Thyroglobulin antibodies are autoantibodies, which means the body mistakenly produces these antibodies that act against a normal protein, thyroglobulin. As such, thyroglobulin antibodies usually indicate an autoimmune disease. Thyroglobulin antibodies are present in roughly 90% of people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and in half to three-quarters of people with Graves' disease. Thyroglobulin antibodies may be detectable in people without symptoms of thyroid hormone imbalance (subclinical hypothyroidism). When hypothyroidism causes symptoms, it may cause weakness and fatigue, cold intolerance, shortness of breath, weight gain, constipation, cognitive problems, dry skin, hoarseness, and swelling (edema).
Some specific causes of thyroglobulin antibodies are:
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis/chronic autoimmune hypothyroidism
- Goitrous autoimmune thyroiditis
- Atrophic autoimmune thyroiditis
- Grave’s disease
- Differentiated thyroid carcinoma
- Subclinical hypothyroidism
- Pregnancy (abnormal)
- Neonatal period (transient)
- Postpartum thyroiditis
- Painless (silent) thyroiditis
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