Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies or TPO is an enzyme found in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland makes use of iodine and TPO to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones help in managing the body temperature, metabolism, and heart rate. They also help regulate the growth and development of the nervous system as well as the brain. You need to get a TPO antibody test done if you have been diagnosed with thyroid disease.
If you have TPO antibodies in your blood, it indicates that you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder causing thyroid disease. Such autoimmune disorders include Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease. When you have autoimmune disorders, your immune system starts generating antibodies that attack normal, healthy tissues accidentally. These antibodies attack healthy tissues and cause swelling, inadequacy, or tenderness of the thyroid gland. Doctors might suggest a TPO antibody test to help determine the cause.
What Is The TPO Antibody Test?
A Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies test, also known as the TPO antibody test, helps determine the levels of antibodies formed against a TPO in the bloodstream. Usually, if your immune system is healthy, antibodies will not be formed against the TPO. It is because TPO is not an external element in your body, but is a part of your thyroid tissue.
But, in the case of autoimmune diseases, the immune system does not function properly. It is why it accidentally attacks the healthy tissues and organs, thinking that they are foreign elements. The blood level of TPO antibodies may rise in people dealing with a thyroid condition. So, the doctor suggests a TPO antibody test to determine the levels of this antibody. It is done so that they can determine the cause of the autoimmune condition.
Purpose Of Conducting The Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Test
A Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies test is conducted as a way to diagnose autoimmune thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s disease. Some of the symptoms that indicate that you might have Hashimoto’s disease are:
- Dry skin
- Brain fog
- Brittle nails
- Intolerance for cold
- Menstrual irregularities
- Muscle ache
Risks Involved In Conducting A TPO Antibody Test
There are moderate levels of risks associated with conducting this antibody test. On the whole, it is considered to be safe with no excess side effects. It is similar to a blood test, where blood samples will be taken from the vein of your arm. While the doctor or healthcare professional inserts the needle into your vein, you might feel slight pain.
Keep a bandage at the site of insertion of the needle. It is because you are likely to feel stinging or bruising at the time the needle is inserted into your arm. You will continue to experience mild discomfort for a little while. Though it is very rare, your vein may swell up, causing the condition of Phlebitis. One can treat this condition using warm compresses on the spot.
If you are sensitive to blood withdrawal, you can feel lightheaded or faint at the sight of it. It is best to calmly remain seated after the process. If you are still scared, you can take a blood test while lying down.
What To Do After The Test?
After the test has been taken, the healthcare professional will advise you with further instructions if necessary. For starters, if you are fasting or have stopped taking medications for the test, your doctor will tell you whether it is okay to resume your regular activities.
What Does A Positive Thyroid Peroxidase Test Indicate?
If you are suffering from chronic Thyroiditis, the TPO antibody test will come as positive. It might also come as positive if you are suffering from other thyroid diseases. Some of the other autoimmune diseases indicated if you test positive are Lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Pernicious Anemia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The risk of testing positive in this test is higher for females, and it gradually increases with age. Also, it has been proven that about 3% of people who have positive TPO tests show no symptoms of any thyroid disease.
The Bottom Line
Conducting a TPO antibody test will help the doctor determine the levels of TPO antibodies present in your blood. This, in turn, will help the doctor decide the cause of the rise in antibodies.