Making sense of my test results was one of the first things I struggled with. They are much easier to understand once you learn the causes and relationships behind each item being tested. Start by remembering these three things:
- Your immune system is mistakenly sending out antibodies (TRAbs) targeted at your thyroid.
- Your thyroid responds to this attack by creating and releasing more thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) into your bloodstream, with no “off switch”. This is why Graves disease is classed as a “hyperactive” thyroid.
- Your pituitary gland sees the high levels of T3 and T4 in your bloodstream, so it thinks that no TSH is required and shuts down production. This results in less (often none) ‘Thyroid Stimulating Hormone’ (TSH) in your blood.
Remission is achieved when your immune system stops attacking your thyroid and you no longer have any TRAbs in your blood. Once this happens, your T3 and T4 hormone production will reduce to normal, and the pituitary gland will start its important thermostat function by checking levels in the blood and producing TSH as needed again. These are the key results you need to pay attention to.