Hives and Problems with the Thyroid

The thyroid may be one of the most misunderstood glands in the body. And finding a knowledgeable physician to guide you through the process of determining if your thyroid is functioning properly can be daunting.

thyroid-glandChronic itching, or hives, is one of the symptoms that can appear if you have an issue with your thyroid. However, if you have a question about whether your thyroid could be causing symptoms your doctor may only perform one type of thyroid test, typically the TSH test, and if that comes back within normal limits, you may be told that your “thyroid is fine”, working great etc. The problem with this is that if you have a condition called Hashimotos Thyroiditis, which is an auto-immune condition, your TSH could be normal one day, and abnormal on another, thus, making your lab tests less likely to be able to predict a problem with your thyroid gland.

In women particularly, studies have shown a connection between hives lasting for more than 8 weeks and Hashimotos Thyroiditis, thus if you have chronic itching, you should ask your physician for complete thyroid testing, not just the TSH.

Thyroid Tests to ask for:

1. TSH
2. TPO Antibodies
3. TG Antibodies
4. FREE T3 – Note the word “Free” in front of the T3. It is important that you have your FREE T3 tested, which will show how much T3 is actually available in your body to be used. Some physicians will only test T3, which is not the most helpful test. So make sure that your doctor orders a FREE T3 test
4. Free T4 – Same issue as the Free T3, make certain that you are getting the FREE T4 test and not just a T4 run

A large number of patients with chronic hives have been found to have an auto-immune disorder involving the skin and will present with the presence of thyroid antibodies, even if their TSH is normal.