Why won't my gp push labs to test t3? - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Why won't my gp push labs to test t3?


Ive had my tsh results..1.77. Lab refused to test t3 and gp refused to push even though I have stressed how bad I am feeling. ..low mood, weight gain, hairloss.... I don't want to increase l.thyroxine because its this thats causing my symptoms. ..not sure what to do now. .

12 Replies

Have your T3 tested privately through Blue Horizon. You only need to do a finger prick test and the results are with you within 24 hours of them receiving it. It doesnt cost much atall and if it gives you a figure you can take to your doctor (Blue Horizon are test results that doctors will look at) then you've saved yourself your life.

Its the labs discretion whether they test T3 or not. It makes no difference if your GP requests it. Your GP is probably aware of this and would prefer not to get onthe wrong side of them. Its not often I stick up for the other side, but your GP has a lot of other patients also needing blood tests and really cant piss offf the lab.


I'm having the same problem! Does anyone know why labs refuse to test for T3 when they're already doing TSH?

helvellaAdministrator in reply to Hidden

There seem to be two reasons - cost and lack of belief by doctors in its usefulness.

The two combine - few T3 tests are done, so cost remains high.


susymac in reply to Hidden


and time but mainly cost

Edit - (Sorry Rod had replied while I was looking for something, but I hadnt refreshed so his post wasnt there)

Hi...thanks Numberone1. I will look into the tests.

Hi Susymac I understand gps do not want to push it with the labs but when I called the lab she advised me that all my gp needs to do is explain why its needed. .I.e clinical symptoms etc...I don't think thats difficult if you can clearly see your patient is suffering. It is easier though for them to prescribe anti depressants.

susymac in reply to vgam

Well if the lab is willing if there is a need then I agree she should have requested it, and put the reason for the request.

I know I have to have "takes liothyronine" on mine or they wont test it, but they dont give it a second thought with that written.

And get you on the AD's *sigh*


I was talking to a customer of mine who happens to be a clinical adviser on the board of the British Medical Association or Institute (I've forgotten which one it's called) and I had a whole discussion of why T3 and testing is not supported. It does come down to each individual NHS Trust and there discretion as the test for T3 is apparantly very pricy. I live in Hull and if my Endo agreed to let me have my T3 tested (which he won't support) the lab in Hull have to send it away to Bristol to be done which apparantly costs over £70 for each test. This explains why on all my previous blood tests when it has been asked for along with the usuals, TSH, T4, Vit D, B12, Ferritin, Iron etc etc T3 has never been tested.

It does make me so angry as it is all down to your Endo who has the final say so if your stuck with a dinosaur who doesn't believe in T3 treatment then you are screwed.

I spoke to an endo today who I see for my diabetes...he basically said t3 is not something he would ever look into as it means nothing...


I have put on here many times before that your GP needs to make a special request to the Head Bio Scientist, that's the person in charge of the Lab Testing. He needs to explain why he needs the T3 test doing. Reasons such as "she is being treated for Hypothyroidism with Levothyroxine but continues to get symptoms". This can be done over the phone. That quite often results in the test being done. It's not usually done because of the cost and the guidelines eg "It's not necessary" (as if........) If your GP is snitty about it then put the request in writing. That throws a whole new light on it legally. Labs quite often don't just refuse to do T3 they lie about it eg "We lost the blood sample, we dropped the blood sample, the blood sample went out of date, there was not enough blood" etc etc etc yawn yawn!

vgam in reply to Hidden

Thanks...you make a good point about putting my symptoms in writing hence the request for t3. I have a diabetic appnt in 10 days...ill take a copy with me there and have it placed on my file...thanks


Good luck!

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