Which tests?

I've been experiencing various symptoms for a number of years, which I now realise could be linked to thyroid problems. I had a TSH test done in 2010 and don't know the levels but the Doctor said it was ok. Now that I know a little more, I was advised online that I should have the full board done and that there are another 4 (T4, T3, free T4 and T3). My Doctor, however, said that as the TSH test was ok (even though it was 3 1/2 years ago), the likelihood of there been any issues with rest is very minimal and so I'd have to get them done privately. Each test is £72 though, so I'm looking for a little advice and wonder if I really need all of them?



11 Replies

  • This and other thyroid tests can be done every 8 weeks if necessary by a doctor, I would find another doctor

  • Hi Paul. I'm sorry you're suffering.

    Your GP either knows very little or is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. If your last TSH test was three and a half years ago, this is not good enough. You should have been offered another TSH test at the very least! It varies as to if GPs will do the full range - they should but...

    There is a much more cost-effective private blood test offered (I think it's called Blue Horizon) I've never used it, but others here recommend it and if you do a search on here it should come up.

    You also need to know the actual result of your TSH tests - the actual figures, including the range. What GPs often mean by ok/normal is 'this figure is not above 10 where I am legally obliged to give medication'. The levels at which we are determined to be hypothyroid are controversial and some GPs will offer treatment with a TSH of above 5 with symptoms. But you may have to push for it.

    Some GPs are reluctant to give out the actual test figures - but you have a legal right to them, so do not be fobbed off.

    My advice; get the figures of your TSH test and post them here. Insist your GP does another. Get your blood taken early in the morning as your TSH levels change through the day.

    Here's more info about getting a diagnosis;http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/diagnosis/getting_diagnosis.html

    Good luck and I hope you have a healthier 2014


  • You have, I suspect, been in contact with USA people?

    The term "board" is rarely used in the UK. (Even in the USA, the term "panel" is probably more usual.)

    The Total T4 test is not frequently done in the UK, at least at NHS labs.

    Some labs do Total T3, some labs to Free T3, few offer both.

    I have no idea where you are looking for tests - but I cn quote from the Blue Horizon pricelist:

    Advanced Thyroid Profile (T4, TSH, FT4, FT3, Thyroid Antibodies)




    Go here:


    Several companies offering various tests and packages and discounts.

    However, I agree that you should have been offered a repeat test and you definitely should get the actual results - including reference ranges, of all tests you get done or have had done.


  • I am not sure where you get your pricing from but you need to look here:


    If you look at the 'Home Blood Tests' there is an option of getting the TSH/FT4/FT3 done. ("Thyroid Profile Intermediate") I do this test every 6 months or so.

    If you remember to use the TUK10 code you will get £10 off as well, which brings it down to about the same price for all three that you are quoting for just one. It is a simple fingerprick test which you can send off and the results will be only a few days at most. You will also get an analysis from their doctor.

    Best wishes

    Marie XX

  • Why do replies not show until ages after they have been posted? I am sorry to have duplicated helvella's reply. At least it confirms the information is correct!

    I also though to mention that although the guidelines do say treatment only with a TSH of over 10, they also state that clinical symptoms and signs should be taken into account as well. A point which many doctors nowadays choose to ignore.

  • Write down all your symptoms so you don't forget any of them. Then go back to your doctor, hand him/her the list and politely ask for your TSH, T4, FT3 and Thyroid Antibodies to be measured. Don't take no for an answer - although the lab will almost certainly refuse to do the FT3. Make sure to ask for a print out of the results, then come back and post them here. Whilst asking for the thyroid tests, also ask for your iron, folate, ferritin, Vit B12 and Vit D levels along with your GFR (kidney function) to be measured. Again, get the results and post them here.

  • Your doctor is wrong to say TSH test is enough because if you have central hypothyroid your tsh will be low but you are still hypothyroid

    what should be done is tsh free t4 and thyroid antibodies

    has your cholesterol been tested because thats likely to be high

    However ferritin

    folate are likely to be very low

    ferritin must be at least 70 (13-150)

    Go back to your GP and explain that you really do need to know the cause of all your symptoms and its not fair that he is fobbing you off

    on no account be told its depression and get landed with prescription for anti depressants

    Take your partner or another friend who knows you well who can also re iterate that theres clearly something wrong

    look on thyroiduk website for a full list of symptoms

    pernicous aneamia can also mask as hypothyroid

    ask that your gp tests for


    free t4

    thyroid antibodies









    make sure you get a print out of all the results inc reference ranges plus the actual figures for the tsh test 3 yrs ago

    then we can help you furthur

  • can have complete thyroid test through genova diagnostics for about £132.00 tests for the above plus reverse T3 and antibodies.

  • These are the recommended tests from Stop the Thyroid Madness website. Naturally, you would not do all of them unless you are off range on the basic ones. They mention that total T's are not necessary.


  • Wow, thanks for the great response!

    It may not be Thyroid issues that are causing my symptoms but I'd like to have it checked properly to at least rule it out. I'll be seeing my GP tomorrow so this is very helpful info. I'm going away on the 19th for 6 months so might be easier having the Thyroid tests done privately to sidestep any nonsense. I'll need to try and get as many of the other (mainly vitamin) tests listed done through the NHS though, as they seem really expensive!

    The difference between the Blue Horizon (£75) and Genova (£132) packages is the reverse T3 test. How necessary is this?

    Also, is there a test for iodine deficiency as I understand the symptoms can be similar?

    Thanks again!

    Paul :)

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