Am i entitled to a blood test on NHS to see if i am converting t4 to t3

Doc says i cant have one even though he thinks im not utilising levo properly and not converting t4 to t3, he said for me to pay for private blood test and he will prescribe t3 for me if it proves im not. Can anyone advise me which lab to use and which is the best and cheapest test to ask for, im not very well off, live on pension credits it doesnt cover costs of blood tests, so much for the NHS

19 Replies

  • In similar circumstances I was offered a referral to an NHS endocrinologist who started T3 treatment immediately. I had no T3 test first but since my referral T3 has been checked by GP /NHS many times. Your symptoms are the proof!

  • Must be another case of post code lottery. .I too have been refused and I'm now getting very ill were very lucky to have had the tests

  • I too have the same problem and Im getting more and more ill ..have scans and x rays for things I don't need but won't allow me to be tested for t3 ..I'm I think also not converting and may soon have to self medicate

  • There is absolutely no reason why this test should not be done. If your GP thinks you are not converting then he should stand by what he believes and either insist that the lab do the test by providing them with a full clinical justification, or he should refer you to an endo who will do the test.

    I can understand that some things are not available on the NHS (cosmetic procedures etc) but if this test is clinically justified, it should be done. End of. It is not acceptable for your GP to tell you to go off and get it done privately. I don't know about anyone else, but I have never known an NHS doctor of any sort accept private test results anyway, even if supported by the lab's quality assurance document.

    I'd be inclined to raise your GP's behaviour with the practice manager and also possibly with your MP. You are living on benefits and should not have to pay for tests that you NEED.


  • totally agree with all of your comments ....we need to insist insist and insist on getting the correct treatment ,tests etc that should be automatically forthcoming from these so called doctors [ personally I rate some as no more than snake oil salesmen ] ....alan

  • Hi Ansteynomad, thanks for your reply, I too feel this GPs behaviour is not acceptable but I live in a rural part of Wales and I am worried if I say anything to rock the boat he will throw me off the books and the nearest doctor is 8miles away and theres no bus and though we have a car its an expense to have to go 16miles just to get my prescription each month, well 32miles because you have to put in a written request for meds and then go back 2days later to fetch them, they wont let you have more than 28 days at a time. I have lots of problems that indicate im not converting t4 to t3 my cortisol is none existent but synacthen test said different even though blood tests over a 12mnth period said I had none. I have a mountain of skin problems all over my body including Lichen Sclerosus and really bad acne (at my age) I have lost all the pigment in my skin Vitiligo I am very overweight 15st8lb even though until I became ill I maintained a body weight of 9stone 7lbs while having 4 children, i have also been having bad palpitations, I had Graves disease and TED 30 years ago but my eye problems subsided they have now started to react again I am sure as you get older your body loses the ability to convert Levo sorry to offload this lot on to you but it is of concern to us all that as we age without the proper help we will all go downhill, I am at a loss as what to do now, I think I will have to do as GP says and get my blood tested privately ( he very kindly offered to get his nurse to take my blood for private test(sarcasm) he also said to shop around as it can be expensive and what price your health I could hit him, that's my rant over. Don't know where the NHS is going,

  • The answer is yes, I asked my GP for exactly that, to make sure I was converting T4 to T3. Although he thought I was mad he did doit for me and although mt t3 could be up a bit it is about 2/3 up in the range. Some of the labs only do TSH unless there is a note on the form from the GP. I am in Leicestershire. Good Luck.

  • Hi Daval ,I am going to my GP this morning to ask for t3 ,t4 and tsh test,.been ill for 4 months now.What are your symptoms ?

  • Hi Susiebow, I have lots of symptoms which are classic low or no t3 Had Graves and TED 30yrs ago had RAI been on Levo ever since never felt well but in the past few years things getting worse. I have no cortisol, 5 blood tests over 12mnths said i had none but synacthen test said ok, I think everyone has that experience. Bad palpitations, very bad skin problems, acne (im nearly 70) lichen sclerosus, weight gain15st 8lb even though I maintained a weight of 9st 7lb while having 4 children until I became ill, I have also lost all the pigment over my entire body because of vitiligo and have raging tinnitus and recently my eyes have started to react again, we don't get much help do we from these so called doctors, wish they could have a day in my body they wouldn't cope, let alone 30 years. Sorry about the moan but those are some of my symptoms. Good luck with your tests Daval

  • Your doctor is a coward. I had my T3 level measured. The first time the lab refused. The second time my GP phoned the lab and specifically requested it. If your GP believes you are not converting then the lab should be duty bound to do the test. If they still refuse, write to your MP and your local paper.

  • my GP is also a coward! in fact they all are at my practice, my doctor asked for a T4 test,(at my request) but the lab put a note, saying T4 test not needed, my TSH was supressed, but my doctor didn't know anything about it! they just aren't interested!

  • I think I'm starting to get a feel for where the focus of my campaign needs to lie. Debunking the ME myth has to go hand in hand with better education for doctors on thyroid/adrenal issues (along with Lyme and other possible causes)

  • Yep the labs are a law unto themselves!! they have vetoed many of my GPs requests over the years despite repeat requesting -seems the labs can diagnose on behalf of Gp's without even seeing you the patient -what a miracle they are! NOT!!!! So even if by some miracle you manage to get your GP on board and he/she aren't pursued by the GMC there is the not so little matter of the NHS labs making judgements on what tests you really do need. Then the government wonder why there is such a high level of litigation claims against the NHS?

  • Hi Rosetrees, thankyou for reply can you read my reply to Ansteynomad it explains why I cant make a fuss at surgery, its too long to type out again, I would like to do the things you suggest but I fear the recriminations it would bring Daval

  • It seems weird, Daval, that your doc would be willing to prescribe T3 and yet not to do the test.

    I'm in Scotland, and maybe things are different here but, when I 'm due to see my endo, I make an appointment for the nurse at my GP practice. When I go I ask her for TSH, T4 and T3 tests, she does them and I later get a printout of the results so that I can discuss them with the endo. It should be this straightforward for everybody.

  • Hi Morebeans, i think it is very different where you are, im in Wales and get no help at all. Saw an endo 15mnths ago because I tested no cortisol over a 12mnth period but synacthen test said I was ok so I never got a follow up appointment. Its getting quite scary living here I have house on the market but no interest in it yet after nearly a year i want to move back to England because I had better treatment there, im getting older and going down hill, I think we lose the ability to convert t4 as we get older, I could write a book about my experiences with GPs here but I think everyone all over is experiencing similar problems, so I wont whinge on, thank you for reply its much appreciated Daval

  • It seems worth your having another go at getting your GP to do the test, as others have said above, but if you are scared that's too risky, get a private test done if possible. At least he says he can prescribe T3 as some GPs apparently claim they can't. Do all you can because T3 makes an enormous difference to many of us and if that's what you need, and you can get it, your life could really improve.

    Best wishes

  • My GP refused to do t3,seeing e

    ndo in feb to see if he will do it,

  • Hope that goes well for you - let us know how you get on. :)

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