NHS labs refusing thyroid antibodies test ordered by doctor

I went to the doctors last month after suffering from worsening tiredness, fatigue, brain for, memory loss, constant coldness, joint aches, dry skin and brittle nails/hair. A set of 'MOT' bloods were done and everything came back 'normal'. My TSH at the time was 3.06 (0.5 - 5). The next visit to the docs, I was sent off for more blood tests for glandular fever and thyroid antibodies. The GF test came back negative, but the labs refused to do the antibodies test due to the TSH being within range. The doctor has said she will ring the endo and find out if anything can be done to get me tested as she thinks it is necessary, especially as we want to start a family next year.

I just feel so deflated after seeing her today and not getting the results I thought I would. The last few days I have been feeling even worse. My fiance agrees that that I am definitely not myself so I'm sure it isn't all in my mind. Has anyone had similar problems getting tests?

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  • I havent personally but my sister did for the same reasons that you were given. Her bloods were in the normal range and as far as the doctor was concerned that was that.

    I wish you luck...

  • Sadly NHS path labs seem to think they can over rule every test request

    especially when TSH is in the range

    however if you have thyroid antibodies and i bet your free t4 is low and your cholesterol high

    along with ferritin and folate being dangerously low its vital you are treated

    you need to file a strong complaint with PALs because tbis sorry state of affairs is going to cost lives

  • I had the same from my GP .said labs wouldnt allow further tests cos TSH in range.surely the dr should be the one to say .my experience of PALS so far is no help whatsoever.

  • If your Dr hasn't done an FBC and Cholesterol & Lipid Profile, you should request it, plus Iron and Ferritin, and Vit B12.

    Your Dr seems concerned, and should therefore be able to get the TSH, FT3, FT4 tested. You could remind the Dr that some thyroid issues are not picked up if only the TSH is tested.

    Even though my TSH is out of range, the Dr's have still not given a diagnosis of thyroid/endo issues. I think it's commonly known as being "bloody-minded".

  • Actually your TSH would not be in range if you were in the US. Which shows what a stupid idea it is to diagnose on the basis of an arbitrary 'range'. But you probably know that already!

    If the GP cannot get the tests done then the last resort is to get them done privately. You might like to browse around the information on the main TUK website:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    Blue Horizon do home fingerprick tests and usually very quick.

    Marie XX

  • As far as I can see from previous bloods, they havn't done FBC or Cholesterol & Lipid Profile, or Iron, Ferritin, and Vit B12 tests.

    I did try mentioning that I had read up a bit as I wanted to see what I was being tested for and that I'd noticed that in the US I'd be over the range, but I'm not sure if the doctor was too happy about the fact that I'd been doing research on the subject. I'm quite a shy/anxious person, especially in a medical environment so I find it hard to get my point across sometimes.

    Marram, I did look at the Blue Horizon testing as a possible alternative if the NHS do refuse to test me, but I don't think we'd be able to afford it for a couple of months, just shelled out several hundred pounds on fixing our only car this month! My fiance is going to see if his work health insurance would cover me, but I suspect that this will be spouse only so won't count until we are married next year.

    Thanks for all your support, I feel so down after this last appointment.

  • I was also refused antibodies tests at GP - gave two blood samples before the surgery got the answer that the lab wouldn't do antibodies tests. I think if your GP is being helpful, she can ask for endo to organise it at hospital - that's what I was told anyway, that antibodies should be tested via hospital/ consultant request.

    So arbitrary and ridiculous !

    Not sure if you have seen the endo already ? If so, ring the secretary and ask for a phone appt ? Mine does these so I was able to ask him for the test.

    If you aren't under an endo's care, perhaps write down all your symptoms and list of bloods you would like done and ask for a referral.

  • I'm not under endo care yet, but the doctor said she would call the endo to see what could be done regarding the tests not being carried out, so I guess it is possible that the endo will say to refer me. I almost hope this is the case as the endo might be a bit more thorough. I've noticed the last few times I've been to the docs its and in and out job as quick as possible. I know they have targets, but surely you can't diagnose someone in 5 minutes!

  • It's about time that PALS were inundated with complaints every time a lab refuses to do a doctor's blood tests. I'm currently fighting to get cytokines TH1 and TH2 tested. My well-informed doctor is happy to do this. The lab isn't. In my case it's life or death because the raised thyroid peroxidase led to breast cancer which spread to a lymph node.

  • Well it seems like the disbelieving is starting. My other halfs mum works at the hospital and was talking to the paediatric endo about my tests being refused. The endo said there is no point in doing antibodies tests while tsh is within range and I would never get treated anyway which is why the lab wouldn't run the tests. This endo also said that I wouldn't get any symptoms unless my tsh was way over the range anyway so I can't have a thyroid prob. Pretty sure she now thinks I'm making it up now :-(

  • Sad to read of such ignorance. If you have Hashimotos - it is important to know so that lifestyle interventions can take place to heal the gut and prevent even more Auto-immune issues taking place. The reason they do not want to test anti-bodies in my humble opinion is down to cost. I live in Crete and have tests done privately - affordably private - so am aware of the breakdown of costs. Thyroid treatment doesn't change with Hashimotos but the diet can....

  • Doctor called me during the week having spoken to the biochemists who said they would do the antibody tests if another blood test a month after my first TSH test showed an increase in TSH. So I'm going to have another lot of blood taken for TSH test this week. She said that if it isn't higher and I am still struggling with fatigue, she is going to refer me to a fatigue clinic. It would seem that my other symptoms are all being swept under the carpet now!

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