Thyroid UK

Reliable alternatives to blood testing

Hello all! I am newly diagnosed as being hyperthyroid with antibody test this coming Monday.

Since 2008 I have had a rough time having blood drawn. It started with a routine blood test that year. I have never been queasy at the sight of blood or had a fear of needles. Anyway, something happened when she took the needle out of my arm and within an hour it had swollen to twice the size and started to bruise really extensively (it was dark blue for weeks). To this I had a vaso vagal seizure, which was terrifying. I had another big one last year, when I was taken to A&E for bleeding during pregnancy and she insisted on taking 6 vials of blood.

I avoid having blood tests at all costs but obviously now it is inevitable, or is there an alternative? I read about saliva tests being quite accurate, I think that was Dr Peatfield. It would be interesting to know if anyone else also has problems with having blood drawn.

8 Replies


There are endocrine urine and saliva tests. Not sure if they are able to test for all the same as bloods.

Nhs does a 24 hour urine test (referred to as 'gold standard' test), you may have to push for it.

No idea on the saliva test.

Hope this helps.



Thank you for your reply jellynpain, I'll have a look at the gold standard test and ask my GP about it too.


If you're able to pay for a private test, Blue Horizon do thyroid blood tests via finger prick. You use a lancet to prick your finger and collect a very small sample of blood in a vial. Maybe you'd find that a better option than a venous blood draw?


Chloececilia, The antibody test will only require one vial of blood. Drink plenty of water and walk for 20 minutes prior to the blood draw which should make the draw easy. Apply pressure when the needle is removed and this should prevent swelling and bruising.


Thanks so much everyone, I'm fine with a finger prick test! Clutter, many thanks for that advice, of all the people I've asked over the years the only advice I was given was, 'don't look at the needle!'

Many many thanks.


Clutter is right. Apply pressure on your arm for no less than 5 minutes and enable blood to clot. You shouldn't then have blood leaking/bruising.


Before the blood tests were introduced in the 60's together with levothyroxine as the 'perfect' medication, we were diagnosed upon our clinical symptoms and took natural dessicated thyroid hormones until we felt well. Occasionally we may have had a slight adjustment for one reason or another.

Personally, now I know what I have learned, I think that was the preferential method of treatment.

When you have a blood test drink plenty of water the day before and your GP will want/should take a blood test around 6 weeks later. When you become well you will have a yearly test.


Thank you for your replies shaws, I drink plenty of water breastfeeding as it is so I'm alright there, it certainly helps with plumping up the veins too! A few blood tests ago I also started taking an electrolyte drink with me which seems to help even more.

Blood test went okay today only she had trouble getting any blood at first, the only time this has ever happened. The spot where she put the needle in is a strange place that no one has ever taken blood from before, so no wonder! One week for my antibody results.


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