Thyroid UK
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Trouble collecting blood and how are my readings?

I am Hypothyroid and recently had another one of my ongoing blood tests,nearly 2 years now and still not getting there.I drink a couple of pints of water in the morning before i go but they just dont seem to be able to get blood from me,same old thing.right arm,left arm,back of each hand and sometimes they might get lucky.What can i do as i am developing a anxiety over this and don't look forward to it,any advice on this and my readings please,My recent blood results were.....

Investigation. Normality Result

Serum lipid (XE2q7)

Serum cholesterol (XE2eD) 6.1 mmol/L

Serum triglyceride (XE2q9) Above range 2.10 mmol/L (0.0-2.0)

Outside reference range

Serum HDL cholesterol (44P5) 1.4 mmol/L (0.9-2.2)

Serum LDL cholesterol (44P6) 3.7 mmol/L

Total cholesterol HDL ratio (44PF) 4.4

Thyroid function test (X77wg)

Serum Free T4 level (XaERr) 19 Pmol/L (9.0-25.0

Serum TSH level (XaELV Below range 0.20 mui/L (0.3-5.0

Outside reference range.

I do seem to have symptoms of pains in my fingers and hands,infact for the first time ever the pain in my left hand came that sharp with no warning it made me jump and i still have continuous back pain.

14 Replies


Often difficult to draw my bloods. It's often because the more blood needle tests the more veins can become problematic as they can thin & twist.

I also have high red blood cell count, which can mean thicker blood.

I bruise like crazy from blood tests too.



Hi Henrythewasp, with a TSH of 5.7 it looks like you are under medicated. An increase of levo or introduce some T3 if you can get them to prescribe it. I'm sure someone more experienced will come along and give you more advice. what I have learned from here is to aim for TSH of around 1.



Others will comment on your blood tests but I will say that your TSH is far too high for someone on levothyroxine. (thanks for putting some details on your profile).

Your doctor needs to increase your dose or add the addition of T3 as you may find that helpful. Some doctors wont prescribe T3 but if you email and ask for a copy of the Pulse online article. Discuss question 6 with your GP (so he can learn something) and what to aim for in order for you to feel much better.


Henry, maybe hydrate more on the previous couple of days before your bloods are drawn.


I am so sorry everyone,i have noticed a mistake in my post above and its the TSH level (XaELV) which is my old reading from 4 months ago,September.My actual reading on 17 December was it says Below range 0.20 mui/L (0.3-5.0) Outside reference range.....I am so sorry for the confusion.


Henry, up your fluids for a couple of days prior to your blood draw and try a 30 minute brisk walk and drink immediately prior to the blood draw and make sure hands and arms are warm.

TSH 0.20 and FT4 19 look good and don't suggest undermedication. Unfortunately, if you are on Levothyroxine it doesn't mean you are converting well. You'd need FT3 done to check this. FT3 finger prick test can be ordered privately from Blue Horizon and Genova via

Have you had vitD tested? Low/deficient levels can cause musculoskeletal and joint pain.


Hi ClutterI had vit D tested and it was low and went on a six month course of vit D3.At the end of that i went back to my doctor expecting it to be tested again but he oddly said i don't need to be tested again as i have had adequate supply.I don't agree with the doctor but we are starting to argue a little so i am having to back off but thinking about it its my bloody health so why should i? lol oh and yes i am on Levo.


Henry, doncha just love how doctors can tell what your blood levels are because they prescribed vitD for a few months? City Assays do a blood test (on the link I gave above) but I'm not sure whether it is finger prick.

Most people need to supplement 2,000iu daily during Oct-Apr just to maintain vitD levels when ultraviolet light is too low to stimulate vitD.


Totally agree with you.I did ask the doctor if it was a good idea for me to carry on with the Vit D but he said no because i can overdose,i asked about over winter and he still said no but i think i am going to go back on them as i was on 2000iu daily so what harm can it do? can you overdose on outsideidness?


Henry, not on outsideidness but you can on supplements. I was very deficient last year and was prescribed loading and maintenance dose for 8 weeks which got levels to 107 (75-200). I felt a bit bleurgh a few weeks later and started supplementing 5,000iu in March. I completely overshot and levels were 384 in Dec so I've to cut back to 5,000iu weekly.


Just my humour,i am saying outsideidness as vitD3 comes from sunlight.Should i ask for another test?....Sorry to go on and thank you everyone for the replies.


Henry, worth asking. You could explain that you wonder whether your hand and back pain is vitD related as some people don't 'hang on' to vitD after supplementing and you would like to check levels to rule out low vitD as a reason for your pain. 6/12 monthly testing isn't unreasonable.


Thank you Clutter i will.


Nurses have told me that drinking water before a blood test has no effect on whether they can find a vein. So, being me, and not liking having my arms butchered every time I go for a test, I asked what could help, then. They just shrug. Someone else told me that I had to keep my arm warm, wear a couple of jumpers, but I haven't found that that helped, either.

What I have found is, that some nurses and lab technicians can get a vein first time every time, and others fumble about for hours. And one male nurse told me that it dépends on the person taking the blood and not on the state of the veins - and that collapsed veins etc were just myths - and he was one that got it right every time! So... there you go. I'm none the wiser! lol

Hugs, Grey

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