Thyroid UK
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T3 only test - worthwhile?

Hi again -

Following my previous question re. getting the test(s) via Blue Horizon (incidentally, a REAL issue with my own surgery drawing the blood; as in, No....) - can anyone tell me if there is some value in this?

Obviously, my surgery won't test - and I have seen a "Specialist" who tells me that T3 is "just not tested by the NHS" - so, given my symptoms (all of which are pooh-poohed by the medical professionals), which include TSH that was rising last year, I feel I should get this T3 test done at my own expense.

BUT - I do wonder if it may show within range and yet there STILL be an issue - conversion or some such?

Can anyone please enlighten me? Thanks a million in advance :o)


24 Replies

Some people on here have their T3 tested on the NHS but I never managed to get it done inspite of the endo writing FT3 on the blood request form more than once. It seems that it is quite common for the testing lab to decide themselves whether or not they need to do it - it's based in the other results apparently.

My surgery only do what has been requested by the hospital - wouldn't even do vitamin D so I did that myself too but through the place mentioned on the TUK list.

In the end I did T3,T4and TSH using the BlueHorizon home testing kit, my T3 was in the middle of the range so I was ok with that.

I did it because I was more curious than anything else, that and the fact they were mentioning RAI should I go hyper again. I couldn't believe they would do that without checking everything that could / should be checked.

If you decide to go for Blue Horizon post your results with their ranges on here and someone will tall you what they mean.

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Hi -

I have many many of the hypo symptoms (back in 2010 when I first started to have concerns, T3, T4 and TSH were tested, in range and with TSH of 0.04, hypERthroid was suggested - but not treated anyway) which have been brushed off for the last 2+ years. [Also saw Dr D-P last May :o)]

Since then, no T3 test done, although T4 and TSH have;

3/2010 (Dr)

TSH - 0.04 (0.35 - 5.5)

T4 - 17.97 (9-24)

T3 - 5.2 (2.2 - 5.5)

6/2010 (Hosp)

TSH - 1.57 (0.3 - 3.0)

T4 - 13.93 (9 -23)

T3 - 5.1 (3.1 - 7.7)


TSH - 1.37 (0.35 - 5.5)

T4 - 14.39 (9 -24)


TSH - 1.59 (0.35 - 4.94)

T4 - 15.1 (9 -19)


TSH - 1.06 (0.35 - 4.94)

T4 - 15.3 (9 - 19)


TSH - 2.01 (0.38 - 5.5)


TSH - 2.19 (0.35 - 4.94)

T4 - 14.1 (9 - 19)

[6/2014 - TFT requested, not done]

9/2014 (only TSH requested by GP)

TSH - 3.05 (0.38 - 5.5)

The overall upward trend in TSH was acknowledged but not acted upon - and of course no T3 test done - as of course there could never be a problem with conversion......

I just don't want to have the test done through Blue Horizon when there is no point as even a normal result can come back but there is STILL a problem..... (am I making sense?).

Plus getting the blood drawn is being obstructed by my own GP Practice, so I have to go elsewhere - which IS possible even though my Practice Manager said that NOBODY would take the blood for me to get a private test.


I have had various other tests done over the years but for clarity have only posted the thyroid tests here. I would not be in a position to actually ASK for tests now as I have acquired a terrible reputation at the Surgery and am planning to move but know that the comments on my notes will follow me to the only other local practice - and I am also awaiting the results (which I know already I guess) of an appeal that I submitted (with the "help" of a very grudging female GP) for breast reduction surgery (and trust me, I do not take this lightly but am at my wit's end - but that's another story, although very much connected to the thyroid/metabolic problems).


What a nerve - nobody will take blood for you! She obviously hasn't heard of Blue a Horizon - there are all sorts of places you can have blood drawn for their tests - you don't have to use the home testing kit.

Hard to tell if it's worth having T3 ( and / or the others ) done other than you get a report back with the results.



Having said that, I don't doubt that my issues with them (and a hefty complaint, which got me nowhere, before Christmas) play a part in the refusal to draw the blood (I even thought about asking the Blood Transfusion service when I donated a pint a couple of weeks ago.....) - but APPARENTLY nobody in this area would do it, because, again APPARENTLY, the Practice Manager emailed "everybody" and it is such an unusual question that there is no precedent or procedure in place for such a strange request.

(Over the county/LHA line, I can go to the Surgery, complete a form to become a temporary resident, get the blood taken by a Dr and be on my way with the blood still warm in my hand).



Oh honestly! Why does life have to be so complicated. Wonder if the receptionist realises that her attitude only make people more determined.

Good luck crossing the county line although it is just so ridiculous you should have to do that. x


Again --- I know......:o/

It wasn't the receptionist who did this though - rather the Practice Manager (male), who knows absolutely who I am, having had a sit-down meeting with me, a representative from Healthwatch and the Snr Partner of the Practice (which did not go well, believe me; again, another story....).

This is how the request for the blood draw went:

I asked at Reception (whilst waiting for an appointment with the female GP re. breast reduction ~ I have given up asking for their help with thyroid).

Receptionist dashed off upstairs to "ask" (while a queue built up behind me. Fabulous).

Came back down to tell me that no-one knew and the P/Mngr would have to be asked (not in that day).

I left full details of my request and of myself.

One. Week. Later. I called the surgery to get an answer. Couldn't tell me, needed to call me back.

Two days later, P/Mngr called me back with an answer in the negative and to tell me that no-one in my local HA would and it had "never be

been asked before" and they "don't do private work". (!!!!)

(I have been with this Practice since 1986.)

The other Surgery who will do it even though I am not in their area, answered the question within minutes.

If I hadn't already been down the complaint path with them, I would be tempted to now. It feels like deliberate obstruction.

We seem to be expected to fight for things when we are least able to or have the strength to.


Hi Blonde, are you taking hormone now? Many of us become hypo along with menopause. I remember a while ago someone said their gynocologist was more helpful than their GP.

The NHS seems to have denied many the free T3 test especially if the TSH is within their very wide range. I think it is worth seeing since it is more indicative of symptoms. There is a package of all the tests at Blue Horizon but you can do just one.


Hi - no, I don't take any hormones of any kind, thyroid or otherwise When I ( a couple of years ago) asked about HRT, I was sent away with reams of print-outs from the web (*sigh*) and told that my symptoms were not severe enough..... which was true, the most prevalent ones were non-existent but I did have others. I have had no m/p to speak of; things just -------stopped (in 2011); apparently thyroid issues can cause this to happen :o/

With regard to the reference ranges, they seem to be changed willy-nilly to make the "normal" range broader or narrower to suit themselves.

It is the T3 only test that I am considering - but I need to know that there is some point, otherwise it's a waste of time/money - hence my question :o)


I'm not sure what Blue Horizon ranges are although I'm sure they have been posted here many times. Maybe a search would find some of those and you could see how they average out. Rule of thumb seems to be in the upper 1/3 of the range so anything below might still cause symptoms. You could also just spend $29 and .....:)


$29 would be nice - however £39 with discount for UK :o/


Hi Blonde, I refuse to call you dumb, you are way too articulate for that. I'm having second thoughts. I don't know if you have watched any of the videos by Dr. Clark that I have been posting for over a year. I have also read a few things to the effect that hormone levels, even thyroid, may be affected by other hormones even though your thyroid may actually be working well.

I'll post three of the videos if you would like to see if you relate.


Thank you Heloise.......

I may be articulate "on paper"; in the flesh, not so much :o)

I will watch the videos now and maybe reflect some more.

It really is SO confusing.



Sorry, I think I have duplicates. It shows that your thyroid has little to do with some symptoms.


I haven't watched yet (yes, I think that there might be two of each of the two videos....) but, based on the titles, even IF there is a progesterone issue with me, that has already been hand-waved away by a (female) GP. Apparently, there is no such thing a Progesterone therapy, and certainly not bio-identical. This is the same one who sent me away with nothing more than sheets of A4 re. HRT and a flea in my ear.




You know, I think doctors are taught straight dogma that has not kept up with research. I no longer seek answers from them. The only motive for research seems for the purpose of creating drugs.

I thought testosterone might play a part but Dr. Clark as many other videos on YouTube and I've posted some on antibodies (which you don't have, right?). Glucose is a huge factor due to our poor diets of processed food. It affects Serotonin and Dopamine.

I've watched all 24 of them because a holistic approach is the only way to address hormonal issues. You don't necessarily need a doctor to take some steps but you do need to educate yourself and we have plenty of good information.

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My free t3 is tested by my NHS doc every year. He simply writes taking t3 on the test form and there are no queries. Once the nurse was preparing to take blood and when I saw that only tsh was to be tested, I rolled down my sleeve, said no and walked out. .... :-).

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Yep - it seems that this is what happens; it is horrid waste of our time too (but its all about the resources, I suppose). Bonkers.


They're spoiling the ship for a happ'orth of tar though, aren't they!

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And in the meantime, lives are being ruined....:o(

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Can I ask I'm new to this it's so complicated my doctor on my next blood test as asked for my t3 to be tested say they refuse an I paid private with blue horizon an it came back I needed medication for my t3 would my doctor then treat that


Shaybenholly, there's no guarantee a GP will accept or act on the results of a private test. Some will, others won't. Liothyronine (T3) has been red flagged in some areas as requiring recommendation from a consultant endocrinologist or other specialist.

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Hi Blue Horizon are mostly well recognised. If FT3 low it means you need T3 with Levo.



Hi, Jackie - thank you, yes, that part I understand :o) But what I am also wondering is if a test can show within range/optimal (?) T3 but there still be a thyroid problem that this test hasn't shown either.

(If the GP/Hospital were "able" to test T3 then at least I would have knowledge of the level and could look at other reasons for all of my hypothyroid symptoms.)



Hi If T3 is very low it justifies treatment with T3 and T4, This was my case originally. Low FT3 is proven to affect the heart badly.



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