Finger prick blood tests for vitamin testing - Thyroid UK

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Finger prick blood tests for vitamin testing

ChooseLife profile image

Does anyone have any experience of using a home finger prick blood testing service? I have found a lab I want to use, but haven't come across this type of blood sampling before. I'm going to have B12, vitamin D and iron tested.

29 Replies

Yes, it's very easy to do. They will send everything you need in the kit and instructions.

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to penstemon

Fab - thanks, penstemon :)

My husband finger pricks at least twice every day to test blood sugar levels as he is diabetic. It really doesn't hurt, it is the thought that it might which is the hardest.

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to

Thanks for responding, GILL007. Luckily, I don't have a problem with needles, but I really appreciate you taking the time to reassure me. I know that this can be a bit of a worry for some people, so it's good to have it stated here that the finger pricks don't hurt :)

I've used City Assays for Vit D several times and they are very good. it is very easy, you get a kit with instructions and all you need to do is put four spots of blood on a card, give them your details and send everything back in the pre- addressed envelope. Results come by email a few days later.

I've used Blue Horizons fingerprick test kit for T3, T4 and TSH. Again you get all that you need and very comprehensive instructions. They sent three lancets for finger pricking last time but I only used one. Helps to have your hands warm, and to have had a drink beforehand too. I also discovered it was easier to do it when I was standing up - possibly slightly harder to aim the blood droplets into the mini test tube but easier for blood flow, there is a knack to 'milking' your finger rather than squeezing it. make sure you don't put the label on the tube until after you have filled it - first time my test tube looked like a chain saw massacre - no pain involved but I've definitely improved my aim.

Again you return all the documentation in a pre- paid envelope and you get your results back by email a few days later. Brilliant pretty painless and no begging or pleading for the tests you want etc. 😊

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Fruitandnutcase

I've done the vitamin D test.

I think that is meant to be a drink of water or something - alcohol seems less than a good idea! :-)

Warm, washed, wet, and working - that is, a brisk walk or something else to make sure your blood is whooshing round your arms and hands well.

Ha, ha. When I read it back I can see what you mean and no, alcohol definitely wasn't the reason I was splashing blood all over the place. I put that down to my Graves shakes, that and being only half awake - I was going for an early morning thyroid test.😊

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to helvella

Hahahah! I rather like the idea of a stiff G+T beforehand....... :)

But seriously - thanks for the advice on the four "W"s.

Thanks, Fruitandnutcase - am reassured to hear that this whole thing is really straightforward and it's good to hear about the easy logistics and procedures, etc. I did have some concerns that the lab values would be higher than those in the more usual venous blood tests (ie. when they take it from your arm, rather than a fingerprick) - I'd read somewhere that ferritin levels, for example are higher in capillary blood (from the fingerprick) than venous blood. But, seeing as I am housebound, I don't really have any option other than the fingerprick.......but it has been really heartening to hear that there are people who've had a good experience of this :)

Thanks again.

The lab ranges used are different to the ranges my GP uses but I've decided it's all relative really - I just look at where I am in the range and the one time I had hopsital bloods and BH ones done at the same time the end results made sense.

Yes, you're right..... I can just see where I am within the range they give me. Good idea!

Thanks x

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator

If you did use Blue Horizon you quote TUK10 for a discount:

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

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to shaws

Oh fab.... thanks, shaws!! I will be using Blue Horizon for the other tests, so that's really good to know :)

I use blue horizon finger prick tests to do my thyroid bloods. Have done for a couple of years and they have told me on the phone that they are very accurate. Never done the vitamin d though.

Fruitandnutcase profile image
Fruitandnutcase in reply to

City Assay as seen on the TUK website are really good, clear and easy to use, reasonable price plus a fast return.

Thanks - will use them for the Vit D test :)

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to

Thanks, joesmum. Good to know that people are using BH and not having any problems :)

Hi If it is Blue Horizon it is called that but really a little phial of blood and very reliable.

Jackie

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to Jackie

great - thanks, Jackie :)

Hi Epictetus - thanks so much for this. I've had a look at City Assays and their vit D test is MUCH cheaper than Blue Horizon. I was going to use Blue Horizon for all 3 tests, but will use City Assays for the vit D test :)

Thanks again for the info - really useful.

Cheers - you too

xx

Hi ChooseLife,

I had blood tests carried out with Blue Horizon- they sent me the finger prick kit but I was only able to get a few drops out of my fingers and you have to fill a small test tube! There was no chance of me getting enough blood out, but I have quite poor circulation. I rang them up and they just sent me the kit with the needle etc (no extra cost) and I went to my local phlebotomist at the health centre and they were happy to draw the blood and I just put it straight in the post :-) By the way, the finger prick test didn't hurt a great deal..nothing a woman can't handle!

Sheepcoat x

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to Sheepcoat

Thanks, Sheepcoat. Sounds like Blue Horizon give pretty good service :)

Thanks to all you wonderful people, for responding about this!!

Update:

I've now ordered B12 and iron status (the 4 relevant iron parameters) tests from Blue Horizon. I used the Thyroid UK discount, as suggested by shaws above (thanks again, shaws!) and saved £10 on each test (I ordered them separately, otherwise you only save a total of £10, not £20!).

I've ordered my vitamin D test from City Assay.

AND, I've decided to have my electrolytes tested too. I found a place called Medichecks that does home testing (hadn't come across it before), because Blue Horizon doesn't do it.

Will be interesting to see if I have any deficiencies!

xx

Hi Epictetus

Great to hear from you :) . I don't mind listing the tests and costs at all, in fact I'd be more than happy to! I feel as though I'm "taking" more than I'm "giving" on this site at the moment, so anything I can do that is useful to others is my pleasure (and when I start to get better, I will be able to respond to people's posts with some hopefully useful advice, instead of just posting my questions all the time!).

B12 - Blue Horizon finger prick test. It's "active" B12, which I was pleased about, because this is the most useful B12 test. Cost was £73.75 minus the £10 Thyroid UK discount = £63.75.

Iron status (iron, total iron binding capacity, ferritin and % saturation) - Blue Horizon finger prick test. Cost was £81.75 minus the £10 Thyroid UK discount = £71.75.

Vitamin D - finger prick test from City Assay = £28 (you are correct)

Elecotrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate) - fingerprick test from Medichecks = £69.

However, when I spoke Medichecks on the phone, they said that it's often not possible to get results for potassium, which is annoying as that's the one I'm interested in!!! Apparently this is sometimes the case even with venous blood samples (ie. blood drawn from the arm). This might explain why Blue Horizon don't offer any potassium testing........ Medichecks said that if they can't get any potassium data from my sample, they'll send me another testing kit for free, but it's possible that one won't work either. (As I type this, I've just looked at their site and seen that they also offer urine electrolyte tests...... I'll see if I can find out whether that is a more reliable way to get tested).

Thanks - I'd love to post my results when I get them and get peoples' opinions :) . I'm finding this whole forum so supporting and it's really making a difference to my morale! Looking forward to being able to "give" a bit more. I really appreciate your interest, Epictetus - means a lot. You take care too.

xx

Just to point out if you'd rather order the City Assays Vit D kit online than over the phone then the Better You website sells it, I think it's £25 + £2.95 p&p and they also send you a free VitD spray appropriate to your results once your results are back. I've ordered mine from there twice.

Victoria x

ChooseLife profile image
ChooseLife in reply to Turtle83

Thanks, Victoria :) . I've already ordered my test, but have to admit that I'd have much rather ordered it online than on the phone! I find phone calls difficult, because I can't think quickly enough to communicate verbally properly!

This info will be very useful to people thinking ordering this test. Also, I am so impressed that they send a free, appropriate VitD spray - what a great idea!

Hi Epictetus

Thanks for your lovely message. Ha ha - yes, you're so right..... it would be better if we could get all these tests done on the NHS, but that's NEVER going to happen!! GPs will never have the time to listen properly and put together a picture of a patient's "whole" health. And it's rare to find a GP who respects the research you've done regarding your health..... and agrees to the tests that you need!

Also, even if they do agree to the tests, I've read that the "normal" ranges they use are often woefully inadequate. Or that for some patients, they will need to be in the top end of the range in order to feel well.

Most doctors (both NHS and private) operate on a "one size fits all" basis, when they are testing and treating patients and it's becoming more and more obvious to me now that for many, many people, this approach is going to leave them in poor health...... You wouldn't make a man with size 13 feet wear size 9 shoes, even though size 9 might be the "norm", would you?!!

I've been meaning to see the film that you mentioned - it's on my list of films to watch :) . My pet hate in life is people who take all the time and never give anything back...... I try to do a random act of kindness whenever I can (bit tricky at the moment though, because I am pretty much housebound), even if it's just stopping to let cars pull out of side roads in front of me, or something like that. People always look so surprised and pleased and it makes me feel good too. And hopefully they are then inspired to let someone else pull out on to the road in front of them (pay it forward!). My inspiration came from one time, years and years ago, when I'd had a really tough day at work and had stopped for some petrol on the way home. I was standing in the queue to pay for it, when a trucker dude in front of me turned round and said "have you tried these? Are they any good?" - he was pointing to a new chocolate bar on the counter. I though "weird guy" and just said that no, I hadn't tried them. We carried on queuing for a bit, then when he got to the front, he payed for his diesel and bought himself 2 of these chocolate bars. Before he left, he turned to me again and gave me one of the chocolate bars, saying "here you go, you look like you could do with a treat". Then he walked out quickly, before I even had chance to thank him. I'll never forget it and how much of a lift it gave me!!

Yes, it was definitely the most satisfying chocolate I'd ever had....! And definitely restored my faith in human nature.

Ha ha, no, that wasn't my car! I'll have to find out where to buy those stickers....... :) . Yes, all new drivers should have one too - great idea!!

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