Blood Tests

Hi everyone. I have recently asked (again!!) for thyroid antibody blood test to be done and, even though the doctor did not actually think there was any reason for the test, he did agree to it. I had the blood taken and the nurse confirmed that the test was being done. I have just returned from the doctor for the results and, once again, the test has not been carried out. The doctor showed me the screen and it does say that it is the lab that are refusing to do it, not the doctor who has not requested it. I still feel that, for my own sanity, I need to know that the test is clear so I asked the doctor about having it done privately. Even though he doesn't think i need it based on my thyroid function test results, he said he will write me a referral letter to a private hospital. I would like advice please, on whether I should go for a consultation and blood test at private hospital or should I just do a mail order type blood test? Is the postal test reliable? And conclusive? I would be grateful for any advice and/or opinions. Thanks in advance.

22 Replies

  • Surely the GP should have words with the lab, you really shouldn't have to pay privately if the GP cba'd doing his well paid job. As for him encouraging you to go private ... words fail me.

    Sorry that you're being failed by the very person who should be helping you.

  • I totally agree cinnamon girl but, after 6 months getting nowhere I am at the point of having to take things into my own hands!!

  • chickenmitch - write to your GP with a copy to the Practice Manager stating that you were told the test would be done and it hasn't so what is the GP going to do about it.

    Sometimes the only way to get them to spring into action is to write a complaint. It's always possible that he knows nothing about antibodies so isn't keen to receive a result that he doesn't know what to do with.

  • I hear what you are saying cinnamon girl but I am absolutely RUBBISH at complaining and I am worried about the consequences!! I also know nothing about the system. Can a doctor overrule the lab? The doctor I saw today led me to believe that the lab has the final say and the doctor is just constantly referring back to my thyroid function test results which are all in range. He just repeats that the results are in range so there is no need for further action and to be honest I suppose he has a point!

  • chickenmitch - I know, we feel let down and that nobody wants to help us. Standing your ground the first time is daunting but gets easier with practice. Your GP is not doing his job and you're being failed as a patient, just tell him you want to see an Endo as he's so unwilling to help you.

  • better/quicker more reliable privately. I use this website: I had no problem doing it, only I had to pay 25 pounds for blood to be taken. it takes a week for result. if you go by NHS, you are looking months. private hospital will charge you a fortune be assured. on this website its 140 pounds. cheaper/quicker.

  • Thanks, Gyon. Where do you go for the blood to be taken? Is it £25 then another £140? And will my GP then act on the results if anything is discovered or do they not recognise the results as being true?

  • This is a link to for Private Testing. get a small commission and if you use TUK10 you also get a discount from Blue Horizon or Genova Diagnostics who also detail their code on the attached link.

  • And is the test easy, reliable and acknowledged by doctors, shaws?

  • I don't see why not as these are reputable labs but you could make a new post asking that question and those who've used the facilities will respond.

    I know Blue Horizon do pin-prick tests for quite a few tests and there have been some good responses from members. Genova is also a good lab but not sure if they do pin-pricks.

    These are two links from past posts which may be helpful.

  • That website is for an integrative doctor who helps you get genova testing done without having to go to doctor first for referral. I had full thyroid checked for that money including both antibodies, t4, t3 and reverse t3. It was obvious from my result I wasn't converting, and my high rt3 was result of adrenal. Took result to gp who admitted not fully understand this and referred me to an endocrinologist. He then did his own tests and gave me t3. I can now have blood test on nhs that checks t3.

  • Chickenmitch, it's a pity your GP didn't display some cojones and pick up the phone to the lab and insist they do the tests ordered.

    90% of primary hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) so you could adopt a gluten-free diet to see whether symptoms improve without testing. It makes no difference to the treatment you receive, Hashimoto's isn't treated, the resulting low thyroid hormone is replaced.

    Blue Horizon does a complete thyroid panel including antibodies for £89 using the TUK discount. You'll have to check whether it is the finger prick test or whether you need phlebotomy which will cost extra.

    You should certainly find out the cost of phlebotomy and private testing at the hospital your GP has referred you to before having it done.

  • I am already GF Clutter as I am diagnosed Coeliac. I don't even know if I am barking up the right tree or not as the doctor keeps telling me it is definitely not a thyroid problem. Maybe it's not. All I know is that I feel dreadful and, worst of all, my memory is getting worse by the day. I can barely finish a sentence without forgetting some of the words!! I just want to eliminate things.

  • Chickenmitch, Normal means within range. TSH high in range and FT4 low in range indicates a thyroid problem but NHS won't treat until either TSH is over range or FT4 below range. You may have positive antibodies and still be in normal range but you'll still have to wait until bloods are abnormal before getting a diagnosis.

    Unfortunately NHS seems incapable of acknowledging that symptoms can precede abnormal bloods by months/years.

  • So even if I have a private test which shows the presence of antibodies, I will not be diagnosed until my TSH or FT4 fall out of range? So basically, I am wasting my money having a blood test because nothing will be done anyway! And I suppose the answer to the question 'How long will it take my TSH to go high enough or my FT4 low enough?' is the same as the answer to 'How long is a piece of string?'............ GGrrrrrrr!

  • Chickenmitch, that's about the size of it. If you have a positive antibody result it may persuade a GP who wouldn't make a diagnosis until TSH is >10 to make the diagnosis when TSH is >5 but most will probably accept >5 is abnormal anyway.

    If FT3 is below range GP would probably act on it but FT4 would normally be bottom of range before FT3 got that low.

  • It's all so frustrating!. In that case, if I can summon up the courage to do the finger prick, I may as well do a Blue Horizon test as that seems to be the cheapest option and it doesn't seem to be worth 'wasting' any more money :( I will just find out for my own peace of mind.

  • A good doc, will treat with antibodies and symptoms, even if labs are in normal range. The idea being to preserve the thyroid gland by slowing the attack.

  • The problem is finding a good doctor, faith63.................

  • The finger prick is a doddle - go for it! Quick and painless, esp. compared with a bumbling phlebotomist playing darts with a coy vein.

  • My doctor said that the lab will only test for antibodies if your tsh results are abnormal. They also do not retest if you have tested positive as they do not think they are important with regards to treatment of hypothyroidism.

  • I really don't get it! I have now had a blood test (finger prick DIY) and the results showed TSH of 6.4 and presence of antibodies. Does this mean I can finally be treated, having suffered with clear symptoms for over a year. Or does my TSH have to climb above 10, despite the positive reult for antibodies? Ludicrous!!

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