Private testing

I'm going to do a private test I think and I've seen that Blue horizon do a full set of thyroid bloods including antibodies so I will be going for the full panel.

My question is how much blood do they need because finger prick tests and me do not mix..they terrify me haha and I can never get much blood out.

I'm feeling awful today. I woke feeling so fatigued like I was sedated. I feel dizzy, weak and just generally foggy ano off balance. I've been resting all day. Yesterday the only thing I did was 50 minutes of yoga. Nothing at all strenuous as I can't do too much or I am fatigued for days. Today I woke feeling like this. I have a day like this every week. It makes me upset. I am only 36. Surely it's not normal to feel fatigued daily and then to have a day a week where I am floored. I get told it's just my anxiety or not enough sleep or the stress of my son being ill but I don't think it is.

This time last year I was running and doing cardio, now I can't do anything or I feel ill. I've recently started yoga again from home and I never do anything strenuous. For any of you that know Yoga with Adriene on YouTube I did her day 2 of her 30 day boot camp and although a long workout it was gentle.

I had my bloods done in August when I saw my gp complaining of awful fatigue and brain fog daily. He thought it was my thyroid as my mum is hypothyroid as are my aunties. My nan was hyperthyroid. My results came back... Taken at 9am after breakfast.

Tsh 5.35

Free T4 11

I had my bloods re tested 3 weeks ago and they were..

Taken at 1pm after breakfast and snack.

Tsh 2.92

Free T4 10.2 is not concerned as my recent results showed my b12 had increased to 500. My ferritin up from 15 to 31. Folate is fine. He doesn't want to check me for another year.

I feel tired every day but not severe other than on days like today where I cannot function.

All my bloods were normal 3 weeks ago as he tested everything. I just have high cholesterol which runs on mums side as my uncle has a hereditary condition tjat causes it.

Confused and lost. My gp.says my tsh is accurate and no need to have test early in morning or fasted.

30 Replies

  • Have you got the reference ranges (normally in brackets after the test result) for your tests?

    There's a big difference in your TSH tests. It's best to have tests done as early as possible in the morning before anything to eat, water only, and, if on thyroid meds to leave off your meds for 24 hours before the test. You can take your meds immediately after the test.

    Your first test shows your TSH is too high (assuming the range is similar to mine) and your FT4 too low. Your second test shows an even lower FT4. This all points to being hypothyroid especially with the family history. Your B12 is still low, your ferritin is also low, again assuming the reference ranges are similar to mine. What was your folate result?

    As for the Blue Horizon finger prick test. I've done this. You collect your blood in a mini vial, I'd say no more than a teaspoonful is needed. I found it difficult because me blood clotted very quickly and clogged up the little funnel that goes into the vial when collecting the blood.

  • Thank you.

    Range here is

    Tsh 0.35-5.5

    T4 7-17

    My ferritin has been low for many years. Between 8-15 but now it's up to 31 which is good for me.

    I am supplementing my b12 and iron.

    So it's just 1 small tube to full with blood?

    Thand you for replying.


  • Your FT4 range is different from mine, you would be below range if the range was the same but in your case you are well within range bit could be higher. Your TSH is in range too althoigh your first test is very close to the top. If you had a fasting test first thing in the morning it might just take you over the range and your GP might investigate further.

    Yes, the finger prick test only requires one very small tube.

  • Hi Julie - I woke up this morning with totally different thoughts about Thyroxine and how I take it. I'll make a different post about it.

    However - 2 things have struck me about what you have been saying on here.

    1. Taking your own blood sample. So prick your THUMB, in the Centre, NOT a finger! The thumb is bigger/fatter than a finger and easier to squeeze from each side using your thumb/forefinger on your other hand. Also less painful because you are not squeezing bone - just flesh! Less painful, more blood and quicker?

    2. The inherited bit about your mum and uncle & high cholesterol! Sugars and starch come from carbohydrates.

    looking at photos of me as a younger child standing with my cousin, 2 months younger than me, I was plump, she was slender (normal).

    I was overweight at age 15 1/2 - I was 9 stone and had no known health conditions then - just weight and being plump, which with hindsight again, I think got worse after puberty started at age 14 and had my first foot (toes straightened) operation I also had a bad time and problems with periods. Prior to both. I'd always been active enough to be in school netball and rounders teams, and had been very good at gymnastics.

    I Didn't research anything, but just decided to stop eating potatoes, bread, and not to have sugar in my tea. I never drank coffee In those days, '62. However, in hindsight now, I did start to metabolize properly and lost weight and inches. Went down to 8.5 stone and was slimmer certainly by the time I was 17. Don't know if that train of thought help or not.

    Re food. As said, I was a tea drinker - I also drank milk and orange juice I had to dilute with water. I never could drink fizzy drinks, still can't, too much gas in them. These days I only drink bottled water. As do the French, We can buy 6 litres at a time here for just over €1 ! I think you pay the equivalent in Uk for 1 smaller bottle! Hope it's some food for thought for you! I am also looking into my genetic health history for different reasons.


  • Thank you Shirley

    Thanks for the info. I am cutting down on carbs and sugar to see if it helps lower my cholesterol. I am only 8.5 stone at 5ft tall and 36 years of age. I don't smoke or drink. I eat pretty healthy so there is something underlying causing it.

    I am just fed up every day of feeling so fatigued and weak. I just hoovered the house and folded the washing and I feel exhausted and felt weak doing it. I have seen my GP only last month, had tests done and bloods, all normal. FBC fine, thyroid he says is fine. Yet I still feel awful and useless to my family. I can do very little these days I feel so bad. I haven't bothered to call my GP again as I see no point, he says it's just my anxiety and stress I have been under. I sleep 7-8 hours and never feel better :-( It's getting me down and I cry alot just out of fear of what is wrong with me. It raises my anxiety a lot too.


  • I forgot to say my folate was 23.3 in August it's now 19.9.

  • Again, what is the range? I had my folate tested originally with Blue Horizon, blood drawn at a Spire hospital and the range was 4.6-18.7 and I came in at 6.9. When tested after supplementing for 3 months the range was different as I did a finger prick test and the range that time was 10.4-42.4 and that time I came in at 42.32, so you can see why reference ranges are so important when asking for comments on test results.

  • All it says beside my folate result is >3.0.

    Thanks for your help.

  • The change in your TSH between your two tests is likely to be because of the change in time of day.

    1) Tests should always be done having fasted overnight i.e. don't eat or drink from about 10pm until after your blood is drawn. Drink water though, to avoid dehydration.

    2) If you were taking thyroid meds you should avoid taking them for 24 hours before the blood is drawn, and instead take them immediately after the blood draw.

    3) Tests should be done as early in the morning as possible, preferably before 9am.

    The purpose of all these "rules" is to try and produce a TSH result which is as high as possible.


    Most people feel better with B12 at about 1000. Going over the range is not a problem because B12 is not poisonous.

    A good B12 supplement for most people is methylcobalamin, from Jarrow Formulas or Solgar, 1000mcg or 5000mcg per day. Each day take 1 pill, stick it in your mouth between teeth and cheek, and let it dissolve as slowly as possible. Don't suck or chew. Some people can make them last ages, but I can't - 10 minutes and its usually gone.

    When taking a B12 supplement it is strongly recommended to take a B Complex with it as well to keep the vitamins in balance. B Vitamins must be converted by the body into the activated (methylated) form that the body can use. If your body can't do the conversion (many of us can't) then buying the already activated version is very helpful. I buy Thorne Basic B Complex, and take one a day.


    Ferritin : Please find out the reference range. Most people feel at their best when ferritin is mid-range. The usual reference range for women in the UK is about 15 - 150, so mid-range is about 80 - 90.

    Since you have difficulty raising your ferritin/iron levels, go 100% gluten-free, no cheating, you have to be ruthless. For people with thyroid problems going gluten-free is often very helpful. I spent nearly two years raising my ferritin level with high dose iron supplements. It went up achingly slowly, and still hadn't reached mid-range. It was only after I went g-f that my level suddenly shot up, and I started to lose some of the fatigue I had been suffering from for years. I was tested for coeliac disease a few years before going g-f and it was negative. But going g-f helped enormously anyway.

    For more info on ferritin and iron supplements generally, read this post and follow the links in it :


    To make it easier to get blood out of your finger, the usual advice is to make sure you are not dehydrated - some people drink a pint of water about an hour before doing the finger-prick thing. It also helps if you keep your hands in very warm water for some time (about 10 - 15 minutes) before taking the blood. It is also a good idea to "milk" your finger, when the time comes, to persuade the blood to come out.

    Your cholesterol will reduce if you ever get your thyroid treated. Don't take statins.

  • Thank you so much. Great advice.

    I've had low ferritin for years. First checked in 2006 and it was 18. It's been as low as 8 3 years ago it's now at 31. I've struggled with prescription iron so I take fereglobin supplement as spatone was doing nothing. I've only been taking the fereglobin 2 months and it's really helped. Taking spatone it didn't rside my ferritin at all.

    Funnily I've gone gluten free for 3 weeks now. Because I have ibs and anxiety I thought I'd try it. I also read it helps thyroid so I've been doing it religiously, i had 1 mistake eating something I didn't think contained gluten. I'm not missing it at all. I hope it helps my ferritin because my gp could replace find a cause for my low ferritin. We thought it was my heavy periods but I take medication for 3 years now and they're lightened but ferritin stayed low.

    I have had 2 coeliac bloods and been negative. My gp has always said he thinks I can't digest wheat though. I did a York food intolerance test once and it said wheat was an issue.

    The reference rangworks for ferritin is 15-150 yes.

    I am considering the blue horizon test and I will do that fasted. Thanks for the tips. Hopefully I will be able to do it. If it's just one small tube it should be ok. Do you know how soon you get the results?

    Thank you.


  • I'm not sure how long it takes. Whenever I've used BH it takes about 7 - 10 days to get results through via email. But I've never done the finger-prick ones, I've gone for ones which require someone to take blood for me. I think finger-prick might be quicker.

  • I did my fingerprick test (Thyroid plus Ten) in September. Posted blood on the 1st, it was received and result reported to the lab on the 2nd, I received my results by email on the 7th.

  • Hi, your GP said your TSH is accurate and it may well be but he hasn't taken account of your clinical symptoms at all - has he? Excerpt from link below: ask for these to be done or have them privately and it explains what effect the tests shows, i.e. your FT4 is too low to produce the necessary T3 we need in all of our cells.-

    Taking clinical symptoms into consideration

    He has to test for antibodies as well just in case you have an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease known as Hashimotos - details on the left-hand side of the above links.

    Re your B12 - it is recommended that our result should be around 1,000 so supplement with Vitamin B12, sublingual methylcobalamin (not cyanocobalamin) and you can take 1,000 daily.

    Always get a print-out of your blood test results with the ranges (these are important as labs differ).

  • Thank you.

    Yes I asked my gp to test for hashimotos judging by my family history. He said he couldn't. I had to be over the tsh range before he could.

    Last month I was poorly with stress and he came out to see me. He took bloods and examined me and put everything down to stress which I was never and my anxiety resurfacing. I've seen him twice about feeling terrible fatigue not being able to exercise and feeling dizzy often. I have at least 1 day a week I'm floored and feel so dizzy with fatigue I need to rest for the day. My anxiety is through the roof and the dizziness and fatigue has brought back my agoraphobia. It sucks

    I am supplementing my b12 and that has bumped it up from 212 to 501 in 3 months.

    Thanks again.


  • Many people remain undiagnosed unfortunately due only to the TSH. This link is important maybe your GP wont take notice but we have to learn and read if we've to get better as well as the link above 'Getting a Diagnosis'.

  • Thank you.

    He's not ever checked my t3.

    In 2013 my results were

    Tsh 4.2

    T4 10.4

    That's when my anxiety was severe so he tested me.he said I was fine. Then re tested everything 3 months ago when my fatigue became severe last summer. Then 3 weeks ago because I demanded a result test as I felt so ill.

  • They seem to be unable to understand the effect of hormones are of of whack, particularly thyroid ones because they affect everything in our body and that's why we get anxious sensations and other horrible ones we haven't any idea why so we want answers which aren't forthcoming, neither are the prescription hormones.

  • I'm struggling with anxiety and agoraphobia because of all these symptoms. Is dizziness and vertigo a symptom? Because that's come on the last 2 months which then sends me panicking I've a brain tumour. It's awful.

  • Yes, Jingyd35 they can also be symptoms. I think around 300 and luckily we dont get them all :)

    You can be reassured your not getting a brain tumour. It's just that our receptor cells don't have sufficient thyroid hormones.

  • I've been floored by fatigue for 9 months and with it has come anxiety and agoraphobia as I felt scared going out but I'm told anxiety is not a symptom of hypothyroidism only hyper.

    In the last 2 months I've had dizziness. My gp visited me twice and ran checks a and bloods he said all down to stress. Last month it was where it felt I was swaying as I walked, like asking on marshmallows or on a boat feeling. It finally eased a lot then yesterday it's come back but it's when I lie down. I feel dizzy lying flat and when I change position onto my side. I feel I go all swaying in my head for a few seconds. Scary. I keep worrying ta a brain tumour. I've never had this before but I know my gp has checked my eyes, motion and muscles. Bp is perfect.

    Thanks for your help.


  • Many members have said they have anxiety. Doctors rarely know all of the clincical symptoms. You would be frightened of going out on your own if you're dizzy or anxious. I had labrynthitis once and I couldn't go out as my balance was badly affected.

  • I did finger prick test with success following the instructions.

    First I rinsed my hand with warm water. Then I shook and waved the hand ( don't know how to explain it in English :( ) like you would be warming up before exercise.

    Third, which was the most important thing I think, I tied a belt around my shoulder. Worked! Kept blood running.

    Have to remind you I am not a fan of tests and needles. First time I was panicking and worried about fainting. Nothing bad happened. Second time I did it like professional. Got out of bed and followed the instructions half sleeping. Took me five minutes and then back to bed.

    The test I ordered had five spare needles so was I knew if I fail I have extra needles.

  • That's my fear! Scared of fainting lol!

    Thank you for your advice 😊

  • You will be fine :) I forgot how nervous I was when I started to take the test as I had to concentrate on the test.

  • Did you do the 6 plus thyroid which does antibodies too? So it's just 1 tube for all the tests?

  • I used different lab and mine was dry blood test, but that requires pretty much the same amount of blood than bluehorizon test.

  • I said your FT4 was too low going by the one in Thyroiduk (that's why ranges are important).

    FT4 = FREE T4

    Thyroid hormones not bound to proteins. FT4 lowers when the thyroid is struggling.

    The approx. reference range for this test is 10 to 24

    Ask your GP to do your FT3 blood test and it tells you why in the above link. As stated above, follow the procedures for your next tests.

  • Thank you so much I will.

    I will be going private I think.

  • This is a link and if you put's code you will get a small discount as will and you put Thyriduk as your practitioner and they'll get a copy which they destroy.

  • Thank you so much 😊

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