Requesting blood tests

I have a doctors appointment in a couple of weeks and wanted to see what blood tests i should request. Also, when i requested blood tests last time i was told you can't just request them and that there done based on symptoms but nobody seems to know what i have and i've felt the way i have for so long i don't know what symptoms i have anymore as it just feels normal so i want to do all tests that relate to hashimoto's, hyper & hypo in the hope of finally getting on track with it plus i'm seeing a different doctor to last time so hopefully she will agree to them.

Do patients have any rights when it comes to requesting blood tests just in case she won't do them either?

From what i've seen on here so far i should be requesting

TFT, FBC, FT3, FT4, B12, TSI, Vit D, Iron, Ferritin, Folate, TPOAb, TgAb, TRAb, TSH Receptor, TBII.

I also want to have my hormone levels tested but other than this are there any others i should request?

Thanks

Nikki

25 Replies

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  • Thank god I am on here !!! ... I have just put similar message on !!! ... I am absolutely same ... Up , down like a yo yo !!! ... Too much Levo , tight head and neck ... Not enough and can't breath !!! ... So great find you !!! Hope you ok 

  • About three months ago I had blood tests for thyroid, Vit D, Cholesterol and iron requested by my GP, but the laboratories only sent back the test for the thyroid which resulted in my thyroxine being altered slightly.  I asked the doctor about the other results and he said the laboratories decide what tests to do, even though last time I had the blood tests done (which was a year ago) my cholesterol was high!!   I do not know what the results are for my cholesterol or Vit D (even though the doctor had been supplementing me with D3) or even the iron.   He is going to have me tested end of April but just for my thyroid results.   I am not sure what to do about all this.  Perhaps somebody could advise.

    Marguerite9

  • GP Partners can veto tests that patients have. So can clinical commissioning groups. It's to save money. 

    Labs, pharmacies etc don't make decisions themselves they refer back to the practice or the commissioning group if they are asked to do something and it's not  what the commissioning group has agreed to pay for.

    I am personally sure, but I've not asked the right person yet, that practitioners get reprimanded for asking for too many tests.

  • Not sure where you are from but in uk you may find it difficult to request blood tests. I felt ill for years, aching, lacking energy and after researching decided I was not converting t4 to t3 and requested t3 test which my doctor did but it was refused at the lab due to it not being part of NHS protocol. From this web site I discovered blue horizon private blood test and it was the best thing ever. Was going to just have t3 but it was not much more to have about 50 tests done so I did that and after years of symptoms being blamed on thyroid I discovered loads of deficiencies including b12 and d3 and life has now improved. With no thanks to NHS.

  • Same here.  I'm loads improved but no thanks to the nhs.

  • There has to be a clinical need for you to have specific tests done on the NHS. What you are allowed to have depends on the practitioner doing the tests. 

    Personally I have found newly qualified staff whether it's a GP or nurse practitioner are likely to test you for more things especially if the diagnosis isn't clear.  

    If the practitioner is experienced and actually listens to patients,  then if you make a good case you can get more things tested but it won't be everything you want. If you are using Internet evidence in your argument for being tested for certain things then sites like patient.info and any NHS site are fine to use. However some doctors purposely ignore NICE guidelines as they argue there is not funding for what NICE recommends. They  get away with this even if you complain about it and it's left you ill for years.

    If the practitioner doesn't listen to patients particulary, if the patient is female,  there is no point fighting with them instead see if another doctor at the surgery will test you, if not then do your own private tests. 

    In my current practice if you turn up with private blood test results with more info they will take the test results as it saves then having to retest you. They will also use the tests in diagnosing you as they are aware at least one of the labs used is the same as what they use as NHS labs do private tests. Other doctors are pig headed and try and lie about the labs giving different results. If they are you need to do everythong you can to change surgery.

  • Hi Nikki

    I can only say from my own experience. 

    I take thyroxine, also, as my thyroid no,longer works, due to another drug I took 

    For atrial fibrillation. 

    However if you are on meds for thyroid you should reasonably be reminded 

    By you GP every six months for blood work,

    When I was feeling unwell and asked for a thyroid blood test, the receptionist said I was overdue for one, 

    So had to wait until the necessary paper was issued by the GP.

    So my answer is yes you can request blood work tests,

    As GP s actually well at least mlne never remind you,

    Even on a regular visit 

    Good luck , and sometimes we know our bodies better than our GP 

  • Hi ... I begged my doc for help when I went in and asked for everything ! Said I was suicidal , and she agreed to do full blood work.  At the time , I thought that that's exactly what they'd done.   I now know that it's a good idea to check your LH and LSH , progesterone and estrogen -   And your T3 and T4 ... Perhaps parathyroid hormones too?    I'm still trying to get all of this done .... But I think it all depends on the doctor you speak to .... You really have to ham it up sometimes ... I'm really depressed and truly suicidal over my hair and refluxing , so I end up sobbing everytime I go in.  I'm paying to see a private endo next week, dr mukherjee at the Spire.  She has very positive reviews . I'm hoping she will help me ! Xxx good luck .... Xxx 

  • I was so sorry to read your entry - a newcomer to this site and reeling from the information on it and my lack of understanding.  May I just ask if reflux is part of thyroid.  I was fine until I gave birth then, in six months, was diagnosed with thryoid problems and hiatus hernia - then a blood clot in one eye and years later diabetes - my hair all fell out two years ago - my daughter now 17. 

  • Hi .. Wow you've been through a lot 😟    I don't know if there's a problem with my thyroid yet - but everything was fine until early Feb this year when I found thyroid nodules .  Then all of a sudden I develop reflux - which it's taken me weeks to get help with , I'm seeing a gastro in two days ...   Then I notice my pubic hair thinning , get the tingles , rough skin , heavier periods etc ....   I don't know if I have a hiatus hernia or not yet , but I've read in some places that thyroid problems can cause the LES valve in the stomach to relax ?  My hair started thinning three years ago but has only just now reached a stage where it's getting stupidly thin and dry . I have always been told this was not thyroid or hormonal and I now think it is . I'm devastated with all of it ...xxxx 

  • I am so sorry.  You are doing really well in trying to find out about your condition and symptoms, etc.  I took the attitude that police are there to protect you, firemen put out fires and doctors cure your bodily ailments - what a joke!   If I can help in any way, please get in touch.  You have already helped me by telling me about the LES valve (?????) - that's going on my list!!  Have you been on this site long - I am a bit of a technophobe - is it useful or confusing?

  • Yes refux can go with it, because if your thyroid isnt working properly it can mean that your LES valve becomes less capable - lazy.

  • People with hypothyroidism often have problems with low stomach acid. Unfortunately the symptoms of low stomach acid and just about the same as high stomach acid, so doctors prescribe stuff for high stomach acid, which doesn't work, but just makes things worse. Omezaprole or something like that.

  • im having same problem, hypo symptoms returned so I asked GP for blood tests ,she refused, I had to wait 3 months before I could have another test. Its so unfair.

  • Would have thought it obvious that if you are not paying for the blood tests yourself - being paid for by insurance or national health - then any expense is at the discretion of the doctors.  He must know better than the patient which blood tests you need anyway. If you say you want a test because of this or that and can explain it that's different, thats what I do.

  • Hi.... I'm new to this too 😊  There is a LOT of good help on this site.  I recommend it for people who are feeling alone with their problems . Somebody on here saved me a lot of money by warning me off a private Dr with whom they had experienced lack of empathy and poor service ..., otherwise I'd have booked to see him ! Can I ask Hun ,  did you get your ferritin checked for your hair ??  It needs to be at 90 for a good 6 months for hair to grow normally . It's what was cited as the cause of my hairloss . It's only been at 90 for about a month after years of very low iron ?  I'm now digging into other theories on top of this ?   LES being weakened is usually at the result of reflux ... If you look up info on GERD. ( gastro intestinal reflux disease) it will tell you more.  I think my les valve has weakened for sure . I struggle to belch and the contents of my tummy are constantly flowing back up my easophagus ...  Taking PPIs like omaprazole will only tackle the symptoms ..... By reducing acid . They are not a long term solution as they interfere with absorption of nutrients . We need stomach acid to break down food properly . I still reflux ... The medication stops the burning but I'm still getting that 'lump in the throat ' feeling a lot and I struggle to belch or eat certain things . I can't drink alcohol at all or anything fizzy . My hair on top of that has ruined my quality of life .... My Trichologist is adamant my hair will come back . She's been doing her job for 30 years , but I can't believe it . I am sure that it's my thyroid or I'm perimenopause ?? It's so unfair .... I can cope with anything .. But hairloss .. I can't 😟😟xx 

  • I don't know if this will help you but I drink a diluted glass of apple cider vinegar after or with my meals, this increases stomach acid, which in turn helps the sphincter valve to work more efficiently, which controls the reflux. I too have taken PPI's but have found that the apple cider vinegar is just as effective and has none of the side effects i.e low stomach acid which in turn inhibits proper digestion.

  • I'll try that ! Thank you ! I bought some but wasn't sure how to use it ?  Have you stopped PPIs ? 

  • I haven't taken a PPI since before Christmas, and I wasn't taking them daily then, although I was told by my GP that I would need to take them every day because of my Hiatus Hernia! If you stop them suddenly you may get a backlash and feel that your symptoms are worse than ever, so if you are taking them every day try to wean yourself off them. 

    Then get your apple cider vinegar, a bottle last ages, and add about 1 dessert spoon full to a glass of water either drink it down or drink with your meal. It has a sharp flavour a bit like lemon juice in water. You can also have it warm with a bit of honey if you don't really like the taste, but like most things you can acquire a taste for it if you persevere.

    I am not medically qualified I'm just telling you what worked for me. Good luck!

  • Yup - it is sometimes awfully dificult to get a request thru a NHS Doctor GP - especially where there is no agreement with the GP as to what the symptoms mean.

    Paying privately can be one way to get what you want.   You are a "customer" of your GP, but alas some don't see things that way.  But private consults and tests can be expensive - e.g.  a CT scan to check an old hernia repair cost me £1200 of my savings.

  • thankyou all for your help and comments.   Could I please ask where do you get these private blood tests and how much does it cost and also, do you have to take the blood out of your arm yourself?  Can you just go into any Private hospital and ask them to do it for you.   I would love to know what my cholesterol, Vit D, and iron results are.

    Your help is much appreciated and thankyou all again.

    Marguerite9 xx

  • I just asked to have T3 and T4 done at my surgery, I paid for them and got my blood tested as normal and sent off to the lab

  • There are links to blue horizon and other providers on the thyroid UK site.

    These private providers are officially suppose to say why you need the test but I have never been asked. They often use the same labs as the NHS and even when they don't ,there are standards all UK labs have to adhere to. This means that if a doctor turns around and says your lab results are bunk you should find a new doctor simply because you are saving the NHS money by doing your own tests. 

  • thankyou Bluebug for all your help.   Really appreciate it.

    Marguerite9

  • The minimum set of thyroid function tests recommended on the thyroid advocacy sites is: TSH FT3 FT4 rT3 TPOAb TGAb.  In modern capitated healthcare systems, the only "right" you have is to goto a self-pay lab; most insurance or national health plans restrict what their docs will do, they save money by keeping the patient hanging.

    I do NOT recommend that you have tests for higher-level hormones done, until you make sure your thyroid and adrenal hormone levels are good.  As I learned from personal experience, thyroid and adrenal hormones, along with nutritional levels, have a huge effect on how well your body manufactures higher-level hormones.

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