My GP surgery charging £50 admin fee for non-approved blood tests

Yes, this is the way the NHS is already slowly and surreptitiously privatised - blood tests. In order to get my T3 and T4 repeated and my vit D repeated it would have cost little shy of £100...as you can imagine I thought 'stuff it'. A tenner each for the repeat thyroid tests would have been affordable. the Vit D one was £35 and then an admin fee on top of that of £50 makes the whole thing prohibitive.

Anyone else have this in their area?

73 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Do you mean your NHS GP surgery is charging you this or that this is the price to have it done from private company?

  • Why then are the UK GP's discrediting any tests people have done privately - I do think they are all so confused with all the Rules and Regulations ....

    There are cheaper sources - City Assays for VitD for a start ....

    I pay for my tests here in Crete if they are not covered by the IKA - National Insurance. All the same blood test - just that some are free and some not. I have to pay the GP 25 euro to get the free or very low priced ones then add the ones I want at the Blood Testing Clinic. It all blends together quite simply here - not sure if that would be the same in the UK.

  • Not all GPs discredit private tests.

    The ones charging the £50 admin fee are obviously in areas with an insufficient amount of private clinics.

    This means GPs will simply refuse to do the test at all unless there is a "clinical need", and leave you to go to one of private providers who use the same NHS labs....

    *Admin edit for political/racist comments*

  • Thats new to me.

    Of course politicians will never admit that charging is needed given the ageing population so it happens bit by bit and savings are made by withdrawing the supply of items: T3 ,gluten free foods( which i know is controversial with for and against on this site). No doubt more will follow as CCGs cut costs.

    *Admin edit for political/racist comments*

  • Treepie, as part of the 'aging population' I don't like being blamed for the problems in the NHS. It has been known for many years - well from birth to be honest - that the population will age so a complete lack of forward planning hasn't helped.

    I'm old enough to remember when there were convalescent homes all over the place, these were staffed by nurses and people (of all ages) who had had an operation and who no longer needed to be on a hospital ward for that level of medical treatment but were not able to fend for themselves for whatever reason went to them.

    Sadly someone along the line had the bright idea to get rid of these wonderful places and now people who would in the past have gone to one of those convalescent facilities are classed. - and I have to say, through NO fault of their own - as bed blockers.

    One of the things that really bug me is the fact that an institution as large as the NHS seems to be totally unable to save money by bulk buying.

  • I am 71 next month .Politicians here only look to the next election which is why many long term planning is absent from many areas .Planning the number of docs and nurses ,future energy, transport except brainless billions to get to Brum 20 mins quicker!

  • Yes and doctors doing home visits, fruitandnut...remember those? It was routine when I was a child and ill in bed that the doctor would do house calls.

    This was stopped in the name of progress (not!)

  • Yes, this is what they're doing, Treepie. Gradually withdrawing what is fee so we don't notice that the choice is getting narrower and narrower.

    Your post was edited too for political or racist comments. I hope it was the former. Perhaps mine's been edited further down because I brought politics into it...but it is political...

  • Interesting ,today it is reported that 8 out of ten new workers are from outside Britain. 2.2 million now here putting pressure on the NHS and schools.

    No wonder our services are contracting and folk cannot get T3.

    It seems the thought police editing are missing the fact that this directly impacts on thyroid and every other health aspect.

  • The fact is that overtly political posts generally lead to arguments.

    We try to keep arguments to a minimum.

    Louise

    Admin

  • I understand that but even prescription gluten free foods led to argument.

    It cannot be denied that the NHS is under funding pressure to the detriment of all of us because of population increase.

  • It isn't just population increase, though. It's much more complex. It is to do with inequality in society.

  • And gluten free threads which descend into argument would be edited or removed.

  • Well, bad tempered rude argument needs editing but not debate.

  • Unfortunately, one tends to lead to the other..

  • While I can see it is very political, I don't want to get into a political argument. It is a side issue about 'numbers coming in' that was used during the 1950s and 60s in much the same way and in Edwardian times! We need to be focussing on defeating corporate greed and increasing choice and opportunities for everyone. The issues are far more complex than 'blame the foreigner' which is a smokescreen.

  • I agree on corporate greed but beg to differ on the rest given the scale of the change.

  • Alas it has come through my emails and I can see why admins removed the comments. Well done to the admins

  • bluebug - curious about tests that the NHS wouldn't provide - what tests exactly and why were they being asked for?

  • Cinnamon, tests like I mentioned - T3 and T4!! Asked for because they were lowish last two times. Vit D, asked for because it's been low for years but I'm told to supplement instead...

  • FoggyMoggy - When was the last time you were tested for these? Does the NHS set a time limit for any testing, excepting the early days of being hypo obviously? Would be keen to know whether your GP was actually within his rights although being told to supplement, without testing, is obviously irresponsible!

  • Cinnamon, I was last tested Vit D probably a year ago. The T3 and T4 (privately) at the same time. I'm not diagnosed as hypo but fibro. That still requires Vit D tests on first diagnosis because of the link between the condition and low Vit D. But my Vit D levels have crept up, even though still on the low side last time but within range (I think). But it had moved up 20 points compared to the first time. I just think it's essential to monitor it. Yes, that is the situation at our practice to just supplement (apparently) although I did manage to persuade one of the GPs after some time had passed. They once tried to deny me before so I waited for some months or a year and then next time I asked for it they did it.

  • FoggyMoggy - thanks for explaining. It's extraordinary that doctors aren't taught about the role of vitamins and minerals but they've really no excuse for not knowing how a lack of vitamin D can affect your health. There's been plenty of publicity in the national press and TV news.

    The word prevention seems to have been lost by the NHS.

  • Indeed that's very true, cinnamongirl. It's all about saving money these days, sadly :(

  • That makes perfect sense, Bluebug. By the way your post has been edited for political or racist comments. I hope it was the former and not the latter...

  • In my opinion it was neither racist nor political.

  • That's good to know, CG

    Update...alas, it came through my emails and I'd agree it was both :(

  • No, Marz. It's rocketed since last year. I asked for a full blood count and requested T3 and T4 and one of the thyroid antibodies and Vitamin D. Most of them they are doing for free as they deem them necessary. I don't mind paying a tenner each for the thyroids as I did last year but I resent being charged a 50 quid admin fee. It's daylight robbery

  • Mine just won't do them at all!

  • This is NOT the NHS but your doctor making money where he /she sees an opportunity to do so. The NHS is still free!! I suggest you change your doctor, this one is obviously unscrupulous & unethical.

    gov.uk/government/uploads/s...

    Rx

  • Rennixon - that's not a Constitution, it's a fairy story. You really couldn't make it up!!!

  • No, it is the policy at our practice, rennixon, All the GPs at the big practice do the same and this is what the practice manager will have decided to save money. You can split hairs all you like but it IS the NHS. I've noticed it deteriorating even in the last 12 months. They say FREE at the point of use, but what they don't tell you is that the choice is getting narrower by the day...they can do a good PR job with smoke and mirrors but there's nothing to say they can't charge an admin fee for blood tests they don't deem appropriate, although that admin fee has only come into being in the last 12 months. Since we had a solely Tory govt in fact...no coincidence...

  • no there isn't anything to say they cant charge an "admin fee" but your choice is to sack the doctor and find another. to charge people who cannot afford it IS discrimination.

  • I can't 'sack' the doctor as you put it. There's no other GP practice in my area. They have been very good in other ways, supporting me with my PIP. So I now could probably afford it but what's the point? I'm making a point about the NHS and how the free services are going down the pan...

  • Rennuxon. Agreed. Practices are businesses now. GPs are not employed by the NHS but by the practice. My endo was surprised I got two D3 tests. I have been refused a full thyroid panel and told, not in so many words, that I was lucky to get FT3 and FT4 done. I want a full thyroid panel done, but cant afford £150.

  • I was diagnosed as severely gluten intolerant, probably coeliac, by the gastro (i havent had the gastroscopy). I was refused even gluten free bread on scrip. To a degree I can understand why. Glutafin bread is £9 a small loaf!

  • I have been asked to pay £25 for vitamin D. Although the last time they didn't charge me.

  • They said £35 at my practice and that it's cheaper to give out the supps which is probably true but I get constipated with most of them and can't get decent enough sun all the year round :(

  • When my partner asked for a thyroid test, the GP went ballistic. He moaned and moaned about the cost yet my partner pays plenty a month in NI contributions and hadn't been to a GP in 9 years!

    I have been using Doublebase gel, prescribed by my dermatologist back in 2003. Without any consultations it has been replaced with a cheap version, without a pump so you have to squeeze a big bottle for any of the thick gel to come out. It's very difficult for me as I've had thumb surgery and my grip is poor. Also the top breaks off the bottle as it's so cheap. There seems to be an awful lot of this kind of stuff going on. It really gets me mad as I'm finding thyroid meds, HC, urine dip sticks, pads, and all the E45 products I use.

  • Sorry to hear this, helcaster. yes, this is exactly what's happening. limiting the choice so that people have no choice but to go private and it is privatisation by stealth

  • I fear you are correct. I know there is an extreme shortfall in the funding the NHS gets. To be honest I don't see my GP now anyway, just a complete waste of time, so I'm not exactly eating into their funds, it's been 2 years now.

    My partner is always tired, put on 3 stones, has extremely dry, hard skin, tennis elbow, problems with his ears, he has a huge amount of swelling along the jaw line, and his temperature never gets up beyond 36.1 . Well you can guess the rest, only TSH done.

  • Sorry to hear that, helcaster. Yes I have put on a lot of weight (though confounded by menopause and antidepressants), low basal temperature, always feeling cold, even after sweating which I do a lot! And always tired...needing to sleep every day at some point. Lots of other symptoms. I am diagnosed with Fibro but want to investigate my thyroid as far as I can but GPs say pituitary problems are rare

  • Have you taken in the list of symptoms on Thyroid Uk website to your Gp? I had to do that because they clearly don't know the symptoms! I also took in 5 days of recorded waking temperatures, all in the 35's. I've said it to others but you have to make a case for yourself.

    I have a " rare" bladder disease, it took me 5 years to get diagnosed because GP's don't know about interstitial cystitis, but I still have it!

    When I was on the antidepressant seroxat I put on 4 stones. All the time I was depressed because of low T3. I had years on antidepressants and none of them did anything for me.

  • I don't think my GP or any GPs like to be told or given a list of symptoms. But I do tell them I am worried about my thyroid. But all my symptoms are consistent with Fibromyalgia which I have been diagnosed with. Yes, I've mentioned the low temperatures to which my GP said 'they don't really use this as a measure any more'.

    Talking of bladders I have a suspected UTi at the moment but I am waiting for the results to come back from the lab from my urine sample. The first lot of antibiotics didn't work. I've been to the loo about 30 times in the last 24 hours and the same the 24 hours before that. My average would be half that. The second lot of antibiotics I'm reluctant to take so will see what transpires tomorrow when the results may have come in. But IC is one of the things that I may have and also when saw bladder specialists some years ago she said my symptoms were consistent with that. IC is also a symptom of Fibromyalgia.

    I am on Seroxat (10 mg) but not for depression. It is good for anxiety undoubtedly which I have always suffered with

  • Have you ever had a cystoscopy? Usually the bladder wall in Ic shows chronic inflammation, also can show hunners ulcers and pin point heamhorrages. There's not usually bacteria, it's an inflammatory disease. Some doctors are saying it's caused by autoimmune activity, others more recently by a hidden infection, this isn't a main stream opinion. An urine broth is cultured, not sure how, but if bacteria show than that means long term antibiotics. The theory is the bacteria have formed a bio film hiding the bacteria from normal lab testing. Often there are other health problems in people with IC like chronic fatigue, migraine fibromyalgia. Many think it's more of a systemic disease. If you want more info take a look at the COB foundation website. I have hydroxyzine prescribed at 75mg at night. It's an antihistamine that damps down mast cell activity which is really high in ic causing pain and swelling. I was diagnosed in 2003 by Mr Paul Irwin at Leighton Hospital Crewe.

    I've never had a problem with supplying histories, ticked symptom lists with any of my consultants. If they want to work with you they are very grateful for your insight. I've always been thanked for info and it's put in my notes. I've done an expert patient course and this is certainly encouraged.

  • No, I've not had a cystoscopy and have a phobia about having one but it maybe the next stage, I don't know. But yes, Fibro, migraines and fatigue...and frequency. The frequency is likely hereditary. Just that there's more activity there at the moment which could have been triggered by anything. I will have a look at the COB website, thanks. But what does COB stand for? I have read quite a bit about IC obviously as it comes up as strongly associated with Fibromyalgia. I guess it depends on your GP and your surgery how they respond, but also what the prevailing view of a condition is at the time and a particular surgery. You sound as if you've had people who are willing to listen. That has happened with me too eg about fibromyalgia whereas some GPs are sniffy about it. But hormones are another thing entirely. I know women who've had problems with their desired HRT etc

  • I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1998, but I've had also had arthritis since my 20's. I think in my case the fibro symptoms were hypothyroidism, as I had suffered text book symptoms for 20 years. I finally insisted on a thyroid test 5 years ago. I've had a lot of bad experiences with doctors over the last 20 years, not helped by an hospital infection after surgery which triggered my IC. Pelvic surgery raises your risk of IC, so does repeated bacterial bladder infections. The worst thing you can possibly do is drink cranberry juice! You need to cut all acid out of your food and drinks. When I was diagnosed I was suicidal, the pain was extreme, on a par with labour, I would have happily died. There was no let up for a 5 year period. I had paid for a cystocopy, the urogynaecologist had all the info to diagnose me but offered to shut my ovaries down, which of course I refused. So my IC just got worse and worse. I was housebound with pain and frequency. Your bladder gets thickened and scarred with IC so eventually it holds less urine. Also what doesn't help frequency is an inflamned urethra. I used to wee in warm water for pain relief, I often had bleeding from my urethra, and my wee would go in all directions due to swelling. I had my bladder stretched 10 years ago which has broken up a lot of scar tissue and that has helped my pain and frequency. You need to drink a lot of still mineral water, until your urine is colourless, it helps to calm things down, and take as many pain meds as you need.

    The cystoscopy is nothing to worry about, I had mine under general anaesthetic, had biopsies done twice too. There is some pain and blood clots after. It depends how bad your IC is, my bladder always cracks and bleeds when it's stretched, so you do need good pain relief, it took 3 weeks to settle down. My eldest daughter has inherited IC, she had a cystoscopy in December, but she hardly had any pain, and a tiny bit of blood. She was back at work in 3 days! Her IC is still very mild.

    COB is the Cystitis and overactive bladder foundation. In my early days it was a great help, my urologist acts as a consultant for this charity. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, although at the time it was 60 miles away from where I lived. Take a look at the IC diet too, it's a real help.

    I've had to do all my own research and find my own consultant for IC it's a disease that is really poorly understood by most GP's. The average length of time to get diagnosed is 8 years. You really have to fight your corner sometimes. Everyone thinks take antibiotics and you're over it, which couldn't be more inaccurate! Mine is so bad the tiny bit of actetic acid in injections give me a week of pain and bladder spasms, likewise fruit flavoured supplements have me in orbit. I take a non acid vitamin C too. PM me any time you need support on this . x

  • hi helcaster. Thanks, so sorry you've been through the mill with this. Yes I know cranberry juice can be the worst thing for some people. If I have to have a cystoscopy I'd have a local anaesthetic. I couldn't cope with a general. I have serious anxiety and medical phobias! I've not had children...I always had severe period pain. I think they are just about finished now. I felt better actually after drinking lots of water when it first started this was better than taking the antibiotics and my urine was almost clear. But just after this I had a bad migraine for a few days so it could have been the painkillers that masked the pain and maybe settled my bladder? But when it was over the irritable bladder came back with a vengeance. So I took the antibiotics that the doctor had, reluctantly prescribed over the phone. I say reluctantly because he needed a sample and it was before the weekend so couldn't get one in in time. So he gave me one that was a 'good' generic one. But it didn't help at all. Now I've finished them and I'm not feeling any worse, touch wood, although I have pain from overactivity in the groin. I have been drinking lots of water and chamomile tea which is another good drink to settle the bladder (drinking it cold). I loathe the stuff too, give me an ordinary cuppa any day but I've decided to be kind to my bladder! The duty doctor prescribed me more antibiotics over the phone when I phoned up to see if the lab results were in and that i still had groin pain. I went to pick them up and read the side effects and decided 'no way'. But I will see what happens when the lab results come back tomorrow. Take care and thanks for your support. If I need any more info i will PM you x

  • The problem is the more antibiotics you take the less chance anything will show in the lab. I usually have bits of skin in my urine during a flare, plus +++ blood, occasionally protein, but never bacteria. Occaisonally I have passed a lot of visible blood. I keep the same dipsticks as the GP has by me, so if I think I have a bacterial infection on top it will show signs on the dipstick. A bacterial infection on top of IC I found to be absolutely excruciating, and it's the only time I've called a doctor out. I had started pain meds, and 5 hours down the line I got absolutely no relief, and I just couldn't take the pain. I use oxycodone if it's really bad with buccastem for nausea, but I haven't found anything that takes the pain away, just sedation. A hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel on you pelvic area, and I have a tiny one for between my legs, it does help. Also the more I can lie still the easier it is on my urethra. I've found a little E45 cream has helped that terrible constant pee type burning a lot. My pain goes from my bladder into my vulva and rectum, then up to my kidneys and down my thighs to my knees.

    I would never have a local with a cystoscopy, when you have IC it can be very painful to have your bladder stretched for the procedure. I've had 11 generala anaesthetics and they really are nothing to worry about, as you're out by the time you count 7, and I always joke it's the only time I'm relaxed! I have an absolute phobia of anything medical too, I've been offered counselling it's so bad. I once got prepped for surgery, had a panic attack and asked to be collected, I didn't go back to a hospital for 10 years.

    It will be interesting to see what the lab report says, I really hope you get your results, stress is terrible for bladder pain.

    Re tea, the only hot drink I tolerate well is red bush tea, no acid no caffeine. It has a good flavour, and after 8 years of drinking just water it was a huge treat. I can have a mug in the morning with no side effects. Tesco do a good one.

    Even if you've had a bacterial infection your bladder can take many days to recover, like you say be kind to your bladder.

    Hugs.x

  • Thanks helcaster. You sound as if you've been in terrible pain with yours. Luckily I've not been in so much pain and certainly not intolerable. The painkillers have helped. I think the pain is as I say from over activity and it's mainly in the groin area. I think it's eased a bit in the last few hours, touch wood, and that's since I've stopped the antibiotics. I always have a hot water bottle wherever I go, lol. So any pain I have my trusty hot water bottle with me. It's even by my side now in bed! I use them for migraines, cold feet, you name it! I read that local anaesthetics are OK for cystoscopies if you have a flexible probe and that it wasn't painful. I have a terror of being out under and not waking up again...which is probably what you went through. I can understand the worry and the panics! Yes a lot of people go for rooibosh tea. It is the nearest flavour to ordinary tea. I suppose I could drink decaff tea too.

    Well better get some sleep now. Thanks for your support and advice!

    Hugs x

  • The modern anaesthetics mean you really are very awake after, and you're not out for long for a cystoscopy. You would have to be very brave having a local. My daughter had a general, but because I went to stay with her she could come home some hours later. She really was wide awake! My urologist keeps you in overnight, as it really can be painful, it's the stretching of the bladder wall that's painful in full blown Ic. The registrar assisting told me my bladder had cracked open and bled a lot. Although they make you constipated I've always kept Codis at home after procedures. These days to cut costs you're likely to be sent home with paracetamol which does nothing. My daughter didn't believe me, but I was correct, she was very glad of the codis. She had biopsies too.

    It's vitally important to see an urologist who is very familiar with IC, a lot aren't. My daughter is going through exactly the same as I went through,they have all the information, but she is still getting drugs for overactivity which is a symptom of Ic, but they're not treating the cause. She's nearly 2 years down the line and so far her urologist just hasn't nailed the diagnosis, because he doesn't know about Ic. What I've learnt over the years is to find your own consultant, you can research their specialties online now, and it is worth travelling to see them

    Under the NHS patient choice you can go to any hospital you want.

    So glad your pain is easing now!

    Red Bush is naturally acid free and caffeine free, I wouldn't touch anything that has been decaffeinated, you have no idea what the process is to get rid of the caffeine, it may be chemicals which you need to avoid.

    Hugs. X

  • Hi helcaster

    Thanks...I thought I was being braver opting for a local anaesthetic. If they numb the area, I'm not bothered and would rather be awake through the whole thing! The latest is that the results have come back normal so no bacteria present. The doc has just phoned me. I have blood tests next week so he said see what happens with them. I told him the frequency was settling down now although still have some groin pain. He will refer me to urologist if it continues...I am hoping it will just settle down..

    Yes, I usually avoid decaff anything because of the chemicals but I fancied some tea and so I thought I'd have a couple of cups without the caffeine. It's not as if I drink it much...I always go for the caffeinated sort but am steering clear at the moment. The GP has mentioned IC so he is aware of it...though he didn't mention it today.

    Hugs xx

  • I'll Pm you. X

  • Damn righg it is, and its criminal!

  • NI is not directed to the NHS ,it is just another tax which goes to the Treasury and a pretence is maintained that it serves a different purpise.

  • Hi FoggyMoggy, my surgery will only do FT4 (useless as I take T3!) and of course, the holy TSH! I was quoted around £17 per individual test; so that's £17 for FT3, £17 for Thyroglobulin Antibody etc etc. They won't test for Vitamin D at all! (Even though I was deficient!) Now I just opt for Blue Horizon fingerprick tests, as it's slightly cheaper, saves all the arguing and the waiting, (usually an hour.)

    They have replaced my other (necessary) meds with awful generics. I have lost count of all the generics that have been useless and have ended up in the bin! Surely this is more of a waste than giving me the slightly more expensive branded meds that actually work and don't have the fillers that I react to.

  • Thanks Annie. Your surgery sounds similar to mine. The T3 and T4 still cost a tenner each at mine but it is the whacking great admin fee which has peed me off. They will only give me free T3 and T4 if the TSH falls out of range (on the low side). I have low of everything but my GP said pituitary problems are very rare.

    So can you get Blue Horizon done at your surgery. I thought you had to send them off or am I thinking of something else. Not sure I'd be any good at the pin pricking, lol.

    Sorry to hear about the cheap alternatives you're getting prescribed with.

  • No I can't get blood taken at surgery. I rely on the fingerprick postal tests which, now that I am more adequately treated with T3 (that I buy myself, because they will not prescribe anything othr than Levo) the tests are fairly easy to do.

    I don't think that the admin fee sounds legal at all. It's outrageous!

  • Thanks Annie. I've no idea how to dispute it though. I could make a complaint but the practice manager will just fob me off as he did last time when I asked why flu jabs aren't free for people with Fibromyalgia.

    Do the NHS take any notice of your private health tests by the way?

  • Yes, sort of. I usually give my GP a copy of the test results, I ought to charge them for printing costs really!

    I'm wondering though if by doing my own blood tests I'm playing into their hands.

    Endoprat still insists on other blood tests even with a copy of BH tests in front of him! Talk about wasting NHS money!

    Since owning up to taking T3 he doesn't see me anymore, he was about as useful as a chocolate teapot anyway!

  • Lol, I first read endoprat as the name of a private company! Then the penny dropped ;)

    I'm thinking with all the costs of these private tests it might be worth spending my money on a good endo instead!

  • Unfortunately I think that good endos are like unicorns!

  • I've never even seen one so I wouldn't know!

  • Comment deleted for being political

  • Well done. I saw that and was just about to reply with the counter-argument. Feelings are obviously running high about the NHS but...people are barking up the wrong tree. The corporate world is taking over the world and not just our part of it. I hope that is non-partisan enough. We need to be tackling the corporations all over the world is what I'm trying to say..

  • Please bear in mind that Thyroid on HealthUnlocked welcomes everyone - including minority groups of the UK and people from other nations.

  • I've found more and more that my GP won't give stuff on prescription saying "it'll be cheaper to buy it OTC". After the third time this happened, I reminded her that I was entitled to free prescriptions so if she wouldn't mind... there was visible irritation on her behalf.

  • Yes, they don't always realize this, do they?!

  • FoggyMoggy NHS GP practices do not charge for blood tests related to autoimmune disorders. If you pay for your prescriptions and have a diagnosed hypothyroidism condition you can apply for an exemption certificate. Ask your GP for Form: FP92A.

    On initial diagnosis of hypothyroidism you will probably be medicated with an initial dose of 25 micrograms or 50 micrograms synthetic thyroxine tablets depending on age and other factors. These are taken once daily with a glass of water on an empty stomach, usually first thing in the morning and one to one and a half hours before eating or drinking in order to aid absorption of thyroxine.

    Every 6 weeks, you will need to have a new blood test done to establish your levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and thyroxine. Your dose of medication will continually be increased by your GP, if necessary, after each blood test.

    After a while (2 to 6 months) your TSH and Thyroxine levels should even out. At this time, you might be on 100 to 300 micrograms tablets, once daily.

    If there are no other causes for concern, you will only need to have a blood test once a year to check your TSH and Thyroxine levels and have your medication adjusted accordingly.

    However, if you start new medication, e.g. PPI (proton pump inhibitor) you may need to have additional blood tests since some medication decreases the absorption of Thyroxine. Some foods and drinks also have a negative effect on Thyroxine absorption.

    It's not uncommon to suffer with tiredness, pain, high bad cholesterol, constipation, weight gain and general un-wellness with hypothyroidism. It's important to have your B12, vitamin D and cholesterol levels checked as well.

    In my area, GPs do not charge for necessary blood tests.

    I'm not a medical practitioner. Good luck

  • That's the problem Julie, I've not been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. So they don't see the tests as necessary. I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. That should entitle me to free Vit D but the surgery's line is that a large majority of people suffer from Vit D deficiencies so it's cheaper to supplement than test. Most of the rest of the tests I'm getting free.

  • @FoggyMoggy your GP is correct in that Vit D deficiency is quite common. Also, the treatment is to prescribe Vit D supplement and or recommend changes to one's diet and amount of sunshine one is exposed to every day.

    However, simply taking Vit D supplement on it's own does not necessarily solve the problem since it has to be taken in conjunction with other vitamins in order for it to be absorbed into the body. Vit D deficiency is serious as it can lead to rickets. Do you have a reason to believe that you're suffering with Vit D deficiency?

    The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are quite similar to both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. If you're over 30 years old, I'd recommend having a thyroid function test.

    Have you thought of changing to a different GP practice?

  • Julie, sorry I have explained the situation further up the discussion to various people but re Vit D, we don't get enough sun here for half the year for it to be a reliable source as I mentioned in another reply. Also, Vit D3 usually comes with calcium for best absorption as I understand it but all the supplements make me constipated. I have had Vit D deficiency, yes. It was very low a few years ago and I have asked for it regularly checked (about once a year) although one time before it was refused. It is in the upward direction but I feel it should be monitored. Fibromyalgia like many other conditions is associated with low levels of Vit D. Re thyroid function tests that was the point of my original post. I can only get TSH free. I have paid for t3 and t4 before twice (both low but last time both within range). TSH is low which can suggest pituitary problems but pituitary problems are rare according to my GP. So they don't see t3 and t4 as essential. But rather than small amounts for the two tests, they have now introduced a prohibitive admin fee (see original comment). I can't change GP practice. This is the main one in my area and besides there are good things about it, and been supported very well for other conditions.

You may also like...