Thyroid UK
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What are they testing for now?

Hello everyone,

I am still feeling absolutely terrible, trying to function on any level is proving difficult.

Spoke with a GP this morning and asked if I could have my Iron tested and this was what was on the form I picked up, can anyone shed any light on what she is testing for please





Bone Profile

B12 + Folates



FBC & ESR (high last time)

and of course the favourite TSH

Thank you

24 Replies

CRP - c reactive protein an inflammation marker

HbA1c - see if you are diabetic by looking at your blood glucose levels over the last 2-3 months. The tests looks at a component of red blood cells.

LFTs - liver function tests looks at your liver enzymes/proteins

U&E - urea and electrolytes

Bone profile - It can be just calcium and alkaline phosphate or it may include potassium it depends on the lab/NHS area. It checks for those particular minerals/proteins plus sees if you have parathyroidism or issues with your bones.

B12 and Folate - exactly what it says. However it is likely to be the serum level of B12 not the active level.

Ferritin - your iron storage protein

Glucose - this is to see if your are diabetic. This is not as good a test as HbA1c as it can only look at your glucose level when the test is done, but if you have a red blood cell condition so it makes it difficult to do the HbA1c test then this is used instead.

FBC - full blood count looks at red cells, haemoglobin level, white cells and platelets

ESR - erythrocyte sedimentation rate a marker for inflammation

BTW in future because there may not be anyone who can rattle these tests of without having to look them up you can look them up yourself on


It would be good if they tested your Free T3 if you've not had it done recently. If it is in low in range you wouldn't feel well.

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Hello shaws,

on top of all my other aliments, I now have estrogen dominenace - and I feel absoutely dreadful, I am so depressed as well and crying for no reason.

I was refused treatment for my early menopause and the bone density problem because "i was too young", my body has gone mental - it really is at war, im so fed up with it all.

They never test FT3 or 4, it's TSH and normally thats it. I think I will cancel my appointment at the hospital, as it will be nothing more than a waste of time and go and lock myself in a dark room


I'm sorry you feel so bad Kitten-whiskers and its not surprising at all. You've been let down.

They wont learn unless patients like yourself tell them exactly how you feel. That they have waited until your health has broken down and still haven't done the necesarry tests and as they've still not taken a Free T4 and a Free T3 you want to know what the levels are for these.

The fact that (quote from you need to know what it is:


T4 converts to T3 and is the only thyroid hormone actually used by the body's cells.

The approx. reference range for Free T3 is 4 to 8.3

We at Thyroid UK believe that you need to know your Free T3 level too because this will often show low if you are not converting, and high if you have blocked receptor cells. Even if you are converting, the body needs the extra T3 that a normal thyroid produces. There has been some research to show that people feel better on a mixture of Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). Effects of Thyroxine as Compared with Thyroxine plus Triiodothyronine in patients with hypothyroidism – The New England Journal of Medicine Feb.11, 99 Vol. 340. (Click here for this article).

With all of these tests, your results could be anywhere within the range and you would be classed as "normal". If you are at the very edge of the range, either at the bottom or at the top, you could be classed as "borderline". Neither you nor your doctor truly knows what your normal is, if you did not have a blood test done before you became ill. There are also particular reasons why the blood tests remain in the normal range. If you are not converting from T4 to T3 or if your cells are not taking up the T3 normally, your T4 levels and your TSH levels will still show as normal.

The Broda Barnes Foundation tell us "Dr Barnes found that the primary reason for the inaccuracy of the blood tests for thyroid function is that the thyroid hormones are not utilized in the blood, but are utilized intracellularly. Therefore a patient can have enough thyroid hormones circulating in the blood to give a "normal" reading, but if the hormones are not getting into the cells, the patient will be hypothyroid.

First two pages on this link:-

You'll know far more than many doctors. :)

Be calm and pleasant and say that you now understand what's going on in your body and you want it rectified by proper thyroid hormones if shown to be low in FT3 and FT4. :)


Bless you shaws, thank you very much - loads of excellent information :>


Hi Kitten-whiskers,

Please keep going:) Estrogen dominance goes with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. Something along the lines of progesterone is used to help the adrenals function - along with many other jobs- and drops quite low meaning it is then out of balance with estrogen. :)


Thank you Jenny, most appreciated : >


Thats excellent, thank you very much. sorry I didn't realise they were on line - that link will come in handy : >

Not sure what good any of these do really, my ESR and TSH were above range only a few weeks ago, it didn't matter then, so why have them done again.

It seems like a pointless exercise , I feel terrible and it is very clear to see but yet know help, all these things that have picked up on but not done anything about


Firstly if you had a raised ESR rate then the test needs to be repeated to see if it was a one off or not.

If it is still raised then they have to find out why. If they don't then you need to demand more tests. Ask for FT4 and FT3, plus antibody tests for Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO), Thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb), rheumatoid factor, coaliac disease (only if you are not gluten free as it won't show up anything) and antinuclear antibodies.

There are other tests you should have but I can't think of them of my head. Apart from the tests that check your thyroid hormone levels the other tests are to check you don't also have any of the more common autoimmune disorders. However these tests are not fall proof.

Secondly when you get the test results and post them don't just state they are "normal" then get cross when another poster asks you for a range and a test result. This is because while they may be in range it depends where in range they are.


Hello Bluebug,

I have had the ESR test done three times this month, each time it goes higher and higher above the range but not high enough to warrant the doctors looking into it.

It's rare I post any blood test results on here, but have never got cross with anyone on hear, most of us are struggling and in a simillar boat .

I have noticed there are very few success stories


Generally the people who have success stories don't actually come back and post. I've had some people PM me so I'm sure others have PMed other posters when it's been something simple like a vitamin deficiency which solved their problems.

Have you had any of the other tests done or redone apart from the ESR? If not get them done.


Hello Bluebug,

No more tests in the pipeline, apart from checking the ESR and also the levels were raised for the Protein Antibodies and blood count - I think they are covered in this blood test I requested but they don't seem to want to do anything to help. When Im not feeling so down and uptight I will try and do battle again but I find it very tiring, 40 minutes I was in the surgery trying to get something down but never got anywhere


Hi KW,

For what it is worth I am a success story.

18 months ago my stupid Endo almost killed me. With what I consider my last gasp of energy I changed Endos, changed my medication and dose, I became pretty much normal again. I write on this post because it breaks my heart to read that people feel ill and feel that there is no hope. You have to read as much as you can so that your own knowledge can be your guide, augment that knowledge with what you read here, then act. Do you own private test, yes to begin with it's a bit expensive, but you only have to do it once a year after the first year - because you will stabilize. The cost of one test is worth the months and months, sometimes years, of getting messed around by under educated doctors who only know the TSH test.


That is a fantastic post, thank you LAH's - sadly I can not tolerate the thyroid medication, in any form, so trying to get better without it, is very difficult and now because its been going on so long that i have lots of other alliments as well.

I will feel more positive when I am not feeling so terrible

Best wishes

Always great to here a success story : >


It would be perfect if doctors gave priority to clinical symptoms alone and used blood test as a guide.

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I agree, they never examin you anymore, some barely even look up from the computer screen - what ever is wrong - go for a blood test, its a bit high but acceptable have it redone in a month or so - so frustrating


It's a case of the doctor not having a clue and refusing to listen to alternative views.


They are following the dogmatic line that the TSH is the 'be all and end all' of diagnosing with ignorance of clinical symptoms and little knowledge of how to relieve them. They give other meds for the symptoms when we need hormones.

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Odd that the NICE guidelines mention FT4 then...


Maybe because they are low on FT3 :)


Wow Bluebug, thanks for that, pretty darn brilliant. All good to know.


Hi Kitten Whiskers. Looks like they are doing lots of tests for lost of things! if i had a bit more time id help you out with what these tests are, but sadly i dont can look up labtests online and look up each one you have listed if you are asking what each test is for, but if you are trying to pigeon hole the tests to a specific condition im afraid i cannot help. Good luck.

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Thank you Ic1973 - most appreciated : >


Apologies, looks like ive done a similar post to Bluebug but without so much detail. Im must have been merrily typing away without noticing!

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