Private thyroid testing

Hi I've been looking at Blue Horizon Medicals and Medichecks for their Thyroid finger prick testing kits and wondered if anyone has had any experience (good or bad) of either company and whether GPs in the U.K accept the results or would I be wasting my money and time? I have quite a few hypo symptoms but my results were all within normal range. Thanks in advance.

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  • Hi,

    I just had my first test a few weeks ago with Medichecks. I decided to go with a full blood sample test as I had been advised that this may be more accurate. I paid a little extra to have a local private hospital take my blood sample (my G.P refused). The results were really clear and were emailed back to me and a copy posted out within a week. As for G.Ps accepting them - mine won't but I guess it depends on your G.P. Ultimately, these private tests are the only way to get the full thyroid panel including the tests that the NHS largely refuse to do e.g t3. I personally would recommend doing the private tests. They may help you reach a diagnosis or at least help to put your mind at ease.

  • why won't he accept them?

  • Good question!

    Still waiting on a straight answer to be honest. The response was that if it isn't a test that the NHS do, as an NHS dr she won't acknowledge the results. My medichecks test flagged up an issue with my t4/t3 ratio which she said she knew nothing about and so couldn't treat. She actually looked it up on google while I was sitting there but was very dismissive. She did send a referral on to endocrinology who refused to allocate me an appointment.

    Either way, I would still recommend doing a test with either Medichecks or Blue Horizon - it gives you information to arm yourself with and can sometimes help you to reach a diagnosis which can be really reassuring/

    Good luck!

  • Do you believe this GP?

    Have u checked with the endocrinology dept concerned? I would suggest change of surgery . It is an absolute disgrace.

    BH etc use reputable labs used by drs in Harley St. Are these drs all wrong as well?

  • Cooper74 I have used Blue Horizon for my thyroid tests, and Medichecks for an iron panel. I prefer Blue Horizon because I get on better with their lancet for the fingerprick and their new microtainers have a little lip on the side which helps to get the blood into the tube.

    They both use accredited labs, just the same as the NHS. Some doctors accept the results, some don't. If your GP dismisses the test then it's an opportunity to suggest they do their own including the ones not normally done such as FT3 and both types of antibodies (NHS generally only does one type and very rarely that).

    You say your results are in the normal range, but it's where in the range they lie that is important. Post your results, with ranges, for members to comment.

  • If the GP refuses to accept the results he she is foolish.

    If you can afford it you can get a referral from a private FP for around forty pounds.

    If u do that your own GP does not have a leg to stand on.

  • sorry typos. private GP

  • Can you explain what you mean? You can take your private blood test results to a private GP and pay £40 for a referral on the NHS or to go privately? Not heard of this before.

  • If you get a letter of referral from a private GP then you can take that letter anywhere including your own GP or to another surgery should you decide to change surgeries in order to improve your health care.

    U can google medichecks. Yes u may have to fast for a blood test but no one can escape that not even in private practice.

  • LOL, I've just been searching for this abbreviation!

  • Finding a private GP might be a problem for some and in my area would certainly have to pay more than £40. I am a bit confused like Kruzgal, perhaps you could explain please. Even a Functional Medicine practitioner charges around £200, almost the price of a private endocrinologist. Also if one has the finger prick test done by another party recommended by Medicheck it means getting there first thing in the morning and fasting for the thyroid as an example.

  • Are u in the UK?

    If so you may like to google private GPs in whichever area you live in or is convenient for you .

    Some drs charge forty pounds for a letter of referral. That in itself may be sufficient to encourage an NHS dr to make a referral to an NHS Specialist.

    This gives you back some control too in your life which is very important.

  • yes I'm in the u.k. Very disillusioned with NHS and private. Have spent over £6500 on private endo with blood tests scans you name it. There is a private GP in my area £75 for a referral letter. ourgp.co.uk/index-2.html

  • what a rip off. Have u tried Call doctor, Push Dr , IPSA?

  • I think most of them are like that, really fed up with it all. I forked out £150 for a functional medicine practitioner and seem to have got nowhere. Thinking about self medicating now and to hell with the consequences. Thanks for your input though.

  • Elaine Can u pm the name of the private endo? They are rip off merchants usually.

    I know a good one but you never know it might be one you have already tried!! He is in London if that is of any use and helpful providing free medical reports and going the extra mile.

  • I will. It was a female supposedly top notch from imperial college. She cost me a fortune and had a Mickey mouse secretarial service. The endo surgeon I saw subseqently described her as wishy washy!

  • he sounds a real charmer lol - £30 just to register with him and £75 for 15 minutes!!

  • I use Medichecks all the time for finger prick tests.... my GP does look at them but I do shove them under her nose lol but she says she has never heard of Medichecks. Last test I paid extra for a nurse to do it and was surprised when Medichecks listed my own GP's to have it taken. Phoned receptionist who clearly knew about Medichecks and once I got my results back she told me to take them in and she scanned them onto my file. I did all this and had great pleasure letting my doc know so now I will pay the extra all the time just so it all goes on my file. Think I just got lucky having my own GP's as a listed venue.

  • This cheered me up. It just shows what these drs are like

  • I've used bluehorizonmedicals three times. I'd just say the finger prick isn't all that easy as hard to get enough blood out. I had to break the prick thing (three in a pack) to get tiny blade out to make several pricks as could only get a drop out of each. Still it worked just keep sterile.

    Much easier to do the nurse service though but more money.

    Yes my Drs accepted them although weren't happy I'd gone private.

  • Perhaps the drs are unhappy as they did not get a cut of the profit!!!!

  • They don't want to test for anything as too expensive , then crossehen tbings show you need meds. Haha

  • I've used both Blue Horizon and Medichecks and am very happy with both. I have a needle phobia and when I felt unwell about a year ago I searched online for finger prick blood tests, because I knew something was up and suspected my thyroid as my Mum had a problem with it. The tests came back with results I didn't really understand but the antibodies were high and the BH doctor commented I should probably see my GP with the results (the thyroid part was 'in range'). So I took them along to her and told her my story and she accepted the results, she said she couldn't prescribe any Levo at that point until I went over-range, but a few weeks later a subsequent blood test showed I had gone just over-range and she prescribed 25 mcg Levo, and so my thyroid journey began. :) Now each time I need another blood test I go via BH and send the results to my doctor. Thank Goodness that system works so far!

  • And wanted to add that had I NOT gone via BH, the antibodies would not have been tested for, nor T3. So I'd likely still be in the dark about why I felt dreadful and likely would have felt even worse before I was finally diagnosed.

  • Mind saying what they antibody level and T3 etc were.

    Many thanks

  • Anti-thyroidperoxidase antibodies: 155.8 < 34

    Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies: 392.9 < 115

    T3: 4.05 (3.1-6.8)

  • Thanks. These drs will not test for antibodies they make me sick!

  • I think the worse thing about being in the dark. Edically is that you worryvwhsts wrong, is it serious, is there a cure etc and we all know worry is not good in itself so finances permitting I think even if the doctor dismisses reresults you get to find out whether you have a problem and loads of advice about what to do next. Things like conversion problems can be improved but I think showing your GP that you have gone ahead with this also shows you are concerned enough to do this. I would send a letter saying these are you latest results showing _____ (we can hopefully help with that) and ask to have them included in your notes for future reference. That might get a response! Hopefully a good one!

  • Same as Jadzhia, my levels were slightly raised and very symptomatic but I wouldn't have been treated from the nhs until they were much higher. I've used blue horizon and medichecks and found that I had high antibodies, low vit d, folate and b12 as well as family history.

    Low B12 is common with hashi's but my dad (hypo 10 years) had never been tested for it on the nhs. When I got my results he asked his go to be tested and his came back low too.

    He's since asked to have his t3 and t4 tested as he's still symptomatic and slightly raised on 100mcg levo but they told him their lab don't test t3 and rarely/unlikely to test t4.

    So I recently bought him a test for his birthday.

    I personally prefer medichecks lancets and their doctors comments seem more personal as they consider your medical history or what you tell them in the questionnaire when you order. Blue horizon don't ask for medical history. I once wrote my symptoms in a comments box on the lab note but still got the same generic responses to results that seem to cover all possibilities. However it's not a big thing especially if you will be discussing with your own doctor or posting your results on here for interpretation.

    Both have codes and deals on every so often so I normally go off price. I ordered a medichecks testing kit last week with a 20% discount code to keep for when I need to do my next one early next month.

    My first gp dismissed my results but was willing to run tests of his own. He was horrible to me when I explained my needle phobia and I've never really had a good experience with him in 24 years so I changed gp to my dads surgery.

    When I got there the first thing I told her was why I'd changed gp, how he was with me and why I'd had private tests. She said it was fine and she'd check if her nurses could do it any other way to make it easier for me and save me money.

    I went back last month and got a different gp and explained again and she read my notes. She asked if i wanted her to go and check if the nurses had an answer yet. I told her I'd prefer to continue going private because they can't test t3 and t4 and I'd prefer to know exactly how I was responding to treatment and she said fair enough and that was that.

    Before I was convinced it was all in my head, I was just lazy and must have been eating too much. But it was constantly in the back of my mind, I couldn't understand how I was putting on so much weight comparing myself to others in my family and what they ate and why I can't cope with a full time working week. Then had the guilt of not earning/working as much as my OH and embarrassment of my body changing completely when my diet hadn't. I still have the guilt and embarrassment but not to the same extent and the people I tell are more understanding.

    For me it's been worth every penny. Good luck :)

  • Yes, a very good point about getting vits/minerals etc tested, too. I wouldn't have had that done otherwise. My GP looked at the results I got from Medichecks and said they were all 'fine' but really I was very low in the ranges particularly with B12. All that contributes to feeling rough.

    Sorry to hear your GP was so horrible re your phobia. :( Do they learn nothing in med school, nor have any compassion?

  • Thank you. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like it! I don't know why I was expecting anything else from him. He's spent his career diagnosing everyone as having a virus. He once said one of my grandads strokes was just a virus and sent him on his way. He told me my results were clinically insignificant but to go back for more tests. He owns the practice so not one for spending money on prescriptions I don't think.

    I suppose if any of them learnt anything we wouldn't all be told we're fine when just within range. We're all different and will have our own natural ranges which may not fit in with the nhs'

    We're lucky to have the options of private testing available to us and the support we need here x

  • Thanks all. Have trawled back through the last couple of years results and posted below. As mentioned they are all within range and my GP is convinced I'm depressed so has prescribed fluoxetine. I've had 2 years of intense stress as my mum has cancer so it's been like living on a knife edge and GP thinks symptoms are all a result of this. Daughter however has similar symptoms and her tsh is above range and sub clinical hypo. I've heard it runs in families but to my knowledge my mum isn't hypo nor was my nan. Anyway here are the results and I'd be grateful for any advice:

    BLOOD RESULTS

    2/9/14

    Tsh 2.25 (0.27-4.2)

    FT4 14.2 (11-22)

    Ferritin 73 (13-150)

    Cholesterol 4.4 (no range)

    Bilirubin 26 (0-20) HIGH

    1/1/15

    Bilirubin 19 (0-20)

    Immunoglobulin M level 0.30 (0.5-1.7) LOW

    29/7/15

    Immunoglobulin M level 0.30 (0.5-1.7) LOW

    3/2/16

    Tsh 2.41 (0.54-4.25)

    Bilirubin 23 (0-22) HIGH

    5/5/16

    B12 215 (147-840)

    Ferritin 42 (11-307)

    Folate 6.8 (3.1-19.9)

    13/5/16

    Tsh 2.74 (0.54-4.25)

    FT4 11.2 (8-16)

    28/3/17

    Ferritin 45 (11-307)

    B12 1308 (147-840) HIGH DUE TO INJECTION

    FT4 10.6 (8-16)

    Bilirubin 26 (0-20) HIGH

    Folate 6.5 (3.1-19.9)

    Tsh 1.58 (0.38-5.33)

  • It certainly runs in families. My late father, me, my sister, both my children and so far, two of her four children.

  • Cooper74 The fact that your TSH is over 2 for most of those results mean that your thyroid could be struggling. Your latest one is lower and I'm thinking that they may all have been done at different times of the day. We need the highest possible TSH when tested as this can help with diagnosis, and if we're already on Levo then the highest possible TSH helps when looking for an increase or to avoid a reduction.

    For future tests, have them done as early as possible in the morning, by 8.30-9.00 at the latest, fast overnight (you can have water), and if on Levo then leave it off for 24 hours. This gives the highest possible TSH.

    **

    Taking your latest results, TSH isn't ringing any alarm bells for a GP but you have a very low FT4. I think it would be best to wait until you've had a private test to get a full picture before commenting further.

    **

    As you are receiving B12 injections you should be taking a B Complex. All the B vitamins need to be in balance. If you buy one containing methylfolate such as Thorne Basic B (there are others, I'm currently using Metabolics and I'm very happy with it) then this will help raise your folate level which should be at least half way through it's range (11.5+ with that range).

    **

    Ferritin is a problem. This should be at least 70 for thyroid hormone to work properly (our own or replacement) and best is half way through it's range. You could consider supplementing this. Often recommended is to buy Ferrous Fumerate from Amazon and take one twice daily with 1000mg Vit C to aid absorption and help prevent constipation. You could wait until your private test comes back and see where to go from there. Eating liver once a week will help raise ferritin, that's how I raised mine as I couldn't tolerate iron supplements, and I still eat it regularly to maintain my level.

    **

    I don't know anything about high bilirubin, did your GP say anything? You can check it out here labtestsonline.org.uk/under... . Were you diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia? It looks as though it might be linked to that.

    **

    The best test to get is the full thyroid panel plus vitamins and minerals, so that's Blue Horizon Thyroid plus Eleven or Medichecks Thyroid Check Ultravit. Post the results with their reference ranges for comment when you have them .

  • High bilirubin can be due to having Gilbert's syndrome.

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil...

    There is some research to suggest coeliac or gluten intolerance may be linked to Gilbert's syndrome

    Also Hashimotos & Gilbert's syndrome quite often appear together & gluten intolerance very common with Hashimotos

    Suggest you get full thyroid & vitamin test - including both thyroid antibodies.

  • I've only ever used Medicheck but I believe they are about the same from what I have heard. My first thyroid was fine but second time was for a morning cortisol and a disaster and messed the sample up trying for a second finger. They were very good, gave me the choice of giving it another go or for an extra £19 going to one of their clinics but that wasn't convenient to get there by 9.00 a.m. so I did the second test myself and that was okay and got the result back within a day.

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