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Thyroid UK
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Blue Horizon advice please

Hi all,

I am new here, as I believe I have an underactive thyroid, and possibly Hashi's. I have been having all the applicable symptoms for quite a few years now, and it seems to be getting worse. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get my gp to take it seriously enough, he's tested my blood several times, but they have so far been within 'normal' ranges. Nevertheless, I know something is wrong with my thyroid, as for the past 2 months, it has been swelling for a couple days in the week preceding my period. Both my mother and my grandmother have/had thyroid disease, so it stands to reason this must be what is causing all of my symptoms.

I have decided to take matters into my own hands, so plan to order a test from Blue Horizon. I noticed another post on here said that the test came with a GP referral, and upon checking the test on the website, it appears that is correct. My question is, has anyone else on here had the GP referral from Blue Horizon, and did you follow through on that? Did you have any success with it?

Sorry for the long post, I was shocked to find out most gp's on the NHS aren't too concerned about this, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the new info given on here. Thanks in advance for suggestions.

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Under normal circumstances a GP will refer a patient for blood tests or treatment of any kind, whether it is to an NHS service or doctor, or a private service or doctor.

The GP referral from BH is just a way of getting round the requirement for such a thing. They have a doctor working for them who officially does the referral that would normally come from your GP.

What might happen is that you are phoned or emailed the first time you do business with BH and they ask you questions about your general health and your reasons for wanting the tests. It's a formality, as far as I know, but they have to do it. I just said I wanted testing as a check on my general health, I didn't go into details, but that was a few years ago now, and things may have changed.

It is possible to get a doctor to comment on your results, or to not bother with a doctor's comments, and do your own research. Note that any comments you get are based on NHS guidelines, because all doctors in the UK should be following similar guidelines under all circumstances.

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Thanks for the advice, humanbean. At the moment, it would be nice to get an official diagnosis, not only to ease my mind, but also to start trying to formulate a treatment plan. I am hesitant to self medicate though, I don't feel like I have enough knowledge to do that, plus I don't like nasty side effects from taking medication if I'm not supposed to be taking it. I just would like to feel better. Was hoping maybe even a private doctor/endo could at least get me started in the right direction, but don't know of any in my area that will take thyroid issues seriously.

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If you are hoping to get an official diagnosis of a thyroid problem then, unless your results are very clear cut, you probably won't get one from a private blood testing company.

Also, if you do start treating yourself, you may never get an official diagnosis from the NHS. If you have thyroid antibodies and wait for treatment then you would possibly get a diagnosis eventually, as the antibodies destroy your thyroid and reduce its ability to produce thyroid hormones. But you have no way of knowing how quickly this will happen.

But... We don't all have antibodies destroying our thyroids, and sometimes the reason for someone's thyroid problems is never really found. I was first told that my thyroid was "borderline underactive" in roughly 1990 or 1991. I got my first prescription for Levo in 2013, and I had to beg for it. Not surprisingly I had zero faith in any doctor's ability to treat my thyroid adequately or correctly so I self-treat. But we all have our own limits of what we'll tolerate. I would have treated myself a lot earlier if I'd known it was possible.

Have you asked about good endos in your area, private or NHS? You could write a post and ask, but whether you'll get a response, I couldn't say. Any answers would have to be sent via private message.

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I haven't asked yet, I plan to do so though, in a separate post. Firstly I'll wait for my test results and post them here to get some suggestions and advice from the community here. I've also started a symptom diary, which I feel will be helpful to show to any endo I will see. Again, many thanks for your help.

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humanbean, I’ve never had a call from Blue Horizon (or Medichecks for that matter) to ask why I want bloods testing. Should I feel offended? ;) Or is it that a call is actually quite unusual...?

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I really don't know if its unusual or not. It only happened to me the once, and they clearly didn't want a lot of detail. This was several years ago, when I did my earliest blood test with them - about 5 years ago possibly. It's never happened again since.

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For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies.

Plus very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

As your Mum and Grandma both had thyroid disease this was most likely Hashimoto's

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's. Low vitamins are especially common with Hashimoto's. Food intolerances are very common too, especially gluten. So it's important to get both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested at least once .

When you get results come back with new post for advice on what to ask your GP

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Thanks for the information SlowDragon. I have ordered the Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven, so when I get my results I will make a new post to get further advice. I'm assuming the Thyroid plus eleven tests for the TPO and TG thyroid antibodies? There is a description of what they test for on the site, but it didn't specifically say TPO and TG thyroid antibodies, it just says "Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies". I'm assuming that's what you are referring to!

Thanks so much for all your helpful advice!

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TPO antibodies are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies.

TG antibodies are Thyroglobulin Antibodies.

A Blue Horizon Plus 11 will include both these antibody tests in your results.

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The GP that they are referring to works for Blue Horizon. Order thyroid No 11 this gives you plenty of detailed information then post the results include the ranges too.

Don't forget to take the test early morning on an empty stomach. If you take Levo leave this off for 24 hours before the test.

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Thanks, that is the test I have ordered. I will post the results when I get them.

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