Leeds / West Yorkshire GPs only able to request... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Leeds / West Yorkshire GPs only able to request total t3 blood tests?



Am waiting for my annual blood test through the gp, and as I've declared my private liothyronine with them they do order t3 blood tests with it. However, it's never Ft3, only tt3, and I just watched the nurse try to request FT3 on the system and it didn't come up with anything. Anybody have the same experience, or know why this is?

I'm fully prepared to pay for a private blood test in order to get the result, but just curious as to why it's not even possible!

3 Replies

The TT3 checks the T3 that is circulating in the blood - the FT3 tests the amount available to enter the cells and become useful. Just another way of trying to keep patients in the dark methinks - sorry to be so cynical :-(

The total T3 test is much more expensive than free T3 test. It’s just another example of the NHS squandering OUR money in useless ways. It’s just like repeatedly testing TSH in someone for whom it’s been suppressed for 25+ years without ever checking why this might be. Or like only testing TSH in someone not responding to thyroxine. The total T3 test is no help to you at all.

In my experience, the requesting Dr/Nurse has to type it in the comments section as you're correct, it's not an option directly eg "Patient taking Liothyronine Sodium, FT3 assay required" or some such. It's been that way for a few years. I suspect it's nothing more sinister than whoever designed the system didn't know that T3 is taken by some patients outside of the EU. A Total T3 test does have a value - it tells you the total amount of T3, bound and unbound to/from its protein carrier, that is circulating in your blood; and if that's what you need to know, then great. But it has largely been superseded in this country at least, by the FT3 test, which obviously identifies what portion of that total amount is available to the cells. Unfortunately, we still don't have a test that tells us what level actually makes it to our cells ...... So ask your nurse to try typing it in the comments section next time she wants to order it, and for good measure she could do as my Dr has done in the past, outlined or underlined it in red when she's printed off the request form. My friend takes NDT and her Dr does the red underlining too. 😊

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