Thyroid UK
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How often do doctors do blood tests for thyroid

Just wondered as my doctor does mine yearly and I had to push to get thyroid tests done as had only had them done 2 mths before and they were fine.2 nd tests were not and had an increase but since TSH came back normal after increase was told to come back in 12mths this seems quite a long time to review medication.My contraception on the other hand is 6 monthly although why I bother I'm not too sure as am just too tired ;-)

6 Replies

Hi If stable a good GP will do them 6 monthly but if anything is different or other medical conditions then it may be tested more often.. I am very complicated and have to have 2 to 6 weekly tests, because of all my conditions. If not stable , or feel ill, it should be done. Normally the first year on Meds it often has to be adjusted ,after blood tested more frequently. Make sure you are tested for TSH, T4 and Free T3 for a proper picture of the thyroid. You can pay to have them yourself, if you want these details, let me know,



There is a requirement to test most patients every year (approximately) in order to qualify for a specific payment. Hence, it appears that most GP surgeries do this!

From what people here post, and my own experience, annual is the usual frequency.

However, that is based on a patient who is on a stable dose and shows no good reason to do otherwise. Doctors should be willing to get tests done whenever there appears to be a good reason almost regardless of the interval since last test. That could include gain or loss of weight, change of other medicines, and numerous other possibilities.


Vanessa, if you get a copy of your most recent thyroid blood tests complete with the ranges and post them someone will comment.

Even though GP's say 'normal' which they mean they are 'within the range'; it may not be normal to us. What they should really be asking is 'how do you feel' and if the answer is 'not too good' your meds should be increased or some T3 added. We need a TSH of 1 or below or even suppressed.

When GP's deem you to be on an amount of levo and you are stable then your blood tests can be done once a year. If having problems a thyroid blood test should be done.

Post your blood test results - you just ask your surgery for a copy and you should keep a copy for yourself each time.

If you haven't had a Vit B12 and Vit D blood test ask for this to be done as we need these to be above average - not within range. Also ferritin, folate and iron.

This is an excerpt re birth control pills and levothyroxine:-

Levothyroxine interacts with the estrogen found in birth control pills. Estrogen can decrease the amount of thyroid medication that is available for the body, it makes levothyroxine less effective. Laura Cable, PharmD., BCPS


Thank you so much my latest results were Tsh 0.12mu/L (0.35-5.5)

Free T4 14.7 pmol/L (10.3-22.7)

Free T3 4.7pmol/L (3.5-6.5)

I know my t4 is supposed to be higher but GP won't increase dose because my Tsh is below range although I did have test done about 4 in the afternoon and I had taken that days dose.

GP won't entertain anything else and pretty much thinks it's all in the mind.

Every morning I wake up and my tongue is huge and sore but doc said it's not even a symptom.



You obviously have a c--p doctor who needs educating.:

"When it's healthy, your tongue should be slightly pink in colour, moist, and fairly smooth.

However, if your tongue is dry, coated, discoloured, or painful, it could indicate a problem such as low thyroid, or hypothyroidism.

A common problem is a thick tongue with "scalloping" (that's when your tongue swells, becoming too big for your mouth, leaving teeth marks around its edge)."

There is a lot about this on Internet and in so many of the good books about thyroid. Make it a point to do some reading and research. You shouldn't have to...probably be easier to change your doctor!

Your doctor should be up to date with what is going on and I would suggest you point him/her to:

"The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council"

Which states:

Work in partnership with patients

Listen to patients and respond to their concerns and preferences

Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand

Respect patients' right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care

Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health

You will find more here but really it is your doctor who needs to read it more than you!! They also HAVE to take notice of the GMC.

Don't take all that rubbish. Read, learn and be ready to stand up for yourself. It's not an easy ride but seems the only way nowadays.

Good Luck!


I can't find the link but somewhere on this site it states that you should be tested 6-8 weeks until your levels are stable.....from one blood test which is in range, how can you tell if you're stable or not?...I got threatened with having a yearly blood test by my doctor and when I went to see him and asked this question he was stumped and told me to come back in 8 weeks for a blood test....don't let them take the p out of you!!! (unless it's for a test ;) hehe) ....Also from my experience you should be getting the blood test in the morning and I was told by a specialist that you should not take the thyroxine before the blood test otherwise you're just checking to see that you're taking the medicine, not if it's working for you. Anyhow, good luck :)


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