my doctor has just told me that the northampton... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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my doctor has just told me that the northamptonshire labs will no longer run T3 testing on the NHS?


Words cannot describe how frustrated I am - I know most of you guys are in the same situation time and time again trying to battle, time and time again being ignored, belittled, patronised and humiliated by people who would rather us suffer than admit they don't have the answer to everything.

So my T4 is slightly out of range (high), TSH suppressed so all they want to do is reduce my meds (without checking my t3) - despite the fact I'm in bed with really bad hypo symptoms body temperature 35.8 degrees with oedema in my arms and legs. My B12 is low and folate levels are showing depletion (despite supplements) have another blood test tomorrow... Doctor has requested my thyroxine is reduced by 25 - I'm a bit fed up - the disease is bad enough without having to fight the doctors for a right to life.

Whinge over - does anyone know where I can get T3 test done privately and the cost?

Also if I can get B12 injections privately and the cost?

Thank you

17 Replies

Have a look at the main Thyroid UK site which has a page on precisely that question of where to get private testing:


Hi, our labs won't test FT3 either, my GP requested 3 times. I've just had mine done with blue horizon, it was amazingly quick service. Ordered on a Friday night, arrived Tuesday and I had the blood test done the same day (free at my local hospital), in the post tues night and received the results via email at 11am the next day!

It's worth paying for to make sure you have the full picture before making changes to meds.

Good luck

moatie in reply to summer01

thank you

Hi - think its going to get even more expensive - was hoping to be put on t3- do you know it that requires frequent testing?


This is an excerpt from Dr Toft, ex President of the BTA. He says that some need to have a suppressed TSH and/or the addition of T3 to a reduced T4. If you need a copy of the article for your GP, email

The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range – 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This ‘exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism’ is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l).

Even while taking the slightly higher dose of levothyroxine a handful of patients continue to complain that a sense of wellbeing has not been restored. A trial of levothyroxine and tri-iodothyronine is not unreasonable. The dose of levothyroxine should be reduced by 50µg daily and tri iodothyronine in a dose of 10µg (half a tablet) daily added.

moatie in reply to shaws

thank you! I'll take this with me next time :)

Lizbeth1 in reply to shaws

Can you tell me what suppressed tsh means. Thank you

shawsAdministrator in reply to Lizbeth1

It means below the reference range. Usually patients who have had thyroid cancer will automatically be given doses of thyroid hormone to suppress their TSH. (thyroid stimulating hormone).

hi It is the Labs and cost. I can no longer have FT3 done here, even though I have always had a problem with low FT3. I have to use Blue Horizon through the thyroid Rod has said. I pay £61 for the 3 tests, intermediate. Quote TUK 10 for a £ 10 discount ( £61 includes that ). Well known Lab so docs are happy with it.


moatie in reply to Jackie

thank you

I also cannot get FT3 tested by our local NHS labs. I was able to get the TSH and FT4 done as I wasn't in range. I asked my GP if they would do it privately for me instead at the local NHS lab and she rang them and they agreed. Even then it took 3 goes to get it done, as it was the 'person at the top' in the lab who had approved it, and whoever picked it up didn't understand the instruction and they kept chucking away my sample!. However it did only then cost me around £12 in the end.

moatie in reply to Agapanthus

thank you

Jackie in reply to Agapanthus

Hi You did well. I tried that, near hysterics at the thought! I used to suggest it to others on the site, but never found any one who actually managed it! Lucky you!


Ha ha. Not to be recommended then as a rule - especially as I gave them 3 phials of blood to achieve it!

I was outraged that they just kept chucking it away each time without even checking with the GP. As it was, when it did arrive, my FT3 WAS below the reference range which was one of the reason my GP was happy to refer me to the endo who gave me T3, so it served a good purpose for me at least.

Have you checked with the lab that they WON'T test for T3 on the NHS/

What I find incrediable, is the NSH labs say no to testing blood on T3, yet they do it if you pay. I think not. As its your Dr or hopstial that pays for the test I find this refusal by the labs some what boggling.

What is next, not testing for CA125, Vit B, Folate. I think this needs challenging. A test if asked for should be preformed. It is not as if every Dr suddenly decides to tick every box just for fun.

I challenged the surgery and today they took more bloods for a T3 test - I spoke to the bloods nurse and she says that T3 tests are regularly done 'but not as many as there used to be' ... so not too impressed by my doctor, hmmm targets and bonuses me thinks.

Thanks to everyone for your help - keep on keeping on :)

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