Home Thyroid Testing : Medichecks Reviewed

I was recently fortunate enough to get the opportunity to try a home thyroid test kit thanks to Medichecks in return for my honest opinion, which I’ll give below. Home testing can be a priceless, and after a thoroughly positive experience, I’m very happy to highly recommend MediChecks for this service.

About Medichecks

Medichecks have ample experience behind them as they’ve been selling tests online for over 15 years, processing over 3 million results. They make use of the best pathology labs in the UK alongside qualified clinicians to interpret results and a user-friendly website to make home blood testing as convenient as possible. 

They’ve been featured in numerous media, including The Telegraph, Women’s Health and The Guardian. They are a responsible, reliable provider that prioritise quality of service and our satisfaction as customers, so I had no qualms trusting them with my data.

Medichecks logo with a link to the website.

Test Kit Options & Ordering

There are over 900 test variations available. Whatever you’re looking for there’s a good chance Medichecks will be able to help, from general health and deficiencies, to specific conditions & allergies. These include :

  • Thyroid – A range of tests, as outlined in the next section.
  • Hormones – Numerous tests for male & female hormones, PCOS checks, FSH & LH tests, etc.
  • Sports Hormones.
  • OthersCRP (high sensitivity) / Health & Lifestyle Check / Gut & Bladder tests / H Pylori Antigen / Coeliac Check / Candida Antibodies / HIV & STDs / Fertility & Pregnancy / Diabetes / Adrenals / Antinuclear Antibodies / Allergy Checks and more…

The website makes it easy to browse all of tests, such as by the A-Z listing or via category. Each product page gives ample information on the test, what it includes, what is involved and the expected turn-around time. Adding it to your bag, checking out and creating an account are all made as convenient and straightforward as possible.

Standard delivery for all test kits is free. When sending samples back to Medichecks, they provide a postage-paid bag.

Thyroid Tests

The thyroid tests include range of 5 tiers from standard to more advanced :

  • Thyroid Check – standard test. Includes TSH & FT4.
  • Free T3 – Just to test free (unbound) T3, which is the active form of T3. 
  • Thyroid monitoring – A general snapshot of thyroid function. Including TSH, FT4 and FT3. 
  • Thyroid Check Plus – Intermediate test. Includes TSH, FT4, FT3, TGAb & TPOAb.
  • Thyroid Check UltraVit – Advanced test. Includes all of the above, plus active vitamin B12, folate, Vitamin D, ferritin/iron, and CRP-hs inflammatory marker. 

Check out the full range of thyroid test kits here.

You can save 10% by using this link & the code INVISME10 at the checkout.

Why Home Thyroid Testing Is Useful

Thyroid diagnosis is notoriously difficult. Many people can spend years going back and forth to doctors and specialists with symptoms but no accurate diagnosis. There are a few reasons for this. Most notably, the NHS typically only tests TSH, which is not a reliable indicator of thyroid function. Higher than the normal range suggests hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), while lower suggests hyperthyroidism. It’s also subject to variation; smokers should note that smoking can depress TSH levels, so while you may have hypothyroid symptoms and otherwise have a higher TSH, smoking may be reducing that figure.

To diagnose, other factors should be considered, like T3 and T4 values and thyroid antibodies. However, many doctors do not request these. Those that do often have their requests denied by the lab. Specialists may seek further investigation, however if they see a ‘normal’ TSH they’re less likely to.

The next problem is with the ‘normal’ ranges. These vary from country to country. In the UK, the range also varies between GP practices and NHS trusts, so it depends on your location as to what the ‘normal’ levels are going to be. Then there’s also debate as to whether any of these levels in the UK are actually helpful, and many have argued the range should be adjusted to make levels lower, meaning more people would be diagnosed as hypothyroid based on TSH. It’s a murky, complicated area.

Home testing is a quick, convenient and thoroughly helpful tool in advocating for our own health. Knowing where to go for it can be tricky, which is why I want to write about my experience with Medichecks as my recommendation for a UK testing provider.

How It Works

When you order, you’ll get to choose whether to do the standard test at home (finger prick), or to pay a small fee to get a blood test (venous) via a partner clinic.

Venous Draw (Clinic)

Contents of the venous draw kit.

In the pack :

  • Needle & swabs for the nurse to use
  • Vial for your blood sample
  • Instruction Guide
  • Lab Request Form (pink)
  • Phlebotomy Confirmation Form (blue)
  • Freepost return bag

Selection the venous draw option when you order will allow you to visit a partner clinic to have the blood sample taken from a vein, much in the same way as you would a regular blood test your doctor sends you for. The website lists the nearest clinics so you can find one that’s suitable for you; some will require an appointment whereas others, like at my local hospital, are walk-ins, so no appointment is necessary. It’s best to take the whole kit with you, but they should be aware of what to do as they’ll handle third party tests like these routinely.

There’s a form for them to keep for their own invoice purposes, and the pink lab request form needs to go with your sample back to Medichecks. There’s a needle and swabs that the nurse can use, unless they choose to use their own. The vial is included with the label on for the nurse to complete. Once the sample has been collected and they’ve completed the details, you can put it in the freepost bag and take it to the post office.

Finger Prick (Home)

Contents of the finger prick kit box.

In the pack :

  • Alcohol wipes, gauze wipe & plasters
  • 4 lancets
  • Sample collection tube
  • Instruction Guide
  • Lab Request Form
  • Freepost return bag

The instruction guide makes the process as straightforward as possible. It’s a case of swabbing the area with an alcohol wipe, using the lancet on the tip of a finger, and massaging your finger to allow the blood to flow and drop into the vial. There’s a circular hole cut in the cardboard so you can stand the vial up to make this easier.

Four lancets are provided incase you have any problems getting blood from different fingers. This is the most convenient way as you have control over when to do it without having to leave the comfort of your own home. It’s a sharp scratch for the lancet, and you don’t see anything sharp, so it’s not daunting or off-putting. After you’ve got your sample, just make a note of the time and date, then pop it in the post. There’s a card in the box with a helpline number; if you have any queries or problems, just get in touch on that number, or send them an email. Their customer service team are really friendly and responsive and they’re there to help.

Contents of the finger prick kit.

Online Account & Results

The Medichecks online account portal is streamlined, contemporary and intuitive to use.

A screenshot of the online account.

When you order, you’ll be able to set up your online account and profile. You need to fill in some basic details and complete your health questionnaire before the doctor can assess your results.

When your results are ready, they’ll send you an email and you’ll be able to view them via your account area.

At the top will be the doctor’s interpretation, and underneath you’ll find the results. Each aspect that you’ve had measured will be reported

Results can also be downloaded as a PDF.

My Experience

Using the website is a pleasure and it’s easy to either browse the tests or search for something specific. Each test has ample information on what it includes and why it’s important. I think the prices are very reasonable, and provide good value for money when you consider what’s included: delivery of the test kit, the actual test kit, great customer service support, return postage for your sample, reliable lab testing of your blood, the online account system, and a doctor to interpret your results.

After the test has been ordered you get email confirmation and you can update your online account with your lifestyle and medical information.

Blood sample ready to be posted.
Blood sample ready to be posted.

I found both methods, the home finger prick & the clinic, easy enough to do. It may be an issue with my poor circulation not letting me get enough blood from the finger prick method, so I had to go to a clinic. However, the home test should suffice for most people and the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. When ordering, the website shows you the nearest clinics if you choose this route, and I was fortunate enough to be able to go to my local hospital without an appointment to get it done. Then it’s just a case of popping the sample and lab request paperwork in the bag, sealing and taking it to the Post Office.

I sent my sample off and the next day they emailed me to say they’d safely received it. I was then notified as soon as the results were in.

I like that I was kept in the loop all the way through the process, so I felt fully supported from start to finish. Customer service is responsive and friendly, so they’re on hand if you have any problems or queries.

I’ve been particularly impressed by the online account. The way the questionnaires, health data and results are laid out looks clear and modern, so it’s easy to see what you’re looking at and make sense of everything. Being able download results as a PDF is brilliant and incredibly helpful. I’ve saved a copy and printed copies off, one for my medical folder at home, and one to take to my next GP appointment.

In Conclusion

Medichecks makes home testing an incredible quick, cost-effective and convenient alternative to NHS testing. In some cases it’s the only option, such as where thyroid checks are concerned for many. Having had a thoroughly positive experience with them, I’d happily recommend them to anyone looking for private blood testing.

To help save a little more money, you can use this link for 10% off, just enter the code INVISME10 at the checkout.

Medichecks logo with a link to find out more about their home test kits.

Caz  ♥

This post contains affiliate links.

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38 Comments

  1. June 8, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    My family suffer from Thyroid. I know I should get myself checked. Really well written Caz

    Txx

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:06 pm

      I hope whoever in your family struggles with thyroid issues is getting the treatment they need, it can be such a hard condition to diagnose/treat/manage. It’s definitely worth keeping in mind to have checked, especially if you notice any niggling symptoms. Thanks for the comment, Tracey 😊
      xx

  2. June 8, 2019 / 4:37 pm

    I love that there are more options. This sounds great.

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:07 pm

      It’s fantastic that this service is available, these sorts of options are crucial! Thanks for the comment lovely xx

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:38 pm

      Oh yes I saw that the other day, thank you so much! It means a lot to me, I truly appreciate the nomination  ♥🌷

  3. June 8, 2019 / 4:55 pm

    I can fully endorse your excellent and comprehensive review, Caz. I’ve used Medichecks a number of times including for thyroid tests which, as you point out, my GP was unable to provide for me as the labs refused to do them. My GP was happy to use the Medicheck results. (Of course, other doctors may not be.) A couple of extra things that your readers may find useful:

    1. If you opt for the finger prick kit as I always do, there might be an occasion when the sample proves to be faulty. Medichecks email you to this effect and invite you to call them. This has actually happened to me for the first time this week. I was so impressed with the courteous, reassuring and prompt response from the customer service team. A new kit has arrived free of charge and I’ll have another try next week,

    2. Medichecks often have some very good offers – including your code of course! It isn’t necessary to use the kit as soon as you buy it. I now buy the tests I need when an offer is available and use it when appropriate for my needs.

    best wishes, Caz 🙂

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:42 pm

      I’m glad you liked the review, and it’s great to hear you’ve used Medichecks before, too! Very good points – I’ve noticed that their customer service has been excellent so it’s reassuring that they were so helpful when you had an issue with your test kit. Thanks so much for taking the time to add your thoughts & experiences, Sandra, it’s much appreciated! 🌷
      xx

  4. Megala
    June 8, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    It is a wonderful idea to do the thyroid testing at home. I hope this kit will be available soon in India as well.

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:42 pm

      It’s definitely a brilliant service to be able to use, I hope you get something like this in India too as I think it could be so useful for a lot of people! Thank you for the comment lovely xx

  5. June 8, 2019 / 5:18 pm

    I have a low thyroid. I have only ever had tests via the G.P. It is good you can get a kit for a home test. They big problem is that T3 supplements are usually not available via the NHS so whatever the result you are likely to be given a T4 supplement which does not help everyone.

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:45 pm

      Does your GP manage to test for things like T3 and T4, or just standard TSH? You’re right about the problems with treatment. I remember years ago ordering an alternative online from America because all the NHS would provide was Levothyroxine, which didn’t help. Very frustrating indeed. Does your treatment help you, or are you not finding it very effective? xx

  6. June 8, 2019 / 6:23 pm

    The range of testing, easy website to maneuver, good customer service, and keeping you in the loop
    makes medicheck worthwhile. Your review was honest, informative, and understandable for a novice
    reader like me.

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:47 pm

      Aw I’m so glad you liked it and found it helpful, thank you for the very kind comment, Darnell! x

  7. June 8, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    glad to hear of your experience.
    my mother had her thyroid removed and would have benefited by having
    such a test available 50 years ago. may you be well 🙂

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      I’m sorry your mother had problems with her thyroid. It’s incredible to think how much science and technology has advanced over the years, and services like this are certainly very helpful for patients. Thank you for sharing  ♥

  8. June 8, 2019 / 8:17 pm

    I didn’t realize much of this, including the 5 tiers. My mom takes thyroid medication and my grandad had a thyroid issue too. So it’s good I learn this!

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:50 pm

      I’m sorry your mom and grandad have thyroid problems of their own; does their treatment help manage the symptoms okay? I’m glad this review helped you learn something new, that’s fab – thanks for letting me know!xx

  9. June 8, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    great info! I’d never known these exist

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:04 pm

      Ooo well I’m glad I could introduce you to something new then! It’s great this service is available, it’s a vital option for a lot of people.xx

  10. June 9, 2019 / 6:47 am

    Thanks for this review, Caz. It’s really helpful. I see test kits like this and often wonder how accurate they are, and what the service is like. You’ve answered my questions. Very often GPs are reluctant to carry out blood tests until they are convinced they are needed, often meaning that some things can go under the radar until they become a bigger problem. This could give a patient reassurance and the opportunity to discuss the results with their GP allowing them to test further if necessary. Great review.

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      Medichecks use reputable labs so you can rest assured the results are accurate – that’s something I wanted to make sure of, too. You’re right about GPs often wanting to leave testing until other options are exhausted, usually just to cut costs, but it can be so damaging to patients. I’m really pleased you liked the review, thank you lovely!  ♥

  11. June 9, 2019 / 6:47 am

    Caz, you always provided the best and most helpful information.. I do hope you know this already, but you are a very intelligent, loving, beauitful (inside and out) You have helped me SO much in the past by providing great tips when going to a doctor’s office. Doctor’s appointments tend to be frustrating because the doctor fails to listen to the patients. A few of my previous doctor’s appointments I followed advice you shared a few months ago and know the doctors heard all my questions and concerns and finally gave me what I needed from them!

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      Alys, you are way too kind about me! You’re right about how frustrating it is when doctors don’t listen to their patients – it’s great to hear you’ve been able to get your doc to listen to you & respond with what you need, that’s a huge hurdle to jump! Comments like this are what keep me blogging – I’m so glad you liked the review, thank you lovely  ♥
      xx

    • June 11, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      That’s fab, I’m glad you’ve also had such positive experiences with them! Thanks for sharing that lovely  ♥
      xx

  12. June 9, 2019 / 3:21 pm

    I can see why they had you review this service, you did an outstanding job with the review. As someone who suffers from Hashimotos, I had no idea this was available. Thank you for being so extensive with your information. Bless You!

    • June 10, 2019 / 4:16 pm

      Out of curiosity, did you struggle over there getting the testing to diagnose your Hashimotos?
      And thank you so much for the kind comment, I’m really glad you thought I did a good job with the review! That makes me happy 😊
      I hope the week ahead is a good one for you lovely xx

  13. June 9, 2019 / 6:00 pm

    Caz, I did not know they had this! They have so many home tests nowadays, even DNA! I have low thyroid, but take medication for it everyday so it is no longer low. I really appreciate all your concise and educational posts! On the other hand, I can’t stand my hair, today.

    • June 10, 2019 / 4:07 pm

      It’s a great option to have, to be able to bypass red tape and your doctor if the test isn’t offered. I hope your medication helps keep the symptoms of hypothyroidism in check. What’s up with the hair? Is it wild & untameable? It’s just learning from you! 😆Thanks for the comment lovely, I hope the week ahead treats you kindly.xx

  14. June 9, 2019 / 10:05 pm

    Charlee: “Our doggy brother Dennis and our other doggy brother Tucker who we never met both had thyroid issues.”
    Chaplin: “I bet they would have loved to be able to get tested at home instead of going to the V-E-T.”
    Lulu: “I know I would!”
    Charlee: “And I bet Mama would have been the one operating the sharp-edged equipment.”
    Chaplin: “Yeah, you don’t want Dada anywhere near you with something pointy.”
    Lulu: “Why not?”
    Charlee: “Let’s just say all the Band-Aids are in Dada’s side of the medicine cabinet.”

    • June 10, 2019 / 3:36 pm

      Aw poor little guys, I bet they’d prefer blood tests at home, providing mama is nowhere near the equipment! Heheh thanks for the giggles – I hope you all have a lovely week ahead 🙂

  15. June 10, 2019 / 4:53 am

    Caz, this is awesome. I looked at the site, product prices are listed in pounds. Is this a UK only thing?

    • June 10, 2019 / 3:01 pm

      I’m afraid so, Kim. I would imagine, though things are very different in the States, that there would be something similar offered, bypassing a referral for a blood test from a doctor so you can do it at home..? If not then there should be! xx

  16. June 11, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    What a great resource! Thanks for the review–and the reminder to get my thyroid checked! 🙂

    • June 12, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      Glad you liked the review, and that it could serve as a reminder – good luck with getting yours checked! Thanks for the comment lovely xx

  17. June 18, 2019 / 2:50 pm

    Caz, brilliant post! You are absolutely spot on about how thyroid “normal” ranges vary significantly depending on where you are and/or where you go for testing. I find that to be offensive (at the least) because it only confirms how lacking some aspects of the medical field are. Getting help is often entirely too difficult when one needs it the most!

    Your review makes me feel pleased that this company exists and sounds as though it will help many people with improving their health. Very well done. I’d use them myself. 🙂 Sending love & hugs your way! ♥

    • June 19, 2019 / 10:29 am

      Precisely, it’s insanely offensive and frustrating that when you most need help it’s so difficult to get it. It’s good to know that companies like this exist so I’m glad to be able to review them and recommend them as finding a trustworthy company with reliable testing is important. You’re a woman on a mission with all of your comments, thank you lovely! 🙂
      xx

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