That Trying Testing Technical Trap for Thyroid disease!

Hello folks,

There seems to be an epidemic of Hypothyroidism caused by the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

This is basically where the body turns on itself and starts “eating” its own thyroid.

Very often people have not had adequate testing to diagnose this, as thyroid autoantibodies need to be identified.

Here is a list for you to print off and take to your doctor if you are having any of the following signs:

Unexplained weight gain, lethargy, itchy dry skin, tiredness, puffiness, constipation and other GI signs, cold hands and feet, sluggish in the morning, slow heart rate, faint, feeling weak.


Thyroid Testing

Full Thyroid Testing of:
TSH, FT4 & FT3, TPOAb & TgAb (antibodies)**
RT3 (Reverse T3) This is NOT covered by Medicare. It will be a private cost to yourself. Costs range from $50 – $80 upwards dependant on the lab you use.

Recommended labs for RT3 testing in:
WA = Clinipath
ACT= Capitol

**Please see page 3, it has important Medicare advice for you AND your doctor to enable Medicare to cover the costs of some or all of these tests (excluding RT3)

Blood Testing

FBC (Full blood count)
U & E (Urea & Electrolytes – includes Potassium & Sodium)
Full Fasting Cholesterol
Fasting Glucose
Full Iron Panel (includes: Iron, Transferrin, Saturations & Ferritin)
Full Liver Panel
Full Kidney Panel
AM & PM Cortisol (Saliva testing is more accurate but is NOT covered by Medicare, check for costs involved))
Urinary Iodine testing (NOT covered by Medicare, around $50+, check for costs)
H. Pylori (if required)

Folate/Folic Acid

Vitamin Testing

Vitamin D
Vitamin B1, B6 & B12
Vitamin A, C** & E (not as important but “may” be worthwhile)

**Vitamin C – check with your own state’s lab of preference. In WA through St John’s Pathology, you are required to attend their Head Lab in Subiaco due to the extra requirements of the testing procedure.

Hormonal Testing

E1, E2, E3 & Progesterone (Saliva testing is more accurate, but is NOT covered by Medicare, please check for costs involved)

Autoimmune/Inflammatory Markers Testing (if required due to family history)

Complements C3 & C4

Allergy/Coeliac Testing

IgE (Rast) – includes Animal, Food, House Dust/Mite, Grass & Mould panels (if required)
IgA & IgG Coeliac screen (Negative result “may” not mean you are not Gluten Intolerant/Sensitive)
DQ2/DQ8 Gene Test for Coeliac (if required)

A good website for a “symptom checker” of gluten intolerance can be found at

Additional Information

If you are on any antidepressants, please check with your doctor if you should be monitored with any extra blood testings involving that. Some meds have leaflets which state requirements of monitoring via blood tests but it’s not always the case your doctor does any monitoring.


ALWAYS ask for copies of all your blood tests. Ask your doctor to specifically write “copy to patient” on any and all lab requests. Your doctor’s “normal” result for yourself “may” not always the case. If you need copies of prior tests and your doctor is reluctant to provide them, please contact your lab for instructions on how to obtain your copies. It may mean signing an authority and once ID is provided you can get your copies sent to your home address.

*** Important Medicare Advice

The item number for thyroid function test, comprising of TSH, free T4 and free T3 is 66719.
The TSH test is covered by Medicare, but the free T4 and the free T3 will only be paid by
Medicare if at least one of the following conditions is satisfied (see MBS schedule below).

However if one of the following conditions is NOT satisfied, you can request for private billing.
The laboratory should test the free T4 and/or the free T3 if the tests have been requested on
the referral form by the doctor and it is clear you will be paying for the tests.

If the doctor writes down TFT then the laboratory may only test the TSH and the free T4.

If the doctor writes down TSH, free T4 and free T3 separately on the form then there will be
no confusion and the proper tests will be done.

For more information on item numbers you can check online at under
“Thyroid function tests (comprising the service described in item 66716 and 1 or more
of the following tests – free thyroxine, free T3, for a patient, if at least 1 of the following
conditions is satisfied:
(a) The patient has an abnormal level of TSH;
(b)The tests are performed:
(i) for the purpose of monitoring thyroid disease in the patient; or
(ii) to investigate the sick euthyroid syndrome if the patients is an admitted patient; or
(iii) to investigate dementia or psychiatric illness of the patient; or
(iv) to investigate amenorrhoea or infertility of the patient;
(c) the medical practitioner who requested the tests suspects the patient has pituitary
(d) the patient is on drugs that interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism or function
(item is subject to rule 9)”

This schedule from the MBS was up to date in January 2012

Medicare information provided by



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