Diagnostic testing at Dears Pharmacy
Dears Pharmacy have partnered with The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) to bring together a range of diagnostic tests to support looking after your health and well-being.
TDL is a medically-led laboratory, established in 1987. It is the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK. We provide our customers with the laboratory information required for diagnosis and treatment of medical disorders.
We have several categories of tests including:
- Sexual Health
If you are interested in any of the tests below please call in to your local Dears Pharmacy and our team will be able to assist you with completing the form and supplying you with the kit to send away to TDL.
- Testing Supplies
- Test Container
- Postage paid envelope to send to the lab
Results are available after a few days and our teams are on hand to support and answer any questions you may have.
Please ensure you send away your kit between Monday to Thursday so that it can be received the next day at TDL.
The menopause can be a difficult time for many women, not just emotionally, but also mentally and physically with symptoms ranging from mood swings and anxiety to fatigue, weight gain and hot flushes. A woman normally reaches menopause around the age of 51, but symptoms can start much earlier and can often be confused for other conditions.
This test measures levels of key hormones such as FSH, LH and oestradiol. Levels of FSH rise in women as egg production declines, so it may be used in certain circumstances to assess the likelihood of whether a woman is going through the menopause.
Due to significant fluctuation in FSH levels around the time of menopause, there is a chance that this test may show normal pre-menopause levels of FSH in someone who is going through, or has been through, the menopause.
Thyroid hormones are also included as menopausal and thyroid symptoms can be similar. It is not uncommon for a thyroid condition to develop in the 40's or 50's so this test can give an insight into whether symptoms are due to menopause, thyroid or both.
- FSH- Follicle Stimulating Hormone to learn whether she is approaching or has gone through menopause
- Oestradiol to measure ovarian production of oestrogen and to further assist in determining menopausal state
- Thyroid function testing (FT4 and TSH tests) to assess the function of the thyroid gland
- LH - Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation.
Bone markers that help determine if the rate of bone resorption and/or formation is abnormally increased, suggesting a potential bone disorder.
Bone markers are useful in helping to determine a person’s risk of bone fracture and to monitor patients receiving treatment for skeletal disorders, including osteoporosis.
Bone is a living, growing tissue that turns over at a rate of about 10% a year.
Throughout a person’s lifetime, old bone is constantly being removed (resorption) and replaced with new bone (formation) to maintain a healthy bone structure.
During bone resorption, cells called osteoclasts dissolve small amounts of bone, while enzymes dissolve the protein network. Bone formation is then initiated by cells called osteoblasts. They secrete a variety of compounds that help form a new protein network, which is then mineralised with calcium and phosphate to produce new bone. This on-going remodelling process takes place on a microscopic scale throughout the body to keep bones alive and sturdy.
Includes checks on:
- Urea and Electrolytes
- Liver Function Test
- Vitamin D (25 OH)
Osteoporosis (DPD) Test
This urine test can be used to determine the presence of osteoporosis, or other bone related diseases.
A Deoxypyridinoline (DPD) test can be used to assess bone resorption rates in healthy individuals and in those with enhanced risk of developing metabolic bone disease.
Significantly high levels of Deoxypyridinoline are found in post menopausal women due to oestrogen deficiency, and in individuals with diseases that have high bone turnover rates.
Deoxypyridinoline can also be used to monitor antiresorptive therapies (which may include bisphosphonates) in postmenopausal women and individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Faecal Occult Blood
The faecal occult blood test (FOB) checks for blood in your faeces. Normally, there will not be enough blood lost through the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) to turn a FOB positive or for you to notice it by looking. Any significant amount of blood being passed (seen as bloody or dark, tarry faeces) should be investigated.
A positive FOB test will indicate if you have bleeding occurring somewhere in your gastrointestinal tract. This blood loss could be due to ulcers, diverticulitis, bleeding polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, haemorrhoids (piles), from swallowed blood due to bleeding gums or nosebleeds, or it could be due to benign or malignant tumours. Anything that sticks out into the intestine, like a polyp or tumour, and is rubbed against by the faeces as it passes through, has the potential to bleed now and again. Often this small amount of blood is the first, and sometimes the only, symptom of early bowel cancer making the FOB a valuable screening tool.
Why take this test?
- You have symptoms which you think may be caused by an overactive or under-active thyroid
- You want to test both your thyroxine (T4) and your triiodothyronine (T3) to check that you are converting properly
- You are taking thyroid medication and you want a regular check of your hormone levels
This monitoring profile is an excellent test to assess thyroid function. It includes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as well as free T4 (FT4) and free T3 (FT3). Most thyroid hormones are bound to proteins in the blood. This test measures the level of free or unbound thyroid hormones which are either available to be converted or are biologically active.
TSH is produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones (mostly T4). An elevated TSH often signifies that the thyroid is struggling to produce enough T4 for the body's needs. TSH on its own does not necessarily give a true picture of your thyroid function which is why we test both forms of thyroid hormone too.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
High levels of TSH indicate an under-active thyroid while low levels indicate an overactive thyroid. In primary pituitary failure, a low TSH will be associated with an under-active thyroid.
Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood. This test measures the level of T4 which is free, or unbound, circulating in your blood.
High levels of free thyroxine can indicate an overactive thyroid while low levels can indicate an under-active thyroid.
Triiodothyronine (T3) is one of two thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T3 is bound to protein in the blood. Free T3 measures the level of T3 that is free, or unbound to protein, and is available to regulate metabolism.