March 27, 2019 at 12:00 am #8470
The importance of blood work
The use of anabolic steroids can lead to a number of negative health consequences most notably with cardiovascular and liver health. By the time physical symptoms of these develop, permanent harm may already have been done. The safest medical advice that any health professional would give you is to stop using these due to their risks. However, if you chose to continue taking these supplements it is important to be vigilant for any signs you may be harming your health. As discussed in this blog some of these effects can be identified in blood work before physical symptoms become apparent. These are the blood tests we recommend which are included in our Sports Hormone Check:
Cholesterol status – there are many factors which contribute to your cardiovascular health. Your cholesterol (both high density and low density lipoproteins) and triglyceride levels are one risk factor we can assess by blood testing.
Inflammation – the biomarkers c-reactive protein and creatine kinase provide insight into cardiovascular disease and muscle damage.
Liver function test – your liver processes drugs and filters toxic chemicals. Liver damage is often evident from the assessment of liver enzymes and other key markers of liver function.
Kidney function test – your kidneys filter waste from your body. Extreme athletes are more at risk of kidney failure due to high protein intake, excessive muscle breakdown from intense exercise as well as anabolic steroid use. Measuring key waste products as well as electrolytes, minerals and glucose provides good insight into kidney function.
Full blood count – measuring steroid-induced increases in red blood cell count, haematocrit, and haemoglobin concentrations are important in determining the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Hormone profile – supplementing with anabolic steroids can cause changes in hormone profile over time. Key hormones to measure include the androgens testosterone and free testosterone, as well as FSH, LH and oestradiol.
It is important to understand what your own ‘normal’ levels are for your blood biomarkers, and to track changes to these over time. Monitoring changes in your health data typically provides greater insight than a single isolated result, and will allow you to track any improvements or declines in performance.
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