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Strength and conditioning from within

As a serious athlete, strength and conditioning is everything. You train hard and your body is tuned to physical perfection. Regular health screening including a female hormone test is important to check you’re not at risk from developing health complications such as heart disease or kidney failure.

That’s why we’ve developed this comprehensive panel of blood and hormone tests.

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Understanding key biomarkers can help you train to the best of your ability and avoid negative health consequences.

We recommend repeating the Sports Hormone Check 3-4 times per year to understand your baseline (or normal) marker range, as well as how your metabolic and female hormone test markers change throughout your training.

What we test

Female Hormone Panel

This hormone analysis includes an oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone test, as well as an LH, FSH and prolactin test. These sex hormones (in conjunction with adrenal and thyroid hormones) exert powerful effects on the body. Knowing the function and levels of these hormones is a positive step in creating hormone balance and achieving wellbeing.

This female hormone and progesterone test includes:

Too much oestradiol (oestrogen) is linked to acne, constipation, loss of sex drive, depression, weight gain, PMS, period pain, and thyroid dysfunction. The effects of low oestradiol are evident in menopause and include mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats and osteoporosis.

High levels commonly seen in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can lead to difficulties in conceiving. Symptoms can include irregular periods, loss of hair from the head, excess facial and body hair, unexplained weight gain and acne.

The sex hormone produced mainly in the ovaries following ovulation and is a crucial part of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone helps to combat PMS and period pain issues, assists fertility and promotes calmness and quality of sleep.

Governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. Raised LH can signal that a woman is not ovulating, is menopausal or that the hormones are not in balance. A high LH/FSH ratio can indicate Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Stimulates the ovary to mature an egg. High levels indicate poor ovarian reserves which means the quality and quantity of eggs may be low. This doesn’t necessarily mean that pregnancy is impossible, but it may be more difficult to achieve.

High levels inhibit secretion of FSH and interfere with ovulation, and can also inhibit the production of progesterone which is needed to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of an embryo.

Normally this ratio is about 1:1 meaning FSH and LH levels in the blood are similar. In women with polycystic ovaries the LH to FSH ratio is often higher e.g. 2:1 or even 3:1

Cholesterol

Lipids and cholesterol are fat-like substances in your blood. Some are necessary for good health, but when you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, a lot of it ends up being deposited in the walls of your arteries and other vital organs. Lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and alcohol intake can all influence cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.

This cholesterol test measures:

High total cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘bad cholesterol’ because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘good cholesterol’ and is protective against atherosclerosis.

The main storage form of fatty acids in the body. Elevated triglyceride levels may contribute to hardening of the arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Non-HDL cholesterol is considered an effective lipid measurement for assessing cardiovascular disease risk as it is believed to reflect levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, age, gender, ethnicity and family history.

Inflammation

Inadequate recovery from exercise or overtraining can result in inflammation and muscle damage.

This blood test measures:

When muscle cells are injured creatine kinase enzymes leak out of the cells and enter the bloodstream. Prolonged elevated creatine kinase after periods of rest can be a sign of overtraining.

A protein made by the liver and secreted into the blood. It is often the first evidence of inflammation - its concentration increases in the blood within a few hours after the start of inflammatory injury.

Blood Glucose

Blood glucose is generated from carbohydrates and to use this fuel for energy your body needs insulin. With type 2 diabetes the cells either ignore the insulin or the body doesn't produce enough of it. Glucose then builds up leading to problems with the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels.

This blood test measures:

If you have diabetes your body doesn't process glucose effectively.

Full Blood Count

A full blood count provides a good snapshot of overall health and screens for a variety of disorders. It is used to assess immune function, infection, and anaemia, as well as nutritional status and exposure to toxic substances.

This blood test measures:

Responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. A high count can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, whilst a low count can mean your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs.

Responsible for fighting infection. A high count can indicate recent infection and even stress, whilst a low count can result from vitamin deficiencies, liver disease and immune diseases.

Responsible for blood clotting and healing. A high count can indicate a risk of thrombosis, whilst a low count can lead to easy bruising.

A good measure of your blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Elevated haemoglobin can be an indicator of lung disease, whilst a low result indicates anaemia.

A measure of the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. Elevated haematocrit can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Liver Function

Your liver processes drugs and alcohol, filters toxic chemicals, stores vitamins and minerals, and makes bile, proteins and enzymes. This liver function test examines enzymes and other markers for evidence of damage to your liver cells or a blockage near your liver which can impair its function.

This liver function test measures:

Removed from the body by the liver, and elevated levels may indicate liver disease.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme located mainly in the liver and the bones. High levels can indicate liver disease.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme created mainly by the liver and the heart. High levels can indicate damage to your liver caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme mainly produced by the liver. A good indicator of liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.

Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is a liver enzyme which can be used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is typically raised in long term drinkers.

Albumin is a protein which keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, nourishes tissues, and carries hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body. Albumin is made in the liver and is sensitive to liver damage.

Kidney Function

Your kidneys filter waste from your body and regulate salts in your blood. They also produce hormones and vitamins that direct cell activities in many organs and help to control blood pressure. When the kidneys aren't working properly, waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous levels creating a life-threatening situation.

This kidney function test measures:

Helps regulate the water and electrolyte balance of your body, and is important in the function of your nerves and muscles. Too much sodium can indicate kidney disease.

Minor changes in serum potassium ca have significant consequences. An abnormal concentration can alter the function of the nerves and muscles for example, the heart muscle may lose its ability to contract.

A high concentration of this waste product can indicate dehydration or that your kidneys aren’t working properly.

A waste molecule generated from muscle metabolism, and an accurate marker of kidney function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measures how well your kidneys filter the wastes from your blood and is the best overall measure of kidney function.

Test instructions

Take test 7 days before predicted date of menstruation (day 1). If menstrual cycle is 28 days, test on day 21. Or day 23 of a 30 day cycle, or day 19 of a 26 day cycle.

Fast from all food and drink other than water for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your test.

Refrain from strenuous exercise for 2 days before your blood test as this can affect the results.

Take your form to your local collection centre to have your sample taken - no need for an appointment.

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