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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 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 blood and hormone test. Understanding key biomarkers can help you train responsibly and avoid negative health consequences before symptoms emerge.

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There are conflicting viewpoints on what exactly you should test for. That’s why we’ve designed this comprehensive blood and hormone test with input from the medical experts. i-screen keeps things simple, insightful and cost-effective.

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 markers change throughout your training.

Check out our blog for more information about how a blood and hormone test can reduce your risk.

What we test

Hormone Profile

This male hormone test measures key hormones that play an important role in athletic performance.

This hormone test measures:

Testosterone is an anabolic hormone responsible for bone and muscle strength, as well as mood, energy and sexual function.

Most testosterone is strongly bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This test measures the proportion of unbound testosterone which is available to the body's tissues.

The principle active form of oestrogen in the body which has roles in gynecomastia, water/fat retention and hormone balance.

Levels of follicle stimulating hormone in men rise with age, but can also indicate testicular damage and reduced sperm production. Low levels of FSH are detected when men are not producing sperm.

Luteinising hormone is responsible for stimulating testosterone production and sperm generation. Raised LH can signal that the testes are not producing enough testosterone and is relevant when evaluating hypogonadism.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is a protein that binds tightly to testosterone and oestradiol. Changes in SHBG levels can affect the amount of hormone that is available to be used by the body's tissues.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kidney Function

Your kidneys filter waste from your body and regulate the salts in your blood. Bodybuilders and 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. When the kidneys are not working properly, waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous levels creating a life-threatening situation.

This blood 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

Visit the collection centre within one hour of waking for the most accurate hormone test measurements.

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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