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.
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. Note that this panel includes the sensitive oestradiol immunoassay.
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.
This hormone blood test measures levels of the key hormones and androgens that play an important role in governing masculinity and fertility.
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.
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.
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.
Progesterone has two major effects in men - it promotes testosterone production, and also modulates the effects of excessive oestrogen.
A hormone which is produced in the pituitary gland and plays a role in reproductive health. Raised levels in men can cause reduced sex drive, lack of energy, erectile dysfunction and fertility problems.
Two of the most important hormones that impact athletic performance are cortisol and DHEA, the long-lasting stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol has a catabolic effect which mobilises the body’s nutritional resources for fuel. DHEA has an opposing anabolic effect and coverts food into living tissue. In order to achieve your fitness goals cortisol and DHEA must be in proper balance.
The cortisol test measures 'the stress hormone' cortisol which mobilises the body’s nutritional resources in stressful situations. Prolonged elevation of cortisol can cause fatigue, immune dysfunction, and impact sex hormones.
A long-acting adrenal hormone which regulates energy production, the immune system, brain chemistry, bone formation, muscle tone and libido. DHEA is converted by the body into testosterone and other sex hormones.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have diabetes your body doesn't process glucose effectively.
Inadequate recovery from exercise or overtraining can result in inflammation and muscle damage.
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.
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.
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.
The full blood count is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anaemia (decrease in red blood cells or haemoglobin), infection, and many other diseases. It is actually a group of tests that examine different parts of the blood. Results from the following tests provide the broadest picture of your health.
Responsible for blood clotting and healing. A high count can indicate a risk of thrombosis, whilst a low count can lead to easy bruising.
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.
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.
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a measure of the average size of the RBCs. The MCV is elevated when RBCs are larger than normal, eg in anaemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. When MCV is decreased, RBCs are smaller than normal as seen in iron deficiency anaemia.
Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) is a calculation of the average amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin inside a red blood cell. Large RBCs are large tend to have a higher MCH, while small red cells would have a lower value.
Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is a calculation of the average concentration of haemoglobin inside a red cell. Decreased MCHC is seen in iron deficiency anaemia and thalassaemia.
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.
Basophils are a type of white blood cell. Basophils can increase in cases of leukaemia, long-standing inflammation and hypersensitivity to food.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to allergic disorders, inflammation of the skin and parasitic infections. They can also occur in response to some infections or to various bone marrow malignancies.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to infection as well as inflammatory disorders, and occasionally with some types of leukaemias. Decreased monocyte levels can indicate bone marrow injury or failure and some forms of leukaemia.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase with bacterial or viral infection, leukaemia, lymphoma, radiation therapy or acute illness. Decreased lymphocyte levels are common in later life but can also indicate steroid medication, stress, lupus and HIV infection.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to bacterial infection, inflammatory disease, steroid medication, or more rarely leukaemia. Decreased neutrophil levels may be the result of severe infection or other conditions.
Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a calculation of the variation in the size of your RBCs. In some anaemias, such as pernicious anaemia (due to vitamin B12 deficiency), the amount of variation in RBC size causes an increase in the RDW.
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 blood sample taken - no need for an appointment.