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Sports Hormone Check Plus

A comprehensive sports profile containing everything in the Sports Hormone Check as well as CRP-hs, FSH, LH, SHBG and free testosterone (calculated).

The Sports Hormone Check Plus tests for the core performance-related hormones such as testosterone, oestradiol, LH and FSH. SHGB (sex hormone binding globulin) is also measured which allows us to make a calculation of free testosterone levels. In addition to a full blood count this profile also examines core body functions such as liver function and kidney function as well as iron and protein levels. A full cholesterol profile as well as CRP-hs (a high-sensitivity inflammation marker) is included in this test.

Oestradiol blood test results below 18 pmol/L are expressed as <18 pmol/L (less than 18 pmol/L) due to the sensitivity of the testing assay.

Haemoglobin carries oxygen and gives the blood cell its red colour. This test measures the amount of haemoglobin in the blood and is a good measure of the blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.

A high haemoglobin result can mean increased red cell production to compensate for chronically low oxygen levels in the blood caused by living at altitude or lung disease. While it can also indictate "blood doping" other causes can include dehydration, smoking and bone marrow disorders.

A low haemoglobin result indicates anaemia which can have many causes including pregnancy, blood loss, liver damage, iron deficiency and much more. A low haemoglobin level would be investigated in line with other symptoms and results.

HCT (haemocrit) measures the amount of space (volume) red blood cells take up in the blood.

A high level can occur with pregnancy, living at altitude, dehydration as well as low availability of oxygen through chronic lung disease and even sleep apnea.

Low levels indicate anaemia.

Red Cell Count analyses the number of red cells in the blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. They also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs so that it can be exhaled. 

A high count (thicker blood) means there is a chance that the red blood cells will clump together and block tiny blood vessels. This also makes it difficult for your red blood cells to carry oxygen, 

A low count (anaemia) means that your body may not be getting the oxygen it needs and can be caused by nutritional deficiency (e.g. iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) over-hydration as well as bleeding and bone marrow disorders. 

MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) shows the size of red blood cells. 

A high result may indicate a vitamin deficiency of folate or vitamin B12 and is often seen in excessive alcohol consumption associated with liver inflammation. 

A low result indicates anaemia, often caused by iron deficiency.

MCH (Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin) is the amount of haemoglobin in an average red blood cell. 

Together with MCV and MCHC values this can help in the diagnosis of different types of anaemia. 

MCHC (mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration) is the concentration of haemoglobin in an average red blood cell.

A high level can indicate the presence of spherocytes (a type of red bood cell with too much haemoglobin) or a deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12 in the diet.

A low level can indicate chronic blood loss or too little iron.

RDW (Red Cell Distribution Width) shows whether the cells are all the same size or different sizes or shapes. Normally cells are fairly uniform, although a raised RDW result (indicating greater variaton in cell size and shape than is normally seen) can be caused by deficiency in iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid. 

White blood cells are key to your body's immune or defense system. They fight infections and protect our body from foreign invaders such as harmful germs and bacteria. 

A raised WBC can indicate recent infection, inflammation, trauma and even stress. Your WBC can also be raised as a result of taking certain medications.

A decreased WBC can result from a vitamin deficiency such as folate and vitamin B12, as well as liver disease and diseases of the immune system. 

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell which are responsible for helping your body fight infection. When neutrophils are low you can be more vulnerable to illness and infection.

Neutrophils can be raised after severe stress on the body from a bacterial infection, recent exercise or sudden kidney failure. 

Low neutrophils can be casued by a deficiency in vitamin B12 and folic acid, severe bacterial infection and some autoimmune diseases. 

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell which fight bacterial and viral infections. They include T Cells, B Cells and Natural Killer Cells. 

Lymphocytes can be raised for many reasons but it is common for them to be raised after recent infection, particularly after flu. They can also be raised due to autoimmune disorders and some cancers. 

The most common cause for lymphocytes to be depleted is the common cold. 

Monocytes are a type of white blood cell which engulf and remove pathogens and dead or damaged cells from our blood. The heat and swelling of inflammation is the result of the activites of these cells. 

Elevated monocytes can indicate chronic inflammatory disease, chronic infection, parpasitic infection and cushings disease. 

Low levels can be due to autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthiritis as well as drugs which affect the bone marrow such as chemotherapy. 

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell which have the function of removing parasitic infections as well as regulating inflammation to mark an infected site. 

Levels of eosinophils can be elevated if the amount of inflammation is greater than necessary to control the damage (e.g. asthma and allergies) as well as parasitic and fungal infections, autoimmune diseases and skin disorders. 

Low levels of eosinophils are not usually cause for concern and can be caused by the administration of steroids. 

Basophils are a type of white blood cell which protects your body from bacteria and parasites such as ticks. They produce histamine and heparin and can respond incorrectly causing allergies, asthma and other inflammatory conditions.

An elevated basophil count can be due to inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's, ulcerative colitis and dermatitis, recent infection and hormone imbalance e.g. hypothyroidism.

A low basophil count can be caused by pregnancy, stress and use of steroids.

A blood film report is an examination of the shape, size and number of blood cells under the microscope. Oxygen is carried less effectively by red blood cells if they are of abnormal size or shape, and this can result in anaemia. Too many or too few white blood cells can signify a blood disorder and can affect your body's ability to fight infection. 

 

 

Platelets or Clotting Cells are the smallest type of blood cell and are important in blood clotting. When bleeding occurs, the platelets swell, clump together and form a sticky plug which helps stop the bleeding. 

If platelet levels are raised there is a risk of blood clots forming in blood vessels.

If platelet levels are too low there is a risk of easy bruising and uncontrolled bleeding. 

MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) is a measurement of the average size of platelets. New platelets are larger and an increased MPV occurs when increased numbers of platelets are being produced. MPV provides an indication of platelet production in your bone marrow. 

Sodium is both an electrolyte and mineral. It helps regulate the water (inside and outside the body's cells) and electrolyte balance of the body. Sodium is also important in how nerves and muscles work. Sodium in the blood is regulated by the kidneys. 

Too much sodium in the blood is often due to dehydration but can be a marker of the kidneys not working properly. 

Too little sodium is often caused by fluid retention (oedema) or too much sodium lost through vomiting and diarrhoea or excessive sweating. 

Urea is waste product produced as the body digests protein and is carried by the blood to the kidneys, which filter the urea out of the blood and into the urine.The urea test shows how well the kidneys are working.

A high amount of urea in the blood may indictate dehydration or that the kidneys are not working properly or simply that you consume a high protein diet. 

Low amounts of urea in the blood may indicate a low protein diet, over-hydration, malnutrition or liver failure. 

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Measurement of this is an indicator of the level of other waste products. Creatinine is an accurate marker of kidney function.

Elevated creatinine can be caused by high intake of animal protein, taking creatine supplements and vigorous exercise but could also indicate that the kidneys are not working properly.

Low creatinine can be caused by a low protein diet, reduced muscle mass or merely efficient kidney function. 

Alkaline Phosphotase (ALP) is an enzyme located mainly in the liver and bones. High levels can indicate bone or liver disease. Raised ALP is looked at in conjunction with other liver function tests to determine whether the problem lies in the liver or the bones.

Pregnancy can also cause raised ALP and it is often elevated in growing teenagers.

Alanine Transferase (ALT) is an enzyme which is produced by the liver and can indicate liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or viruses (hepatitis). Small amounts of ALT are normal, but raised levels may mean that your liver is inflamed.

Raised levels can also be caused by recent vigorous exercise.

CK (Creatinine Kinase) is a muscle enzyme which measures muscle cell damage and death. CK levels tend to be higher in people with greater muscle mass.

CK levels are measured to assess muscle damage, CK levels can rise rapidly after muscle trauma, but will subside as the damage repairs. Levels which continue to rise indicate that muscle damage is continuing. If you have been to the gym the day before your blood test you may well have raised levels of CK.

Gamma GT is a liver enzyme which is raised in liver and bile duct diseases. It is used in conjunction with the ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.

Total Protein represents the sum of albumin and globulin. It is more important to know which protein fraction is high or low than what the measure of total protein is.

Albumin is made mainly in the liver and helps keep the blood from leaking out of blood vessels. It also helps carry some medicines and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing.

Low albumin levels can indicate liver disease and can also be a marker for chronic ill-health, malnutrition and chronic inflammation. It can also occur in kidney conditions such as nephrotic syndrome and diabetes.

Raised levels are usually caused by dehydration. 

Globulin consists of different proteins and is made by the liver and the immune system. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood and help fight infection.

HbA1c or Haemoglobin A1c is also known as glycosolated haemoglobin and is a longer term measure of glucose levels in your blood than a simple blood glucose test. Glucose attaches itself to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells, and as your cells live for around 8 - 12 weeks, it gives us a good indication of the level of sugar in your blood over a 2 - 3 month period.

This is an important measure for diagnosing type 2 diabetes as well as understanding how well blood sugar levels are being contolled in someone with diabetes. 

The Iron test meausres how much iron is in your blood with the aim of identifying iron deficiency anaemia or iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis)

The symptoms of too much or too little iron can be similar: fatigue, muscle weakness, moodiness and problems concentrating.

A raised result can mean that you have iron overload syndrome, an inherited condition where your body stores too much iron, or that you are over-supplementing or that you have a liver condition.

A low result can mean that you are anaemic or are suffering from gastro-intestinal blood loss (or other blood loss). Anaemia is also very common in pregnant women.

Ferritin is a protein which stores iron in your cells for your body to use later. Measuring ferritin levels gives us a good indication of the amount of iron stored in your body.

Low levels of ferritin can indicate anaemia which can be caused by excessive or chronic bleeding, poor absorption of iron or too little iron in the diet. 

Raised ferritin levels can indicate iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis) or any kind of liver damage. It is also a marker of infection and inflammation. 

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that circulate in the blood. After you eat, the body converts any excess calories into triglycerides which are then transported to cells to be stored as fat. Your body releases triglycerides to be used for energy. 

Raised triglycerides are thought to be a risk factor for peripheral vascular disease (affecting the blood vessels which supply your arms and legs as well as organs below the stomach) as well a microvascular disease, affecting the tiny blood vessels around the heart. 

Cholesterol is an essential body fat (lipid). It is necessary for building cell membranes and for making several essential hormones. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Excessive cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease - doctors like to see levels below 5 mmol/L.

However, cholesterol is made up of both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol so it is important to investigate a raised total cholesterol to see the cause. High levels of HDL cholesterol can cause a raised result but actually be protective against heart disease.

HDL Cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver where it is broken down and removed from the body in bile. HDL cholesterol is commonly known as "good cholesterol". 

Raised levels are protective against heart disease, while low levels are associated with increased risk of a heart attack.

LDL Cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) carries cholesterol, triglycerides and other fats to various tissues throughout the body. Too much LDL cholesterol, commonly called "bad cholesterol" can cause fatty deposits to accumulate on artery walls potentially leading to artherosclerosis and heart disease. 

HDL % of Total cholesterol is more indicative of your risk of cardiovascular disease than total cholesterol alone. 

Below 20% indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease while above 20% indicates a lower than average risk. 

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an inflammation marker used to assess whether there is inflammation in the body - it does not identify where the inflammation is located. High Sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) is a test which is used to detect low-level inflammation which is thought to damage blood vessels and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

Raised levels are a risk factor for cardio-vascular disease. 

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 underactive thyroid.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone 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 underactive thyroid while low levels indicate an overactive thyroid. In primary pituitary failure, a low TSH will be associated with an underactive thyroid.

Testosterone is a male sex hormone which is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. It is responsible for bone and muscle strength, as well as mood, energy and sexual function. Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, so that raised testosterone in men is unusual. A testosterone test is more likely to discover low levels.

In women, raised testosterone can result in male characteristics such as more body hair, more bulk, a deeper voice and acne - all symptoms of polycystic ovaries.

In men (and to some extent, women) low testosterone levels can affect, mood, sleep, energy levels, muscle mass and libido.

Most testosterone circulating in the blood is bound to proteins, in particular SHBG and albumin; only 2-3 % of testosterone is free and available to cells. This test uses an algorithm to calculate the level of free or unbound testosterone in relation to total testosterone, SHBG and albumin. 

A low level in a male could lead to symptoms such as low libido, erectile disfunction, depression and difficulty gaining muscle mass.

In women an elevated level could indicate polycystic ovary syndrome.

Oestradial is a female steroid hormone which is produced in the ovaries of women and to a much lesser extent in the testes of men. It is responsible for the female reproductive system as well as the growth of breast tissue and bone thickness. Oestradiol declines with age, culminating in the menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs.

Raised oestradiol in women can cause acne, constipation, loss of sex drive and depression as well as raising the risk of uterine and breast cancer. 

Oestradiol can also be raised in men due to too much fat (which is oestradiol producing) or in relation to testosterone levels which have declined with age. Raised oestradiol can cause the growth of breast tissue, the loss of libido and infertility in men.

Low levels of oestradiol in women can lead to osteoporosis, problems with the menstrual cycle and fertility as well as fatigue and depression. 

Follicle Stimulating Hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men in the production of sperm. Levels of FSH rise in women as egg production declines, therefore raised FSH is an indicator of the onset of the menopause and a measure of ovarian reserve.

Raised levels of FSH in women indicate reduced egg supply whereas low levels can indicate that you are not ovulating or are preganant.

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

 

Most of the sex hormones testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) found in your blood are bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which means that it is unavailable to your cells. Measuring the level of SHBG in your blood gives important information about your levels of "free" or unbound hormones which are therefore biologically active.

Raised SHBG means that there ls less testosterone or oestrogen available whereas low levels can mean an excess of available hormones.

Luteinising Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstural cycle, peaking before ovulation. In men it stimulates the production of testosterone. 

Raised LH in women can signal that you are not ovulating, that you are menopausal or that your hormones are not in balance (as with polycystic ovaries).

Raised LH in men can signal that the testes are not producing enough testosterone. 

We will send you your Sports Hormone Check Plus finger-prick blood and sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood and sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample option during the checkout process..

Your Sports Hormone Check Plus includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood and sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood and sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.

Your blood and sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Once you have placed your order you will receive login details to mymedichecks.com where you can manage your account, track your orders and view your Sports Hormone Check Plus results in your own personal dashboard.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood and results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Sports Hormone Check Plus results can be downloaded for your doctor. Want a hard-copy report? You will be given the opportunity to order one during the checkout process.



Sports Hormone Check Plus is included in the following categories: Sports and Performance