Essential
Endurance Check

£69

A test for beginners and experienced athletes alike. Includes tests for iron, inflammation, cortisol and hormones.

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check_circle27 tests included
schedule3 day turnaround   info
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Essential Endurance Check

About this test

Whether you are just starting out or are already racking up the miles on your feet, on your wheels or in the pool, endurance training can have a meaningful impact on your health. Make sure your body is up to the demands of a new or existing training programme by checking important markers which will highlight any health risks as well as reasons why you may not be making the gains you expect.

This essential profile gives you a great baseline measure of your fitness starting point, with tests for cholesterol, liver and kidney function, iron status and key hormones including thyroid function. With doctor's comments included, this is an ideal test to find out if your body is ready for the challenge ahead. 

Who is this test for?

This test is ideal for first-time athletes who want to establish a baseline level of fitness as well as to check for any health risks or dietary deficiencies that may impact their progress. It is also for more experienced athletes who are embarking on a new challenge or who wish to monitor their training progress. 

How it works

Collect Sample

We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your blood sample.

Post Sample

Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.

View Results

View results securely in your own personal dashboard.

Important Information

Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.

Tests Included

Kidney Function

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 examines how well the kidneys are functioning.

Raised levels of urea in the blood can be caused by dehydration or high protein consumption or may indicate that the kidneys are not working properly. 

Low amounts of urea in the blood may indicate a low protein diet, excess 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 levels of other waste products in the body. 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 can also indicate that the kidneys are not working properly.

Low creatinine can be caused by a low protein diet, reduced muscle mass or sometime that the kidneys are simply functioning efficiently.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) assesses how well the kidneys are working by estimating the amount of blood filtered through the kidneys. The glomeruli are tiny filters in the kidneys responsible for removing waste products. If these filters do not do their job properly, kidney function can be impaired. The eGFR calculation is an estimate of actual glomerular filtration rate, calculated using your age, weight, gender, and serum creatinine levels. 

A normal or high eGFR indicates good kidney function.

A low eGFR result can indicate your kidneys are not working as well as they should. eGFR can be used to assess the severity of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

It is important to note that individuals with high muscle mass as well as people of certain ethnicities can have a low eGFR which is normal for them. If kidney damage is suspected then other investigative tests are recommended.

Liver Function

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver and bones. Raised levels can indicate bone or liver disease. Elevated ALP is assessed 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 indicate that your liver is inflamed.

Elevated levels of ALT can also be caused by recent vigorous exercise.

CK (creatine kinase) is a muscle enzyme which signifies muscle cell damage and death. CK levels tend to be higher in people with greater muscle mass.

The level of CK in the blood is measured to assess muscle damage - it can rise rapidly after muscle trauma, but will subside as the damage repairs. If CK continues to rise it indicates that muscle damage is not being repaired. If you have been to the gym the day before your blood test you may well exhibit 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 ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is also used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.

Bilirubin is a product of haemoglobin breakdown. It is removed from the body via the liver, stored and concentrated in the gall bladder and excreted into the bowel. Elevated levels can cause the skin and whites of eyes to become yellow (jaundice) as the liver is unable to remove enough bilirubin from the blood. This can indicate liver damage.

Bilirubin can also be raised due to a blocked bile duct as well as Gilbert's Syndrome.

Proteins

Total Protein represents the sum of albumin and globulin. Abnormal levels can indicate malnutrition as well as a liver or kidney disorder. 

Albumin is made mainly in the liver and helps to 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 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.

Bone Health

Calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important. The body needs it to build and repair bones and teeth, help nerves and muscles to function, blood to clot and also help the heart to work. Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium.

The majority of calcium in the body is stored in bone, the rest is found in the blood. If the calcium result is abnormal, a corrected calcium calculation is carried out to aid further investigation.

Around half of the total calcium in your blood is bound by albumin. Corrected calcium estimates your calcium level assuming albumin is a specified normal value. 

Gout

Uric acid is a waste product from the digestion of protein. High levels can lead to excess uric acid being deposited as crystals in the tissues of the body. When this occurs in joints it causes the painful condition known as gout. 

Uric acid levels are best tested 6 weeks after symptoms appear as they may not be raised at the onset of a gout attack.

Iron Status

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. 

Cholesterol Status

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that circulate in the blood. After you eat, the body converts 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 as 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 producing a number of essential hormones. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease - the recommended level is below 5 mmol/L.

Cholesterol however is made up of both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol so it is important to investigate a raised total cholesterol result to determine the cause. High levels of HDL cholesterol can cause a raised total cholesterol result but may 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 believed to be 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 atherosclerosis and heart disease. 

Non-HDL cholesterol is calculated by subtracting your HDL cholesterol result from your total cholesterol. It therefore includes all the non-protective and potentially harmful cholesterol in your blood, not just the LDL cholesterol. As such, it is considered to be a better marker for cardiovascular risk than total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The recommended level of non-HDL cholesterol is below 4 mmol/L.

Heart Disease Risk

HDL % of total cholesterol is considered to be more indicative of your risk of cardiovascular disease than total cholesterol alone. 

A result below 20% indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while one above 20% indicates a lower than average risk. 

Inflammation Marker

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 which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

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

Thyroid Function

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) 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.

Hormones

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 decline with age and it is unusual to find naturally elevated levels in men. Low testosterone is more common than raised testosterone in the absence of supplementation.

In women, raised testosterone can result in male characteristics such as body hair, greater bulk, a deeper voice and acne - all symptoms of polycystic ovaries, a condition in which elevated testosterone is commonly seen.

Oestradiol 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 levels decline 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 excess fat (which produces oestradiol) or in relation to testosterone levels which have declined with age. Raised oestradiol in men can cause the growth of breast tissue, the loss of libido and infertility.

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

Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is vital to survival given its role in functions such as immunity, regulating blood pressure and releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance.

Raised cortisol levels (Cushing's syndrome) can lead to rapid weight gain, especially around the waist, excessive body hair (in women) and loss of libido and erectile dysfunction (in men).

Low levels of cortisol (Addison's disease) can lead to fatigue, nausea, skin discolouration and low blood pressure. 

Vitamins

Although called a vitamin, vitamin D is actually a hormone which is activated by sunshine on your skin. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps your intestines absorb calcium. However, it is thought that vitamin D also plays an important role in immune function, as well as in many chronic diseases and mental health.

Many people in the UK do not produce enough Vitamin D, especially in the winter months with fewer daylight hours. It is now recommended that you get 10 - 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day to ensure you are producing enough vitamin D. In winter months, if your levels are found to be low, you may wish to take a supplement.

Finger-prick blood sample collection kit

We will send you your Essential Endurance Check finger-prick blood sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood 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.

How to collect a finger-prick blood sample

Postage & packaging

Your Essential Endurance Check includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood 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 sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.

Private laboratory analysis

Your blood 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.

Interpretation of results

Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Essential Endurance Check results can be downloaded for your doctor.

Secure online account with mymedichecks.com

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 Essential Endurance Check results.

Health and Lifestyle tracker

Stay motivated by filling in your online health and lifestyle questionnaire and seeing how improvements in your lifestyle can influence your results. Your medical and family history gives us vital information when interpreting your results.

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