Blood Tests That Steroid Users Should Have Done Yearly.
A friend of mine at my home board wrote this up a while back and I felt that it is something I need to share with my readers. It is about yearly blood work that needs to be done ( especially those over forty). On that note you need to get your blood work done while on cycle also, but that is for another day. So here it is:
10 most important tests that people over age 40 should take each year.
1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) – The best place to begin disease-prevention is the CBC’s. This panel will give you a snapshot of your overall health.
It provides a broad range of diagnostic information to assess your vascular, liver, kidney, and blood cell status.
The CBC’s measures the number, variety, percentage, concentration, and quality of platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells, and is useful in screening for infections, anemias, and other abnormalities.
2. The Chemistry Panel provides information on the status of your cardiovascular system by testing lipids (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and the total cholesterol/HDL ratio). It also measures blood glucose, which is critically important for detecting diabetes.
In light of the rapidly growing epidemic of diabetes, monitoring your fasting glucose levels is as important as knowing your cholesterol.
Also included in the Panel is an assessment of critical minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron, as well as electrolytes, liver functions, and the kidney panel.
3. Fibrinogen – An important contributor to blood clotting, fibrinogen levels increase in response to tissue inflammation.
Since atherosclerosis and heart disease are essentially inflammatory processes, increased fibrinogen levels can help predict the risk of heart disease and stroke.
High fibrinogen levels not only are associated with an increased risk of heart attack, but also are seen in other inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the kidney.
4. C- Reactive Protein (CRP) hs-CRP is most often used to help predict a healthy person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
People who have hs-CRP results in the high end of the normal range have 1.5 to 4 times the risk of having a heart attack as those with CRP values at the low end of the normal range.
The CRP molecule itself is not a harmful molecule in the body.
The higher level of CRP is simply a reflection of higher than normal inflammation.
The measurement of CRP does not reflect where the inflammation is. It may come from cells in the fatty deposits in arterial walls that reflect the process of atherosclerosis.
It may come from other tissues.
A review of epidemiological data found that high-sensitivity CRP was able to predict risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and sudden cardiac death among healthy individuals with no history of heart disease, as well as predict recurrent events in patients with acute or stable coronary syndromes.
This inflammatory marker provided prognostic information that was independent of other measures of risk such as cholesterol level and high blood pressure.
Studies have concluded that greater levels of cardiac CRP are associated with higher cardiovascular risk.
5. Homocysteine – Amino acid commonly used as a screen for people at high risk for heart attack or stroke.
It may be useful in patients who have a family history of coronary artery disease but no other known risk factors.
Elevated homocysteine levels have recently been linked to other disorders.
In three recent studies, an association was found between elevated homocysteine levels and age-related macular degeneration.
Increased homocysteine levels were found in a Japanese study to be associated with the presence of gallstones in middle-aged men, which may partly explain the reported high prevalence rate of coronary heart disease in persons with gallstones.
Homocysteine has also become recognized as an independent risk factor for bone fractures.
6. Hemoglobin A1C – One of the best ways to assess your glucose status is testing for hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c). It measures a person’s blood sugar over the last two to three months and is an independent predictor of heart disease risk in persons with or without diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy hemoglobin A1C level may also help those with diabetes prevent some of the complications of the disease.
DHEA levels peak in one’s twenties and then decline dramatically with age. DHEA is frequently referred to as an “anti-aging” hormone.
DHEAS and several other androgens are used to evaluate adrenal function and to distinguish between androgen secreting adrenal conditions from those that originate in the ovary or testes.
DHEAS can be measured to help diagnose adrenocortical tumors (tumor in the cortex of the adrenal gland), adrenal cancers, and adrenal hyperplasia (which may be congenital or adult onset) and to separate them from ovarian tumors and cancers.
8. Testosterone, Free – Testosterone is produced in the testes in men, in the ovaries in women, and in the adrenal glands of both men and women.
Men and women alike can be dramatically affected by the decline in testosterone levels that occurs with aging.
Unlike bound testosterone, the free form of the hormone can circulate in the brain and affect nerve cells.
Testosterone plays different roles in men and women, including the regulation of fertility, libido, and muscle mass.
In men, free testosterone levels may be used to evaluate whether sufficient bioactive testosterone is available to protect against abdominal obesity, mental depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
In women, low levels of testosterone have been associated with decreased libido and well-being, while high levels of free testosterone may indicate hirsuitism (a condition of excessive hair growth on the face and chest) or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Increased testosterone in women may also indicate low estrogen levels.
9. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Secreted by the pituitary gland, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) controls thyroid hormone secretion in the thyroid.
When blood levels fall below normal, this indicates hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid activity, also called thyrotoxicosis), and when values are above normal, this suggests hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity). Overt hyper- or hypothyroidism is generally easy to diagnose, but subclinical disease can be more elusive.
Because thyroid imbalance symptoms may be nonspecific or absent and progress slowly, and since doctors do not routinely screen for thyroid function, people with hyper- or hypothyroidism can go undiagnosed for some time.
Undiagnosed, it can progress to a clinical disease state, which is dangerous, since people with hypothyroidism and elevated serum cholesterol and LDL have an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
10. Estradiol – Both men and women need estrogen for physiological functions.
Estradiol is the primary circulating form of estrogen in men and women, and is an indicator of hypothalamic and pituitary function.
Men produce estradiol in smaller amounts than do women; most estradiol is produced from testosterone and adrenal steroid hormones, and some is produced directly by the testes.
In women, estradiol is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and peripheral tissues.
Levels of estradiol vary throughout the menstrual cycle, and drop to low, constant levels after menopause.
In women, blood estradiol levels help evaluate menopausal status and sexual maturity.
Increased levels in women may indicate an increased risk for breast or endometrial cancer.
Estradiol plays a role in support of healthy bone density in both men and women.
Low levels are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture as well.
Elevated levels of estradiol in men may accompany gynecomastia (breast enlargement), diminished sex drive, and difficulty with urination.
11. Consider baseline PSA (prostatic specific antigen) along with that wonderful digital rectal exam.
If you see two hands on your shoulder during that exam, it is time to change doctors.
However, never too early to start monitoring for prostate hypertrophy and/or cancer.
Studies of cadavers in their 70 and 80’s showed nearly 80% had cancerous cells in their prostate.
So if you live long enough, it isn’t a matter of if you’ll get it, it is a question of when.
You enter this world small and weak.You leave this world small and weak.What you look like in between is up to YOU!