In the U.S this can be done through Wellness FX and in Australia Planet Naturopath can do the same detailed testing, plus a lot more options which can be customized to your needs. All tests come with a one-hour consultation to help you understand the results and make the necessary changes to optimize your results.
Getting tested by your doctor
Many times people are told they are "fine" by their doctor but the level of testing they have had done was inadequate to identify issues or you could be in the "normal" range, not the optimal range and that could be affecting your performance. Inadequate testing of the thyroid, adrenal hormones, sex hormones, ferritin, inflammatory markers or other nutritional biomarkers can lead to undiagnosed issues with your health or a drop in performance.
This is not necessarily the fault of doctors as they may not understand the special needs of athletes, biohackers and others who want to live their lives in optimal health and not fall into the "average" category. Also doctors are restricted in Australia as to how many tests they can order through Medicare, so they are reluctant to order specialized tests like full thyroid panels or comprehensive hormone testing for their clients.
Is a good diet and supplements enough?
I have seen many athletes and other clients who follow a good diet, regularly take supplements and seemingly do the right thing but still seem tired or their energy levels are not as good as they should be, recovery from training is slower, they may have poor sleep or mood and they seem to get too many colds. When they have had their regular blood test check up they are told that everything is "fine" when clearly it is not.
Comprehensive blood and hormone testing can help to identify problems early before more serious illness develops.
Where can you get tested?
If you are in the U.S it is easy to get tested by companies like Wellness FX and Direct Labs but if you are in Australia you can get get a wide variety of Pathology packages or individual tests done through Planet Naturopath.
Go to Comprehensive Test Package to check out our detailed pathology testing options, or we can customize any pathology test, hormone or digestive stool test package to give you the best options for your health needs. Contact Us to discuss customized testing options.
What should athletes be checking
While exercise, in general, is great for cardiovascular health, it may not be the same for endurance athletes with a number of studies showing that long distance runners and cyclists can have heart issues. While a regular blood test checks cholesterol and triglycerides, 50% of people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol so this is not a good measurement.
For athletes, inflammation is often the cause behind heart issues, so it is necessary to check HsCRP, Fibrinogen, Homocysteine, Apolipoprotein B, VLDL and LDL subfractions (not all LDL is bad) to get a better understanding of how training is affecting cardiovascular function.
The best test options is the DUTCH hormone test for an overview of the sex hormones and a detailed analysis of adrenal function. We also offer blood testing for cortisol and DHEA as part of our comprehensive package.
If your adrenals are not in the optimal range this can lead to poor recovery, fatigue, insomnia and mood changes.
Once again this is best done through a DUTCH Hormone Test and for men they need to test more than just testosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is a more powerful form of testosterone and can be depleted in some power athletes and endurance athletes, Androstenedione is a precursor to allow your body to make more testosterone or estrogen (for women).
Testing estrogen levels in men is also important as they do not want too high levels. For women, you also need to test Estrone, Estradiol, Estriol and Progesterone which can be out of balance with overtraining, restrictive diets and can lead to amenorrhea and infertility. The DUTCH test also assesses how you are metabolizing estrogen which is important for preventing cancer, fibroids and other hormone issues.
We also uses blood testing for the sex hormones, this is a good option for assessing LH, FSH, and SHBG as this lets us know what the messages from the brain are doing, and how much of your hormones are bound to SHBG.
Inflammation and blood sugar control
High sensitive C-Reactive Protein is a good indicator of overtraining and inflammation, this is not often tested in the doctor's office as they usually only test for CRP which is not as sensitive indicator as HsCRP.
HbA1C, Insulin, IGF-1, and glucose can all indicate if carbohydrate metabolism is effective and whether there is excessive inflammation and long-term damage caused by your diet. High energy foods and gels that some athletes consume can lead to metabolic issues.
Checking Vitamin D, RBC magnesium, B12, Folate, iron studies including ferritin levels is essential to optimize your training and performance
Other tests may depend on your individual circumstances and symptoms. If you are having a lot of digestion problems then a Comprehensive Digestive stool analysis can diagnose the underlying cause of bacteria or parasitic infection, low digestive enzymes or levels of good bacteria. Allergy testing, FODMAP diet or an elimination diet can help to identify foods that trigger your digestive problems.
Overall the benefits of regularly checking your biomarkers through a comprehensive Performance Panel for athletes can help you work out what your optimal levels are so you can adjust your training, diet or supplements to improve performance and reduce injury risk.
Benefits of a comprehensive test can enable you to identify and treat underlying health issues that affect your performance
The Pathology tests are available Australia wide and I have affiliations with all the major pathology labs in Australia to have the blood drawn for you. Once you have ordered a pathology test a special kit will be mailed directly to you, the DUTCH hormone tests are done at home and the blood testing component will be done at one of the major pathology labs and then sent directly to the Functional Pathology lab for analysis.
Once the results are back, which takes about two weeks, we can set up a consultation to go through the results and work out how we can optimize your health and performance.
Not sure where to start! Set up a 30-minute consultation and we can customize a test package for you.