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.
Learn more about cardiovascular testing here.
This best done by urine or saliva hormone testing as this will give an accurate measurement of the hormones available to the cells.
The hormones tested include cortisol, cortisone and DHEA, these levels will fluctuate throughout the day so it is important to measure your hormone levels 4-5times throughout the day.
If your adrenals are not in the optimal range this can lead to poor recovery, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia and mood changes.
I recommend the DUTCH urine test as the most comprehensive test for hormone health
Learn more about the DUTCH test here.
The best way to test your hormones is through a urine hormone test as this allows us to test all of the sex hormones including testosterone,estrogen, progesterone, DHEA as well as the metabolites of hormones, so that we can find out exactly what is happening with your hormones.
Testing estrogen levels in men is also important as they do not want too high levels. For women you also need to test Estrogen, and how your body is detoxing estrogen, as poor detoxification of estrogen can lead to fibroids, endometriosis and cancer.
I recommend the DUTCH urine test for measuring the sex hormones.
Organic Acids Test
This is my favourite test for athletes and people looking to optimise their health, because it measures how your body is producing ATP, this is your body’s system for producing energy.
As well as measuring energy production the Organic Acids Test (OAT) measures how well your burning fat and what nutrients you are missing to optimise energy production and fat burning.
The OAT test also measures B vitamin deficiencies, Co-enzyme Q10, carnitine, glutathione as well as markers for bacteria and yeast infections and neurotransmitter metabolites.
Learn more about my favourite test go to, Organic Acids test here.
Inflammation and Blood Sugar Control
High sensitive C-Reactive Protein is a good indicator of over training and inflammation, this is not often tested in the doctors 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.Nutrition:
Checking Vitamin D, RBC magnesium, B12, Folate, iron studies including ferritin levels is essential to optimise your training and performance.
Learn more about testing inflammation and nutrition go the pathology test here.
Other tests may depend on your individual circumstances and symptoms.
If you are having a lot of digestion problems then a Comprehensive Digestive stool analyses can diagnose the underlying cause like 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 to a comprehensive test can enable you to identify and teat underlying health issues that affect your performance so you can: