T Nation

Blood Work


#1

Gentleman, I'm planning on getting blood work done for the first time this week. I would like to confirm what I've learned needs to be tested (via searching the steroid and t-replacement sections). On privatemdlabs they are listed as the following:

Testosterone, Free (Direct), Serum With Total Testosterone
Estradiol
Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
Prolactin

I do not feel like I'm having any issues, but would like to see where I am at. Results will follow.


#2

Kudos to you on the decision to get bloodwork. I strongly believe bloodwork is the most important tool any "assistance" using individual has to help determine what works best for them.

Of the items you've listed, I would add PSA, just as a health marker. Sometimes SHBG accompanies my results (I don't ask for it specifically...comes as a freebe I suppose). Also I believe measuring LH and FSH is VERY difficult to make heads or tails on. This is because these hormones are so pulsatile and difficult to establish any "trend", etc, with one reading. Best way would be to take enough samples over a specified amount of time to actually graph or plot the levels....obviously tough to do.


#3

Many thanks for your response. I came across similar information in regards to FSH/LH in KSman's blood work sticky. As I would not plan on getting it regularly checked, I presume it would make sense to drop it and put that money towards the PSA test.

Also, I apologize for forgetting to mention this, I am currently taking dutasteride to fight against MPB (I first started out using it when "on" and have decided to remain on it). I imagine this would skew my results...

EDIT I am 24 years old.


#4

Hi Vette6, I agree blood work is very important. What panel had the tests you listed above? The closest I see to what you recommend was under Female and Male Hormone Testing. But I don't see either Female or Male having the Prolactin test.


#5

IIRC, FSH is more steady than LH and is a better indicator...but both are very important (I would argue much more so than PSA)...I'm assuming OP is taking this bloodwork after a cycle and wants to make sure he has recovered...LH is priority #2 (after Total T) to determine...It is the most likely to still be inhibited by AAS

OP, I think your plan looks good...depending on the compounds you used, prolactin may not be necessary...

SHBG is not necessary if you have Free T.

DHT would be good, but is probably not necessary if you are not experiencing libido issues.

You should add a CMP and Hematology report to test kidney and liver function. Be sure to hydrate properly or these values can be skewed.

I'm not sure how the dutaesteride would affect your other bloodwork, but it would certainly lower DHT so keep that in mind if you go that route.


#6

I meant to add, with regards to pulsatile nature of LH, that if you are taking it at around 8 am (between 8-10 really) it will give you a pretty good indicator...even though its pulsatile, you shouldn't be below range at that time--if you are, it would indicate that you haven't recovered.


#7

Shows that even veterans who have been doing bloodwork for awhile have new things to learn all the time. Thanks VTballa...seriously, though, I never could make any sense of my LH levels. They have always been all over the map and I always measured them in the mornings along with my other hormone levels. But my natural testosterone and other hormone indicators always returned to normal values (for me ) in spite of the LH readings. Thus my recommendations written above.

PSA is important in my opinion, from a health standpoint. I DO think it is a good idea to get its measurement, especially when one artificially raises ones androgenic levels.

I get SHBG as a freebee....but I agree it might be extraneous to get its measurement, especially if it is extra cost.


#8

I think it can be different for different people. There are times when my LH measured in the mornings (always) were below the accepted "range" but my testosterone levels were A-OK.

Sometimes bloodwork can be quite confusing...the results don't make alot of sense one reading, but then make perfect sense the next several readings.


#9

That's interesting you were below range LH with normal T levels...is it possible you still had exogenous T in your system at the time?

It looks like we both have something to learn from the other.


#10

Take it for what it's worth. Elevated PSA isn't a particularly strong indicator of the risk of prostate cancer, and at the other end of the spectrum, there are false negatives. Nothing wrong with getting it measured so long as it's recognized as a relatively weak tool that needs to be used as part of a comprehensive examination.


#11

Could be; I like your thinking. But improbable I think, as the particular instance I'm mentioning was for a blood draw 6 months after the cessation of the cycle. For strange results like these (I have gotten a few of them over the years, but they are anomalies when compared with the sheer volume of bloodwork that I had done over the years), I take them as simply bad tests.

Or...if I'm allowed to speculate (which I always do), it is my understanding that a LH pulse will result in a T level increase after some delay. In other words, there is not an instantaneous increase in T plasma levels after the LH pulse. The "normal" range LH blood level probably is a average of men's LH decay from a normal peak pulse happening earlier in the morning (middle of the night). The amount of LH level decay is dependent upon lots of things, and might be different from individual to individual. So, perhaps on that day, my hormone level peaked earlier before the blood test, and even though my T level was A-OK, it could have been higher on that day and the blood test was measuring an already decaying T level. Just my hypothesis. Fun to think about.


#12

Yes, there have been recent reports disclaiming PSA and reporting on false positives (and negatives). I totally agree that a "compreshensive" evaluation is needed, and not just PSA. In my case, I consult with alot of doctors who are my friends, and who had counseled me about getting PSA done. So....I was (am) pretty much a sheep being herded! : )


#13

Nice, sounds like you've got things well covered. And I wasn't trying to be pedantic, but since you called out LH testing I had to mention concerns wrt PSA. Cheers.


#14

I agree that PSA is a good marker to have once a year, especially if you are already at risk (since OP is on dutaesteride he probably falls into this category)...


#15

EDIT: see t-replacement thread