BLOOD WORK FOR STEROID USERS
What’s the most overlooked thing when it comes to steroid users? Its blood work. And blood work for steroid users can mean the difference between life and death, literally.
In this article we will look at what steroid users really need to pay attention to when using steroids, and what to look for when asking for a blood panel from your lab or doctor.
The Blood Work For Steroid Users, and what you should be asking for.
The CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)
CMP is a overall blood panel looking at:
- Liver Function
- Kidney Function
BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
- Blood Sugar or Blood Glucose
- Blood Proteins
- Cholesterol Carriers
- PSA (prostate specific antigen)
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
RBC (Red Blood Cells
WBC (White Blood Cells)
- TFT (Thyroid Function Test)
- Vitamin D3
- Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B-12)
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP): Measures Inflammation
- Hemoglobin A1c (Measures average blood sugars over a 3 month period)
Blood Work For Steroid Users – Each Panel, And Why
The liver function is measured in different enzyme levels. This is basically to see if you enzyme levels are elevated. If they are, this means your liver is releasing this enzyme into the blood stream.
What can be confusing is that when someone who works out vigorously for a week then gives blood the athlete’s enzyme levels may appear to be high giving the blood work reading a false positive for high enzyme levels. When an athlete works out vigorously the liver enzyme are actually metabolic enzymes, they are enzymes that create energy in the cell. Metabolic enzymes break down carbs and fats and produce ATP
The blood work then may appear to be high, not because your liver is broken down, but because your muscle is broken down. Thus, the blood work is not always an accurate assessment. Remember the more muscle you carry the higher the enzymes will go so they can break down more tissue.
For a more accurate reading take 2 weeks off weight training and try the blood work again.
Remember if you are carrying a very large amount of muscle these numbers may still be high.
Obviously if you are taking oral anabolics you should tell your doctor or be aware that you will want to get another panel after your cycle.
The two main test numbers come from BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) & Creatinine
BUN will go up and down with dehydration, or how much protein you’re eating,
The best measure of kidney function comes from creatinine levels. Creatinine is the waste product that your body produces from protein breakdown. When your kidneys are not filtering properly that level (Creatinine level) will go up.
Generally people with kidney issues will have high creatinine.
Bodybuilders will a range of 1.4 can still be normal, but above that you are entering more dangerous territory. You will want to add a detox program to detoxify your kidneys.
These numbers are very important as kidneys DO NOT regenerate like the liver can. Don’t overlook these numbers!
Blood Sugar or Blood Glucose
These fasted test numbers should be under 90. Very simple. If they are higher your doctor should be able to give you direction on a program or a retest.
BLOOD WORK FOR STEROID USERS CONT…
Electrolytes are basically sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. These tests can vary and should be discussed with your doctor and what and how to go about fixing any issues with a proper diet or supplementation.
Cholesterol is generally measured by your HDL and LDL numbers.
HDL is your good cholesterol carrier and pick up the rogue cholesterol that is hanging out in your body and brings it back to the liver to destroy it. You want your HDL to be on the high side.
Usually when you’re on anabolic steroids your HDL becomes suppressed.
Not too much can be done to raise you HDL levels when on anabolic steroids. You’ll want to keep an eye on your LDL numbers to equalize your HDL and LDL numbers.
LDL is your bad cholesterol and can cause serious issues if you HDL is low and you LDL is high.
What can you do to lower LDL numbers?
A good fiber supplement is a good start to lower your LDL. Fiber lowers your LDL cholesterol and should be a part of your daily regime.
A good fatty acid supplement.
Macadamia nut oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Avocado oil HDL to LDL ratio status is a better choice to view over total cholesterol because total will measure your HDL and LDL together. If we want HDL high and LDL to be low, adding them together will not give you a very clear picture.
PSA (prostate specific antigen)
PSA (prostate specific antigen) if this number is high it could mean you have an enflamed prostate, it could mean you have prostate cancer, it could mean nothing at all. Have it looked at and if the numbers are high, have it evaluated further by your doctor.
CBC (Complete Blood Count)
This will measure your red blood cells and white blood cell count.
The red blood cell count in steroid users is usually elevated. Anabolic steroids tell the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. This can be good and bad. Good in the sense that it produces more oxygen carrying standpoint, but not good because a high level of red blood can cause blood thickening.
Vitamin E and fish oils keep blood thickening at bay so keep these two things in you diet.
What you will be looking for is the hymaglobin / hermadacrite count.
Your numbers may be off due to a vitamin deficiency so ask your doctor about the numbers and if your numbers are very high, consider blood donation, and make sure to tell the blood center that you are a testosterone or TT user.
TFT (Thyroid Function Test)
The test provides numbers for TSH, T4 (Thyroxine), T3 (Triiodothyronine), and Reverse T3.
T3 is the most important and will give the most information. If Free T3 is normal, the other readings should be normal as well. If your TSH is very high, your body is trying to tell your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid and it won’t, you will see low T3 and T4 numbers.
Reverse T3 is a form of T3 that is inactivated. Have all 4 tested so you can get an overall view of your thyroid.
Some people have low total testosterone and high free testosterone. The reason being is that there is very little total test and the body is getting rid of it. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a good muscle building state.
So it’s important to have high total and high free testosterone. Anabolic steroid users will usually have high total and high free.
This is important for men to have this checked especially if you use anabolic steroids. We want to make sure that we are not converting too much testosterone into estrogen. With estrogen, too high or too low is an issue. So making sure your estrogen is in the normal range is very important.
DHT is another hormone that your body can convert testosterone into. It can convert it into estrogen or DHT. In grown adults DHT can cause hair loss, acne, and prostate enlargement.
So we want normal levels of DHT. To low we will not grow properly or lose our sex drive, if we have to high we will have side effects.
The hormone prolactin is usually not high. If it becomes high it can cause gynecomastia and lactating from the nipples in men. Prolactin will also inhibit sex drive, so test prolactin levels to make sure you are in the proper range.
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that is produced from your adrenal glands in response to stress.
It raises blood sugar, it can also suppress the immune system if it’s in excessive amounts. This could be the cause of losing muscle or excessive fat gain. Things like stress, or to many stimulants can cause high cortisol levels in the body.
Vitamin D3 is very important for so many things in the body it’s very important to look at these numbers. The lowest D3 number you should see when getting this test done is 50. Keep in mind you may need a supplement to get this number to be 50 or higher.
Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B-12)
The reason you want this tested is that it’s very hard to absorb B12 in the body. B12 can be stored in the body for 6 months however most will not absorb this vitamin so those individuals should consider a B12 supplement.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP): Measures Inflammation
CRP measures total body inflammation. The reason we want to look at this is because excessive inflammation is linked to things like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and any other inflammatory diseases in our body.
Measuring CRP will tell you very quickly in you have high inflammation in your body.
Hemoglobin A1c (Measures average blood sugars over a 3 month period)
Hemoglobin A1c will measure your blood sugars over a 3 month period. The reason they test over 3 months is because the red blood cell only last 120 days in the body. If blood sugars are high over the course of 120 days the glucose molecule (sugar) will bind to the hemoglobin of the red blood cell. So if the numbers are high it means you are binding more glucose because you have higher blood sugars throughout the day.
Your optimal numbers will be under 5.4. If you are over that number you do not have proper blood sugar control. You can buy a glucose monitor to keep an eye on your blood sugar.
There you have it. Bring this list in to your doctor or blood testing center and ask for these panels for your next blood test and see how you’re looking. As always consult your doctor with any questions or concerns. It’s important to be able to speak openly with your doctor especially when using use PEDs. If you have any questions regarding this post on blood work for steroid users, please contact us through the contact us page.