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Blood work
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geardepot
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Blood work - 08-20-2019, 02:30 PM

I have addressed blood work before, but I can't stress enough of it's importance if you use anabolic steroids. One thing is for certain...BLOOD WORK DOESN'T LIE!
If you are going to use anabolic steroids, or any type of performance enhancing compounds, it is important to run blood work at least 3-4 times per year. It's like getting your pool water checked to make sure there is the right amount of chemicals for it to stay clear and problem free, or checking the air pressure in your car's tires.
What's more, it would be a good idea to get blood work before your cycle, so you can know where your baseline is, and flag any problems ahead of time. For example, you might have elevated liver values, and if you know about them it will be easier to prevent even bigger issues when running a harsh oral steroid. Or you may have high estrogen going into a cycle, so you may avoid using aromatizing compounds.
Have you ever wondered how various anabolic compounds effect blood work? When you use anabolic steroids, the pituitary glands react to the exogenous hormones by going dormant. As a result, your LH and FSH will quickly drop to near 0, and your body will no longer produce testosterone on its own. It is true that certain steroids will suppress you faster and harder than others, but what is also true, is that all anabolic steroids are suppressive and will 'shut you down,' with proviron being the only exception due to its unique properties. Therefore, depending on what compounds you use (testosterone, dbol, deca), your estrogen may rise significantly, while other compounds (such DHT derivatives as masteron, proviron, winstrol) will actually inhibit estrogen. A compound like trenbolone can quickly strain many of your lipids, and EQ (equipoise) is known to cause RBC rise, making blood donations imperative. Furthermore, trenbolone can also give false positives for estrogen with some blood work labs, so be aware of this.
The most important aspect of blood work, and anabolic steroid use, is understanding how the HPTA (hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis) works. A properly functioning HPTA features pituitary glands that are producing LH (luteinizing hormone), and it signals the leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone, which later converts into estrogen. In natural conditions, this cycle continuously repeats itself. However, when you use anabolic steroids, SERM's, or other drugs, your HPTA functions will be altered, and it will be reflected in blood work.
Unfortunately, many people fail to understand this, and make the mistake of paying attention only to what their total testosterone shows. Nonetheless, if there is a number that should be paid most attention to, it is LH, not testosterone levels.
Here are some of numbers you will need to understand when you have your blood work done:

LH - 3-8mIU/ml. This is luteinizing hormone, and it is produced by the gonadotropic cells in the pituitary glands. It's main function is signaling the body to produce testosterone, and it is the most important number to know if your HPTA is functioning well. A low level of LH when you are off cycle means your HPTA is not functioning well, and it is not producing enough testosterone. Nevertheless, there is no need to panic, as this is the recovery phase, and you should just wait until your LH has fully recovered before starting your next cycle. Obviously, on cycle your LH will drop to near 0, as your pituitary glands go dormant, which is completely is normal.

FSH - 2.5-12mIU/ml. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone, and it is also produced by the gonadotrophs of the pituitary glands. As a matter of fact, FSH works in synergy with LH and regulates pubertal maturation, growth, development, and reproductive processes in the body. Like with LH on cycle, it will drop to near 0, and off cycle a low number is not a good sign. Therefore, once you start abusing steroids you will notice your FSH never returns to its original levels. Even though low levels of FSH can be attributed to getting older, steroid abuse will prevent a healthy number in long term, and it might possibly impact and reduce your chances to have children later in life.

Total testosterone - 350-950ng/dl. Testosterone is a male hormone (androgen) in the blood that affects sexual features and development. Unlike LH and FSH, testosterone is produced by our testes (leydig cells). However, you must keep in mind that this number fluctuates, being the highest in the morning and the lowest in the evening. Naturally, as men age, this number will start dropping. In fact, men who have low testosterone typically have problems with increased fat gains, inability to build muscle, low libido, and other issues. On the flip side, if you abuse steroids and your testosterone is too high for long periods of time, it can strain your heart and cause spikes in estrogen levels, causing estrogenic side effects.

Free testosterone - 32-150pg/ml. This is going to be a ratio of your total testosterone and is considered your actual 'free' testosterone, not bound. Typically, it is not worth the extra money to check, because it will be a % of your total testosterone. In other words, if your total testosterone is in range, then free testosterone will be as well in almost all cases. Moreover, the same goes for the cases when it is high or low.

Estradiol 15-50pg/ml. Testosterone aromatizes into estrogen in the body. It is important to outline that males need estrogen to function, so I disagree with people who say estradiol can be below 15, which is too low. I would like to see levels over 15pg/ml. However, with levels higher than 50pg/ml you can expect water retention, and even puffy nips or sore breasts associated with gynecomastia symptoms. In such case, an aromatase inhibitor (AI) like Aromasin is necessary to keep this number in check, but you shouldn't abuse it either and drop your estrogen too low – it is essential to maintain a balance.

When you get blood work done, you will see a bunch of things that were tested, and for the most part they should not be impacted by anabolic steroid use. Without a doubt, anything out of range should be investigated, but there are some values that are going to be off. Red blood cell count, Glucose, Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), Cholesterol, and Creatinine.
So remember...get your blood tested at regular intervals and know the numbers. This way you can maximize the anabolics without overkill on your body!
GD


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somedeafguy
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08-20-2019, 08:10 PM

I find your advice very valuable and through.
   
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Viking
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08-25-2019, 11:07 PM

Good post. Blood work is very important. I try to get it in the middle of some blasts so I can see the damage they cause. I now aim for blood work every 4 months if I can.
   
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Ryan1007
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08-30-2019, 06:36 PM

Definitely need to stay on top of it!!
   
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Doc/Quest Diagnostics
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Thermo
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Thumbs up Doc/Quest Diagnostics - 09-01-2019, 03:08 PM

I get a Physical every January with my Primary and he runs everything.
I do supplemental blood draws through Quest when I want to guage Test/IGF1 levels while on Cycle. Ordering this up on-line really has been nice to find. Its just between you and Quest.
   
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