As I’ve mentioned many times on my blog, hormones control your body-composition and impact how much reward you reap from your training efforts.
Therefore, I highly recommend that you get a hormonal panel done while waiting for the training program if possible.
Keep in mind that while these tests aren’t necessary to get results on my program, they are recommended.
Essential hormone tests:
* Free testosterone
* Total testosterone
These are the most important tests to do if you’re on a tight budget.
They will give us a comprehensive overview of your free testosterone levels.
Checking total testosterone levels only will not help since only 1-3% of testosterone is free.
This means there’s up to a 3X difference in your free testosterone depending on how big a % is free.
By doing these tests, we can see how much of your testosterone is free and how much is bound up to SHBG and how much is converted into Estradiol (the main estrogen). Then act accordingly to those test results.
Test conditions: Do all tests before 9 AM on an empty stomach. You cannot workout or drink alcohol for 48 hours prior to the tests. Your sleep should be good for at least 3 days leading up to the test and you should follow a Caloric maintenance or Caloric surplus diet for 3 days leading up to the test. A Calorie deficit, sleep disruptions, hard training and alcohol intake all disrupt testosterone levels temporarily.
After you get the results, please send them to me through email.
In the case you want to go all out and check all your health markers, then here are all the ones I recommend to do:
* Vitamin D3
* Free T3
* Free T4
* Lipid panel
* Omega-3 fatty acids
* Kidney function
* Liver function
* Complete blood count
* C REACTIVE PROTEIN
* 24 hour iodine urine test
* Heavy metals panel
The same test conditions apply and also send these to me through email.
It’s a good idea to do all these tests at least once just to see where you’re at.
Then do most of them once every 1-2 years going forward as part of your yearly health check up.
Where to do the tests:
If you live in the US, anti aging and private clinics will offer almost all these tests.
Otherwise, you usually have to go to a hospital and order these tests (either through health insurance, public hospitals that are free or out of pocket).
Alternatively, there are websites online such as letsgetchecked.com everlywell.com and healthlabs.com which can do most of these tests at reasonable rates.
All of these options are good but going the private clinic or online route are usually MUCH faster and hassle free.
In my experience, going through public hospitals or insurance to get these tests done is possible, however it depends on whether your doctor deems these tests as necessary and often you’ll have to be referred to an endocrinologist and wait for months.
If you decide to go this route due to budget restraints, then make sure to exaggerate your symptoms a bit. In most cases, they will NOT perform any kind of hormonal tests unless you are at such a severe stage where you are completely unable to get an erection. In my experience, even having major depression and low sex drive won’t be enough (in that case, the doctor will simply tell you that it’s all because of depression instead of looking for the actual root cause of the depression).
They would however perform basic tests like electrolytes, cholesterol and kidney and liver function.
So instead of just saying you have a low sex drive or depression and want to get your hormones checked, say that you haven’t been able to get an erection for a few months and want to rule out low testosterone levels. Another good way to convince them is if you have gynecomastia since that is directly a result of hormonal imbalances. Do not mention anything like depression or not being able to gain muscle mass, since these will get you dismissed immediately from getting hormones checked.
Next up: If the general doctor doesn’t allow you to check these hormones despite your best efforts, then you have 2 options: 1) Ask for a referral to an endocrinologist (preferably a woman in her 30s), 2) Change your general doctor.
The reason to why I recommend female endocrine doctors in their 30s is simple: All of the most knowledgeable endocrinologists I worked with were females in their 30s. They stay up to date on the newest science and listen carefully to your concerns. Older, male doctors in 99% of cases do not listen to your concerns and their decision will be set in stone no matter what you say.