Testosterone: Testosterone has an important role in maintaining bone strength, muscle mass, and energy level. In men, testosterone is responsible for the growth and development of sexual characteristics, facial and body hair, increased sexual drive, and sperm production.
Cortisol: In addition to being called “the stress hormone”, cortisol helps in proper glucose metabolism, converting sugars into energy. High cortisol levels in men have been associated with hyperglycemia, weight gain, compromised immune function, and high blood pressure. Cortisol imbalance is known to result in conditions like irritability, fatigue, depression, foggy thinking, weight gain, and bone loss. Stress-reducing activities including meditation and breathing exercises have been recommended to relieve stress levels and avoid premature aging.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH): In primary hypothyroidism, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are elevated. In primary hyperthyroidism, TSH levels are low. The ability to quantify circulating levels of TSH is important in evaluating thyroid function. It is especially useful in the differential diagnosis of primary (thyroid) from secondary (pituitary) and tertiary (hypothalamus) hypothyroidism. In primary hypothyroidism, TSH levels are significantly elevated, while in secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism, TSH levels are low or normal. Elevated or low TSH in the context of normal free thyroxine is often referred to as subclinical hypo - or hyperthyroidism, respectively.
Total cholesterol: Measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
HDL (good) cholesterol: With HDL cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol puts you at higher risk for heart disease. People with high blood triglycerides usually also have lower HDL cholesterol. Genetic factors, type 2 diabetes, smoking, being overweight, and being sedentary can all result in lower HDL Cholesterol.
LDL (bad) cholesterol: A low LDL cholesterol level is considered good for your heart health. However, your LDL number should no longer be the main factor in guiding treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke, according to new guidelines from the American Heart Association. For patients taking statins, the guidelines say they no longer need to get LDL cholesterol levels down to a specific target number. A diet high in saturated and trans fats raises LDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides: Increased plasma triglyceride levels are indicative of a metabolic abnormality and, along with elevated cholesterol, are considered a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease. In the presence of other coronary heart disease risk factors, both borderline-high (150-200 mg/dL) and high values (>200 mg/dL) require attention. Triglyceride concentrations >1,000 mg/dL can lead to abdominal pain and may be life-threatening due to chylomicron-induced pancreatitis.
hs-C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP): Blood measurements of hs-CRP are often performed to assess the risk of future heart disease. C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced by the liver and elevated CRP levels can be measured in blood in response to inflammation. High-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) is more precise that standard CRP while measuring baseline (i.e., normal) concentrations and enables a measure of chronic inflammation. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease ad hs-CRP is known as a biomarker of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c): The glycosylated hemoglobin. HbA1c levels are reflective of mean blood glucose levels for the past eight to twelve weeks and do not reflect daily ups and downs of blood glucose. HbA1c levels are reflective of how well diabetes is controlled. High HbA1c levels indicate poorer control of diabetes than levels in the normal range.
25-OH Vitamin D, Total: Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps in calcium absorption from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been known to cause rickets disease, but several studies have indicated that low vitamin D levels have also been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, asthma in children, and cancer. Adequate levels of vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis. Inflammation is involved in many chronic diseases and there is a concern that vitamin D deficiency has a role in activating the inflammatory processes. Research has shown that vitamin D is needed for optimal immune performance and lowers inflammation.
DHEA: DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands and is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogens. DHEA is also a neurohormone as small quantities are produced in the brain. It has a broad spectrum of benefits including improved energy, mood, memory, increased testosterone levels, enhanced libido, and immune function. In men, low DHEA levels can cause low libido, reduced muscle mass and strength, depression, fatigue, and compromised immune function. In women, DHEA is known to balance other hormones like estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone. Low DHEA levels can cause weight gain, depression, fatigue, and low libido.