Lab tests are a window into the workings of our physiology.
They tell us so many things about the function of our organs and metabolism.
The numbers that we can interpret as 'normal' are based on many thousands of patients past lab values.
But did you know that abnormal lab values can appear quite commonly in athletes after heavy exercise sessions?
While abnormal lab values can at first seem scary, a bit of careful history can help you (and your doctor!) figure out exactly what's going on, before you become alarmed.
Most often, heavy training can lead to abnormal findings especially in the area of liver and kidney function test results. While these labs are generally specific to those organs, the compounds measured in the blood stream for these organs can come from other areas of the body, such as the muscles and bone.
Because of this, we always advise athletes to avoid heavy training for several days before getting any bloodwork done. (If you're healthy and training hard, getting these abnormals doesn't mean you're damaging your body!)
So, knowing your history is important! And, if you do show up with these abnormals, the best course of action is to retest after you've had a bit of break from training. Always work with your doctor, and let them know you training history before they run any lab tests (and interpret them the wrong way!)
And, sometimes liver support can come in handy. The liver is our body's main organ of detoxification and if you're training a lot, have high stress, consume alcohol, prescription medications or don't eat the best then supporting liver function is a good way to help your body deal with the stresses it has to deal with.
Our top liver support supplements include:
Liver C Formula is a comprehensive liver health supplement, combining the most researched natural medicines known to boost liver function.
Lipotropic Complex supports healthy detoxification reactions in the liver.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a liver-specific nutrient that helps recycle our main liver antioxidant, glutathione, which can become depleted after taking over the counter medications or drinking alcohol.
Consider incoporating our Liver Support Bundle if you train hard, have high stress and don't eat a perfect diet!
Here's a video in which Dr. Barker presents a clinical case of a male triathlete that had some abnormal findings on his routine bloodwork.
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