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  1. #1
    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    What would you do

    Eh everyone! Your Canadian friend (me) needs some advice...

    I recently finished a cycle of test cyp @ 500mg weekly for 9.5weeks and finished with test prop @ 125mg eod for 3 weeks. Pct was standard nolv/clomid and adex throughout cycle for AI. I used hcg @ 250iu twice a week as well.

    Stats before cycle was 5'7" 156lbs 15% or less 25 years old second cycle.

    First cycle was sust @ 500 nolva only pct. I know I'm an idiot and thank heavens I found this forum to help straighten me out.

    Stats after second cycle. 166lbs. Now I know it looks ok... 10lbs. But I eat like an animal. I eat 3500 Cals on days off and I eat 4250 on workout days with my post workout shake and pre workout drink. The calories change a bit but I stay around there. Maybe up, never down...

    I should be growing this much just from eating and other than a very very slight atrophy in the beginning of the cycle, I didn't notice the symptoms of high test. No oily skin, no puffy face, tiny libido increase but not like first cycle, no acne, not much at all. During pct I lost 1lb which was probably water from not drinking a gallon a day anymore. Now I'm gaining a little bit somehow after the cycle is done and gone....

    I want to cycle again, because I have my diet very tuned in. I am super focused and so far from my goal of 185 by summer. Should I wait the 16 weeks before I start again or should I plan a new cycle and give it a shot with obviously different gear?

    12 week Test e 500mg and dbol 40mg for 4 weeks? With hcg and AI and pct obviously...

    What would you do?
    Last edited by >Good Luck<; 11-14-2012 at 04:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Good Luck< View Post
    12 week Test e 500mg and dbol 40mg for 4 weeks? With hcg and AI and pct obviously...

    What would you do?
    your cycle sounds good. but definitely wait the proper time-off before you jump on again.

  3. #3
    Lunk1's Avatar
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    Time off is a rule of thumb and works well...BW will tell the true tale.

  4. #4
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    It all depends on your goals and how you measure the risk to reward.

  5. #5
    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by asiandude View Post
    your cycle sounds good. but definitely wait the proper time-off before you jump on again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lunk1 View Post
    Time off is a rule of thumb and works well...BW will tell the true tale.
    Agreed.

    Time On + PCT = Time Off. No exceptions, regardless of goals.

  6. #6
    Metalject's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox View Post
    Agreed.

    Time On + PCT = Time Off. No exceptions, regardless of goals.
    There are absolutely exceptions. Does that mean they're just as safe? No, of course not but there are always exceptions. You think most competitors follow time on = time off? Some do, sure but not the ones who do well.

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    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalject View Post
    There are absolutely exceptions. Does that mean they're just as safe? No, of course not but there are always exceptions. You think most competitors follow time on = time off? Some do, sure but not the ones who do well.
    Sure there are other ways of doing things. But, we like to promote the safest route possible here. Health is our number one concern. Know what i mean vern?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox View Post
    Sure there are other ways of doing things. But, we like to promote the safest route possible here. Health is our number one concern. Know what i mean vern?
    I understand what you're saying and that's fine but I tend to look at things with a real life approach. Simply meaning what's really going on out there. Here's a good article, it has a few years on it and it's pretty basic but still pretty good IMO on this topic:

    -The Truth:
    http://www.probodybuilding.com/artic.../the-truth.php

    When it comes to performance enhancing drugs there are many questions that you have, especially when you first start out. The most common question for someone who is ready to take the plunge is, “how do I use these things to get big and the safest way possible?” Everyone has questions, some are good and some are downright idiotic, but the concerns are there either way.

    When it comes to getting big, using performance enhancing drugs and reaching that “next level” there is more misinformation out there than not because the topic of performance enhancing drugs is such a taboo one; most end up turning to internet message boards. Internet message boards can be good places to get some basic information; of course this depends on the board in question. However, you should always remember most of these people, even though their heart is in the right place, really don’t have an understanding of what’s going on. How can they? It’s not a subject that has a lot of viable info for us to pull from. In turn, all who are ready to use performance enhancing drugs or are using performance enhancing drugs are subject to simply doing the best they can with what they have. But this doesn’t mean there are not some basic elements of truth out there on the topic, and it’s because of this that there are some prevailing elements that have bothered me for quite some time.

    I’ve begun to notice that guys will come to message boards in the beginning asking the basic questions we all ask and as time goes by their questions begin to evolve. As they evolve themselves into more sound bodybuilders and more educated individuals when it comes to the topic of performance enhancing drugs, there is one key flaw that seems to prevail.

    Most are interested in doing things as properly as they can, with sound judgment therefore minimizing risk to the full extent plausible. Hey, there is nothing wrong with this and for the most part this sound judgment should be applauded. However, in the end, most people come back over and over again wondering how they can do things better? How can they reach the level of muscular development that they truly desire? At this stage, the person has more than likely gotten to the point where they more than likely do not follow the same protocol when it comes to this topic that they did in the beginning. As they evolve into better bodybuilders, they inevitably evolve into more of a risk taker when it comes to performance enhancing drugs.

    It is at this point many end up falling away from drug use themselves. They begin to realize that no matter what they do they will never look like the guys they see on the covers of a magazine; that is unless their evolvement goes to a state way beyond what they have accepted so far. Then we’re left with just a few, a very small minority. These individuals continue to grow as bodybuilders: they do not lose most of their size after coming off a cycle. In fact, they get bigger and better each and every time. Why is this, what’s the secret, what’s the magic formula that most guys are missing? Is it genetics, is that all it is? We all know genetics play such a huge and important role in this game. Even with “good” genetics, most will never reach the magazine look. Yet there are those who even with sub-par genetics continue to flourish each and every year, and it is this fact that drives the majority of bodybuilders absolutely nuts! So what’s the ticket you ask, please, please let me know this secret you cry. It’s actually quite simple and can be summed up with one word…RISK. The guy who falls into this small minority does not follow the guided judgment of most performance enhancing drug users. He does not follow such things as “time on equals time off,” he does not follow the basic safety procedures that many are accustomed to. His cycles are thoroughly planned out, but at a moment’s notice it will change if he notices even a slight stalemate in growth and production.

    He has forgone the “play it safe” motto, and in the end he may very well pay for his decisions; then again he may not; time will tell. He understands this reality and accepts the risk and responsibility himself; even so, he’s still bigger and better than you. That’s the truth. That’s the difference between him and you. Is this a fact set in stone? No, there are always exceptions, but in general you can bet your supply of test that it’s dead on the money. This doesn’t mean you should say to yourself, “Well crap, I guess I’m SOL;” far from it. Playing it safe, is just that, playing it safe, and we all take certain risks in life to reach and achieve what we desire. A businessman may put all he has into a future endeavor; in the end he may fall flat on his face, bankrupt and homeless. When it comes to this element of truth there is one last thing, and for heaven sake hear this. Do not say to yourself, “hey, I’m willing to risk it.” Just because you’re willing does not make it a good idea. Calculate your risk; determine what’s important and go from there. All I’ve done is explained the truth…nothing more. I once heard a man say "You have to go out on the limb to reach the fruit” this is dead on, but remember, if you reach out for that fruit you may end up falling out the tree.

    Now that we’ve discussed what it takes to truly be a monster in terms of drug protocol, not to the point of extreme dissecting, just an understanding of what it takes. Let’s talk about the drugs themselves. Not what to use or not to use or how much to use, but rather where you get them. First and foremost, Under Ground Labs are a waste and you will never reach your full potential or get anywhere near freak size by using them. Let me explain some things. I see guys all the time, guys that have been using and cycling AAS for several years. But most of these guys never really make the kinds of gains they should be making by using performance enhancing drugs. Just to clarify, I'm talking about guys who actually train and eat right, not the gym rat that we all label the "idiot" of the gym; every gym has them. These guys I speak of, when they did their first cycle they made some pretty good gains using UGL gear. Like most UGL gear, it was more than likely under-dosed significantly, or not what it said it was...it's not uncommon for UGL's to sell a huge list of items, but in reality every item in the vile is just under-dosed test; at least we hope it's at least test and not vegetable oil or some bacteria infested oil. Even so, these guys made decent gains because even with the slightest bit of anabolics entering the body, anyone will grow your first time; it doesn't take much. But then the growth almost stops all together. They get on a new cycle, and they continually add more and more MG's per week to the cycles; each cycle is bigger than the last because they are so desperate to make gains. They do end up gaining a little, because even though they are good and smart guys when it comes to training and nutrition, they still inevitably push it a little harder when "on." But the gains are minimal, and could have been reached without the new cycle. Their pocket books would be thicker and the gains would have been the same if they had simply stayed natural. They will inevitably get frustrated and make claims such as maybe their receptors are simply fried from all the years of use. Or maybe it's just that they don't have great genetics. Sorry guys, this is a lie if you believe it; it simply does not work that way; not to this extent. What’s the root of the problem? Simple, most are not using good gear; that's it. When you use good gear, you should grow a good deal, and this should happen every single time you cycle. True, you may never grow like you did the first time you cycle, but you shouldn't be making minimal gains either.

    I'm not going to stand up here on my soapbox and make a bunch of hypocritical statements. I've used my share of UGL gear; I've used some junk. I've been suckered in by "low prices." After all, who likes spending more money than they have to? But ask yourself this, would you rather pay a little more for 100% good gear, or would you rather save a few bucks for gear that is, well, who knows what it is? Granted, there are a few decent UGL's out there; not many though and most of the decent domestic UGL's are long gone. The point of all this, use human grade gear; use human grade gear and watch yourself grow. Use UGL gear and remain the same size you are now. It's your call.

    Final thoughts; none of what was said in this article was to try to persuade you to use performance enhancing drugs, or to get you to use performance enhancing drugs in the first place. This article was written to hopefully open some eyes and lay out a little bit of truth on the topic.

  9. #9
    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Ive read that article before. And you can put up all the links you please. But it doesn't negate the fact that this boards first and foremost goal is to promote the safe use of AAS when discussing this topic.

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    Wow! Nice article!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox View Post
    Ive read that article before. And you can put up all the links you please. But it doesn't negate the fact that this boards first and foremost goal is to promote the safe use of AAS when discussing this topic.
    That's fine but I think it's important to remember the point of any board is to have a place to let people share opinions, experiences and ideas....not to have a a thousand people who basically regurgitate the same thing said by the last guy over and over again.

    In that light, I actually believe you can supplement without causing severe damage to you outside what many here would deem standard protocols.

  12. #12
    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Yes i understood you the first time you wrote your comment. And you agreed that there are other avenues, yet not as safe.

    I also agree that differing opinions are healthy and encouraged. But now youre just spinning your wheels.

    I get it. But i simply don't agree.

    Im out.

  13. #13
    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    Wow. I appreciate the passion of some of these responses, but I didnt quite expect this topic to go haywire like this.


    KNOX- i value your advice and respect what you have said. Thanks for being the voice of reason.

    Metal- I get what your saying and that's what I was feeling. I guess what the other guys are saying is ultimately I can do whatever I want, but I'm stuck with whatever consequences I am faced with. Other people round here don't quite care about long term health and that's fine. I also respect what you've said.

    Thanks in all for the responses brothers!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Good Luck< View Post
    Wow. I appreciate the passion of some of these responses, but I didnt quite expect this topic to go haywire like this.


    KNOX- i value your advice and respect what you have said. Thanks for being the voice of reason.

    Metal- I get what your saying and that's what I was feeling. I guess what the other guys are saying is ultimately I can do whatever I want, but I'm stuck with whatever consequences I am faced with. Other people round here don't quite care about long term health and that's fine. I also respect what you've said.

    Thanks in all for the responses brothers!
    The BEST answer is the one ignored BLOOD WORK! You might be ready sooner, you might be ready later. BW is the only true waqy of knowing where you stand!

  15. #15
    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunk1

    The BEST answer is the one ignored BLOOD WORK! You might be ready sooner, you might be ready later. BW is the only true waqy of knowing where you stand!
    You're right lunk! I'll have to find a back alley way of getting the panel done without alerting my doctor. Canadian healthcare make it hard at times. Any suggestions?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Good Luck< View Post
    You're right lunk! I'll have to find a back alley way of getting the panel done without alerting my doctor. Canadian healthcare make it hard at times. Any suggestions?
    There are private companies that do blood work off books....

    http://forums.steroid.com/forumdispl...TEROID-CLEANSE!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunk1

    There are private companies that do blood work off books....

    http://forums.steroid.com/forumdispl...TEROID-CLEANSE!
    Any of them accept blue cross blue shield??? Lol

  18. #18
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    Plenty of online labs. fast/discrete

  19. #19
    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fit2bOld
    Plenty of online labs. fast/discrete
    Can you pm me one from Canada? I only find ones in America

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    I found one. And it gives me option on tests.

    The one I see is men's basic test. Thyroid, test, psa, lipid. Anything I'm missing from this?

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    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goode80
    I found one. And it gives me option on tests.

    The one I see is men's basic test. Thyroid, test, psa, lipid. Anything I'm missing from this?
    Don't I need total and serum or whatever it is called?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by >Good Luck< View Post

    Don't I need total and serum or whatever it is called?
    Lol I'm in the same boat. First time I'm doing on my own. So I couldn't answer that. My post was more of a question. Maybe I should edit that. Sorry man

  23. #23
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    A Comprehensive Look at Lab Tests
    by C, Colston


    The values I'll be listing are merely averages and the ranges may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. Also, if there's only one range given, it applies to both men and women.


    Lipid Panel

    This is used to determine possible risk for coronary and vascular disease. In other words, heart disease.


    HDL/LDL and Total Cholesterol

    These lipoproteins should look rather familiar to most of you. HDL is simply the "good" lipoprotein that acts as a scavenger molecule and prevents a buildup of material. LDL is the "bad" lipoprotein which collects in arterial walls and causes blockage or a reduction in blood flow. The total cholesterol to HDL ratio is also important. I went in to detail about this particular subject — as well as how to improve your lipid profile — in my article "Bad Blood".

    Nevertheless, a quick remonder: your HDL should be 35 or higher; LDL below 130; and total to HDL ratio should be below 3.5. Oh and don't forget VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) which can be extremely worrisome. You should have less than 30 mg/dl in order to not be considered at risk for heart disease.

    On a side note, I'm sure some of you are wishing that you had abnormally low plasma cholesterol levels (as if it's something to brag about), but the fact is that having extremely low cholesterol levels is actually indicative of severe liver disease.


    Triglycerides


    Triglycerides are simply a form of fat that exists in the bloodstream. They're transported by two other culprits, VLDL and LDL. A high level of triglycerides is also a risk factor for heart disease as well. Triglycerides levels can be increased if food or alcohol is consumed 12 to 24 hours prior to the blood draw and this is the reason why you're asked to fast for 12-14 hours from food and abstain from alcohol for 24 hours. Here are the normal ranges for healthy humans.

    16-19 yr. old male
    40-163 mg/dl

    Adult Male
    40-160 mg/dl

    16-19 yr. old female
    40-128 mg/dl

    Adult Female
    35-135 mg/dl


    Homocysteine

    Unfortunately, this test isn't always ordered by the doctor. It should be. Homocysteine is formed in the metabolism of the dietary amino acid methionine. The problem is that it's a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis. In other words, high levels may cause you to have a heart attack. A good number of lifters should be concerned with this value as homocysteine levels rise with anabolic steroid usage.

    Luckily, taking folic acid (about 400-800 mcg.) as well as taking a good amount of all B vitamins in general will go a long way in terms of preventing a rise in levels of homocysteine.

    Normal ranges:

    Males and Females age 0-30
    4.6-8.1 umol/L

    Males age 30-59
    6.3-11.2 umol/L

    Females age 30-59
    4.5-7.9 umol/L

    >59 years of age
    5.8-11.9 umol/L


    The Hemo Profile

    These are various tests that examine a number of components of your blood and look for any abnormalities that could be indicative of serious diseases that may result in you being an extra in the HBO show, "Six Feet Under."


    WBC Total (White Blood Cell)

    Also referred to as leukocytes, a fluctuation in the number of these types of cells can be an indicator of things like infections and disease states dealing with immunity, cancer, stress, etc.

    Normal ranges:

    4,500-11,000/mm3


    Neutrophils

    This is one type of white blood cell that's in circulation for only a very short time. Essentially their job is phagocytosis, which is the process of killing and digesting bacteria that cause infection. Both severe trauma and bacterial infections, as well as inflammatory or metabolic disorders and even stress, can cause an increase in the number of these cells. Having a low number of neutrophils can be indicative of a viral infection, a bacterial infection, or a rotten diet.

    Normal ranges:

    2,500-8,000 cells per mm3


    RBC (Red Blood Cell)

    These blood cells also called erythrocytes and their primary function is to carry oxygen (via the hemoglobin contained in each RBC) to various tissues as well as giving our blood that cool "red" color. Unlike WBC, RBC survive in peripheral blood circulation for approximately 120 days. A decrease in the number of these cells can result in anemia which could stem from dietary insufficiencies. An increase in number can occur when androgens are used. This is because androgens increase EPO (erythropoietin) production which in turn increases RBC count and thus elevates blood volume. This is essentially why some androgens are better than others at increasing "vascularity." Anyhow, the danger in this could be an increase in blood pressure or a stroke.

    Androgen-using lifters who have high values should consider making modifications to their stack and/or immediately donating some blood.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    4,700,000-6,100,000 cells/uL

    Adult Female
    4,200,000-5,400,000 cells/uL


    Hemoglobin

    Hemoglobin is what serves as a carrier for both oxygen and carbon dioxide transportation. Molecules of this are found within each red blood cell. An increase in hemoglobin can be an indicator of congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, sever burns, or dehydration. Being at high altitudes, or the use of androgens, can cause an increase as well. A decrease in number can be a sign of anemia, lymphoma, kidney disease, sever hemorrhage, cancer, sickle cell anemia, etc.

    Normal ranges:

    Males and females 6-18 years
    10-15.5 g/dl

    Adult Males
    14-18 g/dl

    Adult Females
    12-16 g/dl


    Hematocrit


    The hematocrit is used to measure the percentage of the total blood volume that's made up of red blood cells. An increase in percentage may be indicative of congenital heart disease, dehydration, diarrhea, burns, etc. A decrease in levels may be indicative of anemia, hyperthyroidism, cirrhosis, hemorrhage, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, malnutrition, a sucking knife wound to the chest, etc.

    Normal ranges:

    Male and Females age 6-18 years
    32-44%

    Adult Men
    42-52%

    Adult Women
    37-47%


    MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume)

    This is one of three red blood cell indices used to check for abnormalities. The MCV is the size or volume of the average red blood cell. A decrease in MCV would then indicate that the RBC's are abnormally large (or macrocytic), and this may be an indicator of iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. When an increase is noted, that would indicate abnormally small RBC (macrocytic), and this may be indicative of a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency as well as liver disease.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    80-100 fL

    Adult Female
    79-98 fL

    12-18 year olds
    78-100 fL


    MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin)


    The MCH is the weight of hemoglobin present in the average red blood cell. This is yet another way to assess whether some sort of anemia or deficiency is present.

    Normal ranges:

    12-18 year old
    35-45 pg

    Adult Male
    26-34 pg

    Adult Female
    26-34 pg


    MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration)

    The MCHC is the measurement of the amount of hemoglobin present in the average red blood cell as compared to its size. A decrease in number is an indicator of iron deficiency, thalassemia, lead poisoning, etc. An increase is sometimes seen after androgen use.

    Normal ranges:

    12-18 year old
    31-37 g/dl

    Adult Male
    31-37 g/dl

    Adult Female
    30-36 g/dl


    RDW (Red Cell Distribution Width)


    The RDW is an indicator of the variation in red blood cell size. It's used in order to help classify certain types of anemia, and to see if some of the red blood cells need their suits tailored. An increase in RDW can be indicative of iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia, and diseases like sickle cell anemia.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    11.7-14.2%

    Adult Female
    11.7-14.2%


    Platelets

    Platelets or thrombocytes are essential for your body's ability to form blood clots and thus stop bleeding. They're measured in order to assess the likelihood of certain disorders or diseases. An increase can be indicative of a malignant disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, iron deficiency anemia, etc. A decrease can be indicative of much more, including things like infection, various types of anemia, leukemia, etc.

    On a side note for these ranges, anything above 1 million/mm3 would be considered a critical value and should warrant concern and/or giving second thoughts as to whether you should purchase a lifetime subscription to Muscle Media.

    Normal ranges:

    Child
    150,000-400,000/mm3
    (Most commonly displayed in SI units of 150-400 x 10(9th)/L

    Adult
    150,000-400,000/mm3
    (Most commonly displayed in SI units of 150-400 x 10(9th)/L


    ABS (Differential Count)


    The differential count measures the percentage of each type of leukocyte or white blood cell present in the same specimen. Using this, they can determine whether there's a bacterial or parasitic infection, as well as immune reactions, etc.


    Neutrophils

    As explained previously, severe trauma and bacterial infections, as well as inflammatory disorders, metabolic disorders, and even stress can cause an increase in the number of these cells. Also, on the other side of the spectrum, a low number of these cells can indicate a viral infection, a bacterial infection, or a deficient diet.

    Percentile Range:

    55-70%


    Basophils


    These cells, and in particular, eosinophils, are present in the event of an allergic reaction as well as when a parasite is present. These types of cells don't increase in response to viral or bacterial infections so if an increased count is noted, it can be deduced that either an allergic response has occurred or a parasite has taken up residence in your shorts.

    Percentile Range:

    Basophils
    0.5-1%

    Eosinophils
    1-4%


    Lymphocytes and Monocytes

    Lymphocytes can be divided in to two different types of cells: T cells and B cells. T cells are involved in immune reactions and B cells are involved in antibody production. The main job of lymphocytes in general is to fight off — Bruce Lee style — bacterial and viral infections.

    Monocytes are similar to neutrophils but are produced more rapidly and stay in the system for a longer period of time.

    Percentile Range:

    Lymphocytes
    20-40%

    Monocytes
    2-8%



    Sodium


    This cation (an ion with a positive charge) is mainly found in extra cellular spaces and is responsible for maintaining a balance of water in the body. When sodium in the blood rises, the kidneys will conserve water and when the sodium concentration is low; the kidneys conserve sodium and excrete water. Increased levels can result from excessive dietary intake, Cushing's syndrome, excessive sweating, burns, forgetting to drink for a week, etc. Decreased levels can result from a deficient diet, Addison's disease, diarrhea, vomiting, chronic renal insufficiency, excessive water intake, congestive heart failure, etc. Anabolic steroids will lead to an increased level of sodium as well.

    Normal range:

    Adults
    136-145 mEq/L


    Potassium

    On the other side of the spectrum, you have the most important intracellular cation. Increased levels can be an indicator of excessive dietary intake, acute renal failure, aldosterone-inhibiting diuretics, a crushing injury to tissues, infection, acidosis, dehydration, etc. Decreased levels can be indicative of a deficient dietary intake, burns, diarrhea, vomiting, diuretics, Cushing's syndrome, licorice consumption, insulin use, cystic fibrosis, trauma, surgery, etc.

    Normal range:

    Adults
    3.5-5 mEq/L


    Chloride

    This is the major extra cellular anion (an ion carrying a negative charge). Its purpose it is to maintain electrical neutrality with sodium. It also serves as a buffer in order to maintain the pH balance of the blood. Chloride typically accompanies sodium and thus the causes for change are essentially the same.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    98-106 mEq/L


    Carbon Dioxide


    The CO2 content is used to evaluate the pH of the blood as well as aid in evaluation of electrolyte levels. Increased levels can be indicative of severe diarrhea, starvation, vomiting, emphysema, metabolic alkalosis, etc. Increased levels could also mean that you're a plant. Decreased levels can be indicative of kidney failure, metabolic acidosis, shock, and starvation.

    Normal range:

    Adults
    23-30 mEq/L


    Glucose


    The amount of glucose in the blood after a prolonged period of fasting (12-14 hours) is used to determine whether a person is in a hypoglycemic (low blood glucose) or hyperglycemic (high blood glucose) state. Both can be indicators of serious conditions. Increased levels can be indicative of diabetes mellitus, acute stress, Cushing's syndrome, chronic renal failure, corticosteroid therapy, acr*****ly, etc. Decreased levels could be indicative of hypothyroidism, insulinoma, liver disease, insulin overdose, and starvation.

    Normal range:

    Adult Male
    65-120 mg/dl

    Adult Female
    65-120 mg/dl


    BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)

    This test measures the amount of urea nitrogen that's present in the blood. When protein is metabolized, the end product is urea which is formed in the liver and excreted from the bloodstream via the kidneys. This is why BUN is a good indicator of both liver and kidney function. Increased levels can stem from shock, burns, dehydration, congestive hear failure, myocardial infarction, excessive protein ingestion, excessive protein catabolism, starvation, sepsis, renal disease, renal failure, etc. Causes of a decrease in levels can be liver failure, over hydration, negative nitrogen balance via malnutrition, pregnancy, etc.

    Normal range:

    Adults
    10-20 mg/dl


    Creatine

    Creatine is a byproduct of creatine phosphate, the chemical used in contraction of skeletal muscle. So, the more muscle mass you have, the higher the creatine levels and therefore the higher the levels of creatine. Also, when you ingest large amounts of beef or other meats that have high levels of creatine in them, you can increase creatine levels as well. Since creatine levels are used to measure the functioning of the kidneys, this easily explains why creatine has been accused of causing kidney damage, since it naturally results in an increase in creatine levels.

    However, we need to remember that these tests are only indicators of functioning and thus outside drugs and supplements can influence them and give false results, as creatine may do. This is why creatine, while increasing creatine levels, does not cause renal damage or impair function. Generally speaking, though, increased levels are indicative of urinary tract obstruction, acute tubular necrosis, reduced renal blood flow (stemming from shock, dehydration, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis), as well as acr*****ly. Decreased levels can be indicative of debilitation and decreased muscle mass via disease or some other cause.

    Normal range:

    Adult Male
    0.6-1.2 mg/dl

    Adult Female
    0.5-1.1 mg/dl


    BUN/Creatine Ratio


    A high ratio may be found in states of shock, volume depletion, hypotension, dehydration, gastrointestinal bleeding, and in some cases, a catabolic state. A low ratio can be indicative of a low protein diet, malnutrition, pregnancy, severe liver disease, ketosis, etc. Keep in mind, though, that the term BUN, when used in the same sentence as hamburger or hotdog, usually means something else entirely. An important thing to note again is that with a high protein diet, you'll likely have a higher ratio and this is nothing to worry about.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    6-25


    Calcium

    Calcium is measured in order to assess the function of the parathyroid and calcium metabolism. Increased levels can stem from hyperparathyroidism, metastatic tumor to the bone, prolonged immobilization, lymphoma, hyperthyroidism, acr*****ly, etc. It's also important to note that anabolic steroids can also increase calcium levels. Decreased levels can stem from renal failure, rickets, vitamin D deficiency, malabsorption, pancreatitis, and alkalosis.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    9-10.5 mg/dl


    Liver Function



    Total Protein


    This measures the total level of albumin and globulin in the body. Albumin is synthesized by the liver and as such is used as an indicator of liver function. It functions to transport hormones, enzymes, drugs and other constituents of the blood.

    Globulins are the building blocks of your body's antibodies. Measuring the levels of these two proteins is also an indicator of nutritional status. Increased albumin levels can result from dehydration, while decreased albumin levels can result from malnutrition, pregnancy, liver disease, overhydration, inflammatory diseases, etc. Increased globulin levels can result from inflammatory diseases, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), iron deficiency anemia, as well as infections. Decreased globulin levels can result from hyperthyroidism, liver dysfunction, malnutrition, and immune deficiencies or disorders.

    As another important side note, anabolic steroids, growth hormone , and insulin can all increase protein levels.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    Total Protein: 6.4-8.3 g/dl
    Albumin: 3.5-5 g/dl
    Globulin: 2.3-3.4 g/dl

    Albumin/Globulin Ratio:

    Adult
    0.8-2.0


    Bilirubin


    Bilirubin is one of the many constituents of bile, which is formed in the liver. An increase in levels of bilirubin can be indicative of liver stress or damage/inflammation. Drugs that may increase bilirubin include oral anabolic steroids (17-AA), antibiotics, diuretics, morphine, codeine, contraceptives, etc. Drugs that may decrease levels are barbiturates and caffeine. Non-drug induced increased levels can be indicative of gallstones, extensive liver metastasis, and cholestasis from certain drugs, hepatitis, sepsis, sickle cell anemia, cirrhosis, etc.

    Normal range:

    Total Bilirubin for Adult
    0.3-1.0 mg/dl


    Alkaline Phosphatase

    This enzyme is found in very high concentrations in the liver and for this reason is used as an indicator of liver stress or damage. Increased levels can stem from cirrhosis, liver tumor, pregnancy, healing fracture, normal bones of growing children, and rheumatoid arthritis. Decreased levels can stem from hypothyroidism, malnutrition, pernicious anemia, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) and excess vitamin B ingestion. As a side note, antibiotics can cause an increase in the enzyme levels.

    Normal range:

    16-21 years
    30-200 U/L

    Adult
    30-120 U/L


    AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase, previously known as SGOT)

    This is yet another enzyme that's used to determine if there's damage or stress to the liver. It may also be used to see if heart disease is a possibility as well, but this isn't as accurate. When the liver is damaged or inflamed, AST levels can rise to a very high level (20 times the normal value). This happens because AST is released when the cells of that particular organ (liver) are lysed. The AST then enters blood circulation and an elevation can be seen. Increased levels can be indicative of heart disease, liver disease, skeletal muscle disease or injuries, as well as heat stroke. Decreased levels can be indicative of acute kidney disease, beriberi, diabetic ketoacidosis, pregnancy, and renal dialysis.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    0-35 U/L (Females may have slightly lower levels)


    ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase, previously known as SGPT)


    This is yet another enzyme that is found in high levels within the liver. Injury or disease of the liver will result in an increase in levels of ALT. I should note however, that because lesser quantities are found in skeletal muscle, there could be a weight-training induced increase . Weight training causes damage to muscle tissue and thus could slightly elevate these levels, giving a false indicator for liver disease. Still, for the most part, it's a rather accurate diagnostic tool. Increased levels can be indicative of hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, cirrhosis, cholestasis, hepatic tumor, hepatotoxic drugs, and jaundice, as well as severe burns, trauma to striated muscle (via weight training), myocardial infarction, mononucleosis, and shock.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    4-36 U/L


    Endocrine Function



    Testosterone (Free and Total)

    This is of course the hormone that you should all be extremely familiar with as it's the name of this here magazine! Anyhow, just as some background info, about 95% of the circulating Testosterone in a man's body is formed by the Leydig cells, which are found in the testicles. Women also have a small amount of Testosterone in their body as well. (Some more than others, which accounts for the bearded ladies you see at the circus, or hanging around with Chris Shugart.) This is from a very small amount of Testosterone secreted by the ovaries and the adrenal gland (in which the majority is made from the adrenal conversion of androstenedione to Testosterone via 17-beta HSD).


    Nomal range, total Testosterone:

    Male

    Age 14
    <1200 ng/dl <42nmol/l

    Age 15-16
    100-1200 ng/dl 3.5- 42 nmol/l

    Age 17-18
    300-1200 ng/dl 10.5 -42 nmol/l

    Age 19-40
    300-950 ng/dl 10.5 - 33 nmol/l

    Over 40
    240-950 ng/dl 8.4 - 33 nmol/l

    Female

    Age 17-18
    20-120 ng/dl 0.7 - 4.2 nmol/l

    Over 18
    20-80 ng/dl 0.7 - 2.8 nmol/l

    Normal range, free Testosterone:

    Male
    50-210 pg/ml


    LH (Luteneizing Hormone)

    LH is a glycoprotein that's secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and is responsible for signaling the leydig cells to produce Testosterone. Measuring LH can be very useful in terms of determining whether a hypogonadic state (low Testosterone ) is caused by the testicles not being responsive despite high or normal LH levels (primary), or whether it's the pituitary gland not secreting enough LH (secondary). Of course, the hypothalamus — which secretes LH-RH (Luteneizing hormone releasing hormone) — could also be the culprit, as well as perhaps both the hypothalamus and the pituitary.

    If it's a case of the testicles not being responsive to LH, then things like clomiphene and hCG really won't help. If the problem is secondary, then there's a better chance for improvement with drug therapy. Increased levels can be indicative of hypogonadism, precocious puberty, and pituitary adenoma. Decreased levels can be indicative of pituitary failure, hypothalamic failure, stress, and malnutrition.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    1.24-7.8 IU/L

    Adult Female
    Follicular phase: 1.68-15 IU/L
    Ovulatory phase: 21.9-56.6 IU/L
    Luteal phase: 0.61-16.3 IU/L
    Postmenopausal: 14.2-52.3 IU/L


    Estradiol


    With this being the most potent of the estrogens, I'm sure you're all aware that it can be responsible for things like water retention, hypertrophy of adipose tissue, gynecomastia , and perhaps even prostate hypertrophy and tumors. As a male it's very important to get your levels of this hormone checked for the above reasons. Also, it's the primary estrogen that's responsible for the negative feedback loop which suppresses endogenous Testosterone production. So, if your levels of estradiol are rather high, you can bet your ass that you'll be hypogonadal as well.

    Increased estradiol levels can be indicative of a testicular tumor, adrenal tumor, hepatic cirrhosis, necrosis of the liver, hyperthyroidism, etc.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    10-50 pg/ml

    Adult Female
    Follicular phase: 20-350 pg/ml
    Midcycle peak: 150-750 pg/ml
    Luteal phase: 30-450 pg/ml
    Postmenopausal: 20 pg/ml or less


    Thyroid (T3, T4 Total and Free, TSH)



    T3 (Triiodothyronine)

    T3 is the more metabolically active hormone out of T4 and T3. When levels are below normal it's generally safe to assume that the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism. Drugs that may increase T3 levels include estrogen and oral contraceptives. Drugs that may decrease T3 levels include anabolic steroids/androgens as well as propanolol (a beta adrenergic blocker) and high dosages of salicylates. Increased levels can be indicative of Graves disease, acute thyroiditis, pregnancy, hepatitis, etc. Decreased levels can be indicative of hypothyroidism, protein malnutrition, kidney failure, Cushing's syndrome, cirrhosis, and liver diseases.

    Normal ranges:

    16-20 years old
    80-210 ng/dl

    20-50 years
    75-220 ng/dl or 1.2-3.4 nmol/L

    Over 50
    40-180 ng/dl or 0.6-2.8 nmol/L


    T4 (Thyroxine)


    T4 is just another indicator of whether or not someone is in a hypo or hyperthyroid state. It too is rather reliable but free thyroxine levels should be assessed as well. Drugs that increase of decrease T3 will, in most cases, do the same with T4. Increased levels are indicative of the same things as T3 and a decrease can be indicative of protein depleted states, iodine insufficiency, kidney failure, Cushing's syndrome, and cirrhosis.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult Male
    4-12 ug/dl or 51-154 nmol/L

    Adult Female
    5-12 ug/dl or 64-154 nmol/L


    Free T4 or Thyroxine


    Since only 1-5% of the total amount of T4 is actually free and useable, this test is a far better indicator of the thyroid status of the patient. An increase indicates a hyperthyroid state and a decrease indicates a hypothyroid state. Drugs that increase free T4 are heparin, aspirin, danazol, and propanolol. Drugs that decrease it are furosemide, methadone, and rifampicin. Increased and decreased levels are indicative of the same possible diseases and states that are seen with T4 and T3.

    Normal ranges:

    0.8-2.8 ng/dl or 10-36 pmol/L


    TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)


    Measuring the level of TSH can be very helpful in terms of determining if the problem resides with the thyroid itself or the pituitary gland. If TSH levels are high, then it's merely the thyroid gland not responding for some reason but if TSH levels are low, it's the hypothalamus or pituitary gland that has something wrong with it. The problem could be a tumor, some type of trauma, or an infarction.

    Drugs that can increase levels of TSH include lithium, potassium iodide and TSH itself. Drugs that may decrease TSH are aspirin, heparin, dopamine, T3, etc. Increased TSH is indicative of thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, and congenital cretinism. Decreased levels are indicative of hypothyroidism (pituitary dysfunction), hyperthyroidism, and pituitary hypo function.

    Normal ranges:

    Adult
    2-10 uU/ml or 2-10 mU/L

  24. #24
    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    To summarize above...

    1) Major hormones to be tested:

    Testosterone
    Free Androgen Index
    LH/FSH
    DHEA/DHEAS
    Estradiol
    IGF -1
    Prolactin

    2) Full Thyroid Panel

    Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin)
    T4/Free T4
    T3/Free T3

    3) Full cardiovascular profile:

    Total Cholesterol
    LDL and even VLDL
    HDL
    Trigelycerides
    homocysteine
    C reaction protien

    4) Liver enzymes:

    Alkaline phosphate
    GGT
    SGOT
    SGPT
    PSA

    5) Kidney values:

    Serum Creatine
    Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
    Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    Urine Protein
    Microalbuminuria
    Urine Creatinine
    Protein-to-Creatinine Ratio
    Serum Albumin

  25. #25
    >Good Luck<'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox
    To summarize above...

    1) Major hormones to be tested:

    Testosterone
    Free Androgen Index
    LH/FSH
    DHEA/DHEAS
    Estradiol
    IGF -1
    Prolactin

    2) Full Thyroid Panel

    Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin)
    T4/Free T4
    T3/Free T3

    3) Full cardiovascular profile:

    Total Cholesterol
    LDL and even VLDL
    HDL
    Trigelycerides
    homocysteine
    C reaction protien

    4) Liver enzymes:

    Alkaline phosphate
    GGT
    SGOT
    SGPT
    PSA

    5) Kidney values:

    Serum Creatine
    Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
    Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    Urine Protein
    Microalbuminuria
    Urine Creatinine
    Protein-to-Creatinine Ratio
    Serum Albumin
    Why is it important to check the thyroid?

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