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How much does it cost?

Please note – In addition to the price of tests, there is also a phlebotomy cost for the withdrawal and handling of your sample. This is a standard charge across all clinics. The cost of sample handling is £50, but this is discounted to £30 only if paid in advance. Please choose the pay later option to pay the full amount upon your arrival at the clinic or choose pay now in order to pay in advance and secure the discounted fee.

MOST POPULAR
Advanced Health Check
Comprehensive panel to test for overall health
Features:
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Full Blood Count
  • Iron Status
  • Magnesium
  • Lipid profile
MOST POPULAR
Gold Health Check
Advanced health check with added markers to test for diabetes and inflammation.
Features:
  • Advanced Health Check
  • CRP
  • HbA1c
  • Calcium
  • Uric Acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Vitamin D
  • TSH
  • Free T4
MOST POPULAR
Diamond Health Check
Gold Health Check with added markers for reproductive hormones, male tumour markers and Cardiac muscle enzymes
Features:
  • Gold Health Check
  • CK-NAC
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Testosterone
  • Lutenising Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Oestradiol
  • Prostate Specific Antigen
  • Urine analysis and Culture
MOST POPULAR
Platinum Health Check
Diamond Health Check with added advanced thyroid tests, advanced reproductive and adrenal hormones.
Features:
  • Diamond Health Check
  • Free T3
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
  • DHEA - s
  • Cortisol
  • Free testosterone
  • SHBG
  • Free androgen index

How does it work?

1

Find your test(s)

Browse our tests and profiles. If the test you are looking for is not on our website, contact us for more information. We have 1000+ tests.

2

Book an appointment

Click “book now” & select the date and time. If you do not know which test you need, or if you need multiple tests, select “general appointment”. Pay for your appointment in advance & save £20 on phlebotomy fees.

3

Visit our clinic

Upon arrival at the clinic, our staff will confirm your test selection, and take the samples required to provide you your reports.

4

Receive your results

After analysing your sample in our lab, you will receive a PDF report by email. Most results are available within 24 hours.

What can I learn from this test?

This blood test looks at everything from your risk of heart disease and diabetes to how your major organs are functioning. It includes vital tests for energy, like thyroid function, iron, and essential vitamins and minerals. It also checks your female hormones — including FSH, LH, and oestradiol — to see if your levels are where they should be for your stage of life.

What can I test?

Total Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential fat (lipid) in the body. Although it has a bad reputation it has some important functions, including building cell membranes and producing a number of essential hormones including testosterone and oestradiol. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Although there are a number of different types of cholesterol, the two main components of total cholesterol are HDL (high density lipoprotein) which is protective against heart disease and LDL (low density lipoprotein) which, in high levels, can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Your total cholesterol result on its own is of limited value in understanding your risk of heart disease; high levels of HDL cholesterol can cause a raised total cholesterol result but may actually be protective against heart disease. Equally, you can have a normal total cholesterol level but have low levels of protective HDL cholesterol. The most important factors are how much HDL and LDL cholesterol you have, and what proportion of your total cholesterol is made up of protective HDL cholesterol. We give a detailed breakdown of the components of your total cholesterol in the rest of this cholesterol profile.

LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) is a molecule made of lipids and proteins which transports cholesterol, triglycerides and other fats to various tissues throughout the body. Too much LDL cholesterol, commonly called 'bad cholesterol', can cause fatty deposits to accumulate inside artery walls, potentially leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

HDL Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is a molecule in the body which removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver where it is broken down and removed from the body in bile. HDL cholesterol is commonly known as 'good cholesterol'.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that circulate in the blood. After you eat, your body converts excess calories (whether from fat or carbohydrates) into triglycerides which are then transported to cells to be stored as fat. Your body then releases triglycerides when required for energy.

Full Blood Count

Red cells are vital for transporting oxygen around the body, and anything that affects their ability to do so can lead to symptoms, including fatigue. An FBC looks at the size, shape, and volume of your red blood cells and will help assess whether you are suffering from anaemia, either caused by a deficiency in iron or vitamin B12. White blood cells are key to supporting your body's immune system and can indicate whether you are suffering from or have recently suffered from an injury or infection.

Iron

Iron is a mineral that is essential for life. It is a component of haemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen around our body. If we don't have enough iron, our haemoglobin levels fall and we can't get sufficient oxygen to our cells. This can cause symptoms which include fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Serum iron is a very transient reading and can be influenced by the amount of iron-rich food in your diet in the days before your blood test. For this reason, iron is rarely looked at on its own, and is interpreted alongside other markers in an iron status test.

Transferrin Saturation

Transferrin is made in the liver and is the major protein in the blood which binds to iron and transports it round the body. This test measures how much this protein is 'saturated' by iron.

Ferritin

Ferritin is a protein which stores iron in your cells and tissues. Usually, the body incorporates iron into haemoglobin to be transported around the body, but when it has a surplus, it stores the remaining iron in ferritin for later use. Measuring ferritin levels gives us a good indication of the amount of iron stored in your body.

Urea

Urea is a waste product produced by the body when it breaks down proteins in the liver. Once the urea is made, it is transported to the kidneys, which filter it out of the blood and remove it from the body in the form of urine. Measuring the levels of urea in the blood can therefore reflect how well both the liver and the kidneys, are functioning. It is important to note that even if one kidney is severely damaged but the other is functioning perfectly, results may still return as normal.

Creatinine

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from normal muscle metabolism. Measurement of this is an indicator of the levels of other waste products in the body. Creatinine is also an accurate marker of kidney function, and may help in diagnosing kidney disease.

eGFR

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) assesses how well the kidneys are working by estimating the amount of blood filtered through the kidneys. The glomeruli are tiny filters in the kidneys responsible for removing waste products. If these filters do not do their job properly, kidney function can be impaired. The eGFR calculation is an estimate of actual glomerular filtration rate, calculated using your age, gender, ethnicity, and serum creatinine levels.

Bilirubin

Bilirubin is a product of the breakdown of haemoglobin from red blood cells. It is removed from the body via the liver, stored and concentrated in the gallbladder and secreted into the bowel. It is removed from your body through urine and faeces. Bilirubin causes the yellowish colour you sometimes see in bruises, due to red blood cells breaking down underneath the skin.

ALT

Alanine transferase (ALT) is an enzyme which is mostly found in the liver, but is also found in smaller amounts in the heart, muscles and the kidneys. If the liver is damaged, ALT is leaked into to bloodstream. As ALT is predominantly found in the liver, it is usually an accurate marker for liver inflammation and can indicate liver damage caused by alcohol, fatty liver, drugs or viruses (hepatitis).

AST

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme that is found mostly in the liver, but it's also in muscles and other organs in your body. When cells that contain AST are damaged, they release the AST into your blood. An AST blood test measures the amount of AST in your blood. The test is commonly used to help diagnose liver damage or disease.

ALP

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver and bones. Measuring it can indicate ongoing liver, gallbladder or bone disease.

Gamma GT

Gamma GT, also known as gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), is a liver enzyme which is raised in liver and bile duct diseases. It is used in conjunction with ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is also used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.

Magnesium

Magnesium is found in fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, wholemeal bread and brown rice as well as in fish and meat. Excess magnesium exposure can cause breathing problems, skin and eye irritation, flu-like symptoms and an upset stomach. Low magnesium can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue, osteoporosis, an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. Low magnesium is associated with heart disease, artherosclerosis, stroke and diabetes.

Total Protein

Total Protein represents the sum of the proteins albumin and globulin in your blood. Albumin and globulin have a range of functions including keeping blood within vessels, transporting nutrients and fighting infection. Abnormal levels can indicate malnutrition as well as a liver or kidney disorder.

Albumin

Albumin is a protein which is made mainly in the liver. It helps to exert the osmotic pressure which holds water within the blood. It also helps carry nutrients and medications and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing. Albumin also carries hormones around the body, therefore measuring the amount of albumin in the blood can help us calculate how much hormone is available to your tissues.

Globulin

Globulin is an umbrella term for a set of different proteins that the immune system and the liver produce. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood. Additionally, there is a certain type of globulin known as an immunoglobulin, (another name for an antibody) which helps to fight infection in the body.

hs - CRP

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an inflammation marker used to assess whether there is inflammation in the body - it does not identify where the inflammation is located. High Sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) is a test used to detect low-level inflammation thought to damage blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. When you suffer a serious injury or infection you experience significant inflammation around the site of injury - such as the swelling around a twisted ankle. Any injury like this will cause your CRP-hs to rise.

HbA1c

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), also known as glycated haemoglobin, is a longer term measure of glucose levels in your blood than a simple blood glucose test. Glucose attaches itself to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells, and as your cells live for around 12-16 weeks, it gives us a good indication of the average level of sugar in your blood over a 3 month period.

Uric Acid

Uric acid is a waste product produced from the breakdown of chemical compounds called purines. Purine occurs naturally in the body, but it is also found in the food we eat - and in some foods more than others. In healthy individuals, uric acid is excreted by the kidneys in urine, however, if levels are too high to excrete, or if you have a problem metabolising purine, then uric acid can begin to accumulate and can be deposited as crystals in the bodily tissues. When this occurs in joints it causes the painful condition known as gout.

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, although it also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions. About 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in bones, and the remaining 1% is found in blood, muscle, and other tissues.

Vitamin D

Although called a vitamin, vitamin D is actually a hormone which is activated by sunshine on your skin. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps your intestines absorb calcium. However, it is thought that vitamin D also plays an important role in immune function, as well as in many chronic diseases and mental health. Many people in the UK have low levels of vitamin D with symptoms including muscle weakness, mood swings and fatigue. People who have dark skin, as well as those who don't spend much time outdoors are particularly at risk of low vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from food, especially oily fish, eggs and any food which has been fortified with vitamin D. If you are deficient in vitamin D you are unlikely to be able to improve your levels by food alone.

TSH

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland in order to regulate the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) by the thyroid gland. If thyroid hormones in the blood are low, then more TSH is produced to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more of them. If thyroid hormone levels are high, then the pituitary produces less TSH to slow the production of thyroid hormones. If TSH is too high or too low, it normally signifies that there is a problem with the thyroid gland which is causing it to under or over produce thyroid hormones. Sometimes a disorder of the pituitary gland can also cause abnormal TSH levels.

Free T4

Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It works to speed up the rate of your metabolism. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood - it is only the free, or unbound, T4 that is active in the body, which is measured in this test. Free T4 is the less active of the two main thyroid hormones. To have an impact on your cells it needs to convert to the more active T3 when your body needs it.

Lactate Dehydrogenase

Lactate dehydrogenase is an enzyme that the body uses during the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells to use. LDH is found in many of the body's tissues and organs, including the muscles, liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, brain and blood cells.

CK-NAC

Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme that’s found in your skeletal muscle, heart muscle and brain. When any of these tissues are damaged, they leak creatine kinase into your bloodstream. Elevated CK levels may indicate muscle injury or disease.

Folate

Folate is a B vitamin which acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids. It is also vital for the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines which are essential for DNA synthesis and red cell formation. Folate is also especially important during the first trimester of pregnancy so if you are thinking of becoming pregnant it is important to make sure your folate levels are normal.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important for production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. B12 is also involved in metabolism and the nervous system and prolonged lack of vitamin B12 may cause nerve damage. Although Vitamin B12 is almost entirely found in animal-based foods, many vegetarian and vegan products, especially plant milks are now fortified with Vitamin B12.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that causes male characteristics. For men, it helps to regulate sex drive and has a role in controlling bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength and the production of red blood cells and sperm. Testosterone is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. Testosterone levels in men naturally decline after the age of 30, although lower than normal levels can occur at any age and can cause low libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty in gaining and maintaining muscle mass and lack of energy. Although women have much lower amounts of testosterone than men, it is important for much the same reasons, playing a role in libido, the distribution of muscle and fat and the formation of red blood cells. All laboratories will slightly differ in the reference ranges they apply because they are based on the population they are testing. The normal range is set so that 95% of men will fall into it. For greater consistency, we use the guidance from the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) which advises that low testosterone can be diagnosed when testosterone is consistently below the reference range, and that levels below 12 nmol/L could also be considered low, especially in men who also report symptoms of low testosterone or who have low levels of free testosterone.

Lutenising Hormone

Luteinising Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. In men it stimulates the production of testosterone.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men for men in the production of sperm. In the first half of the menstrual cycle in women, FSH stimulates the enlargement of follicles within the ovaries. Each of these follicles will help to increase oestradiol levels. One follicle will become dominant and will be released by the ovary (ovulation), after which follicle stimulating hormone levels drop during the second half of the menstrual cycle. In men, FSH acts on the seminiferous tubules of the testicles where they stimulate immature sperm cells to develop into mature sperm.

Prolactin

Prolactin is a hormone which is produced in the pituitary gland and plays a role in reproductive health. Its primary purpose is to stimulate milk production after childbirth, and in pregnant and breastfeeding women prolactin levels can soar.

Oestradiol

Oestradiol is a female steroid hormone, produced in the ovaries of women and to a much lesser extent in the testes of men. It is the strongest of three oestrogens and is responsible for the female reproductive system as well as the growth of breast tissue and bone thickness. In pre-menopausal women, oestradiol levels vary throughout the monthly cycle, peaking at ovulation. In women, oestradiol levels decline with age, culminating with the menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs. Low oestradiol can cause many symptoms associated with the menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Low oestradiol can also cause osteoporosis.

Prostate Specific Antigen

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein which is released into the blood by the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can raise PSA levels but a PSA test in isolation is not to be relied upon to diagnose prostate cancer, as levels can be raised in benign prostate disorders (a false positive). There is also the potential for PSA levels to be normal despite the presence of prostate cancer, this is called a false negative.

Urine Analysis and Culture

Usually urine does not contain significant numbers of any microorganism, but if bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract, they can multiply and a urinary tract infection (UTI) can develop. For a urine culture test, a sample of urine is examined under the microscope and cultured for 18 hours to check for any bacterial growth. If there is an infection found, the culture is extended so the laboratory can determine an effective antibiotic which will be able to fight the infection.

Free T3

Triiodothyronine (T3) is the more active of the two thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T3 is bound to protein in the blood. Free T3 measures the level of T3 that is free, or unbound to protein, and is available to regulate metabolism.

Thyroglobulin Antibodies

This test looks for antibodies to thyroglobulin, a protein which is specific to the thyroid gland. Under normal circumstances it does not enter the bloodstream, but if your thyroid is inflamed or under attack from the body's own immune system, then thyroglobulin can be secreted and antibodies detected. Most cases of thyroid disease are caused by an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's own immune system. This can cause the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone (as in the case of Graves' disease) or to produce less as the cells in the thyroid gland are gradually destroyed (as in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis).

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme important in the production of thyroid hormones. This test looks for antibodies against TPO which are often raised in cases of autoimmune thyroid conditions and occasionally in healthy individuals.

Free Testosterone

Most testosterone circulating in the blood is bound to proteins, in particular SHBG and albumin; only 2-3 % of testosterone is free and available to cells. This test uses an algorithm to calculate the level of free or unbound testosterone in relation to total testosterone, SHBG and albumin.

FAI

The free androgen index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the amount of testosterone which is free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to proteins sex hormone binding globulin and albumin and is not available to interact with the body's cells. The FAI is a calculation based on the ratio of testosterone and SHBG and is a measure of the amount of testosterone that is available to act on the body's tissues. The free androgen index is used in women to assess the likelihood of polycystic ovarian syndrome. In men, free testosterone gives a better indication of testosterone status.

SHBG

SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) is a protein which transports the sex hormones (testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)) in the blood.Hormones which are bound to SHBG are inactive which means that they are unavailable to your cells. Measuring the level of SHBG in your blood gives important information about your levels of free or unbound hormones which are biologically active and available for use.

DHEA - s

DHEAS is the sulphated form of DHEA, a hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands and is responsible for male characteristics in both men and women. DHEAS gradually declines from the age of 30 onwards.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is vital to survival given its role in functions such as immunity, regulating blood pressure and releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance.

Total Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential fat (lipid) in the body. Although it has a bad reputation it has some important functions, including building cell membranes and producing a number of essential hormones including testosterone and oestradiol. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Although there are a number of different types of cholesterol, the two main components of total cholesterol are HDL (high density lipoprotein) which is protective against heart disease and LDL (low density lipoprotein) which, in high levels, can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Your total cholesterol result on its own is of limited value in understanding your risk of heart disease; high levels of HDL cholesterol can cause a raised total cholesterol result but may actually be protective against heart disease. Equally, you can have a normal total cholesterol level but have low levels of protective HDL cholesterol. The most important factors are how much HDL and LDL cholesterol you have, and what proportion of your total cholesterol is made up of protective HDL cholesterol. We give a detailed breakdown of the components of your total cholesterol in the rest of this cholesterol profile.

LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) is a molecule made of lipids and proteins which transports cholesterol, triglycerides and other fats to various tissues throughout the body. Too much LDL cholesterol, commonly called 'bad cholesterol', can cause fatty deposits to accumulate inside artery walls, potentially leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

HDL Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is a molecule in the body which removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver where it is broken down and removed from the body in bile. HDL cholesterol is commonly known as 'good cholesterol'.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) that circulate in the blood. After you eat, your body converts excess calories (whether from fat or carbohydrates) into triglycerides which are then transported to cells to be stored as fat. Your body then releases triglycerides when required for energy.

Full Blood Count

Red cells are vital for transporting oxygen around the body, and anything that affects their ability to do so can lead to symptoms, including fatigue. An FBC looks at the size, shape, and volume of your red blood cells and will help assess whether you are suffering from anaemia, either caused by a deficiency in iron or vitamin B12. White blood cells are key to supporting your body's immune system and can indicate whether you are suffering from or have recently suffered from an injury or infection.

Iron

Iron is a mineral that is essential for life. It is a component of haemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen around our body. If we don't have enough iron, our haemoglobin levels fall and we can't get sufficient oxygen to our cells. This can cause symptoms which include fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Serum iron is a very transient reading and can be influenced by the amount of iron-rich food in your diet in the days before your blood test. For this reason, iron is rarely looked at on its own, and is interpreted alongside other markers in an iron status test.

Transferrin Saturation

Transferrin is made in the liver and is the major protein in the blood which binds to iron and transports it round the body. This test measures how much this protein is 'saturated' by iron.

Ferritin

Ferritin is a protein which stores iron in your cells and tissues. Usually, the body incorporates iron into haemoglobin to be transported around the body, but when it has a surplus, it stores the remaining iron in ferritin for later use. Measuring ferritin levels gives us a good indication of the amount of iron stored in your body.

Urea

Urea is a waste product produced by the body when it breaks down proteins in the liver. Once the urea is made, it is transported to the kidneys, which filter it out of the blood and remove it from the body in the form of urine. Measuring the levels of urea in the blood can therefore reflect how well both the liver and the kidneys, are functioning. It is important to note that even if one kidney is severely damaged but the other is functioning perfectly, results may still return as normal.

Creatinine

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from normal muscle metabolism. Measurement of this is an indicator of the levels of other waste products in the body. Creatinine is also an accurate marker of kidney function, and may help in diagnosing kidney disease.

eGFR

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) assesses how well the kidneys are working by estimating the amount of blood filtered through the kidneys. The glomeruli are tiny filters in the kidneys responsible for removing waste products. If these filters do not do their job properly, kidney function can be impaired. The eGFR calculation is an estimate of actual glomerular filtration rate, calculated using your age, gender, ethnicity, and serum creatinine levels.

Bilirubin

Bilirubin is a product of the breakdown of haemoglobin from red blood cells. It is removed from the body via the liver, stored and concentrated in the gallbladder and secreted into the bowel. It is removed from your body through urine and faeces. Bilirubin causes the yellowish colour you sometimes see in bruises, due to red blood cells breaking down underneath the skin.

ALT

Alanine transferase (ALT) is an enzyme which is mostly found in the liver, but is also found in smaller amounts in the heart, muscles and the kidneys. If the liver is damaged, ALT is leaked into to bloodstream. As ALT is predominantly found in the liver, it is usually an accurate marker for liver inflammation and can indicate liver damage caused by alcohol, fatty liver, drugs or viruses (hepatitis).

AST

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme that is found mostly in the liver, but it's also in muscles and other organs in your body. When cells that contain AST are damaged, they release the AST into your blood. An AST blood test measures the amount of AST in your blood. The test is commonly used to help diagnose liver damage or disease.

ALP

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver and bones. Measuring it can indicate ongoing liver, gallbladder or bone disease.

Gamma GT

Gamma GT, also known as gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), is a liver enzyme which is raised in liver and bile duct diseases. It is used in conjunction with ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is also used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.

Magnesium

Magnesium is found in fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, wholemeal bread and brown rice as well as in fish and meat. Excess magnesium exposure can cause breathing problems, skin and eye irritation, flu-like symptoms and an upset stomach. Low magnesium can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue, osteoporosis, an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. Low magnesium is associated with heart disease, artherosclerosis, stroke and diabetes.

Total Protein

Total Protein represents the sum of the proteins albumin and globulin in your blood. Albumin and globulin have a range of functions including keeping blood within vessels, transporting nutrients and fighting infection. Abnormal levels can indicate malnutrition as well as a liver or kidney disorder.

Albumin

Albumin is a protein which is made mainly in the liver. It helps to exert the osmotic pressure which holds water within the blood. It also helps carry nutrients and medications and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing. Albumin also carries hormones around the body, therefore measuring the amount of albumin in the blood can help us calculate how much hormone is available to your tissues.

Globulin

Globulin is an umbrella term for a set of different proteins that the immune system and the liver produce. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood. Additionally, there is a certain type of globulin known as an immunoglobulin, (another name for an antibody) which helps to fight infection in the body.

hs - CRP

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an inflammation marker used to assess whether there is inflammation in the body - it does not identify where the inflammation is located. High Sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) is a test used to detect low-level inflammation thought to damage blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. When you suffer a serious injury or infection you experience significant inflammation around the site of injury - such as the swelling around a twisted ankle. Any injury like this will cause your CRP-hs to rise.

HbA1c

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), also known as glycated haemoglobin, is a longer term measure of glucose levels in your blood than a simple blood glucose test. Glucose attaches itself to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells, and as your cells live for around 12-16 weeks, it gives us a good indication of the average level of sugar in your blood over a 3 month period.

Uric Acid

Uric acid is a waste product produced from the breakdown of chemical compounds called purines. Purine occurs naturally in the body, but it is also found in the food we eat - and in some foods more than others. In healthy individuals, uric acid is excreted by the kidneys in urine, however, if levels are too high to excrete, or if you have a problem metabolising purine, then uric acid can begin to accumulate and can be deposited as crystals in the bodily tissues. When this occurs in joints it causes the painful condition known as gout.

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, although it also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions. About 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in bones, and the remaining 1% is found in blood, muscle, and other tissues.

Vitamin D

Although called a vitamin, vitamin D is actually a hormone which is activated by sunshine on your skin. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps your intestines absorb calcium. However, it is thought that vitamin D also plays an important role in immune function, as well as in many chronic diseases and mental health. Many people in the UK have low levels of vitamin D with symptoms including muscle weakness, mood swings and fatigue. People who have dark skin, as well as those who don't spend much time outdoors are particularly at risk of low vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from food, especially oily fish, eggs and any food which has been fortified with vitamin D. If you are deficient in vitamin D you are unlikely to be able to improve your levels by food alone.

TSH

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland in order to regulate the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) by the thyroid gland. If thyroid hormones in the blood are low, then more TSH is produced to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more of them. If thyroid hormone levels are high, then the pituitary produces less TSH to slow the production of thyroid hormones. If TSH is too high or too low, it normally signifies that there is a problem with the thyroid gland which is causing it to under or over produce thyroid hormones. Sometimes a disorder of the pituitary gland can also cause abnormal TSH levels.

Free T4

Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It works to speed up the rate of your metabolism. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood - it is only the free, or unbound, T4 that is active in the body, which is measured in this test. Free T4 is the less active of the two main thyroid hormones. To have an impact on your cells it needs to convert to the more active T3 when your body needs it.

Lactate Dehydrogenase

Lactate dehydrogenase is an enzyme that the body uses during the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells to use. LDH is found in many of the body's tissues and organs, including the muscles, liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, brain and blood cells.

CK-NAC

Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme that’s found in your skeletal muscle, heart muscle and brain. When any of these tissues are damaged, they leak creatine kinase into your bloodstream. Elevated CK levels may indicate muscle injury or disease.

Folate

Folate is a B vitamin which acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids. It is also vital for the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines which are essential for DNA synthesis and red cell formation. Folate is also especially important during the first trimester of pregnancy so if you are thinking of becoming pregnant it is important to make sure your folate levels are normal.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important for production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. B12 is also involved in metabolism and the nervous system and prolonged lack of vitamin B12 may cause nerve damage. Although Vitamin B12 is almost entirely found in animal-based foods, many vegetarian and vegan products, especially plant milks are now fortified with Vitamin B12.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that causes male characteristics. For men, it helps to regulate sex drive and has a role in controlling bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength and the production of red blood cells and sperm. Testosterone is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. Testosterone levels in men naturally decline after the age of 30, although lower than normal levels can occur at any age and can cause low libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty in gaining and maintaining muscle mass and lack of energy. Although women have much lower amounts of testosterone than men, it is important for much the same reasons, playing a role in libido, the distribution of muscle and fat and the formation of red blood cells. All laboratories will slightly differ in the reference ranges they apply because they are based on the population they are testing. The normal range is set so that 95% of men will fall into it. For greater consistency, we use the guidance from the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) which advises that low testosterone can be diagnosed when testosterone is consistently below the reference range, and that levels below 12 nmol/L could also be considered low, especially in men who also report symptoms of low testosterone or who have low levels of free testosterone.

Lutenising Hormone

Luteinising Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. In men it stimulates the production of testosterone.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men for men in the production of sperm. In the first half of the menstrual cycle in women, FSH stimulates the enlargement of follicles within the ovaries. Each of these follicles will help to increase oestradiol levels. One follicle will become dominant and will be released by the ovary (ovulation), after which follicle stimulating hormone levels drop during the second half of the menstrual cycle. In men, FSH acts on the seminiferous tubules of the testicles where they stimulate immature sperm cells to develop into mature sperm.

Prolactin

Prolactin is a hormone which is produced in the pituitary gland and plays a role in reproductive health. Its primary purpose is to stimulate milk production after childbirth, and in pregnant and breastfeeding women prolactin levels can soar.

Oestradiol

Oestradiol is a female steroid hormone, produced in the ovaries of women and to a much lesser extent in the testes of men. It is the strongest of three oestrogens and is responsible for the female reproductive system as well as the growth of breast tissue and bone thickness. In pre-menopausal women, oestradiol levels vary throughout the monthly cycle, peaking at ovulation. In women, oestradiol levels decline with age, culminating with the menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs. Low oestradiol can cause many symptoms associated with the menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Low oestradiol can also cause osteoporosis.

Prostate Specific Antigen

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein which is released into the blood by the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can raise PSA levels but a PSA test in isolation is not to be relied upon to diagnose prostate cancer, as levels can be raised in benign prostate disorders (a false positive). There is also the potential for PSA levels to be normal despite the presence of prostate cancer, this is called a false negative.

Urine Analysis and Culture

Usually urine does not contain significant numbers of any microorganism, but if bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract, they can multiply and a urinary tract infection (UTI) can develop. For a urine culture test, a sample of urine is examined under the microscope and cultured for 18 hours to check for any bacterial growth. If there is an infection found, the culture is extended so the laboratory can determine an effective antibiotic which will be able to fight the infection.

Free T3

Triiodothyronine (T3) is the more active of the two thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T3 is bound to protein in the blood. Free T3 measures the level of T3 that is free, or unbound to protein, and is available to regulate metabolism.

Thyroglobulin Antibodies

This test looks for antibodies to thyroglobulin, a protein which is specific to the thyroid gland. Under normal circumstances it does not enter the bloodstream, but if your thyroid is inflamed or under attack from the body's own immune system, then thyroglobulin can be secreted and antibodies detected. Most cases of thyroid disease are caused by an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's own immune system. This can cause the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone (as in the case of Graves' disease) or to produce less as the cells in the thyroid gland are gradually destroyed (as in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis).

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme important in the production of thyroid hormones. This test looks for antibodies against TPO which are often raised in cases of autoimmune thyroid conditions and occasionally in healthy individuals.

Free Testosterone

Most testosterone circulating in the blood is bound to proteins, in particular SHBG and albumin; only 2-3 % of testosterone is free and available to cells. This test uses an algorithm to calculate the level of free or unbound testosterone in relation to total testosterone, SHBG and albumin.

FAI

The free androgen index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the amount of testosterone which is free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to proteins sex hormone binding globulin and albumin and is not available to interact with the body's cells. The FAI is a calculation based on the ratio of testosterone and SHBG and is a measure of the amount of testosterone that is available to act on the body's tissues. The free androgen index is used in women to assess the likelihood of polycystic ovarian syndrome. In men, free testosterone gives a better indication of testosterone status.

SHBG

SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) is a protein which transports the sex hormones (testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)) in the blood.Hormones which are bound to SHBG are inactive which means that they are unavailable to your cells. Measuring the level of SHBG in your blood gives important information about your levels of free or unbound hormones which are biologically active and available for use.

DHEA - s

DHEAS is the sulphated form of DHEA, a hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands and is responsible for male characteristics in both men and women. DHEAS gradually declines from the age of 30 onwards.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is vital to survival given its role in functions such as immunity, regulating blood pressure and releasing insulin for blood sugar maintenance.

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