Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Over a third of obese individuals have a condition known as metabolic syndrome. This syndrome combines five parameters: high blood pressure, high glucose, high triglycerides, low HDL (the good cholesterol), and a bulging waistline. Most of these people have a resistance to insulin and may be on the road to adult diabetes.
Insulin: This important hormone allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells. Obese people may be resistant to insulin so that their glucose is elevated as well as their insulin. This problem improves a great deal with weight loss.
Leptin: This is a hormone made by fat cells. In normal people it helps curb the appetite so that we dont gain too much weight. This mechanism may not work as efficiently in obese people.
Adiponectin: This is another fat hormone, but this one decreases with weight gain. Higher levels of adiponectin are desirable because it protects us from heart attacks. Adiponectin increases as we lose weight.
Myoglobin: This is an important muscle enzyme. Petite people with very little muscle have lower levels of myoglobin.
DHEA-S level: Dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands, testes, and brain. It is a precursor hormone, meaning that other steroid hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, are made from DHEA-S. Research has shown that as men age, their levels of DHEA-S tend to decrease.
Testosterone for men, especially if shaving frequency has changed or libido is decreased, or for women over 45 or if leg-shaving frequency has changed.
Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): This is the flatbed truck for our sex hormones. SHBG is a protein that transports testosterone and estrogen from one place to another in our bloodstream. During transport sex hormones are so tightly bound to SHBG that they are temporarily unavailable.
Albumin: This is one of the most important proteins in our bloodstream. It too transports sex hormones but binds to them less tightly so that they are more active and available.
Bioavailable testosterone (calculated): The testosterone in the bloodstream that is available for biological activity is called the bioavailable testosterone. This calculation can help determine if someone has enough testosterone to get the job done.
IGF-1 Level: This hormone is made by the liver and is directly related to growth hormone. Insulin-like growth factor (also called somatomedin) is a protein hormone similar in structure and function to insulin, but with much higher growth-promoting activity than insulin. It stimulates the proliferation of various types of cells, including muscle, bone, and cartilage. Factors that are known to cause variation in the levels of growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1 in serum include genetic makeup, amount of sleep, time of day, age, gender, exercise status, stress levels, nutrition level, waist size, disease state, race, and estrogen status.