Which markers are analysed in Health Test Basic:
- Creatinine (kidneys)
- Urea (kidneys)
- Amylase (pancreas)
- GGT (liver)
- GOT (AST, liver)
- GPT (ALT, liver)
- AP (ALP, liver)
- Cholesterol (total)
- LDL cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol
- hs-CRP (inflammation)
- TSH (thyroid)
- Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
- Vitamin D3 (25OH)
- Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol)
- Q10 (metabolism)
- Ferritin (stored iron)
What is Creatinine?
Creatinine is a substance that is normally formed in the muscles and excreted via the kidneys in the urine and is used as a marker to analyse the function of the kidneys. Creatinine is formed when the body breaks down the muscles’ energy reserve (creatine phosphate). The value can vary from person to person as the value is related to the body’s muscle mass. Muscular people may have slightly higher values than others without this meaning that kidney function is impaired. The creatinine value can also temporarily increase if you have eaten a lot of meat, especially cooked meat, or take creatine supplements.
Why is creatinine analysed?
Like many other substances, creatinine is filtered from your blood in the kidneys and then excreted in the urine. If your kidneys are damaged and cannot work normally, the amount of creatinine in the blood goes up. Therefore, creatinine is a marker used to analyse kidney function.
A creatinine blood test is therefore done to see if the kidneys are functioning normally, as well as how well the kidneys are functioning in people who take nutritional supplements and medications that can cause kidney damage.
What is urea?
Urea is a nitrogen-rich waste product that is formed during the breakdown of proteins and amino acids in the liver. After urea is formed in the liver, it is excreted from the body through the kidneys and urine.
Why analyse urea?
Urea is analysed when you want to get an insight into the body’s metabolism of proteins and amino acids. Most commonly, however, urea is analysed to evaluate the body’s kidney function. In case of impaired kidney function, urea accumulates in the blood when the kidneys can no longer excrete the urea that is formed during the body’s various metabolic processes.
What is amylase?
Amylase is an enzyme produced in the digestive tract’s exocrine glands (salivary glands and pancreas), but also in smaller amounts in some other organs. Amylase catalyses the breakdown of polysaccharides, such as starch and glycogen. The total activity of amylase in the blood normally originates approximately half from the salivary gland (salivary amylase) and half from the pancreas.
What is GGT?
GGT is an enzyme found mainly in liver cells but also to some extent in the pancreas and kidneys and plays a key role in the detoxification of alcohol and other drugs or toxic substances in the liver.
Why analyse GGT?
GGT is measured as part of a liver function test along with GOT/AST and GPT/ALT to see if there are any indications of liver damage. Some symptoms of liver damage include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, itching and fatigue.
GGT can be used with other markers to predict fatty liver disease. This is a condition where fat is stored in the liver due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. This can eventually lead to liver cirrhosis if left unchecked. It is also an indicator of liver damage due to overconsumption of alcohol. GGT levels usually take up to a month to normalise after alcohol consumption stops.
What is GOT/AST?
GOT/AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme that is normally found in the pancreas, heart, liver, kidneys, muscles and red blood cells. The level of GOT/AST in the blood is under normal circumstances low. When body tissue or an organ such as the heart or liver is damaged or injured, additional GOT/AST is released into the bloodstream.
The amount of GOT/AST in the blood is directly related to the extent of tissue damage. After severe injury, GOT/AST levels rise for 6 to 10 hours and remain elevated for about 4 days. The GOT/AST test is usually done at the same time as an GPT/ALT (alanine aminotransferase) test. The ratio of GOT/AST to GPT/ALT can help determine whether the liver or another organ has been damaged, as well as whether alcohol consumption has been a cause of the liver damage.
Why analyse GOT/AST?
The GOT/AST test is done to check the condition of the liver and whether it has been damaged. With the help of the test, it is possible to identify liver disease, especially hepatitis and cirrhosis. Liver disease can cause symptoms such as pain in the upper part of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting and sometimes jaundice in more serious cases. The test can also be done to check if treatment for liver disease is successful. Other purposes may be to find out if jaundice was caused by a blood or liver disease, or to monitor the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs and other drugs that can damage the liver.
What is GPT/ALT?
GPT/ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is an enzyme that is normally found in the pancreas, heart, liver, kidneys, muscles and red blood cells. A GPT/ALT test measures the amount of this enzyme in the blood. GPT/ALT is mainly found in liver cells and in small amounts in the blood.
Unlike GOT/AST, GPT/ALT is only found in the cytoplasm of liver cells, so the value may be lower in liver damage than when sampling GOT/AST. Viral hepatitis causes very high GPT/ALT values. The amount of GPT/ALT in the blood is halved in about 36 hours. A GPT/ALT test is usually done at the same time as a test for GOT/AST. The ratio of GOT/AST to GPT/ALT can help determine whether the liver or another organ has been damaged and whether alcohol consumption has been a cause of the liver damage.
Why analyse GPT/ALT?
The GPT/ALT test is done to check the condition of the liver and whether it has been damaged. With the help of the test, it is possible to identify liver disease, especially hepatitis and cirrhosis caused by alcohol, drugs or viruses. Liver disease can cause symptoms such as pain in the upper part of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting and sometimes jaundice in more serious cases. Other purposes may be to find out if jaundice was caused by a blood or liver disease, or to monitor the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs and other drugs that can damage the liver.
What is AP/ALP?
AP/ALP, or alkaline phosphatase as the abbreviation stands for, is an enzyme that is found throughout the body but in extra large quantities in the liver and bones.
Why analyse AP/ALP?
Since AP/ALP is mainly present in the liver and the skeleton, it is checked above all if disease is suspected in these tissues. The AP/ALP value should always be assessed together with other liver markers.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a lipid (a fat-like substance) that occurs naturally in the body. The body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones. A cholesterol test measures the amount of total cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol travels in the blood attached to a protein. This cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein.
Why analyse cholesterol?
Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to deposits in the blood vessels (“atherosclerosis”), which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. A cholesterol test can detect these risks and make it possible to take preventive measures. Most often, it is a poor diet that contributes to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat that together with cholesterol make up the body’s main types of fat. Triglycerides are used by the body as an energy source, while cholesterol is needed to build cells and form hormones. We get triglycerides mainly through the diet, while cholesterol is found in the diet but is mostly formed by the body itself. The amount of cholesterol that the body forms depends to some extent on the type of fat that we eat in combination with genetic factors that affect cholesterol synthesis. In addition, the body’s cholesterol levels and triglycerides are also affected by various hormones.
Cholesterol and triglyceride tests measure the total amount of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood. Cholesterol is transported in the blood bound to a protein. This cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. With the help of lipoprotein analysis, it is possible to see the level of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Why analyse triglycerides?
A high triglyceride value, together with a high LDL cholesterol value, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to having only a high LDL cholesterol.
What is LDL cholesterol?
The abbreviation LDL stands for “low-density lipoprotein”, that is, lipoprotein with low density (thickness). LDL cholesterol transports fat and a small amount of protein from the liver to other parts of the body.
Why analyse LDL cholesterol?
A normal level of LDL cholesterol in the blood is useful because cholesterol is then transported out to body parts that need it. But LDL cholesterol is sometimes called “bad cholesterol” because an elevated level in the blood can lead to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What does a high LDL cholesterol value mean?
High LDL levels are seen in primary and secondary hypercholesterolemia. Primary hypercholesterolemia is due to genetic factors, the most common form of which is familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Secondary hypercholesterolemia is seen in case of underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), nephrotic syndrome, obstructive liver disease and diabetes.
What is HDL cholesterol?
The abbreviation HDL stands for “high-density lipoprotein”, i.e. lipoprotein with high density (thickness), and is one of the classes of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. HDL consists mainly of protein with a small amount of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is considered benign because it removes excess cholesterol from tissues and carries it to the liver to be metabolised. That’s why HDL cholesterol is often called the “good” cholesterol, but it’s not quite that simple in reality.
High levels of cholesterol have been shown to be associated with the development of atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) and cardiovascular disease. When cholesterol levels in the blood increase (so that enough is not removed by HDL), it can be stored on the walls of the blood vessels. These deposits, also known as plaque, can build up and cause the vessel walls to become stiff, and can eventually narrow the openings of blood vessels, slowing the flow of blood.
A higher level of blood HDL can reduce the risk of developing plaque by removing cholesterol from the blood and thereby reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Why analyse HDL cholesterol?
HDL cholesterol is usually analysed along with other lipid tests including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides as part of a lipid profile during a health check. This is done to find unhealthy levels of lipids and to determine the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
HDL cholesterol should be monitored regularly if previous test results have shown an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, if an individual has had a heart attack, or if someone is undergoing treatment for high cholesterol. Some risk factors for bad cholesterol levels include:
- Age (men 45 years or older or women 55 years or older)
- Hypertension (blood pressure of 140/90 or higher or taking medication for high blood pressure)
- Family history of premature heart disease (heart disease in a close relative)
- Existing heart disease or previous heart attack
HDL levels can also be checked at regular intervals to evaluate the effect of dietary and lifestyle changes aimed at increasing one’s HDL levels.
What is hs-CRP?
People know regular CRP mainly as an infection or tissue damage indicator. However, it also helps assess the risk of cardiovascular disease. CRP stands for C-reactive protein. The liver produces and releases this protein when reacting to infections (especially bacterial ones), inflammation, or different kinds of tissue damage, including surgical procedures.
Regular CRP measures the high CRP levels that arise in response to infectious disease or tissue damage, while a high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) measures the low-grade inflammation that may be present in the body of otherwise healthy individuals.
Why analyse hs-CRP?
The latest research has shown that chronic low-grade inflammation in the body can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. Cardiovascular disease usually arise due to plaque formation in the body’s large blood vessels, so-called atherosclerosis. Despite the name, atherosclerosis is not about the deposit of calcium in our blood vessels, but about the deposit of cholesterol and the accumulation of activated immune cells. This process is both caused and exacerbated by a chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, which can be measured by highly sensitive CRP in the blood.
What is TSH?
TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, originates from the pituitary gland, following signals from the hypothalamus in the brain. The thyroid gland’s functionality determines the amount of TSH in the blood. A feedback mechanism informs the brain when the body has adequate thyroid levels, ensuring TSH stays within the normal range.
If this feedback mechanism encounters problems, it might disrupt the thyroid gland’s function. A TSH test can help identify these disturbances. When the blood lacks sufficient thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland produces more TSH. This production then prompts the thyroid gland to release additional thyroid hormones, namely T4 and T3. However, if the thyroid remains unresponsive to TSH signals, the TSH value will increase.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that wraps around the trachea at the front of the neck, just below the larynx. It produces thyroid hormone, which is key to regulating the body’s metabolism. Dysfunction of the thyroid gland, in the form of an under- or overactive thyroid gland, affects 2-4% of the population and is 10 times more common in women compared to men.
Why analyse TSH?
A TSH test measures the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood. There are several reasons why you want to analyse your TSH levels. The main reason is to check if the thyroid gland is working properly. Analysis of free T4 and T3 together with TSH provides a better picture of the body’s thyroid function and is used to detect possible hypothyroidism (underfunctioning of the thyroid gland) or hyperthyroidism (overfunctioning of the thyroid gland). In established hyper- or hypothyroidism, a TSH test can help assess whether the problem is due to the thyroid gland or the pituitary gland.
TSH is also a sensitive marker to follow the treatment effect of thyroid hormone replacement. A TSH test is recommended at regular intervals when an individual is being treated for a thyroid disorder with 6-8 weeks being a suitable interval. For those interested in a thyroid test including antibodies, we also offer this.
What is folate/folic acid?
Folate or folic acid (a synthetic form of folate), also known as vitamin B9, is an important factor for growth and is a prerequisite for the formation of red blood cells and for normal cell division.
Why analyse folate/folic acid?
Folate/folic acid is analysed to determine a possible folate deficiency. The most common causes of folate deficiency are as follows:
- Celiac disease – dominant cause, often with concomitant B12 and iron deficiency
- Pregnancy – increased need
- Hemolytic anaemia – increased need
- Kidney failure
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is 1 of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert the food we eat into energy. B vitamins are also needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and normal liver function. They also help the nervous system to function normally.
Why do we need vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a particularly important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells and it helps with the production of DNA and RNA. Vitamin B12 works closely with vitamin B9, also called folate or folic acid (a synthetic form of folate), to create red blood cells and maintain a normal blood count.
The link between vitamin B12 and folate
Vitamin B12 and folate work together to produce S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is the body’s universal methyl donor and plays a role in the immune system, maintains cell membranes and helps produce and break down chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin and melatonin. Being deficient in either vitamin B12 and/or folate can reduce levels of SAMe in the body.
Vitamin B12, B6 and B9 (folate) also work together to maintain homocysteine within the normal range. High levels of homocysteine are associated with cardiovascular disease. But science has not been able to fully determine whether homocysteine is a cause of cardiovascular disease or just a marker that indicates someone may have cardiovascular disease. More research is needed to determine this.
What symptoms can B12 deficiency cause?
It is unusual for young people to be deficient in vitamin B12, but it is not uncommon for older people to be deficient. This may be because they have less stomach acid that the body needs to absorb B12. Low levels of B12 can cause a range of symptoms including:
- Respiratory distress
- Tingling sensations in fingers and toes
- Severe deficiency of B12 causes nerve damage
Which risk groups exist for B12 deficiency?
The people most at risk for B12 deficiency include:
- Vegans and vegetarians who do not eat dairy or eggs, as vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, except in trace amounts in unwashed vegetables and other vegetables that cannot be relied upon as sufficient sources
- People with problems absorbing nutrients due to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatic disease, weight loss surgery, or certain medications
- People with eating disorders
- People with HIV
- People with diabetes
Folate/folic acid can mask B12 deficiency
Folate/folic acid (vitamin B9), especially when taken in high doses, can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. The danger with this is that without symptoms, you can walk around with a B12 deficiency and not know about it, and can thus risk developing more serious consequences, e.g. nerve damage that is irreversible.
What is vitamin D?
While its name might imply otherwise, vitamin D is in fact a steroid hormone. It profoundly influences our health by impacting hundreds of genes across a majority of our body’s cells. Essential for ensuring the body efficiently absorbs phosphorus and calcium, vitamin D maintains both our bone structure and teeth. Additionally, it’s crucial for the regular operation of the immune system.
When we stay outdoors in the summer, we build up a layer of vitamin D that the body then consumes during the dark part of the year. The body then stores vitamin D for about three months (personal variation occurs) so it is not until three months after the sunny months of summer that we feel low vitamin D levels.
Why analyse vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an important component of the body’s metabolism and lack of vitamin D plays a role in many diseases. The risk of infectious diseases as well as winter and spring depressions, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, general aches and obesity can increase with vitamin D deficiency.
How is vitamin D formed?
When we are out in the sun and exposed to UV radiation, the body produces vitamin D via cholesterol in the skin, which is then sent to the liver and kidneys where it is converted into an active form.
In the summer, you don’t have to be outside for long periods of time for your body to form enough vitamin D. For a light-skinned person, about 15-20 minutes of sun exposure in a t-shirt is enough. Dark-skinned and elderly people have a poorer ability to form vitamin D via the sun, which means that they may need to stay in the sun for a longer time to form enough vitamin D.
In winter, the sun in most of Europe is too weak for the production of vitamin D to be stimulated. For that reason, most people need vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter months.
How do you get vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency mainly occurs due to reduced conversion of vitamin D in the skin, and it is common for the values to be below or at the bottom of the reference range during the winter months because the sun’s rays are then not strong enough for the body to be able to form vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can also be caused by reduced parathyroid function (hypoparathyroidism), but this is an uncommon disease.
What level of vitamin D should one have?
The body’s level of vitamin D naturally varies throughout the year. During the winter months, UV radiation is too weak for the body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is stored in the body, so if you have had enough sunlight during the summer months, your body will use the vitamin D that is available. If you have stored less from the summer, the risk of your vitamin D level dropping to a deficient level already in the autumn increases. If you have more stored, you can last longer.
- <25 nmol/L deficiency
- 25-50 nmol/L insufficiency
- >50 nmol/L sufficiency
- >100-125 nmol/L optimal level
- >150 nmol/L increases the risk of kidney stones
- >250 nmol/L potentially toxic
Can you overdose on vitamin D?
Very high levels (above 250 nmol/L) of vitamin D are toxic and can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood, calcium deposits in the kidneys and kidney failure. It is not possible to overdose on vitamin D through diet alone, but if you take supplements that contain large amounts of vitamin D, you can overdose overtime.
What does a high vitamin D value mean?
High vitamin D levels are seen in hyperparathyroidism (uncommon), in large intakes of vitamin D (mainly via dietary supplements), sarcoid and other granulomatous diseases with increased calcium concentration and in some cases in pregnancy. This can lead to hypercalcemia and metastatic soft tissue calcification. The half-life of vitamin D is considered to be 2-3 weeks, while the terminal half-life is considerably longer.
What is Vitamin E?
Occurring in various forms, with alpha-tocopherol being the most prevalent, Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. Its main function is to serve as an antioxidant, safeguarding body cells from free radicals inducing oxidative stress. Additionally, it supports the immune system and aids in preventing blood clots.
Why analyse vitamin E?
Vitamin E plays an important role as an antioxidant in the body and also contributes to a normal immune system.
What is Q10?
CoQ10 is a coenzyme and an antioxidant that is produced naturally in the body and contributes to the cells’ energy metabolism. The body’s Q10 levels decrease with increasing age, and people over 50 generally have lower Q10 levels.
Why analyse Q10?
Q10 plays an important role in cellular energy metabolism and high/normal levels are associated with healthy aging.
What is ferritin?
Ferritin, a protein in the body, binds iron. The body’s primary storage form of iron connects to ferritin. The level of ferritin in your blood indicates the amount of iron storage in your body, and as you age, ferritin values tend to increase. This is why many refer to ferritin as the body’s iron depot. You’ll primarily find ferritin in the liver, spleen, skeletal muscle, and bone marrow. Only a small amount of ferritin circulates in the blood. By testing your ferritin level, you get a better picture of your iron level than if you only test iron.
Why analyse ferritin?
Ferritin is a marker that reflects the availability of iron in the body. Iron is not only one of the components of hemoglobin that is necessary to transport oxygen to all parts of the body, but also a necessary part of the body’s metabolism. Therefore, having excessively high or low iron levels can be harmful.
Symptoms of high or low ferritin levels
At high levels, the following symptoms may occur:
- Joint pain
- Liver problems
At low levels, the following symptoms may occur:
- Shortness of breath on exertion
Serving as a vital antioxidant, selenium shields the body from oxidation reactions that can damage cells and hasten aging. It also bolsters the immune system and offers protection against specific heavy metals like arsenic and mercury. However, caution is essential, as consuming excessively high amounts of selenium can be toxic.
Symptoms of selenium deficiency:
- Increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal poisoning
- Plantar pains in children
Symptoms of high selenium levels:
- Affects the gastrointestinal tract
- Impaired growth of hair and nails
Essential for various bodily functions, copper plays a role in the cardiovascular system, bones, brain, nerves, connective tissue, and thyroid gland. Additionally, it’s vital for the formation of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a potent antioxidant. While copper and zinc frequently collaborate, it’s worth noting that high copper levels often correlate with increased estrogen levels.
Symptoms of copper deficiency:
- Skeletal problems
- Degeneration of the nervous system
- Impaired brain function
Symptoms of high copper levels:
- Low mood, depression, learning difficulties
- PMS, mood swings
- Impaired immune system
How does the test work?
You conduct the test at home by pricking your finger and collecting the blood in a test tube. Make sure to take the test on an empty stomach in the morning. After sending the sample to the lab, you’ll receive your results digitally.