As we’ve talked about before, birth control can have some drastic effects on blood biomarkers. If you’ve received your blood test results and been concerned about some elevated (or low) sex hormone markers, it’s important to consider how lifestyle factors, like whether you're taking hormonal contraceptives, may play a role. Here's how birth control can affect blood levels of various hormones – and the implications those imbalances have on your health.Read more
The world of sports performance is becoming increasingly scientific. Wearable technology, sleep tracking, and cutting-edge recovery techniques have made training programs more data-driven than ever. And while it's easy to blindly apply these new resources to the masses, a marker of a great strength and conditioning coach is the ability to personalize and individualize their approach to each of their athletes. Of course, doing so can be challenging – it's hard to know exactly what each athlete needs. But with the help of blood biomarker tracking and personalized recommendations, these answers can be reached more easily than ever.Read more
Female infertility can be confusing, discouraging, and all-around difficult to talk about. But if you're experiencing it, know that you're not alone. The truth is, female infertility is a common problem in the United States – roughly 10% of all women aged 15-44 experience difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.1 Some contributing factors, like age and conditions affecting the female reproductive system, are out of anyone's control. But there are steps you can take to improve your fertility status, as certain lifestyle changes can improve critical blood biomarkers.2Read more
We're often asked if hormonal contraceptives can affect female biomarkers. The answer? Yes. It makes sense then, that women begin to wonder how they are affected, and to what extent.
Like any other medication, hormonal contraceptives (pills, patches, rings, IUDs, implants, and injections) interfere with the normal functioning of the body. Naturally, there can be some unintended residual effects. Therefore, some out-of-range biomarkers may be attributed to your contraceptive use, while others may be a combination of factors. It's important to note that throughout this blog post, we will refer to all hormonal contraceptives (pills, patches, rings, IUDs, implants, and injections), as OC – aka oral contraceptives. This may seem a misnomer, but in the current scientific literature, "OC" is used to characterize all hormonal contraceptives, unless indicated otherwise. We hope this post will help you better understand how your OC could be affecting some of your biomarker levels.Read more
The professional tennis season is 11 months long, and physical demand forces players to push their body to the limit for an entire year. Consequently, headlines announcing players pulling out of tournaments often cite fatigue as the culprit. Some players have opted to withdraw from tournaments leading up to the Rio Olympic games on August 6th in order to give their bodies some much needed rest. However, those participating in the Olympics may then experience fatigue leading into the U.S. Open, which follows just a few weeks after.
Pro tennis players' fatigue, for the most part, results from the season’s demands of training, matches, and traveling – with minimal recovery time. But, you don't have to be a pro to feel the effects of fatigue in sport; some InsideTracker users lament feeling a "lack of energy" during their own tennis matches. Here are some biomarkers that might be to blame for tennis burn-out.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, also known as SHBG, is an awesome little glycoprotein that most of us have never heard of. Since SHBH is related to testosterone and other sex hormones, many women remain in the dark about their SHBG status. But SHBG is an important biomarker for women to pay attention to! Read more to find out why.Read more
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is essential for muscle development and strength, bone health, sexual function, overall energy, and athletic performance. Although both men and women produce testosterone, women normally have very little of this hormone - a fraction of the amount that men typically have. However, having too much or too little testosterone can cause problems. Excess testosterone decreases the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, affects heart health, and impairs sexual and reproductive function. In contrast, low testosterone can make you feel tired, uninterested in sex, and less competitive, as well as diminishing your athletic performance. Possible causes of low testosterone include overtraining and low levels of zinc and magnesium.Read more