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The Definitive Health Thread

Bio

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I'm creating this thread as a resource for the conscientious weightlifting enthusiast who uses AAS and ancillaries. John Meadows recent passing has rocked the bodybuilding world. I hope those with the proper knowledge will contribute to this thread. This will be a comprehensive resource for health issues we need to be aware of and the tests that are needed. There are volumes of information on this incredible forum but let's try to get it not only in one thread but one post! I'll take the information that's posted and add it to this first post so people don't have to search through multiple pages!!

It's unfortunate that the medical world is more reactive than proactive. You can go to 23andMe or Ancestry and get DNA testing done that shows genetic factors where one may be susceptible and all for a very cheap price considering what you get. Sadly the medical community, that I know of, isn't offering a cumulative testing package like this.

Ok, I'll start with a few and hopefully this list keeps growing!

Cardiovascular

- Blood Pressure - This is the simplest thing one can track and so many still don't. High BP causes Cardiomyopathy and is the #1 cause of Kidney Failure.

- Resting Heart Rate and Average Maximum Heart Rate - https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates

- ECG/EKG - Records the electrical signals in your heart which can reveal an arrhythmia. https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/uk/types-of-arrhythmia

- Echocardiogram - This is an ultrasound of the heart that can reveal different types of heart disease and/or defects. This will also give you your Ejection Fraction. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/echocardiogram

- Calcium CT Score - This measures the plaque inside your arteries. $99 to $150 out of pocket! https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/heart-scan/about/pac-20384686

- VAP Panel - This is a Cardiovascular Risk Marker Panel. It's an in-depth look at your different lipoprotein, TG's, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular relevant lipid levels.


- CRP HS - C Reactive Protein High Sensitivity is a predictor in the risks of future heart attacks, stroke, arterial disease, or sudden cardiac death even when cholesterol levels are within normal ranges. https://healthresearchfunding.org/understanding-the-crp-hs-blood-test-results/

- BNP (B-Type Natriuretic Peptide) - BNP helps the body compensate for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/bnp-an-important-new-cardiac-test

Clotting Disorders

- Factor V Leiden - A genetic blood clotting disorder. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/factor-v-leiden/symptoms-causes/syc-20372423

- Prothrombin II Mutation - A genetic blood clotting disorder. https://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_more/prothrombin-g20210a-factor-ii-mutation/

- Polycythemia Vera - A blood cancer that begins in the marrow and causes it to make too many red blood cells. Polycythemia Vera is usually inherited and you can be genetically tested for Polycythemia Vera via its marker, the JAK2 (Janus-associated kinase 2) gene present in approx 95% of cases. You would likely only have this genetic test if other symptoms were present such as irregularly high RBC counts, above normal HCT, and enlarged spleen. Bone marrow can also be sampled for examination. Just because you test negative for JAK2, you may still have polycythemia.

Types and treatment:

Polycythemia Vera
is a chronic cancer associated with inherently proliferative activity in bone marrow (95% along with JAK2 gene) causing elevated RBCs, HbG, white blood cell counts (specifically granulocytes) and also platelet counts. It is treatable but not curable.

Secondary Polycythemia: Unlike Polycythemia Vera, secondary polycythemia manifests for a specific reason such as increased erythrocytosis brought on by a specific condition such as hypoxia, sleep apnea, steroid abuse, etc. In other words, fix the underlying problem and erythrocytosis should return to normal. Once the underlying cause is treated, secondary polycythemia will usually resolve itself but often not before some type of tissue damage is done.

Nonspecific Secondary Polycythemia: Manifests for no identifiable reason whatsoever. It is treatable but for obvious reasons, not curable.


Supplements

This is for supplements that we use for acute issues and proactively for long term health!

- Curcumin - This has so many health benefits it's mind boggling. Type in any disease or disorder along with Curcumin and most often a study will pop up.
 
Last edited:

Hemoglobin

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VAP Panel is a must for bloodwork when wanting to get a good in-depth look at your different lipoprotein, TG's, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular relevant lipid levels.

 

buck

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People forget that Dir.'s are not trained in health. Mostly just managing pain and curing disease. We have to mostly take care of our selves and be pro active. Hearing things we don't want to hear or know, is something many don't want to deal with. John Meadows was a great man on his own right even outside of bodybuilding. If i remember his first Dr after his heart attack gave him negative reports. Then he recached out other very knowledgeable Dr.s and he liked what they said better. I have to wonder which Dr's opinion was more correct. Dr.s have a tough job so i am not trying to knock any of them. No one will know us better then we do our selves, but being honest with ourselves can be difficult.
 

Dens228

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Blood pressure, blood pressure, blood pressure. When it's high it causes so many problems.

Sleep apnea. I ignored it for years, figured it was a fat person problem. I was wrong. The CPAP changed my life. And cut my blood pressure meds in half.

I'll also mention bodyweight, both muscle and fat. I walked round at roughly 5-9 and 240 pounds for the last 15-20 years, not ripped but definitely not fat. I turned 57 years old this year and realized there was absolutely no reason to weigh that much. I'm down to 222-224 and my energy is greatly increased at the end of the day. I have my yearly physical in a couple weeks and am looking forward to see any changes.
 

NEMSZ

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VAP Panel is a must for bloodwork when wanting to get a good in-depth look at your different lipoprotein, TG's, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular relevant lipid levels.


Privatemdlabs has similar testing with “Cardio IQ” that does in depth into lipids, lipoprotein, size and fractionation etc as well, I do them twice per year..

Also other tests I think are important;

CRP HS

BNP (B-Type Nateiuretic Peptide) heart health/function

Fasting Insulin

Cancer detection/prevention panel (privatemd has this)

Here’s a link to my thread also for Blood Clot Factor testing


They also have Prothrombin Time with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times;

 

maldorf

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Blood pressure, blood pressure, blood pressure. When it's high it causes so many problems.

Sleep apnea. I ignored it for years, figured it was a fat person problem. I was wrong. The CPAP changed my life. And cut my blood pressure meds in half.

I'll also mention bodyweight, both muscle and fat. I walked round at roughly 5-9 and 240 pounds for the last 15-20 years, not ripped but definitely not fat. I turned 57 years old this year and realized there was absolutely no reason to weigh that much. I'm down to 222-224 and my energy is greatly increased at the end of the day. I have my yearly physical in a couple weeks and am looking forward to see any changes.
In addition to BP, also look at resting heart rate and heart rate recovery during exercise. If your resting heart rate during the day is up in the 90s or over 100, something isnt right. Your heart rate should also recover fairly quickly with exercise, and you shouldnt get winded after doing dumbbell curls.

If your RHR is high, it could be that you have a low EF or a valve problem in the heart.
 

Alzadosghost

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I’m going in next week for a multitude of tests. Bloodwork. Heart lungs organs… I’ll post my blood work after I get it. Good thread brother. Listen up people. We all need to pay attention to our health. John meadows passing got my attention real fast. Up until now I just hoped I wasn’t damaging myself to much but did nothing about it. I just realized there is so much more to life than a big long blast. In the end no one cares what we look like but ourselves. I looked in the mirror the other day and saw someone different.
 

qbkilla

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Blood pressure, blood pressure, blood pressure. When it's high it causes so many problems.

Sleep apnea. I ignored it for years, figured it was a fat person problem. I was wrong. The CPAP changed my life. And cut my blood pressure meds in half.

I'll also mention bodyweight, both muscle and fat. I walked round at roughly 5-9 and 240 pounds for the last 15-20 years, not ripped but definitely not fat. I turned 57 years old this year and realized there was absolutely no reason to weigh that much. I'm down to 222-224 and my energy is greatly increased at the end of the day. I have my yearly physical in a couple weeks and am looking forward to see any changes.
Agree with this. I know I have said this over and over, imo it seems like the number on the scale is equally if not more dangerous than the number of mg per week

You can bulk up to 240 at 510 on trt, but that weight be it muscle or fat is stressing the body, the heart, the kidneys. Many NFL lineman lose a ton of weight after retirement I am assuming they know some good Doctors.

Kidneys of course should always be monitored.

Don't neglect cardio w brisk walk of the dog Ed may not cut it for many.

Look at lifestyle before medication and supplements

And lastly, stress is no joke. Toxic jobs and toxic relationships aren't good for the bp and heart. Don't be afraid to walk away from something that causes you stress. A wise man knows when to walk away from something that causes him misery and distress.
 

Love_to_Bodybuild

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I've got to get some or all of these tests

Recently found out if cholesterol is high and a calcium test shows plaque a statin is needed. If the results don't show plaque, even if cholesterol is high, a statin is not needed

I think I've found the safest statin
 

Needmassquick

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People forget that Dir.'s are not trained in health. Mostly just managing pain and curing disease. We have to mostly take care of our selves and be pro active. Hearing things we don't want to hear or know, is something many don't want to deal with. John Meadows was a great man on his own right even outside of bodybuilding. If i remember his first Dr after his heart attack gave him negative reports. Then he recached out other very knowledgeable Dr.s and he liked what they said better. I have to wonder which Dr's opinion was more correct. Dr.s have a tough job so i am not trying to knock any of them. No one will know us better then we do our selves, but being honest with ourselves can be difficult.
This makes it sound like the first doctor was wrong and Dr S was better. Dr. S should have told him to get an ICD. His cardiologist gave him false hope that he would get back to normal. I agree many doctors in traditional healthcare don't know enough about prevention but MyNameIsJeff had a good post in the JM thread showing why some of these alternative doctors can be problematic too.

Btw not blaming John at all. I know he was doing everything he thought he could to give any advantage to his health possible. I'm more speaking to the fact that there is a lot of conflicting information out there and it can be hard for even the educated to parse it out.
 

Love_to_Bodybuild

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It's older generations thinking that your doctor will solve everything for you and trust your doctor they'll do all the work for you

Like someone mentioned being proactive about your health you have to talk with your doctor about it and even then many times the doctor is stuck in their ways and still won't do what you say so sometimes you have to find another doctor or wait and find out more information as like with anything it's a continual learning process
 

buck

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This makes it sound like the first doctor was wrong and Dr S was better. Dr. S should have told him to get an ICD. His cardiologist gave him false hope that he would get back to normal. I agree many doctors in traditional healthcare don't know enough about prevention but MyNameIsJeff had a good post in the JM thread showing why some of these alternative doctors can be problematic too.

Btw not blaming John at all. I know he was doing everything he thought he could to give any advantage to his health possible. I'm more speaking to the fact that there is a lot of conflicting information out there and it can be hard for even the educated to parse it out.
And when i read that it seems to me i may be bashing the second Dr.. Since he seemed to tell John that he was doing better then what the first Dr. said. And we know how things turned out. Most medicine IMO is not about right or wrong. Medicine is not an exact science. Dr.'s take their schooling then add their experience and give out the opinion they have at that moment. There is no way for an expert to know everything in his field and keep up on all the new info coming out all the time. And listening to the patient and interpreting what the person is telling him. Dr's have a lot to take in then render a diagnosis.
 

thethinker48

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On genetic testing


"Our analyses indicated that 40% of variants in a variety of genes reported in DTC raw data were false positives. In addition, some variants designated with the “increased risk” classification in DTC raw data or by a third-party interpretation service were classified as benign at Ambry Genetics"

Not sure if there has been changes in testing methodologies; but this is prob one of the reasons I've held off from getting a 23andme from a health standpoint. You don't want to get flagged for something that's not there, nor have peace of mind about stuff that didn't show up
 

maldorf

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On genetic testing


"Our analyses indicated that 40% of variants in a variety of genes reported in DTC raw data were false positives. In addition, some variants designated with the “increased risk” classification in DTC raw data or by a third-party interpretation service were classified as benign at Ambry Genetics"

Not sure if there has been changes in testing methodologies; but this is prob one of the reasons I've held off from getting a 23andme from a health standpoint. You don't want to get flagged for something that's not there, nor have peace of mind about stuff that didn't show up
No way in hell I'd trust the results from a place like that.
 

FrancisK

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Not going to lie I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, great thread thanks Bio it will be put to use.
 

hawkmoon

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I posted this on Dante's IG, but I think getting your DNA from 23andme is useful. They give you the two clotting factors as part of the basic info. You can download all.your DNA as a text file and use services like promothease for more detailed information and references.

 

Dugbet

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Agree with this. I know I have said this over and over, imo it seems like the number on the scale is equally if not more dangerous than the number of mg per week

You can bulk up to 240 at 510 on trt, but that weight be it muscle or fat is stressing the body, the heart, the kidneys. Many NFL lineman lose a ton of weight after retirement I am assuming they know some good Doctors.

There is no danger from carrying a lot of muscle mass, the danger is that most of those who carry a lot of muscle mass, are taking gear.

Unlike excess weight in the form of fat, muscle mass cannot be more than beneficial, as long as it is achieved naturally.
 

hawkmoon

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There is no danger from carrying a lot of muscle mass, the danger is that most of those who carry a lot of muscle mass, are taking gear.

Unlike excess weight in the form of fat, muscle mass cannot be more than beneficial, as long as it is achieved naturally.


I think "a lot" is the quantitative measure here. A lot in terms of a 50+ natural male won't be much. More tissue equals more expense for the organs. Dante has been warning people to lighten up in their later years, and not just on terms of lower AAS use.

I think I'm pushing it with a lean 225 at 52 of I'm honest and thinking how I will pare it down in the coming years. My heart and lungs would probably be a lot happier were I 20lbs lighter.
 

Bio

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I want to say this, the health advice is for everyone but this is still a board for competitive and non-competitive bodybuilders that are pushing the limits. We all know a lighter body weight would be healthier but that's not plausible for someone who's looking to push the limits of their body and not what this thread is about. This thread is about taking as many precautions as you can while pushing the limits and monitoring your health so you can be in control as much as one can be.
 

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