How Randox is helping to diagnose metabolic conditions
Metabolic health is a term used to describe a collection of required chemical reactions that take place in all living organisms. A metabolic disorder develops when an abnormal chemical reaction occurs which alters the normal metabolic process.
A common misconception surrounding metabolic health is that it refers solely to your weight, and if you are overweight you are considered to be unhealthy. But in actual fact this may not be entirely true. Good metabolism means that your body is in good overall health, which doesn’t account for just your weight! Common metabolic disorders include genetic metabolic disorders, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Understanding and testing to see how well your metabolism is functioning is key to ensuring long lasting health.
There are a number of genetic metabolic disorders caused by mutations of single genes. Examples of common disorders include Gaucher’s disease, hemochromatosis and cystic fibrosis. Gaucher’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to break down fat that can accumulate in the liver/spleen and bone marrow. Hemochromatosis is a condition that is caused by the over-absorption and build-up of iron while cystic fibrosis is a metabolic disorder that appears as a result of a build-up of mucus in lungs/liver and intestines. Each of these metabolic disorders affect certain organs from functioning properly and therefore your overall healthiness.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common types of metabolic disorders in the world that is expected to affect 592 million people by 2035. It is characterised by high blood sugar, insulin resistance or a lack of insulin being produced by the pancreas. Insulin resistance occurs when the body isn’t able to use insulin the right way which increases blood glucose levels. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and convert it into energy. Over time this lack of insulin can damage the organs in your body.
Metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X, Reaven’s syndrome, and CHAOS) is not a disease but a collection of risk factors that affect your health; these include high blood pressure, high blood sugar/cholesterol and abdominal fat. Left untreated, these risk factors, together, can lead to long term serious problems including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and developing type 2 diabetes.
Can you improve your metabolic health?
Yes! The good news is that if you discover that your metabolic health is not up to scratch you can improve it through a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle adjustments such as:
- 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise 5-7 times a week
- Low-dose aspirin to reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack
- Quit smoking
- Medication for blood pressure/cholesterol/ blood sugar
- Limit alcohol intake
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers several parameters to assess your overall metabolic health.
Metabolic Health Profile
|Alkaline Phosphatase||C02 Total||Sodium|
|AST (GOT)||Glucose||Total Protein|
The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument. Our world-famous test menu of high quality reagents ensures excellence in patient care, guaranteeing unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.
For more information visit: https://www.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/
How much do you know about metabolic syndrome?
It is often mistaken for diabetes, but the truth is, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions – including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol. When these occur together, your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes is increased.
Determining whether or not a patient has metabolic syndrome is a complex process, with basic measurements including height and weight, as well as tests for insulin, leptin (a hunger-suppressing hormone) and adiponectin (a hormone inversely related to dangerous internal fat) factoring in to a comprehensive scientific investigation.
The first step in this investigation is often a test for Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the rate at which the body consumes calories for basic bodily processes – eg. maintaining internal temperature, repairing cells, pumping blood and powering muscles.
With the results of your Basal Metabolic Rate at hand, the scientific team at Randox Health can then present you with your Metabolic Age, or True Body Age as it is often known, by comparing your best Basal Metabolic Rate to other age groups.
The result is relative to gender, age, height and weight and other lifestyle factors. Increased BMR can be the result of frequent physical exercise, stress, illness, diabetes or hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), whereas decreased BMR can be associated with old age, loss of lean body mass or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). Certain drugs, for example antidepressants, and menopause, can also affect BMR.
If the age indicated is lower than your actual age, then congratulations! With your healthy living habits, you have managed to shave years off your age. If the result is higher than your actual age, then you may need to increase your exercise levels or review your diet to improve your results.
And therein lies the good news. With changes to diet and exercise, you can prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome.
And that’s why it’s so important to find out the status of your health at the earliest possible stage – so that you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle before you develop a more serious condition.
At Randox Health events across the country, including this year’s Randox Health Grand National, our team of scientists are offering free ‘True Body Age’ results on their Body Composition Analysis machine, which assesses 25 different areas of your body. It takes measurements including ratio of muscle to fat, bone density, hidden visceral fat and cellular hydration levels.
In its measurement of Basal Metabolic Rate the BCA machine will give challengers their True Body Age, which can be a great way to kickstart your health improvement journey.
It is however, only the first step in obtaining a comprehensive understanding of your current health, and determining the conditions of which you are personally at risk of developing in the future.
Randox Health goes beyond standard testing – offering the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health check. Following your initial Body Composition Analysis and True Body Age reading, our scientific experts will then analyse up to 350 different results from a blood sample you provide. Armed with the knowledge of your results, you can truly take control of your health and make a change to improve your future wellbeing.
Phone the Randox Health team today to make a booking: 0800 2545 130
Or join us at the Randox Health Grand National for a FREE Body Composition Analysis which will tell you your True Body Age.
Are you taking part in Dry January? Giving up alcohol can do your insides a lot of good, and it’s great news for your liver in particular. It may be that after the festive period our liver needs a little bit of rest!
Did you know that alcohol consumption across the UK increases by a staggering 41 percent more than the annual monthly average in December? That’s more than anywhere else in the world.
The effects of alcohol on your health really depend on how much you drink and how often, but as the statistics show, more of us increase our uptake of alcohol over the festive period.
So how does this impact our body?
The results of over indulging vary from a hangover, a poor night’s sleep, to causing an irregular heartbeat, and in some cases, excessive alcohol intake can lead to liver damage. This can be a very serious condition, given the liver’s vital role in the body.
The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes. In fat metabolism, it breaks down fats and produces energy. When we intake alcohol or drugs, the liver metabolizes the drug and detoxifies chemicals. And it also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.
Following these processes, the liver also secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines and helps the digestion of fats and oils, otherwise known as lipids.
As Randox Health Expert Dr. Gary Smyth explains:
“The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body and also one of the most important. Although it is very resilient, each time it has to filter alcohol some of its cells die. The liver can develop new cells, but abuse over a prolonged period reduces its ability to regenerate, causing serious damage.”
It is not just heavy drinking over years that can cause liver disease – binge drinking is also a culprit and can lead to your liver becoming fatty and inflamed. The best advice is to drink in moderation. Simple tips like taking a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks are key to staying hydrated.
Know your units;
- According to drinkaware.co.uk, unit guidelines are now the same for men and women.
- Both are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- This equates to 6 pints of 4% beer / 6 glasses of 13% wine / 14 glasses (25ml) of 40% spirits
- But don’t save up your 14 units, it’s best to spread evenly across the week.
- If you want to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way is to have several drink-free days each week.
- If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.
What does one unit of alcohol look like?
One unit of alcohol is the amount of alcohol an average adult can process within one hour so that so that there’s no alcohol left in their bloodstream.
One unit of alcohol equates to:
- 218ml of standard 4.5% cider
- 76ml of standard 13% wine
- 25ml of standard 40% whiskey
- 250ml of standard 4% beer
- 250ml of a standard 4% alcopop
How many units are in my drink?
- Small glass white / rosé / red wine (125ml 12%) = 1.5 units
- Standard glass white / rosé / red wine (175 ml 12%) = 2.1 units
- Large glass white / red / rosé wine (250ml 12%) = 3 units
- Pint of lager / beer / cider (5.2%) = 3 units
- Bottle of lager / beer / cider (330ml 5%) = 1.7 units
- Single small shot of spirits (25ml 40%) = 1 unit*
*taken from NHS Live Well Guidelines
Having your liver health checked after Christmas is a great way of tracking any changes that you may need to make to your lifestyle, for better or for worse – essential for helping you prevent liver disease and allowing you to take early action if it is diagnosed.
At Randox we offer a comprehensive menu of liver function tests to determine the health of your liver. Provided by Randox to a wealth of hospitals, laboratories and research facilities across the globe, these tests are also directly available to you, the consumer, via our Randox Health clinics.
- Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – an enzyme mainly found in the liver. Liver injury or disease will release ALT into the bloodstream, thus elevating serum ALT levels. Moderately high or mildly elevated ALT levels can be associated with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver.
- Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) – an enzyme found predominantly in the heart, liver and skeletal muscles. Cell injury or disease will release AST into the bloodstream, thus elevating blood AST levels. Increased AST levels may be associated with hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), or drug-induced liver injury.
- Gamma-Glutamyltransferase (GGT) – an enzyme found mainly in the liver. Increased levels of GGT in the blood may indicate bile duct injury, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver necrosis (death of liver tissue), liver tumours or the use of drugs that are toxic to the liver. A high GGT level is frequently associated with increased alcohol consumption, as this liver enzyme is involved in the breakdown and removal of alcohol from the body.
- Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GLDH) – an enzyme located within the mitochondria (energy-producing machinery) of cells, particularly within liver tissue. Significant liver cell damage may cause release of GLDH into the bloodstream. Toxic liver damage, liver cell necrosis (cell death) or hypoxic liver disease (where liver cells are deprived of oxygen) may cause an increase in GLDH. Measurement of GLDH in combination with other liver markers may help distinguish between different causes of liver dysfunction.
- Bilirubin – a yellowish-brown pigment found in bile (a fluid produced in the liver that facilitates digestion in the intestine). Increased levels may be associated with liver or bile duct blockage (eg due to gallstones), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), trauma to the liver, a drug reaction, long-term alcohol abuse or rare inherited disorders (eg Dubin-Johnson syndrome which is characterised by mild jaundice).
- Albumin – produced by the liver, albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood. Albumin plays in important role in maintaining blood pressure and transporting a wide variety of small molecules, such as hormones, vitamins and drugs, throughout the body. Various conditions are associated with decreased albumin levels, including kidney and liver diseases.
- Copper – an essential mineral that plays a part in many enzyme systems within the body. Excess or deficiency of copper is very rare, however raised copper levels may be caused by chronic liver disease or acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).
And when used in conjunction with the wide variety of other tests available within the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health testing menu, you can obtain an understanding of your full body health like never before.
That’s why we don’t test in isolation, which can give a patchy representation of your health and can fail to pick up on related symptoms elsewhere in the body. We test up to 350 tests across 25 areas of your health – giving you the power to take your health into your own hands.
Contact the Randox Health team today to determine the health of your liver, and of your body.
Call 0800 2545 130 or click here.