I have often said that athletes and high-end people should NEVER see a normal person doctor. I make the comparison to cars as "you don't take a twin-turbocharged V12 Ferrari engine to a Toyota Corolla specialist." I know that I belabor this point.
However, I want to give you yet another example from my patients. I recently had a patient come in. His doctor told him he was very unhealthy and needed several medications, dietary, and life changes because this normal person doctor was sure that this patient was on the road to disease and death due to his labs.
What was this terrible and scary issue he had? His ALT and AST levels were higher than they should be. They were in the '60s, and the lab value said that the top of the range was 40. Now on the face of it, that seems bad. However, doctors should understand how the body works. This individual is a competitive athlete; you can tell from looking at him that he works out quite a bit.
He is also on a healthy, not overly high testosterone replacement, a red flag for the normal person doctor. When I met with him, I asked him what his training routine was, and he told me fasting cardio and core work in the morning and weights in the latter part of the day. I asked him how often he trained like that, and he told me 5-6 days a week. His heart rate was 65 beats a min, and pulse ox was 99, blood pressure was 125/70, reported that he slept great, had good energy, worked to manage his stress, and took what I viewed as a solid amount of nutritional supplementation.
In other words, he was perfectly healthy, much healthier than the average person. So why did the normal person doctor get all scared and bent out of shape? He didn't have the first clue how to work on a Ferrari. Let's look at the labs. He was so scared of ALT and AST. These labs show liver enzyme levels, NOT LIVER DAMAGE. ALT is short for alanine aminotransferase, and AST is short for aspartate aminotransferase.
Even without medical training, you can see the word amino in the long version and the word ASE. This should alert someone to the idea that something is happening with amino acids, proteins, and the breaking down of those structures.
As the research shows, which any quick NCBI check will show you, these levels are higher with increased protein intake and vigorous exercise. Now, why would this happen? Well, as you eat more protein, your body has to process it, and that will lead to the use of more enzymes needed to break down protein.
The other big point is that ALT and AST is found in skeletal or lifting muscle tissues, as well as cardiac muscles.
So, think about this again. If you have someone that, on a daily basis, works out his heart, core and lifts weights while eating a higher than normal amount of protein, shouldn't his levels of protein and amino acids be higher than someone that sits around at a computer all day? In case I lost you, the answer is yes, they should be higher. So, in the case of this person, he is completely healthy he just had someone that has no business making health and wellness calls on an athlete give him a bad report.
Please, if you are an athlete or someone that functions at a high level, please seek out doctors who have been trained or who have trained themselves to work on you. If you are a trainer, please guide your people to doctors that understand how to work on Ferraris. Had this person taken the advice of a normal doctor guy, it would have damaged his health, not make it better. As someone that requests you investigate what is said, I have some research for you if you would like.
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