In this day and age, there’s no disputing that testosterone is an important component of human anatomy. However, although both males and females carry testosterone, the sex hormone has proven to be much more essential to men’s physical functions and overall sense of wellness. During puberty, testosterone is vital to the development of many physical characteristics, such as muscle growth and facial hair, in adolescent males as they transition into adulthood. Even after men reach their 20s, testosterone continues to help maintain a man’s muscle mass, hair growth, sexual desire, and metabolism, allowing them to stay reasonably fit and physically active.
But that all changes once men start to reach middle age. As men enter their 30s, their testosterone will start to naturally decline and gradually decrease by 1% every year for the remainder of their lives. In some cases, men’s testosterone levels may drop below the normal parameters for their age and lead to a hormone imbalance that can negatively affect their defining male characteristics. In other rare instances, men can also develop high testosterone levels due to various other factors–such as certain tumors, chemotherapy, and surgeries –that can also lead to various symptoms and medical conditions. Unfortunately, most men are usually unaware that their testosterone has been compromised and will chalk up their sudden physical changes to age, allowing the issues to persist until their health starts to worsen.
That’s why as men get older, checking their testosterone levels should become just as important as a colonoscopy or prostate exam. Taking a testosterone test can help men get a picture of how the hormone is affecting their bodies and even provide a window into other serious medical conditions that may be causing a testosterone imbalance. The test results can also help a physician determine a game plan for treatment that can help manage or resolve issues caused by abnormal testosterone levels.
But before you go and get tested, it is good to have a clear understanding of how a testosterone test works, what it measures, and what the test results may mean for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the various types of testosterone tests designed to assess your testosterone and provide some insight into how to understand your test results so you can make more informed decisions when discussing your testosterone levels with the physician.
Lab Testosterone Test
With a laboratory testosterone test, patients will typically schedule patients for an appointment with the lab to have their blood drawn. A healthcare professional will then use a small needle to draw a blood sample from your arm. After the sample is collected into a test tube, it is then processed by to the lab technicians for testing.
What Are Testosterone Tests Used For?
Testosterone tests are typically used in conjunction with other types of diagnostic testing to help your physician determine if your testosterone levels qualify you for testosterone optimisation. Testing is also typically used to help monitor a patient’s testosterone levels when they are undergoing to ensure optimal testosterone levels during therapy.
Indications for Checking Testosterone Levels
There are several reasons why you may need to check your testosterone levels. However, in most cases, testosterone tests are used for aging men who suffer from low testosterone. Your physician will typically request a testosterone test when you’re exhibiting low testosterone symptoms such as:
What Does a Testosterone Test Show?
When testosterone is released into the body, it is typically synthesized and separated into several different forms. About 98% of your testosterone will bind itself to specific proteins (SHBG and albumin) and become bound testosterone that can no longer interact with other cells in the body. The remaining 2% of the testosterone that is unattached to any proteins and available for the body to use is then referred to as free testosterone.
For physicians to get a complete picture of your testosterone levels, they will use a blood test to measure your testosterone.Typically, your doctor will measure your total and free testosterone in separate testosterone tests. A free testosterone test will only measure the “free” or available testosterone in the bloodstream, whereas a total testosterone test will measure both your free and bound testosterone to get the total amount of your testosterone. Physicians will usually use a total testosterone test to measure your testosterone levels and determine if they are or too low.
Rules for Patient Preparation
Ultimately, your physician will be the one to determine how you should prepare for your testosterone test. In some cases, your physician may suggest that you avoid eating and drinking on the morning of your testosterone test. Your physician may also advise that you briefly refrain from taking any prescription medications, as certain medicines may affect the results of the test. Your physician will typically advise you to get your blood drawn 4-5 days after your last injection.
What Do the Results Mean?
Testosterone tests usually measure the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream by the number of nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) of blood. The results of these measurements will vary depending on your gender, age, and medical history. Based on these factors, a physician or healthcare provider will explain what the test results mean in regard to your particular case.
How Can I Treat My Abnormal Testosterone Levels?
If your testosterone levels indicate that your body may be suffering from low testosterone, your physician will likely recommend elevating your testosterone to help your T levels return to their normal parameters.
Your physician may suggest that you undergo testosterone replacement therapy to help you effectively boost your testosterone. With testosterone replacement therapy, a hormone specialist can provide you with effective hormone medications replenish your diminished testosterone levels.
Although testosterone replacement therapy can be administered in the form of pills, patches, gel, and implants, physicians typically find that testosterone injections (such as testosterone cypionate) are usually the most effective in administering testosterone replacement therapy.
At the Renew Vitality Testosterone Clinic, we specialize in administering hormone treatments to men struggling with testosterone imbalance. Our experienced medical staff can check your testosterone levels and provide knowledgeable recommendations and treatment to help balance and maintain your testosterone. Contact us at 1-800-385-7845 and schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss possible treatment options at any of our hormone replacement clinics in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
That would depend on your doctor’s instructions. However, in many cases, most people are advised to avoid eating, drinking, and using any prescribed medications before the test.
Anyone exhibiting symptoms of testosterone imbalance, such as low sex drive or enlarged breast tissue, should request a testosterone test to check their testosterone levels.
Yes, you can. Patients can pick up at-home testosterone tests at certain drugstores or order them online from a reputable company.