What to Expect From a Doctor's Visit to Have Your Testosterone Level Checked
Millions of American men experience low testosterone levels -- and many don't know it. Because testosterone levels typically drop as men age, many pass low testosterone symptoms off as a side effect of aging or simply fatigue. If you have symptoms of low testosterone, a simple blood test performed at your doctor's office can determine if your levels are within an expected range.
If you're uncertain or apprehensive about asking your doctor for the test, don't be. Determining testosterone levels are a common practice. Here is what you can expect when you go to your physician's office for testing.
Discussing Your Symptoms:
Testosterone is a male sex hormone the testicles and adrenal glands in the kidneys produce, and the pituitary gland in the brain releases. The hormone is responsible for many of the body's growth and sexual functions. These include penis and testicle enlargement, voice deepening, muscle growth and getting taller. Testosterone is also required to produce sperm.
The brain regulates testosterone levels, and they fluctuate throughout the day. Men reach their peak testosterone levels by age 30. After age 40, a man's testosterone levels drop by roughly 1 percent each year.
- Changes in mood.
- Delays in sexual maturity.
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Lost muscle mass.
While women can experience sudden drops in female hormones that cause noticeable symptoms, men tend to have the slower changes. For this reason, you may not always identify that your symptoms are related to decreasing testosterone levels.
If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor if low testosterone could be an explanation.
The Blood Test:
A blood test can determine your testosterone levels. This involves taking a small sample of blood from a vein. This could be from a vein in your hand or from the vein in the bend of your elbow. While the amount of blood taken depends upon the laboratory performing the test, it is typically small. Blood collection usually takes less than five minutes. While you may experience some bruising or mild pain where the needle was inserted, the side effects associated with blood collection are small.
You should also tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex because latex gloves are worn to draw your blood. A latex tourniquet may also be applied to identify a vein where the needle can be inserted. You should also tell the person drawing your blood if you take any medications to thin your blood. The person taking the sample may hold pressure for a longer time period as a result to ensure you do not bleed for an extended time period.
Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout your day and some testosterone is attached to proteins in your blood. For this reason, your doctor may order at least two testosterone tests, one to test your total testosterone and another to test free testosterone, which is the testosterone not attached to proteins.
Other tests could include measuring thyroid-stimulating hormones and follicle stimulating hormones. These hormones can help identify if low testosterone is related to the pituitary gland or the testes.
Evaluating Your Results:
A doctor's office will typically send the blood sample to a laboratory for testing. Obtaining results can take a day to a week to return.
The unit of measurements depend upon the laboratory performing the testing, your age, medications you take and any medical conditions you have -- such as diabetes -- that can affect the testosterone's results.
Your physician can review your blood test results and discuss them with you. Because testosterone varies throughout the course of the day, your doctor may also recommend a retest to confirm your previous results. You may be asked to provide two blood samples at various times of day to obtain more varied test samples. While it can be inconvenient (and slightly painful) to repeat these blood tests, confirming a high or low result can provide peace of mind and guide a physician's treatment recommendations.
Low testosterone levels could be due to a number of causes, and the next challenge is identifying why your testosterone levels are low. Low testosterone level causes include pituitary gland disorders, genetic conditions, testicular failure or damage to the testicles. This damage can be due to alcoholism, previous injury or a viral condition, such as the mumps. Testosterone levels can be increased due to testicular tumors, adrenal tumors, taking steroids, early puberty, high thyroid hormone levels or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
What Treatments Are Available?
Identifying the potential causes associated with low testosterone levels are vital to identifying ways to increase testosterone levels. Your doctor may recommend visiting a specialist to help identify your low testosterone's exact cause.
Simply taking a testosterone pill does not always work because if you lack the proteins that testosterone can bind with, taking medicine will not increase your levels. At any given time, your body typically has 1 to 4 percent of "free" testosterone and 98 percent of "bound" testosterone that is attached to proteins. Your doctor will work with you to identify the causes and any changes you can make in your lifestyle or medications you could take to increase testosterone levels. For example, weight loss in obese men with low testosterone can help to increase testosterone levels.
In addition to pharmaceutical treatments to increase testosterone, some men also opt to take natural treatments to increase testosterone. These include Predoxen, a supplement designed to increase the body's free testosterone.
More information is abailable at the companies website Predoxen.com, or you can call 1 800 341-8509.
Another equally effective supplement we highly reccomend is called Red Rhino. You can visit their website for more information or call 1 800 341-8509. The best option is to ALWAYS try and boost your T-Levels naturally which is why we reccomend one of these two outstanding products. When you take pharmaceutical drugs they will cause your body to stop manufacturing testosterone naturally and there is research that indicates the effects could potentially last long after you discontinue pharmaceutical grade drug therapy. There is absolutely NO risk associated with taking natural supplements and changing your bodies natural ability to manufacture hormones.