Testing Low Testosterone Levels

June 27, 2017


How do you know if your testosterone levels are low?

Symptoms of low testosterone such asdecreased energy levels and a diminished sex drive may often be caused byunderlying medical conditions. So how do you know if your testosterone levelsare low? How can you get tested for low testosterone?

You've probably done your researchand have heard about all the symptoms of low testosterone on Radio or TVadvertisements.  Ads in magazines for symptoms such as erectiledysfunction and a diminished interest in sex and other conditions like nothaving enough energy or perhaps gaining a little extra weight are ubiquitous.Men with symptoms like having a decrease in muscle mass with increases in bodyfat, depression or generally just not feeling like their old selves make it commonfor individuals to look for help. The first stop is usually doctor google.Where the internet can be extremely useful in providing information, the bestchoice is to speak to an expert in person. Many of the men’s health clinicsthat you find aren’t staffed by medical doctors, rather nurses or physicianassistants. When you call, ask whether or not the provider is a board-certifiedphysician and what there specialty is. More often than not, you’ll find many ofthe physicians went to medical school and specialized in an area of medicineunrelated to hormone therapy and preventative medicine. Not all doctors are thesame. Think of it in terms of automobiles. Would you want a company thatspecializes in radio and speaker installation working on your engine andreplacing your head gaskets? Or would you rather have a specialist fix yourcar? Expertise and experience are very important factors to consider inmedicine.

But just what are some causes of lowtestosterone in men? One of the more significant risk factors for lowtestosterone is obesity.  Even in men in their 20’s being overweight cansignificantly impact their production of testosterone.  A recent studythat was published in the Journal ofclinical endocrinology investigated testosterone levels in 25 overweight menthat were all under the age of 20.  The study showed that everyoneof them had testosterone levels that were 40 to 50% below normal levels for menin their age group.  The problem is that it's difficult for men to loseweight with low testosterone levels.  They have less energy and motivationto start the lifestyle changes needed to burn the fat, build the muscle andincrease their metabolism. So they continue to gain weight and theirtestosterone levels continue to drop. These men are stuck in between a rock anda hard place. Is it impossible to overcome? No. But it’s certainly a difficultplace to start for a man who is trying to improve their health. Its no wonderwhy in theUnited States that more than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults areconsidered to be overweight or obese. More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults areconsidered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extremeobesity and almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered tobe overweight or obese according to statistics from the NationalInstitute of Diabetes.  

What symptoms prompt men to seekhelp for low testosterone? Often, we have men who come in to our clinic becausethey need help and treating erectile dysfunction issues.  During their consultation and exam, our physician will ask them questions relating to theirenergy levels, lifestyle and libido.  After performing a simple A.D.A.M.test, we typically can see a correlation between their symptoms and lowtestosterone levels.  The fortunate news is that its easy to test,diagnose and treat low T.

Is it normal for men to have lower testosteronelevels as they age? Yes. Inevitably men's testosterone levels will decreasenaturally with age.  One can expect the testosterone levels to drop by 1to 2% annually. But that doesn’t mean a 40 year old man with T-levels of 300 toacquiesce to the fact that it’s probably due to “old age”  One of thebiggest complaints that you see is men feeling tired. 40-year-old man withfatigue and no energy can't figure out why they feel the way they do.  Beingtired doesn't necessarily make you a candidate for TRT but it is one of thesymptoms that the physician may look for.  The Endocrine Society suggesttesting men for low testosterone who presented the following symptoms. Ifan otherwise healthy male has low testosterone levels, taking a therapeutic doseof testosterone will help alleviate these symptoms and make them feel betterand improve their health.

Symptoms of low testosterone

  • ·        Diminished libido
  • ·        Erectile dysfunction (which doesn'trespond to traditional ED medication)
  • ·        Low energy levels and fatigue
  • ·        Increased recovery time afterphysical exertion
  • ·        Weak bones
  • ·        Depression and mood swings
  • ·        Weight gain
  • ·        Increased body fat
  • ·        Poor sleep quality at night
  • ·        decreased strength/mass of muscles
  • ·        decreased body hair
  • ·        swelling/tenderness in the breasttissue
  • ·        hot flashes
  • ·        effects on cholesterol metabolism

So if you do you have some of thesesymptoms, what will the doctor do to check for low T? Typically, a blood testis ordered and a physical exam and in person consultation is required. Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day so most physicians liketo get the blood drawn in the morning when the levels are the highest (usuallybetween 6-8am is when a males levels peak) but the difference between a dailyhigh and low level in a person can change by as much as 25%!  Changes in socialsettings and your sleep patterns will potentially influence this however it’s safeto say that most men follow this general rule in nature. Normal testosteronelevels are between 300 ng/dL on the low-end and 1100 on the high-end.  Ifyour levels are low according to the bloodwork your physician will be able todiscuss options with you.  Usually free, total and bioavailabletestosterone levels are measured as well as estradiol, PSA and a complete bloodcount.  Depending on what the doctor interprets, there may be some followup tests to determine a cause and appropriate treatment may be required.

For a patient and the clinic, it'simportant to follow up and monitor the patient's results because not everyoneresponds the same way to treatment. Most patients will begin to notice resultsin a just a few weeks and really see tangible changes in a month. Most menhowever will tell you the benefits are life-changing.  Patients typicallynoticed increased energy and interest in sex right away.  They have anincreased desire and improvement in performance sexually and better overallmood.  They lose fat and build muscle and have an overall increased levelof confidence and improved quality-of-life.  One patient summed up hisexperience which seemed to echo what many men seem to feel. “I wish I startedthis sooner…I didn’t even notice how bad I felt until I began TRT…”

NovaGenix Medical Director, TimothySigman MD is a board-certified physician who specializes in internal medicinewith close to 2 decades of experience in hormone replacement therapy. Toschedule a consultation to test, diagnose and treat low T, please call us at561-277-8260 and visit us on the web at www.NovaGenix.org


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Blood Work Request Form

This subsequent lab panel is necessary for males undergoing Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) through NovaGenix Health and Wellness. It allows physicians to assess the patient's response to prescribed medications, covering sex hormone levels, thyroid function, adrenal health, hematocrit, and liver and kidney function. The panel includes tests such as:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Testosterone (Free and Total)
  • Estradiol Sensitive
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
  • Prostate Specific Antigen

Each test serves a specific purpose in monitoring overall health and treatment effectiveness. When required, Dr Mackey may require LH and FSH (Luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone) SHBG (Sex hormone binding globulin) or any other tests which may be important for your health and optimizing your hormones.

The Comprehensive Hormone and Wellness Panel for Women offers a foundational assessment of sex hormones, thyroid function, adrenal health, metabolic activity, and overall well-being. This panel serves as a diagnostic tool for identifying testosterone and estrogen deficiencies, assessing health risks, and detecting potential thyroid issues before considering hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, it includes insights into hematocrit (red blood cell volume), as well as liver and kidney function. The panel encompasses various tests such as:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Complete Metabolic Panel
  • Testosterone (free and total)
  • Estradiol
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Progesterone

When indicated, Dr. Mackey may require additional tests such as Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and IGF-1 and Cortisol.

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