Why Order Testosterone Tests Online?
Testosterone, produced by the testicles in men and the ovaries in women, plays an essential role in the sexual health and function of men and women. Regarded as the primary male sex hormone, healthy testosterone levels in both sexes are essential to a healthy sex drive. Testosterone also supports many other aspects of your health. Hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, can have wide-ranging effects, impacting physical, emotional, and cognitive health.
At Health Testing Centers we make testosterone testing easy by allowing you to avoid the hassle of visiting your doctor. We provide testosterone tests, including Doctor's oversight, using the same labs that your doctor utilizes. Test results show your serum testosterone levels compared to a normal range. Results are not a part of your permanent medical record and are securely delivered to you, saving time and money.
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Testosterone Lab Tests (A-Z)
Measures the level of testosterone circulating freely in the body.
Measures the total level of testosterone, including the small portion circulating freely in the body.
Measures the total level of testosterone in the body.
Testosterone Health FAQ
Reviewed By: Dr. Kurt Kloss, MD
Last Reviewed Date: Jan 27, 2020
Last Modified Date: Jan 27, 2020
Published Date: Jul 29, 2017
How low testosterone levels can impact health and well-being?
Men need a sufficient amount of testosterone for sperm production. Low levels can cause fertility related medical conditions. Testosterone also helps regulate bone density, muscle mass, metabolism and red blood cell production. Testosterone hormone levels influence cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, as well as mood and energy levels. Related health conditions, particularly in older men are often correlated with low serum testosterone levels.
Given the influence testosterone has on so many vital bodily functions and systems, androgen deficiency or having low levels of the hormone can cause a broad assortment of symptoms. Men who have deficient levels often experience some or all of the following symptoms of low testosterone:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of body hair or hair growth
- Thinning scalp hair
- Bone loss
- Dry and/or thinning skin
- Muscle loss/weakness
- Increased body fat, especially in the chest and abdominal area
- Hot flashes, night sweats
- Decreased energy, motivation, confidence
- Irritability/mood swings
- Poor concentration and/or memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
The pituitary gland controls testosterone levels by releasing a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH). In men, LH levels tell the testicles to produce more testosterone. Testosterone is also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. Abnormal levels of testosterone or LH may indicate a pituitary gland problem.
Women with abnormally low levels of testosterone may experience symptoms that include:
- Decreased energy
- Low sex drive
- Bone loss
- Male patterns of hair growth
- Muscle loss/weakness
- Skin changes
- Dry, brittle hair and nails
In women, serum testosterone levels are used to diagnose abnormal or no menstrual periods, infertility, masculine features (virilization), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and idiopathic hirsutism (excessive male pattern hair growth).
When should I consider a testosterone blood test?
If you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms listed above, you should consider having a testosterone blood test. However, it is important to note that many of these symptoms can also be related to other health issues and/or hormonal imbalances, so a thorough physical exam by your healthcare provider is also warranted. Additionally, low testosterone levels can often occur without obvious symptoms, especially if levels have dropped gradually, making it easier for the body to adjust to the change in levels of hormones. Even without clear symptoms, testosterone deficiency can still have health consequences. Among the most serious of these is:
- Increased risk of osteoporosis, as testosterone deficiency affects bone density
- Increased risk of heart disease, since low testosterone levels have been shown, according to Harvard Men's Health Watch, to increase total cholesterol levels and lead to increases in weight and body fat percentages.
This type of gradual drop often happens with aging. The average man sees a gradual decline in testosterone levels of about 1 to 2 percent per year after age 30. Women also typically see declining testosterone levels with the onset of perimenopause and menopause. While some decline is perfectly normal with aging, for some people, hormone levels drop too low to meet the body's needs for testosterone. For that reason, having occasional testosterone tests to screen for deficient hormone levels may be wise for people age 40 and over to help protect against the potential health effects of undiagnosed and untreated testosterone deficiency.
Excess testosterone can also be a problem for both sexes. In children it can lead puberty problems and infertility. Health conditions that cause too much testosterone to be produced include androgen resistance, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and ovarian cancer.
Common lab tests used to measure testosterone levels include:
- Total testosterone tests – The total testosterone blood test measures the overall amount of the hormone circulating in the blood stream, which is then compared to a normal range based on age and sex. Factors such as medical status and medications are also considered in evaluating test results. It is important to note that while a total testosterone test can be useful as an initial screening tool, it alone does not provide enough information to either diagnose or rule out low testosterone, since most of the hormone in the blood is bound to the proteins albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), making it inactive and and not bioavailable testosterone.
- Free testosterone tests – This blood test measures levels of free testosterone, which refers to hormones that are not bound to other molecules and can be freely used by the body. This is the active form of testosterone that works to influence body processes, and measuring this form of the hormone is essential to an accurate appraisal of hormonal balance.
- Free & Total testosterone tests – This blood test measures both total testosterone levels and the amount of free, unbound testosterone in the bloodstream.
Serum testosterone tests are levels are reported in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Results from these testosterone blood tests will show a patient's personal testosterone levels along with a reference range for comparison. That reference range will reflect the average or normal results for people of the same age and gender.
What is the treatment for low testosterone?
Testosterone production decreases with age. When test results confirm low testosterone levels, testosterone therapy can bring those levels back up to a healthy, normal range based on your age. Typically, this will include lifestyle changes to promote hormonal balance, such as dietary changes, exercise and stress management. In many cases, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is recommended, which involves supplementation of testosterone levels with medications. There is concern that testosterone replacement therapy may stimulate prostate cancer and breast cancer. However, there is no evidence that TRT causes cancer.
Testosterone hormone levels are typically monitored closely of throughout the stages of testosterone replacement therapy. Further lab testing may be done to evaluate the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy, which may include testing of thyroid function, cholesterol levels, diabetes status and prostate health. Testosterone tests are frequently ordered with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) lab tests when hypogonadism is suspected or when starting testosterone treatment.
References: Testosterone therapy guidelines. Endocrine society...Issues in testosterone replacement in older men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998...Testosterone and the Heart. Harvard Men's Health Watch.
Where can I get testosterone testing near me?
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