Testosterone Testing: How Do I Know If I Have Low T?
Posted: December 9, 2019
If you suspect you might need testosterone replacement therapy, you may be wondering what the next steps are. Perhaps you want to know what a low testosterone test involves. You may also consider how your physician will determine whether you’re a good candidate for testosterone replacement.
The best way to identify low testosterone is to receive a comprehensive men’s health assessment and take a blood test to measure your testosterone levels. We offer a comprehensive health assessment that includes two types of testosterone testing. This can help give us a broader look at your testosterone levels and help us determine whether TRT can help improve your symptoms.
Men’s Health Assessment and Blood Test
The first part of testing for low testosterone is to undergo a comprehensive men’s health assessment. After discussing concerns and symptoms with your doctor, you will take a blood test to determine the amount of testosterone in your body, along with other things like red and white blood cell count. We do this to get a broad view of your health and determine the cause of your symptoms. In addition, we do a full blood panel to test for both testosterone and other conditions you may be suffering from. Your blood work includes both testosterone tests for a more detailed look at your hormone levels.
Some doctors will initially only do one type of testosterone test to check for low T. However, we take a holistic approach to men’s health to help you get results. We conduct both testosterone tests at the same time for your convenience and for a broader look at your levels. The two types of testosterone tests are total testosterone tests and SHBG tests. Each contribute to determining whether you could benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
Total Testosterone Test
As the name suggests, this test measures the total amount of testosterone in your blood. This may seem like the most effective way to figure out if you have low testosterone; however, this may not be the case for you. Some men experience symptoms because their body isn’t producing enough testosterone to begin with. The total testosterone test can help your physician diagnose you if this is the case.
However, some men may be producing enough of the hormone, but are just not able to use it. For these men, the total testosterone level results would come back normal, yet they would still suffer from low testosterone symptoms. This is because some of the hormone is “bound” to proteins that carry it through your blood stream. While testosterone is attached to these proteins, it is unavailable to your cells. Therefore, we test both for total testosterone and for a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Test
This type of test measures for the SHBG protein. This protein is made in your liver and acts as a transport system for sex hormones. It also prevents your testosterone levels from getting too high by making it unavailable for use to your cells. However, if these levels are too low or too high, it can cause negative health effects.
If these levels are too high, it means that your tissues may not be getting enough testosterone. Essentially, the protein can cause low testosterone for some men. In this case, your physician may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to help you with your symptoms. Testosterone replacement injections can supplement your “free,” or available, testosterone and could help you feel better.
High amounts of SHBG circulating through your body can cause low testosterone symptoms. For this reason, we will test for both during your men’s health assessment. To streamline the process, we will do them both at once, rather than inconveniencing you by asking you to come in separately for each.
There are many symptoms you should be on the lookout for if you suspect you have too much SHBG, including:
- Weight gain
- Trouble focusing
These symptoms can negatively impact both your health and your lifestyle, so it’s important to talk to your physician if you are experiencing symptoms or if you suspect you’re suffering from low testosterone levels. Your physician can then work with you to find the best approach to relieving your symptoms and may talk to you about TRT. To help you get results, your treatment plan will be customized to your lifestyle.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement injections can help increase the amount of testosterone your body is using and help relieve your symptoms. Testosterone replacement therapy can help you feel better and treat the symptoms that make you feel unlike yourself. In addition, feeling better often leads to men pursuing healthier, more active lifestyles, which is beneficial in many different ways.
Our physicians will monitor your levels and adjust your dosage as necessary. We make this process as convenient and effective as possible to make sure you get individualized care without disrupting a large part of your day. Your physician is there to discuss any concerns you have and to help you start feeling better. Once you reach more balanced levels, we also have streamlined options to fit your busy schedule. These options can take half the time of your initial visits as long as your levels are stable and you’re feeling healthy.
If you have low libido, unexplained weight gain, or just feel off, Low T Center may be able to help. Schedule an online appointment with us so we can help you figure out what’s causing your symptoms and design a personalized treatment plan. Our physicians are here for you to help you manage the symptoms of low T and many other conditions. We want to help you feel yourself again.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.