If You Think You’re Suffering From Low T, a Blood Test Can Provide the Answers You Need
If you think you might be suffering from Low T, a blood test is the only way you can determine, definitively, if low testosterone is the problem or if something else is causing your symptoms.
The unfortunate truth is that some of the more common symptoms of low testosterone not only can hinder your quality of life, but can actually look a lot like the symptoms of other diseases and disorders.
Here are just a few of those symptoms:
- Irritability or anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depressed mood
- Reduced energy
- Sleep problems
- Reduced endurance
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced strength
- Loss of muscle mass
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s easy to see why you’d want clarity around the nature of your problem, why you’d want to know what your treatment options are.
A blood test for Low T can provide much of that information for you and your health provider — and, if the problem isn’t Low T, a blood test may help determine what the problem actually is that’s causing your symptoms.
Am I Suffering From Hypogonadism?
The first question that a blood test can answer is very basic — whether hypogonadism (the clinical name for low testosterone) is actually the cause of your symptoms.
While there are some differences of opinion, the generally accepted normal range of total testosterone for men should be 300-1000 ng/dl.
Even more importantly, free testosterone should read 9-30 ng/dl.
There’s only one way to be sure that your testosterone levels are abnormal and that you suffer from Low T — blood test results.
Why Does Being “Sure” of a Low T Diagnosis Matter?
Many of the common symptoms of low testosterone that we listed above, especially chronic fatigue, anxiety, and low mood, can be caused by circumstances that affect your emotions, or by other diseases or disorders.
Relationship issues, work-related stress, a family illness, financial difficulties, the loss of a job, and many other life events can take a toll on your mental and physical health — it’s sometimes easy to misdiagnose yourself under these conditions.
By the same token, there’s a wide variety of other diseases and disorders that can cause these same symptoms.
You’ll need to determine with some level of certainty where to turn for help — being “sure” about your diagnosis is critical.
Should you seek psychiatric support or counseling? Do you have a serious disease like cancer that requires immediate treatment? Or is it a physical issue (like a hormone imbalance) that can be addressed with testosterone replacement therapy?
Placing your health at risk with unnecessary medication or the wrong form of treatment can cause even more problems than you began with, and nobody wants those additional concerns.
Regardless of whether you do or do not have clinically low testosterone, blood test results can clear up confusion and set you on the right path to get the most suitable treatment to address the root cause of your symptoms.
To put that another way, a blood test confirming your suspicions about low testosterone levels can free you from the stress of uncertainty — you can now have a clear idea of what the issue is and start seeking treatment with a fair level of assurance.
Is One Low T Blood Test Enough?
When treating Low T, blood tests play a number of important roles throughout the entire testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) process.
First, at the point of diagnosis, it’s advisable to get some additional testing if you only received results for total testosterone — looking at your calculated free testosterone is critical for diagnosis and determining a treatment protocol.
Second, as part of the treatment plan we develop, frequent testing is key to keeping your dose of supplemental testosterone medication accurate so that you continue feeling your best. The goal of TRT is to keep levels within the optimal range, including the periods of normal and healthy fluctuation.
Third, regularly scheduled blood testing also allows us to minimize any side effects associated with supplemental testosterone.
One drawback to TRT can be a rising hematocrit level: A concerning increase in the number of red blood cells in your blood. The result of that increase is a greater overall blood viscosity, or a thickening of the blood.
If blood tests reveal a rise in hematocrit levels, the increased quantity of cells are simply removed by donating some blood — awareness through testing is the simple key to avoiding any potential issues.
Regular Monitoring — A Key Component for Both Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate Low T, a blood test is the primary tool for reaching a clinical diagnosis.
If you’re receiving TRT as treatment for Low T, a blood test is how we control the doses to keep your levels within your optimum range so you feel your best.
In addition, that regularly scheduled blood work helps us make sure you’re always receiving the safest care possible — always our top priority at Testosterone Centers of Texas.
Click the button below to see our video on how we prevent the possible side effects of Low T — blood tests are one major way we keep any potential health risks at bay.