Testosterone Level Testing in Raleigh, NC
Puberty. Fertility. Andropause. Menopause. Mood swings. All our biochemical life stages are regulated by hormones – the body’s chemical messengers. Unbalanced hormone levels can stimulate or aggravate many health conditions.
As a man ages, his body naturally makes less testosterone. In fact, by the time a man is in his mid-forties, testosterone levels can be down by 40%. Lifestyle factors such as excessive stress, weight gain and lack of exercise can lower levels even further – impacting stamina, sex drive, virility, and bone strength, and potentially leading to chronic fatigue or erectile dysfunction.
As a woman ages, testosterone may affect her: ovarian function (causing irregular periods), facial hair growth, bone strength, and libido. Both men’s and women’s sex organ functions require just the right balance of estrogen and testosterone – and that perfect balance may be different for each individual, depending on age, genetics, diet, lifestyle and various environmental and general health factors.
Hormone testing can diagnose or rule out testosterone unbalances in your body. To speak with a testosterone level testing specialist in Raleigh today, call (919) 301-0841 or contact Family Wellness Clinic & Regenesis MD online.
What Are the Symptoms of Testosterone Imbalance?
Some symptoms of testosterone imbalance are the same in men and women, and others vary.
Warning signs of male testosterone imbalance include:
- low libido
- erectile dysfunction
- low sperm count
- loss of body hair
- hot flashes
- poor concentration and memory
- decreased energy, motivation, or self-confidence
- reduced physical performance and muscle mass
- increased body fat
Warning signs of female testosterone imbalance include:
- irregular or absent periods
- excess body or facial hair
- acne or oily skin
- increased muscle mass
- decreased breast size
- deepening voice
- chronic fatigue
- low libido
If you have these symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider to diagnose or rule out any underlying medical conditions, including testosterone imbalance.
How is Testosterone Level Testing Performed?
During your initial exam your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history, diet, lifestyle, and medication intake. A genital exam may help diagnose or rule out any possible underlying medical conditions that could be causing your symptoms. Then your provider will decide to do one of the following:
Before undergoing a blood test, tell your healthcare provider if you take any medications, as they may affect your results.
This is a simple outpatient procedure performed in a doctor’s office or phlebotomy center. A needle is inserted into your vein and a sample of your blood is withdrawn, then sent to a lab for close analysis.
As the Harvard Medical website explains, determining if a man is truly testosterone deficient is far from simple. The blood test for total testosterone is not always reliable. Why? Your sex hormones in the bloodstream are 95-99% bound to carrier proteins, and in this form are unavailable to target tissues. A blood test may not detect them completely.
Saliva testing measures the amount of hormone available in the tissues your hormone is targeting – the bioavailable amount. That’s why saliva testing may better detect levels associated with the specific symptoms of hormone excess or deficiency. (Saliva tests also help monitor hormone levels during hormone replacement therapy to help tweak them.)
A growing body of evidence suggests that saliva tests can more accurately determine levels of the testosterone and DHEA (a precursor to male and female sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens).
This non-invasive sampling method requires patients to spit into a plastic tube, and allows them to collect saliva at home at specific times to more accurately measure hormone levels.
Low testosterone results may prompt your healthcare provider to recommend other tests to help pinpoint a diagnosis, such as the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test, which is an FDA approved urine test. FSH manages the menstrual cycle in women and prompts the production of sperm in men.
What Do Your Results Mean?
What is a healthy testosterone range? That depends on your age, gender, and symptoms you’re trying to treat or prevent. It also depends on how well you tolerate the intensity levels of those symptoms.
Remember: results are not static. Your hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day. Level testing provides a starting point which helps determine next steps. Your healthcare provider can help you interpret and act on your diagnosis.
As with any medical procedure, results and efficacy of testosterone level diagnosis vary from patient to patient, depending on age, genetics, environmental conditions, and other health factors.
What are the Risks or Side Effects of Testosterone Level Testing?
Blood draws are typically safe routine procedures. You may experience minor side effects which typically go away within a day or two.
The needle used in the test may cause some mild pain and bruising. Risks of this test are rare but can include excessive bleeding or hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin), fainting or lightheadedness, and infection.
Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
- excessive swelling, bruising, or bleeding
- nausea or vomiting
No side effects of saliva or urine testing have been documented.
Before moving forward with any hormone treatment, do your research and consult with your healthcare practitioner. Studies have shown that lifestyle and diet adjustments may make hormone treatment unnecessary.
Reserve Your Appointment Now
Testosterone imbalances can cause annoying, painful, and distressing symptoms. Thankfully, treatments are available to balance your hormones and restore your health and getting your testosterone levels checked is the first step. To speak with a testosterone specialist in Raleigh today, call (919) 301-0841 or contact Family Wellness Clinic & Regenesis MD online.
Family Wellness Clinic & Regenesis MD
Address8020 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27613