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How To Get Your Testosterone Levels Checked

How To Get Your Testosterone Levels Checked

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: September 30, 2022
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone is vital to your health as a man and contributes to bone health, cardiovascular health, immune system function, cognition and lipid health (cholesterol markers), and much more!

    If your testosterone levels are low, not only will it affect your health, but it’s likely you’ll have many unpleasant symptoms. This may includes depression, anxiety, low sex drive, mood swings and loss of muscle mass.

    The symptoms can be pretty severe so, it makes sense to take a test to find out what your testosterone level is so you can avoid such symptoms.

    Low testosterone is associated with a number of conditions, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Indeed, this has even led some researchers to suggest that testosterone can be used as a marker of overall health [1].

    In this article, we’ll cover the main ways you can get your testosterone levels checked.

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    Serum Testing

    Taking a serum or blood test really is the gold standard when it comes to checking your testosterone levels and this is the way we at Balance My Hormones test your testosterone levels. It’s by far the most accurate way to measure your hormones.

    Ideally, if you do a blood test, you should look to get the following markers at a minimum. We, at Balance My Hormones, check all of these and more.

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    – Serum testosterone
    – Free testosterone
    – Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
    – Luteinising Hormone (LH)
    – Oestradiol
    – Prolactin

    low testosterone test

     

    So what do these markers mean and why do you need them?

    When first looking into this, many people assume they need to only get their testosterone levels checked.

    But this is not true, as testosterone alone will not give you a clear indication of your hormonal health. It’s important for the doctor to understand the interplay between various hormones to make a proper diagnosis.

    Serum testosterone is the total amount of testosterone in your blood. Free testosterone is the bioavailable or active component of testosterone. Your body can only use a small fraction of the testosterone in your blood – usually between 2-4% of the total amount.

    SHBG is a carrier protein that is responsible for managing levels of sex hormones (i.e. oestrogen and testosterone) in the blood. Its levels have a strong correlation with your testosterone and can influence the amount of free testosterone in your blood.

    For example, you may have a high serum testosterone level, but if your SHBG is very high meaning your free testosterone will be low. Without this marker, you cannot accurately calculate your free testosterone.

    Luteinising hormone (LH) is a hormone also known as gonadotropin. Essentially, LH is a signal that is sent by the brain to the testes to produce testosterone. It’s useful to test for this because it helps show whether you have primary or secondary hypogonadism.

    Oestradiol is a form of oestrogen and the main one found in the male body. Many people wrongly believe that oestrogen is a “female hormone,” however it plays a vital role in male health. In addition, elevated levels of oestrogen can interfere with testosterone production and lead to symptoms of low testosterone. Hence it is important to include this marker in any screening for testosterone.

    The role of the hormone prolactin in men is not fully understood. However, low and high levels are associated with low libido and erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, the hypersecretion of prolactin is associated with a tumour of the pituitary gland. This can affect testosterone levels and is therefore worth evaluating on a blood test.

     

    Urine Test

    A urine test, also known as a 24-hour urinary panel, is also another good option to get your testosterone levels checked. Urine tests are a lower barrier to entry than drawing blood out of your arm.

    A good thing about these tests is that you can do them from the comfort of your own home. Although these days, you can often do serum tests at home too.

    One main advantage of the urine test is that it takes an average of your testosterone levels over a 24-hour period. Whereas a blood test is a snapshot of a given moment in time and is susceptible to day-to-day fluctuations.

    The downside of urine tests however, is that it doesn’t always correspond to levels of testosterone in the blood because it only measures hormones once they’ve been metabolized by the liver. In addition, a urine test can only test for free testosterone and not total testosterone – as this is only possible with a blood test.

    A urine test is probably not suitable for you if you want an accurate test of your testosterone level. It can be useful however to measure stress hormones such as DHEA and cortisol. Though that’s beyond the scope of this article.

     

    Saliva Test

    In recent years, saliva testing kits have become popular among doctors and patients.

    Home-testing saliva kits are marketed as cheap alternatives to urine and blood tests. However, their accuracy in comparison to other tests is debatable.

    As far as we’re concerned, there are a few drawbacks to saliva testing:

    – Food and drink can influence the test and cause abnormal readings
    – It’s difficult to collect enough saliva for a sample – especially when over 40
    – Certain medications and drugs can skew the results

    Needless to say, we don’t recommend taking a saliva test to get an accurate reading of your testosterone levels.

    saliva test

    Final Points

    If you have symptoms of low testosterone, then it’s worth getting a test to determine your testosterone levels. We sell a range of testosterone blood tests, both at-home finger prick tests or blood draw services with a nurse or registered practitioner.

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    The causes of low testosterone can be down to many reasons. But, one thing we do know is that too often hypogonadal men are going undiagnosed and suffering the symptoms in silence. The symptoms of low testosterone are shared with many other conditions so it’s easy to attribute low T symptoms to other conditions or even old age.

    Without a test to confirm your testosterone levels, it’s just speculation. What’s more, if you are considering testosterone replacement therapy, your doctor will require you to have at least two separate blood tests confirming it.

    If you want to take a test to find out what your testosterone levels are, contact us today and we can arrange that for you.

     

     

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

    Quick Low Testosterone Test

    If you know your total testosterone reading from a previous blood test input the results to the left above to see if your testosterone levels are normal.

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    Low Testosterone Levels

    You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

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    You must be over 38, have had your ovaries removed or have suffered with premature menopause to warrant further hormone tests.

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    Please contact us to discuss your hormones, we need your total testosterone levels to validate your hormone deficiency. You can order a blood test here.

    Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

    Low Testosterone Levels

    You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

    Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

    High Testosterone Levels

    You appear to have higher than normal testosterone levels, please contact us for further investigation.

    Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

    Normal Testosterone Levels

    You appear to have normal testosterone levels. Contact us if you have any concerns.

    Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: September 30th, 2022
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