Testosterone plays a significant role in physical and emotional health throughout a man’s life. And because different stages of development require different levels of testosterone, those levels naturally ebb and flow over time. When testosterone levels drop below those appropriate for your age, however, there can be serious repercussions that affect both the mind and body.
Despite the importance of testosterone, it is not something most men talk about. Though they may be struggling with the symptoms of low testosterone (low T), men often suffer in silence rather than open up about their experiences. This is understandable, both due to the stigma of low T and the fact that many symptoms are nonspecific and may be easily attributed to other health conditions or to the aging process itself.
Forward-thinking hormone specialists understand the growing need for at-home hormone testing and want to ensure you receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
The Dangers of Low Testosterone Levels
Many men already know that testosterone levels decline with age. But that doesn’t mean all drops in testosterone are healthy. Testosterone continues to play a critical—and possibly life-saving— role in men’s health through mid-life and beyond. Unfortunately, early symptoms of low testosterone may be erroneously attributed to fatigue, job stress, or the inevitable condition of getting older. Though you may be able to overlook mild muscle loss, a waning sex drive, and decreasing energy levels, there may be much more at stake.
A study published earlier this year followed overweight men aged 53-67 diagnosed with low testosterone for up to 11 years. The treatment group was treated with testosterone therapy by injection, while the control group received no treatment. The treatment group experienced clinically significant reductions in:
- Waist circumference
- Body mass index
Meanwhile, the control group gained an average of 13 pounds over the study period.
Significantly, the group treated with testosterone also experienced improvements in fasting blood sugar, Hgb A1c, and blood pressure. Among the untreated group:
- 27.7% had a myocardial infarction
- 27.2% had strokes
- 22% were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
- 27% were newly diagnosed with prediabetes
No one in the treatment group developed these conditions during the observation period.
These remarkable results support that testosterone replacement therapy may be a valuable way to manage obesity and offer protection from the cardiovascular and metabolic changes that commonly occur in aging men with low testosterone levels. Additionally, low testosterone is associated with a wide range of other health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis.
All At-Home Hormone Testing is Not Equal
If you want to know more about your testosterone levels, there is no shortage of DIY testosterone testing kits available. Typically, these provide collection supplies to test hormone levels in saliva or blood spots obtained by fingerstick. Most are considered screening tests; they provide preliminary results in a few days, but the results are not considered diagnostic. If diagnosing a hormone imbalance was as simple as testing testosterone concentration alone, any one of these mail-in kits might be sufficient. But the reality is more complex.
In general, the level of free testosterone dictates the amount of testosterone available for essential physiological functions. The concentration of free testosterone is influenced by genetic and environmental factors, as well as specific health conditions.
With the involvement of other hormones as causative factors in low T, comprehensive hormone testing typically includes free and total testosterone levels, as well as estrogen and carrier proteins. Other tests, including adrenal, thyroid, and growth hormone levels may also be indicated to make an informed diagnosis. Sorting out your unique hormonal profile to reach treatment decisions will require the skill of a knowledgeable practitioner.
How to Test for Low Testosterone At Home
Learning that your testosterone levels are low through an at-home test will not be the end of the story. Despite the availability of DIY testing, reliable self-diagnosis is not possible and self-treatment is not advisable.
HOW TELEHEALTH WORKS
ConsultationYour consultation will begin with a discussion about your symptoms, overall health, family history, and lifestyle factors—critical tools for uncovering your health needs.
TestingWith a comprehensive picture of your health and your goals, your practitioner can then order the appropriate diagnostic tests and have the sample collection supplies sent directly to you. These will involve blood-spot, urine, and/or saliva samples that you can easily collect in the privacy of your own home and returned to the laboratory by mail.
TreatmentOnce your samples are analyzed, the results are sent directly to your practitioner, who can then begin to design a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Any medications are then sent to your door directly from the pharmacy.
Follow-UpAfter treatment begins, you will regularly connect with your practitioner to discuss your progress. This is important, as it allows for fine-tuning of your treatment plan and helps to ensure you keep focus on your health goals.
A practitioner with specialized training in bioidentical hormone therapy can therefore be an invaluable resource. Through specialized telehealth services, low testosterone levels may be expertly diagnosed and treated comfortably and securely from virtually anywhere.
Connect With a Hormone Health Specialist Right From the Start
The complexity of hormone health demands the insight and coordination of an expert, someone trained to recognize and respond to your unique hormonal patterns. Rather than just ordering an at-home test for low T, engaging a practitioner who specializes in hormone health could help you achieve the best possible outcomes as quickly as possible. They can not only give you detailed information about how to test for low testosterone at home, they can provide truly comprehensive support.
When at-home testing is used in conjunction with telehealth consultations and convenient access to hormone replacement therapy, you can get the answers you need and try to start feeling better faster.
If troubling symptoms of hormone imbalance have you wondering how to test for low testosterone at home, BodyLogicMD can help. The practitioners in the BodyLogicMD network are experts in hormone health and are here to help you understand the challenges of your changing body. With telehealth, a BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioner can assess your needs and can create a personalized BalancePro plan to help you achieve your health goals. Set up your telehealth consultation to connect with a hormone specialist in the comfort of your own home. Or, take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz to better understand how hormones may be affecting your everyday life.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.