If you have been reading my other articles, you know by now that decreasing testosterone levels is a normal occurrence in men as they age, especially after the age of 30. The rate at which testosterone declines varies considerably among men. As much as 30 percent of men older than 75 have a testosterone level that is below the normal range of testosterone in young men. That doesn’t mean treatment is necessary.
Low testosterone levels can occur in men of any age. Testosterone reduction can also occur if there are underlying health problems such as obesity, a pituitary gland disorder, or an injury to the testicles. Some Cancer treatments have also been shown to be a cause.
Many people just don’t like going to the doctor. And, if you are like me and you absolutely hate needles, you hate getting poked for blood tests. Because of that, you may be tempted to test your testosterone levels using a home testosterone testing kit you’ve seen advertised.
Before you try an online test for low t, or a test kit, here are a few things I think you need to be aware of:
• How does it work?
• Is it a medically reliable test?
• What kind of information will it provide?
• How do you get your results?
• How long will it take to get the results?
What are the Typical Symptoms of Low testosterone?
For adult men, symptoms of low testosterone levels, also called hypogonadism, include:
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Lowered sex drive
• Decreased muscle mass
• Decreased growth of body hair
• Hot flashes
• Trouble concentrating
You should always consider seeing your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms and you suspect that you may have decreased testosterone. Even though we now know lower testosterone is a normal part of us getting older, you may have a serious condition that needs treatment.
How is Low Testosterone Diagnosed – If You Go to the Doctor?
As with all doctor’s appointments, you can expect to experience a normal physical exam to check your symptoms. And you already know, you are going to have blood drawn to get your hormone levels tested at a lab. Testosterone levels fluctuate during the day and are highest in the morning. That is why your doctor will want to take a sample of your blood between seven and ten in the morning.
A blood test for testosterone can tell your doctor how much free testosterone you have circulating in your blood. It can also show the total amount of testosterone in your body. According to the Official Journal of the American Urology Association, measuring free testosterone is a better way to accurately diagnose hypogonadism.
After the doctor receives your testosterone level blood test results, he will check to make sure they are within the range of 300 – 1200 ng/dL. This range varies with age as well. If you are under the normal bottom of the range, he or she will tell you have low testosterone.
Do-It-Yourself at Home Test Kits – What Kind do we Want?
There are a lot of products available for testing your hormone levels at home, if you don’t want to go to the doctor. Some of these, test your saliva instead of your blood, so you can collect your sample at home without having to get poked. There are other kits that have you collect a blood sample by lancing your finger a few times to fill a small vile. I will pass on that one.
How you collect your saliva and how many samples you take may be a little different, depending on the product. All home test kits require you to mail your collections to a lab for testing. You may get the results within a few days or a few weeks.
How Accurate and Reliable is Saliva Testing for Low Testosterone?
Before you rely on the results of a do-it-yourself testosterone home test kit, you should understand the accuracy of salivary testing versus blood testing. Testing saliva is easier and less painful than drawing blood, so researchers are interested in whether this method is reliable.
The results and expert opinions are mixed. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists still recommends using blood tests for measuring levels of sex hormones such as testosterone. This is because of the variability they see in saliva testing results.
Then again, some studies and reviews conclude that saliva testing is preferable because it’s less stressful for the patient. I agree. One review of the research concluded that saliva is as reliable as other body fluids (tears, urine, and sweat), and in some cases even better.
The authors of this review point out that there hasn’t been enough analysis of commercial home testing kits. Whether they deliver accurate, reliable, and unvarying results hasn’t been confirmed. Testosterone in saliva samples can also be affected by how they’re collected and stored.
You Did the Home Test – Now, what do you do with the Results?
If you decide to check your testosterone levels with a home kit, you should be ready to take any steps necessary, based on the results. You can expect the lab results to come with an explanation of your measured testosterone level. If your level is in the normal range for your age but you still have symptoms that worry you, you should see your doctor.
If your results come back and are lower than normal, you should really make an appointment to see your doctor before trying any supplements or natural ways, to increase your testosterone.
Online Test for Low T – It is Less Painful than Getting a Blood Test and Reliable Enough.
If you have low testosterone levels, it could be just the normal part of aging. But, you might something wrong that is causing your levels to drop. Either way, it is always the best idea to see your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis. Then, your can decide what course of treatment to go with.
For the only DIY Home Test Kit I recommend, CLICK the Amazon Add below:
After the test, you can still decide to increase your low t levels by natural means or by using some quality supplements that have been proven to work.
Best of luck and if you have any comments of questions, leave them below in the comments section and I will reply to them all.