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The Lowdown on Low-T

It’s got a catchy name and seemingly, a miracle cure; sure to be the answer to all of your problems. For men suffering from fatigue, hair loss and erectile dysfunction (just to name a few!) the go-to diagnosis these days is called “low-T.”

Low-T stands for low testosterone. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that helps men develop and maintain male features. During puberty, when levels begin to spike, testosterone helps boys develop body and facial hair, muscle mass and strength, and a deeper voice. Men need testosterone to produce sperm and it’s the guiding force behind a man’s sexual drive. As men grow older, it’s natural for their testosterone levels to drop, which is one of the reasons diagnosing low-T is a bit tricky. Any Lab Test Now offers a few solutions that can help you take control of your health and make getting a proper diagnosis easier.

Symptoms of Low-T

Many of the symptoms can be caused by other medical problems like diabetes, depression, obesity, or heart disease, which makes pre-treatment testing so important.

Some of the most likely signs of low-T include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Difficulty with erections
  • Low sperm count
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Low bone density and loss of muscle mass
  • Increased body fat
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Testicular atrophy
  • Depression and/or trouble concentrating

Testosterone replacement therapy is the standard for properly diagnosed low-T, but it isn’t recommended to treat naturally occurring age-related hormone decline. Basically, you can’t just go on the test numbers alone.

Knowing Your Numbers

Any Lab Test Now offers a range of tests designed to help you know your numbers and provide you and your doctor with the information necessary to make a proper diagnosis.

The best place to start is with the Testosterone, Free (Direct), Serum With Total Test. This test will give you a better understanding of how much testosterone is in your blood. Two separate blood tests on nonconsecutive days, taken early in the morning, are recommended. That’s because testosterone levels fluctuate during the day. They are at their highest in the early hours.

It’s important to be aware of your overall health so that you won’t be surprised if new issues arise once you begin testosterone replacement therapy.  In some cases you might not be a candidate for therapy as receiving the testosterone might aggravate some prior underlying health issues. The Pre-Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel helps protect you by uncovering potential issues such as prostate cancer, blood disorders, or compromised liver or kidney functions.

Men should also be aware that there are risks associated with testosterone treatment. It can accelerate prostate growth, enlarge male breasts, and cause fluid retention and acne, just to name a few. The Continued Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel is a great test to use to monitor levels of testosterone in your blood and help track the effectiveness of the treatment.

What About the Ladies?

People think of testosterone as a strictly male hormone, but women require low levels of it as well. The research is less conclusive, but the signs and symptoms can be the same. You’ll want to talk with your doctor about low-T and the potential benefits and associated risks of testosterone replacement therapy.