Testosterone is widely known as an elixir within the fountain of male youth. Optimal testosterone levels are often associated with physical prowess, mental strength, high sex drive and happiness.
Low testosterone is often viewed as the exact opposite, causing weight gain, low mood, low libido and the increased likelihood of gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men.)
Low testosterone symptoms can affect your day to day life in subtle yet powerful ways. You may notice that you are feeling blue or anxious, you may not be sleeping so well or you could have less of an interest in sex. Whatever you may be feeling, it might be time to get your hormones tested.
High testosterone symptoms are less common than low testosterone symptoms as testosterone levels in men naturally decline as they age.
The connection between training, whether it includes cardio sessions or weight-lifting and healthy testosterone levels are said to be interconnected. This week, Dr. Marc Cornier talks you through everything you need to know about testosterone, training and TRT. LetsGetChecked is also joined by Nick Komodina who is a personal trainer and men’s physique competitor, Nick talks us through everything from the varying definitions of testosterone, to anabolic steroid supplementation.
Finally, LetsGetChecked talk you through everything you need to know when it comes to picking a testosterone test.
- What Is Testosterone?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone?
- How Are Training And Testosterone Linked?
- At Home Testosterone Testing: The First Step To Understanding Your Hormones
- Why Choose An At Home Hormone Test Over Visiting Your Doctor?
- How Do LetsGetChecked Tests Compare to Other At Home Male Hormone Test Providers?
- What Our Customers Say About Us
- Still Have Questions?
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone. Sex hormones are also known as androgens. They are made in the ovaries in women, the testes in men and the adrenal glands in both men and women.
Testosterone is defined as a male sex hormone that is responsible for the regulation of male primary and secondary sexual characteristics.
Primary sex characteristics are those that a person is born with, including our genitalia.
Secondary sex characteristics are characteristics that develop later in life, most significantly, during puberty.
Testosterone stimulates the development of secondary sex characteristics.
In men, these may include:
- The development of the Adam’s apple
- The “breaking of” or deepening of the voice
- The broadening of the shoulders and chest
- The growth of hair on the face and body
- The enlargement of the penis and testes
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone?
"Testosterone goes a lot further than that. It’s what allows us to build muscle, it’s what allows us to synthesize protein, it develops our reproductive organs, bone mass, muscle mass and hair growth. It’s my favourite hormone out there! You can’t forget about sex drive either, especially for men, you know we need to have our libido up there."
We can rightfully guess then that low symptoms of testosterone would provide the opposite.
When talking about the most common low testosterone symptoms Dr. Cornier says:
“If we’re talking about men, the primary symptom of low testosterone would be reduced sexual libido or erectile dysfunction but it could also be as general as reduced energy or desire to do things. That is what men will mostly come to us for.”
Low testosterone symptoms include:
- Lowered sex drive
- Increased difficulty in achieving an erection
- Low mood or mood swings
- Lower semen volume
- Increased body fat
- Hair loss (This is also dependant on genetics)
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
- Increased likelihood of gynecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue)
High testosterone symptoms may be equally problematic, yet they are often difficult to spot in men. Men may experience high testosterone in two different circumstances.
A) You may be taking anabolic steroids in dangerously high doses, this can cause your testosterone levels to become too high and can cause side effects.
B) It is possible for testosterone to become imbalanced if you suffer from a number of health conditions including hyperthyroidism, adrenal gland tumours and precocious puberty.
Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control your metabolism. Your metabolism refers to the speed at which your cells carry out their functions. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, or indeed hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), your overall hormonal health may be affected including testosterone.
Adrenal Gland Tumours
Adrenal gland tumours can cause the overproduction of other hormones including aldosterone, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. Adrenal gland tumours may cause the excessive production of testosterone. Depending on your age, this can cause precocious puberty as described below.
Precocious puberty is caused by the overproduction of aldosterone. Precocious puberty is defined as the process whereby a girl under the age of 8 or a boy under the age of 9 begins to experience pubertal changes prematurely. Testosterone production in later life may be abnormal due to precocious puberty, often it will be high if this is the case.
What Is The Difference Between Low Testosterone Symptoms & High Testosterone Symptoms?
How Are Training And Testosterone Linked?
There are some misconceptions out there when it comes to the effects of training, high testosterone and low testosterone symptoms.
It is widely believed as a rule of thumb that training excessively can cause a rise in cortisol levels, decrease in body mass, disrupt luteinizing hormone and ultimately lead to lowered levels of testosterone.
In other schools of thought, it is believed that resistance training exercises can promote the production and release of testosterone.
One thing that is for sure is more study is needed in the area of testosterone and training to know whether it can definitively make a difference to your hormone levels.
When it comes to training, Dr. Cornier says:
“It's not going to boost your levels super high. Testosterone and growth hormones may be increased by some degree by exercise but also by longer term exercise interventions."
When Nick is dealing with clients who have received a low testosterone diagnosis, he says that the first thing you need to bring testosterone levels back to a healthy balance is to understand why your levels are low in the first place. "First, we need to look at the things you might be doing to cause testosterone to decrease because naturally, if your health is thriving, you will not see a decrease in your testosterone levels." Nick adds that the literature out there claims that weight-lifting will combat low testosterone symptoms.
"Working out your lower body can very much increase your testosterone, compound lifts, unit squats and deadlifts are all said to improve your testosterone."
Dr. Cornier says:
“Weight lifting and resistance training may have a stronger effect than cardiovascular exercise. At the end of the day, exercise is good so we promote it to people. That’s not why I tell my patients to exercise, because I’m not sure that it’s fully related to testosterone.”
What is certain is that both Nick and Dr. Cornier say the only way to eventually bring your testosterone levels back to a healthy level is to understand why they are low in the first place. This starts with testing. Let's talk about the new technology that allows us to know our hormones from the comfort and privacy of our own homes.
At Home Testosterone Testing: The First Step To Understanding Your Hormones
It's essential to test your testosterone levels if you want to rule out hormonal imbalances as a cause of your symptoms.
Today, we see a widening testosterone market that promises to make men feel young, healthy and strong again. Dr. Cornier says that more than ever, men are trying to find a new solution to their low testosterone symptoms, adding that it may be higher to diagnose than we may have formerly thought.
Dr. Cornier says:
"In the United States, if you listen to the radio or watch television, you will see low T centres advertised almost constantly. There’s a lot of direct to consumer marketing for this kind of thing, most of the guys who go to the centres end up not having low testosterone, there’s also a grey zone of what’s low testosterone or not. It’s not a yes or no, it can be tricky to diagnose."
Low testosterone can be difficult to diagnose. It is crucial that you measure free biologically active testosterone in the bloodstream, as well as bound biologically inactive testosterone in the bloodstream.
For someone who is new to this topic, that can seem very difficult to get your head around so let's break it down. The LetsGetChecked Male Hormone Advanced Test measures:
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that regulates the development of secondary sex characteristics, fertility, muscle mass distribution and red blood cell production. Testosterone can be divided into two strands. You have free testosterone which is biologically active in the bloodstream or bound testosterone which is attached to a glycoprotein commonly known as SHBG.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):
SHBG is a glycoprotein that binds itself to testosterone and transports it in a biologically inactive form throughout the body in the bloodstream.
Free Androgen Index (FAI):
Free Androgen Index is a ratio used to determine the volume of free and bound testosterone by dividing total testosterone by SHBG and multiplying it by a constant. The FAI number tells you how much active vs. inactive testosterone there is in your blood.
Oestradiol is a steroid hormone that controls erectile function, libido and spermatogenesis. Oestradiol is key in understanding your androgen status as oestradiol and testosterone balance one another out. High oestradiol is often indicative of low testosterone and vice versa.
Prolactin is responsible for testosterone secretion,the development of mature spermatozoa (spermatogenesis), sex drive and erectile function. Measuring testosterone can screen for testicular and erectile dysfunction as well as pituitary gland and hypothalamus issues.
Through measuring total testosterone, alongside oestradiol and prolactin, you will receive the most comprehensive insight into your hormonal health, as well as the symptoms you may be experiencing as caused by hormonal imbalances.
Dr. Cornier says:
“We measure total testosterone in the blood. What we care about is the volume of testosterone that is bound to protein versus what is free. You could have low testosterone but it depends the volume of testosterone that is bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).”
Why Choose An At Home Hormone Test Over Visiting Your Doctor?
You Have The Ability To Test Your Hormones At A Time That Works For You
With an at home Male Hormone Advanced Test, you have the ability to test your hormones at a time that works for you.
Often it is not common practice for general practitioners to test both your free and bound testosterone even though both are equally important in gaining a complete overview of your hormonal health. With LetsGetChecked, you will be given the full picture.
At home testing also makes it possible to take the test at a time that works for you and in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Now, you don't need to deviate from your busy schedule, sit in waiting rooms or take time off work.
Hormones Are Subject To Change Numerous Times During Your Life
Hormones are always subject to change at different times in your life. With LetsGetChecked, you can take the Male Hormone Advanced Test as many times as you like depending on your symptoms.
With LetsGetChecked, you are also the holder of your results via a personalized online dashboard. In this way, you have access to your results at all time, ensuring that you know your own health.
Here is an example of test results from our case study Thomas Nordal. In this case study, Thomas kept track of his key hormones and cortisol levels with LetsGetChecked to track and monitor his levels.
Fast And Accurate Results
Not only do you have access to your test results 24/7, you also have access to a team of nurses and doctors who are there to offer you personalized care at every step of the way.
The LetsGetChecked medical team will call you to talk you through your results and offer you personalized advice should any of your results sit outside normal levels.
LetsGetChecked use the same laboratories and guidelines as doctors so you can rest assured that the only difference in testing with LetsGetChecked is not having a face to face sit down with a doctor and self-collecting a smaller sample of blood.
Your fast and accurate results will be returned to you within 5 days of taking the test.
How Do You Collect A Sample Using The Male Hormone Advanced Test?
Using the Male Hormone Advanced Test is very straightforward. To take the test, you simply take a small sample from your finger. This method is also known as capillary testing.
Using the prepaid label, you then send your test kit back to the LetsGetChecked laboratory through PO box or via courier service.
You will receive your results within 3-5 days.
Here is a quick video that walks you through how you can collect your sample is as little as 5 minutes.
How Do LetsGetChecked Tests Compare to Other At Home Male Hormone Test Providers?
LetsGetChecked male hormone tests examine key hormones that are necessary to gain a complete insight into your hormonal health. LetsGetChecked use capillary testing which is the most accurate method of self collection, have the highest trustscore on Trustpilot and offer 24/7 medical support.
Check out the below table to see how LetsGetChecked is a step ahead of the rest.
Key Male Hormones Are Measured
LetsGetChecked examines free testosterone, as well as bound testosterone. The LetsGetChecked Male Hormone Advanced Test also measures key hormones that are reactive to testosterone including oestradiol and prolactin, offering you the most comprehensive insight into your hormonal health. Other test providers commonly just test free testosterone.
All LetsGetChecked tests are produced and dispatched from an ISO accredited facility to ensure quality. All samples are tested in the same laboratories that doctors use and the method of testing uses the latest technology to ensure that a small sample can provide the big picture.
Our medical team is on standby 24/7 to offer you support from the moment you receive your results to the moment you receive your results.
LetsgetChecked is based in New York, Toronto and Dublin, however we serve the global market, including the U.S, Canada and Europe.
LetsGetChecked tests are stocked in thousands of pharmacies including CVS, Lloyds and Boots.
LetsGetChecked maintain excellent reviews on Trustpilot with a trustscore of 9.6/10.
Board Certified Physicians
LetsGetChecked have a team of board certified physicians who review all aspects of the testing process to ensure that all elements of the process mirror those that occur in a doctor's office.
LetsGetChecked offer the most cost effective test on the market taking into account that this is the most in depth analysis of your hormones that you could get outside of a doctor's office.
What Our Customers Say About Us
“I found test quick and simple to do and the online support was very available and helpful throughout the whole process! Based on my great experience, LetsGetChecked comes highly recommended!”
"Having used the products of LetsGetChecked for more than a year now, it has become an indispensable part of my toolbox as a professional athlete, in the process of keeping my body safe and healthy. It is an easy, convenient and super professional service."
Still Have Questions?
Here are some questions we usually get about LetsGetChecked. If you have more specific questions, please visit us at www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en where our support team can assist you via live chat.
Who is the Male Hormone Advanced Test suitable for?
The Male Hormone Advanced Test is suitable for any man who wants to have a better understanding of his overall hormonal health.
If you are living with low testosterone symptoms or high testosterone symptoms, the Male Hormone Advanced Test is for you.
As our hormone volumes can change throughout the day, it is essential that the test is taken fasted before 9am.
Are there medical professionals involved in the process?
LetsGetChecked has a team of physicians who will review your order and results. Our nursing team is on standby throughout the testing process and, if you test positive, you will receive a call to discuss your results and treatment options
How is my privacy protected?
Keeping your data secure is important to us. All data is completely anonymized to ensure that your privacy is maintained throughout the process. We will not share your information with any third party.
All samples are disposed of following analysis.
How accurate is the testing process?
Your samples are processed in the same labs used by primary care providers, hospitals and government schemes.
LetsGetChecked laboratories are CLIA approved and CAP-accredited, which are the highest levels of accreditation.
Tests kits are manufactured within our ISO 13485 accredited facility, the highest level of accreditation for medical devices.
Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Approved by Dr. Dominic Rowley