Getting regular medical tests is a good way of protecting your health. It can help screen you for diseases. Often, learning about the issue quickly is the key to treating the condition successfully. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why an annual hormone blood test from a physician is important.
Monitor Testosterone Therapy
One of the first things that you will need to check is your testosterone levels. More specifically, these tests will be looking at how well your body can convert endogenous testosterone.
This has several important health effects, especially for older men. For example, studies have shown that those with low testosterone levels are 40 percent more likely to have a fall. Other studies have found that low endogenous testosterone might be linked to a higher mortality rate and greater odds of cardiovascular disease. Low testosterone has also been known to weaken sex drive, resulting in fewer erections. If you have a high amount of testosterone, it will make it easier for you to build muscle mass.
There are two ways that your physician can measure your testosterone levels. First, there is the total test. This measures the total amount of testosterone your body is produced. This is a good first step, allowing them to detect any abnormalities. This can be combined with other hormone tests to give a complete understanding of your health. A secondary tool that can be used is known as the free test. This will measure the amount of testosterone your body has available. This can be a good way of diagnosing subtler problems.
If you do have low testosterone levels, some things can be done to solve the problem. This can involve lifestyle changes. For example, you might want to try getting more exercise or change your diet. Sometimes, they will recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). In some cases, you will need to have an injection. Alternatively, you might be required to take an oral tablet or use a skin patch. Once the doctor knows about the problem, they will find the best treatment for you.
The next test will be to find out more about your estradiol levels. This is found in higher levels in women, but men can also produce it. Sometimes abnormal estradiol levels can be the cause of a health problem. For example, it can reduce the production of a chemical known as AQP2. This, in turn, causes water retention. This is most common when going through menopause, which sees a reduction in estrogen levels.
Your estrogen levels can also impact fertility. For some women, estradiol levels can help explain abnormal vaginal bleeding. Furthermore, low levels of estrogen have been linked to vaginal atrophy. This is a condition that can lead to the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
A simple hormone blood test is one of the best ways to tell whether you have enough estrogen in your bloodstream. If you don’t have enough, a physician will often prescribe a supplement. This will often take a pill form. They might also prescribe some medications or recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Men will want to keep a close eye on the production of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA). Its primary role is to turn semen into a liquid. As it does this, some small amounts will spill into the bloodstream. At low levels, this shouldn’t be concerning.
But if you have elevated levels of PSA, it can lead to several health problems. It has the potential to cause cancers. Most significantly, elevated levels will increase your risk of prostate cancer. Getting this simple hormone test could be a great way of spotting these cancers early. This can give your doctors time to detect the cancer cells, often through a biopsy. This early detection is often key to successfully removing cancer.
The next test that it’s recommended that you perform will measure your hematocrit levels. This will be measuring the percentage of red blood cells you have in your body. These play a critical role, transporting oxygen around the body. This is a simple blood test, and you won’t need to do anything special to prepare. Most people should have levels between 30 and 50 percent.
Elevated levels of hematocrits have the potential to lead to a range of health problems. In some cases, you might have a polycythemia vera. This is a condition that causes your body to produce an excessive number of red blood cells. If the count is over 50, it can begin to cause problems. To solve this, you might need to have therapeutic phlebotomy. This is a method of removing excess red blood cells from the body.
Monitoring for Erythrocytosis
Erythrocytosis is the name of the condition experienced by those who have too many red blood cells. The best way to diagnose this condition is by taking a blood sample. This will gather empirical evidence on the number of red cells in your blood.
There are two reasons why this condition might occur. Sometimes, it will be caused by a medical condition. First, it might be linked to your genetics. It can often manifest as a problem in the bone marrow, resulting in overproduction of the red blood cells. At other times, it might be caused by a medication.
There are a few ways to treat this condition. Sometimes, you might need to book therapeutic phlebotomy. This will remove red blood. At other times, you will need to take tablets that will slow your red blood cells’ production. As long as it’s detected and treated properly, you should be able to minimize the symptoms.
DHT to Testosterone Ratios
The final hormone blood test will be to measure your DHT levels. This is especially important for men. This will need to be considered in relation to testosterone levels, as the two are linked. If your DHT levels are too high, it has been known to lead to things like acne. Another common issue is male pattern baldness or a receding hairline.
There are a few ways that a doctor might be able to lower your DHT levels. For example, they might request some lifestyle changes. In other cases, they might prescribe DHT blockers, which slow your body’s production of the chemical.
On the other hand, low amounts of DHT have also been known to cause problems. For example, low DHT levels have been linked to mental health problems like depression. It might also contribute to cognitive decline in men. It has also been linked to the incomplete development of sexual organs. Sometimes, it can increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. This is most common when going through puberty. It can also come with aging.
There are a few ways that you can increase the amount of DHT in the body. For example, you can try to boost it naturally. A great way of doing this is through exercise, which boosts production. Sometimes, they will recommend TRT. This often comes in the form of medication.
Get a Hormone Blood Test via Telemedicine
The next time you visit a physician, it’s a good idea to request a hormone blood test. You may also schedule a blood test with a qualified telemedicine provider like EVOLVE HRT. Our testing can be done painlessly at a partnered lab within your area, and results will be quickly delivered. As we’ve seen, these results will allow you to detect a range of conditions before they become serious problems. Or it can help explain some of the symptoms that you have been experiencing. Once you know what is causing these problems, you will be able to get them treated. Hormone levels will change over time, especially if you go through significant life events like menopause or puberty. Because of this, it’s recommended that you get an annual blood panel.
Are you ready to get your hormone levels checked or have questions for our qualified team of HRT professionals? Contact Patient Care @EVOLVE to schedule your blood test or consult with a physician if you already have test results.