More Testing Before Determining Need for Testosterone Therapy Treatment?

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on May 4th, 2015
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Health experts recommend that doctors perform a physical exam along with a blood test to determine whether or not a man needs testosterone therapy treatment. In a study to be published in the Journal Urology, a lack of consistency was found in laboratory practices resulting in inaccurate blood tests.

The studys lead author, Dr. Paduch, said, In some cases, testosterone (T) levels, tested on the same day from a blood sample taken from a single patient, differed by as much as 30 percent from one lab to the next.

How a Doctor Diagnoses a Patient with Low Testosterone

A doctor will most likely schedule you to come into his or her office in the morning hours to conduct a blood test because testosterone levels are normally at their peak during this time. A doctor should also perform a physical exam looking at the size of your breasts, scrotum, testes and penis and check for any lumps. He or she will also look at how much body hair you have and your peripheral vision, which can be a sign of a pituitary tumor resulting in low testosterone levels.

If the doctor feels you might have a pituitary gland tumor he or she may order an MRI or CT scan. Hormone or genetic testing can also be used to determine if you have low testosterone levels.

You should bring your own medical history and your family history to your appointment if this is your first visit with this particular doctor.

Testosterone Therapy Treatment Linked to Heart Attacks

Recent studies have found a link between testosterone therapy treatment and heart attack risk. A PLOS One study published on January 29th, 2014 found the heart attack risk doubled for men aged 65 and older using a form of testosterone therapy treatment. Younger men faced three times the risk if they had a family history of heart disease, but no increased risk without a family history of the disease.

In response to the studies, on January 31st, 2014 the FDA announced plans to investigate the risk of heart attack, stroke and death associated with testosterone therapy treatment.

The FDA made clear in the announcement that None of the FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for use in men with low testosterone levels who lack an associated medical condition.

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More Testing Before Determining Need for Testosterone Therapy Treatment?

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