A testosterone test is a simple blood test that checks the levels of the male androgen, or sex hormone. Maintaining adequate levels of testosterone is important not only for hormonal balance and general wellness, but can also for increasing muscle mass and bone density. Higher testosterone levels also increase energy levels and boost confidence.
What is the reason for a testosterone test?
You don’t need to be suffering from hypogonadism in order to have low testosterone. In fact, testosterone levels begin to drop up to 3% a year in men over 30. While this is normal, drastically low testosterone comes with a number of problems, including increased levels of the “stress hormon”, cortisol. Low testosterone can even lead to an increased risk of death in older men.
Testosterone tests are routinely conducted in older men who may be suffering from low testosterone, but may be right for younger men experiencing the same problems as well. The symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, low levels of semen, hair loss, loss of muscle, weight gain, decrease in bone mass, lack of energy, and mood swings. While any one of these indicators alone may not point to low testosterone, a combination of these symptoms could very well warrant a visit to the doctor for a testosterone test.
How can I increase my testosterone?
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can naturally increase testosterone production:
- Soak up the sun – Increased vitamin D levels can increase testosterone levels.
- Work out – Compound lifts that target multiple muscles at once (like squats and Romanian deadlifts) can increase testosterone levels.
- Sprint – Sprinting can increase testosterone levels for the same reason. In fact, a four-week regimen of short sprints is enough to produce noticeable results.
- But don’t run long distances – Unfortunately, endurance running may actually have the opposite effect. Chronic cardio has been shown to actually lower testosterone levels.
- Eat healthy fats – including healthy polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. You can find these in pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, olives, eggs, salmon, avocado, and coconut (among many other foods).
What should I do if I think I have low testosterone?
Dr. Joseph Olivieri, MD, FAAFP has over 4 decades of experience as a physician and commonly performs testosterone tests for Ageonics Medical. He has served as a Staff Virology Physician at NYU Medical Center and was the HIV Medical Director at the Greenwich House.
For a free medical consultation or to schedule a testosterone test with Dr. Olivieri, please call us at 212-510-7020 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.