Types of Testosterone Blood Tests - Which Should You Select?

Types of Testosterone Blood Tests - Which Should You Select?

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the main sex hormone (androgen) in men. Although it is considered a "male" sex hormone, it is present in the blood of both men and women. However, testosterone levels are normally much higher in men than in women. This test measures the level of testosterone in your blood. It is measured as total testosterone, either alone or in combination with free testosterone and/or bioavailable testosterone. Inadequate testosterone levels can lead to numerous health issues such as decreased bone density, decreased muscle mass, poor sex drive, lack of motivation, and depression. 

What is hypogonadism?

Primary Hypogonadism: This is the disease of the testes which results in the inability of the testes to produce testosterone. This can be caused by congenital abnormalities, infection/Orchitis, radiation, trauma, and medications/ environmental toxins. It is characterized by low testosterone levels and high levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH)

Secondary Hypogonadism: This is associated with the disease of the pituitary or hypothalamus. This can be caused by congenital abnormalities, suppression of gonadotropins (hyperprolactinemia, opiates, chronic disease, sleep apnea), cancer, hemochromatosis, traumatic brain injury. This form of hypogonadism is characterized by low levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicular stimulating hormone.

Adult-onset Hypogonadism: This is somewhere between primary and secondary hypogonadism, and it is the most common type of hypogonadism that is seen. It is often associated with obesity/comorbid conditions.


Types of Testosterone Tests:

#1. Testosterone Free and Total Standard (140103)

This testosterone test is ideal for testing testosterone levels that are within the normal ranges. It measures total and free testosterone using direct analog/radioimmunoassay (for free T) and electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (for total T). This test is ideal for someone that is expecting normal results on a testosterone test, however it is not ideal for testing levels in the very low ranges or for levels that are about 1500 ng/dl.

#2. Testosterone Free and Weakly Bound (Bioavailable Testosterone (143255)

This test measures the amount of free and weakly bound testosterone in the bloodstream. This test will not look at testosterone bound to SHBG because this type is biologically inactive due to it having a high binding affinity.

#3 Testosterone Free and Total LC/MS-MS (No Upper Limit 070195)

This testosterone test is ideal if you are expecting abnormal results on your testosterone test. It will show your testosterone levels if they are above 1500 ng/dl as well as do a better job of providing an accurate result if your testosterone is within the lower end of the reference range. This test is also ideal for bodybuilding. Due to the methodology that is used in this test, it will not be skewed by compounds that are commonly used in bodybuilding such as 19-Nor derivatives. 

#4 Testosterone, Free, Bioavailable, and Total, LC/MS (No Upper Limit 070282)

This test doesn’t have any upper limit for either type of testosterone such as free, total and bioavailable. Like the previous test, this uses the most accurate methodology to date for assessing testosterone levels which is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This test is ideal for those bodybuilding that are expecting their free testosterone to be over 50 pg/ml.


Looking To Check Your Testosterone?

Check out our "Custom Test" on our website. We offer multiple forms of testosterone testing, and you can tailor your lab order to be specific towards your needs.

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