The most reliable method of testing testosterone levels is through blood draws. As you start your testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) process, it’s not enough to simply know your total testosterone count. Your blood may show a healthy testosterone level over time, but it may not tell you other vital health numbers.
There are several key variables in your blood that your doctor needs to monitor for optimal hormone and metabolic balancing. Here are just a few of the more important variables to closely watch as you undergo testosterone treatment:
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) – a protein released into your blood from your prostate gland. The amount of PSA in your blood usually increases with age. A healthy amount of PSA is under 3 ng/ml. (Source) It is not recommended to pursue TRT if your PSA is 4 ng/ml or higher.
- Hematocrit – Your hematocrit rate is determined by how many red blood cells are in your bloodstream. The higher number of red blood cells, the thicker your blood. Thicker blood puts incrementally higher strain on your heart function. If your hematocrit rate is 53 or higher, you should donate blood to relieve the amount of red blood cells populating your bloodstream.
- Estradiol – This is male-form of estrogen. The ideal range is between 25-50 pg/mL.
- Blood pressure – Elevated blood pressure (135/85 or higher) can cause shortness of breath, unnecessary strain on your kidneys, and increase risk of cardiovascular incidents and diseases.
- HDL – This is your “good” cholesterol. Your HDL should be at 40 mg/dl or higher. Lower HDL can affect cardiovascular function.
- TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) – TSH is created when the hypothalamus gland releases TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) which tells the pituitary gland to release TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). TSH helps control your metabolism. (Source)
There are other important factors that can have a direct effect on the success of your testosterone treatment and your long-term health. The best place to start is learning more about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Our Low T St. Louis team created a FREE eBook available here for instant download to help you learn more about our various testosterone treatment methods. This is a great conversation starter for you and your doctor or one of our board-certified staff physicians. Download your FREE eBook right now and schedule your next appointment at Low T St. Louis.