A hormone test kit, in my opinion, is mandatory after anabolic steroid or SARM use. One of the problems with anabolic steroids, select androgen receptor modulators, and prohormones is that they suppress natural testosterone production. This is a FACT, that many people ignore until they start gaining body fat and get gynecomastia. However, this does not stop people from using them. That being said, if a person does use these drugs, they should get their hormone levels checked after their cycle is complete. Not getting a hormone test is foolish. If one gets gynecomastia, one will find themselves at the doctor’s office and surgery to follow. Nowadays a doctor’s visit, which quite frankly is a giant pain in the ass, is not required. One can easily go online and order at home hormone testing kit. Letsgetchecked is my new favorite company for ordering the kits. They are highly professional, reliable, easy, and low-priced.
Anabolic steroids, prohormones, and select androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are commonly used by men seeking to increase muscle and strength. According to the US Department of Justice almost 1 million people in the United States are using these drugs, some being as young as 14 years old. These drugs are easily attainable on the internet. People use these drugs, get noticeable results, and then a few months after usage lose all their gains, and sometimes worse, look less muscular and lose strength. Most of this can be avoided by using an at home hormone testing kit.
In this article I will explain what testosterone is, what low testosterone can look like, and the use of home hormone testing kits.
Reduced testosterone and hormonal imbalances are currently developing into the leading concerns in male health. In the last 40 years, the count of healthy sperm has dropped by 50% on a global level.
According to the American Urological Association, low testosterone occurs in approximately 2 out of 10 men older than 60 years or 3 out of 10 men in their 70s and 80s. So, decreasing testosterone production comes naturally with age. Yet, low T levels are not limited to older men, meaning a man of any age can face such an issue. Additionally, other factors may affect the hormone levels, such as an injury to the testicles, cancer treatments, underlying health issues, stress, and the use of anabolic steroids or select androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). It is a known fact that anabolic steroids lower natural testosterone production. Typically any anabolic steroid user will self administer the synthetic testosterone for approximately 8 to 16 weeks, which causes natural testosterone levels to become suppressed. Once steroid use is discontinued, natural testosterone production does not resume to a normal level.
SARMs are experimental drugs that may or may not lead to suppressed natural testosterone production as these drugs are fairly new to the bodybuilding community. However, they are being used very commonly by thousands of people.
No matter the reason, you may be tempted to check your T levels using a testosterone test kit. However, there are several issues you should consider first, such as whether you need the hormone testing kit, how to perform the examination, and what you should do with the results.
Who May Need A Hormone Testing Kit?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the normal testosterone range for men is usually 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Anything below 300 refers to low T, or decline in testosterone production (hypogonadism).
As the most important male sex hormone, there are several reasons why as a man you may consider a hormone testing kit.
To Check Your Fertility
Low testosterone doesn’t necessarily mean infertility. More specifically, sperm production is mainly stimulated by other hormones, so men with low T levels can produce healthy sperm. However, low T levels affect the amount of sperm produced. Furthermore, low testosterone may decrease the sex drive or cause erectile dysfunction, indirectly leading to infertility. So, even if you check your reproductive hormones, you should carefully interpret the results as well.
Even though testosterone, as the primary male hormone, is usually associated with sex, your body needs this hormone for many other functions. For instance, you need testosterone for your body development and overall physic build, bone growth and stability, blood formation, the building of muscle mass, body hair, etc.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Another reason to check your T levels is that you are facing some symptoms related to this issue. Even though the symptoms for low testosterone levels are usually subtle, here are the most common signs that may refer to hormonal imbalances.
Achieving and maintaining an erection doesn’t fully depend on testosterone. However, this hormone plays a significant role because it triggers the brain receptors to produce nitric oxide – a variable needed for an erection occurrence.
Libido or low sex drive
With age, men tend to experience a decrease in their libido or sex drive. In this sense, low testosterone significantly affects the decline, resulting in a more drastic drop. Check out this white paper I found recently explaining more.
Low semen volume
During ejaculation, men with lower T levels experience a decreased amount, or volume, of semen.
Lower T levels usually cause lower energy levels, therefore leading to constant and extreme fatigue.
Mood swings, anxiety or depression
T levels have a powerful impact on the mental capacity and mood of men. Thus, lower testosterone may result in mood swings, lack of focus, irritability, or even depression.
Loss of muscle mass
Testosterone is a crucial component in building body and muscle fat. So, men with lower T may experience a decrease in their muscle mass.
Loss of bone mass
Bone loss, or osteoporosis, refers to lowering the bone volume or mass. Testosterone is the hormone connected to the production and strengthening of bones. Thus, low T can ultimately lead to more bone fractures.
Increased body fat
Apart from an increase in body fat, men with low T may develop enlarged breast tissue or gynecomastia.
Smaller testicle size
Low T may lead to smaller-than-average sized penis or testicles, compared to men with normal testosterone levels.
T levels have a great impact on bodily functions, meaning lack of this hormone may result in slower growth or a loss of body and facial hair.
An important issue is that all the above-mentioned symptoms for low testosterone may refer to more complex underlying conditions.
Once you have determined that you need to check your testosterone level, you may decide for a doctor’s appointment or at-home testing kit. Like I mentioned above, the at home testing kits are 1,000 times easier.
After Anabolic Steroid or SARMs Use
After the self-administration of anabolic steroids or SARMs it is crucial to get a test to check your natural testosterone levels. According to a study done in 2016 involving current and former anabolic steroid users, most had experienced significant drops in natural testosterone production. This means in layman’s terms after steroid use was discontinued by the user, they are now worse off then they were before they took anabolic steroids.
SARMs are experiment research drugs that science has yet to determine if they suppress natural testosterone production. However, in this study, it was found that LGD 4033 significantly suppresses testosterone.
If you decide to check your T levels at a doctor’s appointment, you will most probably be required to do a blood test. You may also undergo a physical examination to check your symptoms before the testing.
Blood tests are usually performed in the morning, between 7 am and 10 am. This is because hormone levels are the highest in the first part of the day and vary throughout the rest of it. The blood test determines the amount of testosterone that is circulating in your blood and body. However, to confirm the measurements, you might be required to retake the test several times.
An alternative to diagnosing low testosterone at a medical institution is to use an at-home testing kit.
Hormone Self Test Kit
Before you see your doctor, you may test your T levels in the privacy of your home. This may be beneficial to anabolic steroid users or SARM’s users because self-administering these drugs are illegal. More specifically, there is a range of products on the market that allow you to collect a sample of your saliva instead of blood to measure your hormone level. However, the interpretation of the results falls in the hands of a medical expert once again. So, every company offering a hormone testing kit will expect you to mail your collection of saliva to a laboratory. Once you do this, you will receive the results within several days or weeks.
It is important to note that each company selling hormone self-test kits has different policies as to how to collect the sample, how many samples you need to mail, and how fast you will get the results.
Why Should You Use At Home Testing Kit?
If you have been spending a lot of hours in the gym but still cannot see much progress, you may need to use a hormone self-test kit to see if you are on the right track. Other reasons for such a test may be your decreased libido, fatigue, or mood swings. All these symptoms may be caused by numerous other factors, so being able to check your T levels at home is much more practical or efficient. Additionally, if you are regularly taking testosterone, performing the test at home may save you a lot of time.
A Variety of Hormone Testing Kits
Apart from testosterone, as the main male hormone, there are tests for other male hormones available on the market as well.
One of the best companies to use for an at hormone test kit is, LetsGetChecked. What I like about Lets Get Checked is their motto, “To make professional health testing easily accessible and ensure that no individual ever puts off a test due to not wanting to/being able to visit a healthcare provider. ” This is very relatable to anabolic steroid users and SARMs users. Typically steroid users want to keep secret their usage.
Letsgetchecked.com offers three classes of the test, Male Hormone Test, Male Hormone Plus, and Male Hormone Advanced. The regular test includes three biomarkers: Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, and Free Androgen Index. The Plus Test version includes Oestradiol as well, and the Advanced Test comes with an addition of the Prolactin biomarker. Depending on your needs you should choose the most appropriate of the three options for your needs. Letsgetchecked is my current recommendation. LetsGetChecked laboratories are CLIA approved and CAP-accredited. These are the two highest references in the nation.
My favorite things about Letsgetchecked
1. LetsGetChecked is an at-home testing company that gives customers the ability to perform medical grade testing from the comfort and privacy of their own home.
2. Now of days, it is important for men to be on top of their testosterone levels as it directly affects their performance.
3. LetsGetCheckeds tests are given via a finger-prick blood sample
4. Tests are usually returned in under a week!
5. Your results are delivered to your through letsgetchecked.com where you can arrange a call with one of their licensed physicians.
Other At Home Hormone Testing Companies
MediChecks is a company that has an ok hormone test kit. They have extended the hormone test to include proteins and adrenal hormones as well. So, their Male Hormone Check Blood Test will provide you a full analysis of the amount of LH, Oestradiol, Testosterone, FSH, Prolactin, Free Androgen Index, and Free Testosterone – Calc. in your body.
Furthermore, there are companies such as Walk-In-Lab that offer a wide range of hormone testing kits, each specialized for particular symptoms of an individual and a particular hormone in the body. Another company of this type is Forth, providing a Male Hormone Test with more than ten biomarkers to fully understand your male hormone profile.
Hormone Test Kit for Weight Loss
As explained before, testosterone is the main determinant for numerous body functions and everyday activities. However, the combination of T with other hormones in the male body may also affect energy and weight gain/loss. Because these issues are not critical to your health, many individuals prefer home tests for such issues. For that cause, many companies have found the right combination of hormones and have transferred that onto products or hormone self-test kits.
EverlyWell has come up with numerous such products, the Metabolism Test, hormone test kit, and Men’s Health Test being two of the most used. The Metabolism Test evaluates three key hormones that are affecting the metabolism rate of your body, Cortisol, Free Testosterone, and Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone. Additionally, there is a possibility to collect your sample by blood or saliva. The Men’s Health Test determines four key components affecting the sex drive, muscle mass, energy levels, and mood. This test is focused on the individuals’ overall-well being, but the sample can be collected only through saliva.
How to Use a Home Hormone Test Kit?
Each company and product come with specific instructions about the collection and result evaluation process. However, there is a general step-by-step process that is usually used by every company.
Step 1 – Collect the Sample
The hormone testing kit usually consists of everything you need to take the test. No matter if you are to collect saliva or a simple finger prick sample, you will be equipped with the essentials. Almost all companies include instructions and a free post envelope to return the sample to their lab. Additionally, certain products need to be activated to link it to you and process your kit in the lab.
It is essential to take the test in the morning before 9 am. More specifically, it is recommended to collect the sample three hours after waking, before your first meal. You should post the sample immediately after your collection.
Step 2 – Post the Sample
When you order the kit, most companies will deliver it in your letterbox. Once you send it back and the sample arrives in the laboratory, medical professionals will examine the results. With most companies, you will be able to discuss your results and treatment options, if you have tested positive.
Step 3 – Get the Results
The results are usually distributed on your secured online account. Depending on the company, the process can take anything from a few hours to a few days. Anyhow, it is extremely important to interpret the results properly. So, if the platform doesn’t represent the results, you may contact the company’s medical team or another expert of your choice.
Step 4 – Take Action
Once you receive the results from your home hormone testing kit, you should be prepared to take any necessary action. If you have received a result that your testosterone, or any other hormone, levels are normal but you still have concerning symptoms, you should make a doctor’s appointment. Additionally, if you have received a result that your hormone levels are below limits, you should once again visit a medical institution.
You should always consider that lower testosterone or hormone levels may indicate underlying complex conditions. So, don’t try at home remedies, but always get medical support.
Precision and Reliability of Home Hormone Testing Kits
Collecting your saliva is easier, painless, and less invasive than attracting your blood. This is why many experts are concerned about the accuracy of the home kits. In general, the specialists’ opinions and results are diverse.
Saliva testing results in much variability, so blood tests should be used for measuring sex hormones, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. However, saliva is considered as or more reliable than other body fluids, such as urine, according to a review of the research of Clinical Chemistry, AACC.
So, there is no precise analysis and notable judgment for this issue. Yet, it is important to note that no matter the method, the collection and storing process may significantly affect the results. Thus, you should always visit a medical center for more serious synonyms and unvarying results.
As you age your hormone levels will significantly drop. This especially applies to testosterone levels in the male body. Numerous other factors may affect the level of testosterone, or any other hormone, in an individual’s body. The use of anabolic steroids and SARMs suppresses natural testosterone levels so it is vital to get your blood work done upon completing a steroid or SARM cycle. Not getting the testing done could result in a situation where one looks worse than BEFORE they used steroids or SARMs because not only is did they stop supplying their body with synthetic testosterone but their own body won’t produce what it used to! It is almost irresponsible NOT to get the testing done. Yes, post-cycle supplements and drugs may help, but again, nothing is guaranteed, and you do not want to be guessing and hoping that everything is “ok”. Instead, do yourself a favor and get an at home hormone test kit.
So, no matter your age, or the reason you wish to measure these variables, you can significantly benefit from a home hormone testing kit. If you test and track your male hormones, you will be able to identify the normal limits and raise concerns for any warning signs. Thus, understanding your hormone profile will assist you in recognizing and improving your body and everyday activities.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.