Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 6 minutes read
Quick summary
  • Shifting Low T testing priority from blood tests to symptoms is nothing new.
  • When it comes to hormones, symptoms are a more accurate diagnostic tool than blood tests, which are often unreliable.
  • Listening to your body's signals is key to personalized, effective care.
  • Your unique symptoms are a more direct path to accurate diagnosis and better health.

Beyond Labs: Understanding Low T Through Symptoms

How to test testosterone levels is not as simple as you think. Historically diagnosing and treating Low Testosterone (Low T) in men relied on blood tests. However, there's a growing body of evidence and expert consensus suggesting symptoms should be the leading diagnostic tool.

In our vast experience, symptoms are more important than blood tests when considering TRT. This is precisely why we have confidence in our medical providers diagnosing patients even before the results of blood tests are available. Even if your blood test says your levels are normal, you may still be showing telltale symptoms, and we get that.

In the words of our Medical Director:

"Our process is shaped by over 15 years of clinical experience and 60 years of evidence-based medicine. We prioritize your health journey by combining lab findings, patient interviews, and comprehensive symptom tracking over time. Research tells us that it's the patient's history and symptoms that provide the best diagnostic insights, not just lab results. We listen to our patients and prescribe based on their symptoms. It's a novel idea, but it's one that works."


Get Your Testosterone Back on Track: Overcoming Insurance Restrictions

In the past, traditional medicine relied on common signs and symptoms to spot and treat low testosterone - it's a simple, proven method that's been around forever. But nowadays, insurance companies have created a term called 'Low T' to set a 'normal' level. It might sound like an official medical term, but it's misleading. It's just a way for them to save money and keep guys with not-so-low T away. Don't let insurance hold you back - it's time to take charge of your testosterone health.

Symptoms Are Your Body's Way of Speaking to You

When it comes to understanding your health, symptoms are your body's way of speaking to you. They're the messages your body sends to tell you something isn't quite right. Instead of relying solely on blood test numbers, paying attention to these messages is crucial.

Why is The Male Excel Way, The Way it Should Be?

Preventing Underdiagnosis

Symptoms should not be underestimated. Relying solely on blood tests can lead to the underdiagnosis of Low T in individuals whose symptoms are not captured. Standard doctors will ignore you unless your numbers confirm Low T. If you're experiencing Low T symptoms, We listen.

Clinical Relevance

Symptoms of Low T, such as fatigue, reduced libido, and mood disturbances, directly impact an individual's quality of life and daily functioning. Prioritizing these real-world concerns ensures a more patient-centered approach to care. Our providers 'get you' better than blood tests alone.

Understanding Symptoms: Why It's Personal

Low T symptoms are often subjective, and a patient's experience of these symptoms can be distressing even when testosterone levels are within the so-called "normal" range. We listen to our members and work to reduce and eliminate symptoms without solely relying on tests.

Individual Variation

Individuals can vary significantly in their sensitivity to hormonal changes. What may be considered a "normal" testosterone level for one person might be insufficient for another, leading to notable symptoms. We look at members as individuals with different health needs.

Psychological Impact

Low T symptoms can have deep emotional effects, including depression and anxiety. These impacts cannot be gauged through blood tests but are vital concerns in your overall well-being. The emotional effects of male hormone imbalance are often ignored - we listen.

Patient-Centered Care

A patient-centered approach values the patient's experience and perception of their health above lab values. This approach fosters trust and teamwork between patients and healthcare providers. Our providers are genuine, caring and experts in their field.

Customized Treatment

Prioritizing symptoms allows for customized treatment plans. Commonly, patients benefit from treatment despite "normal" levels if their symptoms are severe. Without relying solely on blood tests, we provide treatment plans as individual as you are.

Quality of Life and Healthy Aging

The primary goal of TRT is to improve a person's quality of life. Prioritizing symptoms ensures that healthcare aligns with the objective of healthy aging. We are the experts in healthy aging.

When it comes to hormones, symptoms are a more true-to-life initial diagnostic tool than blood. Listening to your body's signals is key to personalized, effective care. Your unique symptoms are a more direct path to accurate diagnosis and better health.

Clinical presentation should take priority in treatment decisions, with lab results serving as secondary confirmations. Relying on specific testosterone threshold values for insurance coverage lacks a scientific basis and contradicts good medical practice. Testosterone therapy provides essential benefits to men with symptoms of sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, and fatigue.

Morgentaler, A. (2015). Study: No link between testosterone therapy and CV risk. Consultant.

The Limitations of Blood Tests

Blood tests, while valuable, have their limitations. Unfortunately, results vary due to daily fluctuations, age, stress, common illnesses, and medications. There's no universal standard for "normal" testosterone results, and labs calibrate their machines and interpret results differently. The story your blood tells is only part of the bigger picture.

Healthcare as Unique as You Are 

Every individual experiences age-related hormone decline differently. Even if your blood tests show "normal" levels, you may still be experiencing significant symptoms. That's because your body's response to hormones and imbalances is individualized. At Male Excel, not only do we understand these differences, but they are the foundation of what we do.

Your Health, Your Way

In this exciting new era of healthcare, we encourage you to embrace the power of your body's signals and symptoms. While blood tests remain a valuable diagnostic tool, they should not overshadow the significance of what your body tells you. It's time to listen to your body, prioritize your symptoms, and take control of your health. At Male Excel, we're here to guide you on this journey to a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Peter Fotinos, MD

Is low T affecting you?

Talk to the experts

[1] Morales, A et. al. (2015).  Diagnosis and management of testosterone deficiency syndrome in men:  clinical practice guideline. CMAJ.
[2] Carruthers, M. (2007). The Paradox dividing testosterone deficiency symptoms and androgen assays. Center for Men’s Health
[3] Carruthers, M. (2008). The diagnosis of late-life hypogonadism.  The Aging Male, 11 (1) P. 45-46.
[4] Vermeulen, A. (2001). Androgen replacement therapy in the aging male – A critical review. JCEM 85 (6) p. 217-220.
[5] Bankhead, C (2014). Need more than Lab Test to determine Low T. Urology.
[6] Carruthers, Trinick, Wheeler (2007). The validity of androgen assays. The Aging Male.  10 (3) p. 165-172.
[7] Morgentaler, Abraham. "Controversies and advances with testosterone therapy: a 40-year perspective." Urology 89 (2016): 27-32.
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