You’re dying to know your number, the number that tells you how much of a “man” you are, but there’s the problem.
You don’t like doctors, you don’t like needles and, you can’t justify taking the test because you’re not 50+ years old.
With all the technology we have today, there should be a way for everyone to do this at home. A simple iPhone app with some kind of fluid scanner should be all that’s needed.
But, we live in a world of regulations. Doctors and labs want a control of the market. If people stop going to them for simple blood tests and labs, they lose money.
I even had to go to another state because the labs in my state require a doctor’s referral.
What Was My Plan?
I made the decision before I went to do five things:
- Avoid going to the doctor – If I go to the doctor, I have to tell him the reasons why I want to get my testosterone checked. He is going to want medical reasons like low sex drive or irritability. Plus, its an extra visit on top of going to the lab to get blood drawn. Insurance may cover it, but its more time and grief to go through.
- “Man Up” – It will never get done unless I take action, get in the car and go.
- Create A Scenario – To avoid the possible string of questions about why I’m taking the lab, I came up with a scenario. If they asked, I would tell them that I am in a competition with friends to see whose level is the highest (think of the one that best suits you).
- Don’t Look – Don’t look at the blood being drawn from the time the nurse sticks in the needle and think about something else. If the lab nurse is talking to you, just focus on the conversation. I know it’s all mental, but this was my best option knowing I may get lightheaded.
- Maximize results – I wanted to go into the lab at my fullest potential, meaning I did everything I could do to maximize my testosterone level. This would give me a good indicator of how my lifestyle affects my hormones.
How it went
I signed up to the request a test lab for the free and total testosterone lab screen. This cost $129 and chose the location I closest to me. The lab allows walk-ins so you can go anytime they are open. I decided to go in the morning because that’s when testosterone levels are highest.
On the day of the lab, I got myself up, took a shower and got on the road. It was about about an hour and a half drive to get to the lab. I’m not a morning person so at 7am, I had an unpleasant mix of being tired and dreading the lab. I didn’t sleep great the night before either.
When I entered the lab, the “nurse” had me sign in and asked what I was there for. I told her I signed up online and gave her my name. It took her some time to search for my info. When she finally found it, she had me sit in a chair in the back with an arm rest. Luckily, she didn’t pry into my business and ask questions.
She then tied my arm with a rubber band, pulled out a needle and said ready?
Hating needles, I turned away and thought about what I wanted to work on later in the day. The pain was not bad, just a tiny pinch. I still got lightheaded, but not to the point of passing out. The time it took to get done was about 30 seconds.
What did I do to prepare
I generally stick to my lifestyle habits, but kept a better eye on it about six weeks before my test. Heres what I did:
- Workout – I went to the gym about 2-3 days a week and did weight workouts including squats.
- Vitamins – The only “hormone boosting” supplements I took was zinc and vitamin d with an occasional multivitamin (1 pill/day). I didn’t take these everyday (my guess is about 4 days a week). The night before I took only the zinc and vitamin d.
- Whole Foods – I ate about an 80% whole foods diet with an emphasis on beef, eggs, chicken vegetables and whole grain carbohydrates.
- Sleep – I tried to get 9 hours of sleep each night. This doesn’t always happen, but that’s my magic number for feeling good the next day. If I had trouble falling asleep, I took 3g melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the body to help induce sleep. It works best in a dark room, and usually kicks in about a half hour after taking it. I avoided taking other sleep aids like Unisom because they wipe me out the following day. For me, being wiped out from a sleep aid is much worse than getting too little sleep.
- Avoid chemicals – There are side things I did like drink filtered water, avoided plastics when heating food, avoided canned goods and use unscented natural soaps. There are chemicals everywhere, so I didn’t care much to take it any further.
So What Were The Results??
The lab posted my results a few days later at the request a test website. See the chart below for my lab:
Based on the reference range in the above chart, I am at a pretty decent number. I probably could have gotten away with the cheaper $50 total testosterone lab without the free testosterone. From what I noticed from others posting their blood work, free testosterone usually rises with total.
Could I raise the bar higher?
Who really knows.
Maybe if I slept better, the numbers would have been higher, but there is no way to tell.
At this point I’ve done everything I care to do without taking performance enhancing hormones.
To take it further, you would probably have to go on testosterone replacement therapy. TRT would stop your body from producing natural levels due to the synthetic injection. There are some great articles from Danger and Play on this. Mike does a great job going into details about what works for him. Best of all, he provides blood work.
Testosterone levels don’t necessarily change your personality. Just because you have a higher level doesn’t mean you will instantly become a chatty extrovert ready to give a public speech. Your personality is yours only. Better hormone levels will however help with your daily well being.
Knowing the results is much more relieving than just guessing and having it on your mind. If you are curious, but road-blocked by the reasons above, take some time to think the scenario through and mentally prepare yourself.