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Comprehensive Male Panel
What tests are included in a comprehensive male panel?
Specific tests performed for a comprehensive male panel may vary depending on the brand of test or clinic, but common forms of testing include:
Total testosterone: This test measures the levels of testosterone in the blood. Testosterone helps regulate body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, red blood cell count, sperm count, and libido. Excessive levels of testosterone can lead to an increase in cholesterol, hardened blood cells, and prostate problems. Low levels of testosterone can affect reproductive health, fertility, and other natural functions (such as strength, energy, and fat storage).
Dihydrotestosterone: Commonly known as DHT, this hormone is commonly converted from testosterone as a man ages. Excessive levels of DHT may indicate an enlarged prostate (known as benign prostate hyperplasia).
Estrone & estradiol: Commonly known as “female” hormones, excessive levels of estrone and estradiol can lead to obesity, breast enlargement, and prostate problems.
DHEA-S: DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands to promote the production of testosterone and estrogen. DHEA levels decrease with age but are commonly supplemented during hormone replacement therapy to counteract the symptoms of low testosterone or low estrogen (depending on whether you are a man or woman).
PSA: Prostate-specific antigens are proteins created by the prostate gland. Elevated levels of PSAs in the blood can indicate a prostate condition (such as benign prostate hyperplasia) or prostate cancer.
Complete blood count (CBC): A complete blood count (CBC) is a common blood test that evaluates your overall health by measuring several components of your blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelets. This can help doctors diagnose infections, autoimmune disorders, anemia, and other health conditions.
Lipid Panel: A lipid panel is a group of tests that measures cholesterol and other fats in your blood. These results can then be used to help assess your risk of heart disease or stroke. Your doctor may recommend a lipid panel if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke - or if you have any conditions that may increase your risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, obesity, high total cholesterol, and more.
Thyroid Panel: Thyroid panel tests are used to determine the levels of T3 and T4 hormones in your blood. Low amounts of these hormones indicate an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), where excessive levels of T3 and T4 indicate an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Vitamin D: A vitamin D 25-hydroxy test is a simple blood test used by doctors to measure vitamin D levels in the blood. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 41% of American adults have vitamin D deficiency. This can lead to bone and muscle pain, increased risk of infection, and fatigue.
Why do I need a comprehensive male panel?
Comprehensive male panels are used to check levels of hormones and certain substances in your blood. These tests can help diagnose low hormone levels in older men, as well as health conditions like thyroid problems, high cholesterol, and prediabetes (if glucose is tested).
These panels can also help individuals monitor their hormone levels while undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Excessive levels of testosterone and estrogen can produce adverse effects. Checking these levels can help you and your doctor keep these hormones balanced. Imbalance hormone levels can lead to symptoms such as:
- Decreased sex drive - Male pattern baldness - Erectile dysfunction - Decreased muscle mass - Decreased strength - Fatigue - Increased blood pressure/ risk of heart disease - Increased body fat - Obesity - Bone loss/ osteoporosis - Mood changes (such as depression or irritability)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about a comprehensive male hormone panel. The earlier you can detect hormone imbalances, the earlier you can begin hormone replacement therapy. This can prevent symptoms from worsening.
What happens during a comprehensive male panel?
Most blood tests are performed at a primary care office, often as a part of a routine check-up. Talk to your doctor if you would like to perform a male lab panel at home. There are a number of brands that provide these tests for home use, so ask your doctor for a recommendation of a test that’s right for you.
If you are undergoing a lab panel in a primary care clinic, your blood will be drawn for testing. During your appointment, your arm will be wrapped in a band to push blood into the veins of the arm. This makes it easier to insert the needle that will be drawing blood from that area. You may feel a slight pinch as the needle is inserted into your arm, but this sensation should pass within a few seconds. The needle draws blood from a vein in your arm, depositing it into a vial or test tube. Some individuals or tests may require multiple tubes to be filled.
After the needed about of blood has been drawn, the needle will be taken out of your arm and the puncture site will be cleaned and bandaged. The blood will then be sent to a lab for testing and analysis.
You will get your results for most tests in 1-3 business days. A comprehensive male panel may take longer, due to the amount of testing needed. Depending on the results of your blood test, your health care provider may request follow-up testing to provide a definitive diagnosis of any health conditions or diseases they may detect.