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Is an over-the-counter hormone test accurate?

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Is an over-the-counter hormone test accurate?

In this day and age, medical advice is readily available from a multitude of sources: the internet, our friends and family, drugstores, health stores, and of course, licensed healthcare professionals. We’re all looking for ways to look and feel our best while maintaining our health and immunity.

On a recent shopping trip to Target, we noticed a series of at-home lab tests by the brand EverlyWell. There were tests for Testosterone for men, hormone health for women, food sensitivity, and allergens to name a few. Our Medical Director at Fountain of You MD in Virginia Beach, Dr. Jeffrey Arbuckle, was immediately intrigued by the idea of being able to check hormone levels without a blood test. As a licensed and practicing board-certified physician for over 25 years, he is extremely well-versed in treating and testing hormonal imbalance in men and women. Aside from physical and mental symptoms, like low energy, difficulty with erections, and trouble sleeping, low Testosterone is most accurately diagnosed by a blood test. Dr. Arbuckle has ordered thousands of lab tests, all of which were completed and analyzed in CLIA-certified laboratories. The external packaging of the EverlyWell kit failed to mention a blood sample, which piqued Doc’s interest even more.

Everywell kit

The kit came with thorough instructions on submitting the sample and retrieving the results. They claimed accurate results based on a small saliva sample. Our brave physician decided to become the patient and proceeded to take the test. To make things more interesting, Dr. Arbuckle had blood drawn by our nursing staff. We then sent both samples for testing: his blood sample to LabCorp and the EverlyWell kit to their lab.

How Everywell Kit works

 

The results from the blood test came back within 12 hours and showed his Testosterone levels within the normal range for a man his age at 824ng/dL. The results from the EverlyWell kit were received 8 days later and showed a “high” result of 352pg/mL. The difference in the levels, tested on the same day, at the same time, is astounding!

The world of medicine is constantly evolving. We’re learning more and more about the human body and how to keep ourselves feeling our best. While an over-the-counter test that measures hormone, levels sounds convenient and enticing, it’s best to be treated by a licensed medical professional. Here, at Fountain of You MD in Virginia Beach, Dr. Arbuckle is an expert at managing hormones in men and women across Hampton Roads. He is passionate about helping people look and feel their best at every stage of life. If you’re suffering from weight gain, low sex drive, unexplained hair loss, increased body fat, or loss of strength, you may have unbalanced hormones. The aging process and the inevitable hormonal changes can affect your overall sense of well-being. Now is the time to schedule your consultation! Call us now!

Low Testosterone Levels and Chronic Diseases in Men

Testosterone deficiency, also known as male hypogonadism, occurs when the body’s sex glands produce little to no hormones. This condition affects men of all ages. Hormonal imbalance has a direct effect on overall health. Many men are unaware that the symptoms they live with are related to hormone levels. You may be suffering from weight gain, irritability, problems in the bedroom, or loss of muscle mass. These common symptoms are associated with unbalanced hormones, although many people just chalk them up as age-related. Researchers are learning that declining levels of testosterone contribute to a decline in general health, as well as increases risk for chronic disease.

Recent studies have proven that low levels of testosterone in men could lead to increased risk of developing a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, arthritis, clinical depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pulmonary disease. Scientists have found a direct correlation between low levels of testosterone and the resistance of insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Low testosterone levels can be a marker of early mortality and can lead to the activation of genes linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mortality rates of heart disease in men with low testosterone are nearly double compared to those with normal levels.

Restoring testosterone levels can help improve your overall health, with positive changes to your mood, sexual desire and function, metabolic function, exercise capacity, cognitive impairment, and increased energy levels. Results are showing testosterone replacement therapy has a substantial effect on obesity and body composition, especially muscle mass.

Here at Fountain of You MD in Virginia Beach, VA, we treat hormonal imbalance with a comprehensive combination of bioidentical hormones and lifestyle changes. Our program is specially formulated to help you lose weight, feel more energized, and regain your sense of vitality. We specialize in safe and effective therapies to help improve your performance and get you back to enjoying your life again.

Do You Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?

As we age, both men and women begin to have lower levels of hormones that affect different aspects of their health. Women may have lower levels of estrogen and progesterone, while men have lower levels of testosterone.

Hormone replacement therapy can help rebalance hormones and help you feel younger again. You might benefit from hormone placement if:

You Have Symptoms of Low Hormone Levels

As hormone levels drop, both men and women may begin experiencing health problems. Common symptoms of low hormones are:

  • Lack of sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Pain during sex or trouble with sexual performance
  • Disturbed sleep

These symptoms can have far-reaching impacts on your mental health, your heart health and even your bone and muscle health.
Men might have additional symptoms, such as:

  • Thinning hair
  • Loss of endurance or strength
  • Depression
  • Trouble recovering from injuries

Women may also have different symptoms such as:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood problems


If you are experiencing multiple symptoms of low hormone levels and these symptoms are affecting your quality of life, you should speak to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.

You Are Aging
Even men and women as young as in their 30s may begin experiencing low hormone levels. Women typically see large drops when they are approaching menopause in their 40s, but men can see drops at any time.

For women, hormone replacement therapy is safest and most effective when started before age 60 or within 10 years of menopause. The average onset of menopause is age 51, so many women will benefit then or even a few years earlier.

You Need Help Preventing Health Problems

Women may be at increased risk of bone loss after menopause. If you are a woman with a family history of osteoporosis, hormone replacement therapy can help prevent fractures that could limit your independence.

You Are Otherwise Healthy
Hormone replacement therapy may increase your risk of heart problems or stroke. That’s why you need to stay active and eat well to keep your heart healthy. Your doctor may not recommend hormone replacement therapy if you have a significant family history of heart problems.

Fortunately, your doctor can adjust your hormone dose and how you receive hormones to improve the safety of your treatment.

At Fountain of You, MD in Virginia Beach, we can help you safely and effectively feel younger and more energetic. We can help you improve your health and quality of life so you feel great as the years go by. Contact us at 757-644-4615 to learn more about hormone replacement therapy and schedule your appointment today.

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

As you grow older, the amount of hormones in your body begins to drop. The drop in hormones can start as early as age 25 and the symptoms of low hormones can begin disrupting your daily life even before you turn 30.

In men, lower levels of testosterone can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Lower sex drive
  • Increased body fat
  • Lower energy levels
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Erectile dysfunction

Women can see similar symptoms when their estrogen and progesterone levels drop, including:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Hot flashes and/or night sweats
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Weight gain

Fortunately, both men and women can seek treatment to fight these symptoms and restore their energy.

How Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help
For women, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy involves taking hormones in cream and pill form. These pills, taken daily, help replace the missing amounts of hormones. Bioidentical hormones are molecularly the same as the hormones created in your body and are considered natural replacements for your hormones.

For men, we recommend intramuscular injections of testosterone. These injections are time-released to help provide longer-term replacement of missing hormones. Other forms of testosterone replacement, such as applying it to the skin, are not as effective and can actually put other people at risk of absorbing testosterone.

In both men and women, continued hormone replacement therapy can boost energy, improve sex drive and stop weight gain. Combined with lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and regular physical activity, hormone replacement therapy can help you feel younger and more energetic.

Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
While hormone replacement therapy has some risks, at Fountain of You, MD we customize your treatment plan to reduce these risks as much as possible. By continually re-evaluating your needs and health, we can ensure you are taking the right doses of hormones for you. We help ensure that the benefits of hormone replacement therapy outweigh any possible risks.

A healthy lifestyle also helps reduce risks of hormone replacement therapy while boosting your hormone levels. We encourage you to eat a Paleo diet and get regular moderate to vigorous exercise to boost your health and wellbeing as you age.

Get your hormone levels–and your energy–back. At Fountain of You, MD in Virginia Beach, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy that can help you. Contact us at 757-644-4615 to schedule your appointment today.

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