Are you 30 years old or older? Are you experiencing the experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone such as a decrease in sex drive, inability to reach orgasm, lack of energy, and a decrease in strength or endurance? If so, then it may be time to work with an experienced Testosterone Optimization Therapy (TOT) expert. When working with a TOT specialist, it starts with having him order your blood test. Make sure to inform your doctor about your long-term goal of using TOT productively. Some doctors are more flexible in their criteria for justifying blood tests and will work with you to ensure that everything is evaluated carefully. For men in their 20’s and 30’s undergoing TOT, we recommend you get your blood drawn at least once a year. For those of you in your 40’s and up, twice a year is best. Additionally, an Anti-Aging Panel is highly recommended for anybody ages 35 and up. If you are not already doing so, you should begin getting regular blood work done so you can compile and reference all your blood panel data for life. Having a detailed timeline of your first blood testosterone panel will provide excellent comparison points as your biomarkers change over time, which they inevitably will as you age. Alternative to a comprehensive lab test One simple and inexpensive way to measure your serum testosterone levels before having your doctor order extensive lab tests is to order a blood test online. It’s easy, fast, convenient and as simple as ordering a book from Amazon.com. You go to the website, add the blood test to your cart, and pay for it. After placing the order, you’ll have the option of going to the closest participating blood testing lab in your area (as referred to by the website) and get your blood drawn at your convenience. The lab visit should take less than 10 minutes, and you’ll typically receive your results via email within a few days. A word to the wise Any doctor who provides futile resistance to getting a blood test, let alone discussing TOT, is probably going to be resistant to any testosterone therapy. If they are unwilling to discuss your request intelligently or reject it out of hand, it is your right to seek the counsel of another doctor. If this happens (and it does happen far too often), it usually indicates that your doctor doesn’t understand the importance of optimal testosterone levels. Know that your presenting symptoms can often trump blood values when dealing with low testosterone. It is crucial that the doctor you work with can intelligently discuss your condition (respective of both your blood panels and symptoms) and can formulate a sound clinical diagnosis moving forward. While your physician will be documenting your lab results, we also recommend you keep copies of your blood panels, so you can become intimately aware of the changes you experience. Take responsibility, do your homework, and know your body! Educate yourself today.