Comprehensive Lab Testing

At The Men’s Clinic, we help you lead a longer, stronger, healthier and more fulfilling life. We understand the unique challenges men face and how they can affect your performance at work, at home and at play. Our mission is to eliminate stigmas around men’s healthcare and improve men’s access to quality medical services and treatments. We take a holistic approach that looks at every aspect of your health, starting from your very first visit. Contact The Men’s Clinic to request your in-person consultation with Dr. Bouknight today.

What to Know Before Your First Appointment

One of the pillars of our care is the comprehensive lab testing that takes place during your initial visit to The Men’s Clinic. We conduct these tests for a variety of reasons:

  • To assess your overall health. We have carefully chosen an assortment of tests that work synergistically to provide a general overview of your current health status.
  • To diagnose a medical condition. These tests are also used to diagnose the cause of any symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Later, to monitor a medical condition or treatment. In follow-up visits, we will conduct tests at regular intervals to monitor your health and assess the progress of your treatment regimen.

Most patients do not need to make any special preparations for their first appointment. A member of our staff will let you know if there are any recommendations or instructions for you to follow before your visit. To perform the tests, a sample of blood is taken and sent to a lab for analysis. You can resume your regular daily activities as soon as your appointment is done.

The Men’s Clinic is partnered with Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of laboratory diagnostic information services. This means that you do not have to come into The Men’s Clinic for your blood tests if it is not convenient. You can have your blood drawn at a location that is closer to you and the results will be sent to us for interpretation and treatment planning.

What Your Initial Lab Panel Includes

The following tests are included in your initial lab panel:

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

A complete blood count (CBC) test is used to evaluate your overall health and detect a range of disorders. The test measures several components of your blood — primarily red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Abnormal decreases or increases in these cell counts may be indicative of an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation. Alternatively, if you are currently being treated for a blood-related disorder, a CBC test may be performed routinely to determine if the treatment is effective. Conditions that affect blood cells include anemia, infection, leukemia and excessive clotting or bleeding disorders.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a group of tests that assess your general health status. Together, these tests provide broad information about your body’s chemical balance and metabolism, including how well your kidneys and liver are working, the levels of fluids in your body, and your levels of blood sugar (glucose) and electrolytes. The CMP includes 14 components: albumin, total protein, glucose, calcium, chloride, potassium sodium, bicarbonate, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and bilirubin. This group of tests is commonly ordered as part of routine health exams, as well as to monitor known health conditions and the progress of certain treatments.

DHEA Sulfate

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and, to a lesser degree, by the testes. DHEA sulfate plays a role in the production of testosterone, the development of male secondary sex characteristics in puberty and the making of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which helps with insulin sensitivity and muscle growth. A normal DHEA sulfate level, in addition to other normal hormone levels, likely indicates that your adrenal glands are functioning normally. The symptoms of DHEA sulfate deficiency can include poor concentration, chronic fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and a diminished sense of well-being. High levels of DHEA sulfate may not be noticeable in men.

Estradiol

Estradiol is a form of estrogen. Though considered one of the main sex hormones for women, estrogen is also found in men and can cause problems if it reaches abnormally high or low levels. Maintaining a balance of estrogen and testosterone is essential for regulating sex drive, sperm production and the ability to have an erection. Estradiol testing in boys and men can help diagnose delayed puberty, identify a relative estrogen excess caused by a testosterone deficiency, detect estrogen-producing tumors in the testicles or adrenal glands, or diagnose the cause of enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) or other signs of feminization.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is involved in many bodily processes in both men and women. For men, LH is produced in the pituitary gland and binds to receptors in cells found in the testes called Leydig cells. This leads to the release of testosterone which, in turn, leads to the production of sperm cells. Normally, LH levels in men do not fluctuate significantly, but too much or too little LH can cause a variety of problems. An LH test can establish your baseline LH level and help diagnose a pituitary disorder, fertility issues or low testosterone.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by both healthy and malignant cells in the prostate gland. A PSA test measures how much of this protein in your blood. High levels of PSA, or a continuous rise in PSA level over time, may be a sign of prostate cancer. Detecting cancer at an early stage may mean treatment is more effective and potentially has fewer side effects. However, because other conditions — such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate — can also increase PSA levels, a PSA test alone does not provide enough information for a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)

Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a carrier protein produced in the liver that binds to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol. SHBG controls the amount of these hormones that is delivered to your body’s tissues. An SHBG test is most often used to find out if too much or too little testosterone is being used by your body. This is different from a total testosterone test, which shows how much testosterone is in your body, but not how much is actively being used by your body.

Testosterone

Although it is present in both men and women, testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men. It activates the development of secondary sex characteristics during puberty, including enlargement of the penis, growth of body hair and deepening of the voice. In adult men, testosterone helps to regulate sex drive and maintain muscle mass. Testosterone levels decrease naturally with age. Your testosterone may be abnormally low if you’re experiencing symptoms like decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, infertility, hair loss or loss of muscle mass. High testosterone levels can indicate a tumor in the testicles or the adrenal glands.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is critical for good health. Numerous processes require your body to maintain steady levels of this nutrient, including blood cell production, brain and nervous system function, tissue repair and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common condition that can lead to fatigue, moodiness, fuzzy thinking, memory loss, muscle weakness, weight loss and other symptoms that grow more intense as the deficiency worsens. An abnormally high vitamin B-12 level can be an early sign of diabetes, liver disease or certain types of leukemia. A vitamin B12 test evaluates your general health and nutritional status and helps to determine whether a supplementation program is appropriate.

Beginning Your Customized Treatment Plan

You will receive the results of your lab work within 24 to 48 business hours. This can be done over the phone or in-person. Dr. Bouknight will explain what your results mean, answer any questions you have and discuss your treatment options. Your personalized treatment plan will be fully customized for you and your particular needs. As your treatment progresses, Dr. Bouknight will continue to monitor your health and make adjustments as necessary. A second set of lab tests will be run at regular intervals to assess how well your treatment plan is working. This second panel will initially take place every three months, then every six months once the optimal treatment has been identified. You are encouraged to reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns. The Men’s Clinic team is here to help.

Your Happy, Handsome and Healthy Life Starts Here

You deserve to look and feel your best all the time, at every stage of life. Our job is to make that easier and more accessible. For men in the Midlands of South Carolina and beyond, The Men’s Clinic strives to provide comprehensive and compassionate care that recognizes the unique needs and challenges of male patients. We believe men are entitled to healthcare that is personalized, comprehensive and empowering — and that there’s no better time to start. Contact us online or call 803-875-MENS today to request your confidential consultation with Dr. Daniel Bouknight.

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