5 Blood Tests You MUST GET Before Taking Finasteride
Today, I will be talking about finasteride and the types of blood tests you need to get prior to taking finasteride. As some of you are aware, I started taking 1mg finasteride again a couple months ago and ended up taking several blood tests prior to getting back on finasteride. So, what is taking a blood test prior to taking finasteride so important? Every week, I always get emails and questions regarding finasteride or Propecia. My viewers ask me about side effects, what brand of finasteride to take, why im taking it, etc. However, \\\\\the MOST important thing you have to consider before taking hair loss medication such as finasteride or dutasteride (also known as Avodart) is to establish a BASELINE. Why? Well, for most people taking hair loss medication, they will not experience any side effects.
However, a small percentage of people end up getting various side effects while taking hair loss medication and even after stopping it. Side effects can include sexual dysfunction, depression, dizziness, low libido, and some claim that these symptoms are permanent. This is why you have advocates of people against taking finasteride and even a website dedicated to post finasteride syndrome. Now, I do not doubt the claims of these people suffering from various side effects. However, in the unlikely scenario that you do experience these side effects, it is important to establish a baseline prior to taking finasteride/dutasteride, during and after so that you know what your original baseline is at if you ever do need to get treated. So I will be covering the MUST HAVE blood tests in this video. So let’s get started:
1) Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - finasteride inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This causes about a 70% decrease in the level of DHT in those taking finasteride. Low DHT can result in loss of libido, reduce and the inability to get an erection and a decrease in ejaculate. Knowing a baseline of DHT can establish what level it needs to be at before you started taking finasteride.
2) Estrogen - Estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen, plays a critical role in male sexual function. Estradiol modulates libido, erectile function and the production of sperm. Finasteride raises estrogen levels and this tends to be one of the concerns of people taking the drug. Higher levels of estrogen in men can result in feminizing effects such as gynecomastia (which is enlarged breasts in men) and increased body fat levels as well as sexual problems.
3) Testosterone - Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles. It stimulates sperm production as well as a man’s sex drive. IT helps build muscle and bones mass and typically decreases with age. According to Merck’s study on Propecia, Merck is the pharmaceutical company that marketed Proscar and Propecia, they stated that testosterone levels will increase about 15%. Too much testosterone can mean that it gets converted to more estrogen which can cause side effects such as shrunken testicles, breast enlargement and even infertility.
4) Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) - FSH from taking finasteride lowered it by about 24% FSH is an important part of the reproductive system and low levels, can cause hypogonadism, which result in lowered sperm count and infertility.
5) Luteinizing Hormone (LH) lowered it about 16% - LH stimulates testicular growth and enhances the production of an androgen binding protein which is necessary for sustaining the maturing sperm cells.
So for those who are contemplating on taking finasteride, please make sure to get these blood tests done. I unfortunately was not able to get testing done when I first took finasteride in 2017, but was lucky enough to do enough research to get blood test done before I resumed taking finasteride shortly after that. I will need to go back to my doctor to get another blood test while I take finasteride so that I can compare it with the baseline and see how it is affecting the various hormones.
Edit: As some of you are aware, I stopped taking finasteride 1mg last month (as of April 2019) due to attempting to conceive with my wife. To clear any misunderstanding, I did not have any side effects from taking finasteride.