Testosterone does much more than drive a man’s libido. It’s essential to everything from red blood cell production to building muscle and bone mass. When the body doesn’t produce enough, it can significantly affect a man’s mood, energy levels, and cognitive function. Low testosterone (or “low-T”) can be a serious drag on a man’s daily life and mental health. And unfortunately, it’s way more common, under-diagnosed, and stigmatized than it should be.
In fact, the stats around low testosterone are pretty astounding. Did you know almost 39% (!) of men aged 45 years or older suffer from it? Or that average testosterone levels have been declining precipitously for decades? It’s true: the average 30-year old today has 17% less testosterone than the average 30-year old in 2000 (just twenty years ago). No one knows exactly why sperm and testosterone counts are decreasing so rapidly, but it’s kind of surprising given how little anyone talks about “low-T”.
While it’s natural for men to hit peak testosterone levels in their 20s and start to detect a decline in their mid 30s, some experience hormone levels that are unnaturally low for their age. There are many over the counter supplements marketed to men that promise to fix low-T related dips in energy and Libido, but most men don’t know there are also legitimate prescription treatments that a doctor can prescribe as well. Like so much of healthcare these days, low testosterone consultation and treatment is going online, with an exciting startup named Peak (getpeaktoday.com) pioneering the space.
Today we’ll review Peak and outline how they are disrupting traditionally expensive, clinic-based testosterone treatment for men with low-T. Learn how their platform actually makes it easier to treat the devastating symptoms that reduced testosterone levels can wreak on men as they age, and find out why it’s worth trying.
What treatments does GetPeaktoday.com offer men with Low T?
Peak is a telemedicine company that enables men to diagnose and treat low testosterone with the help of board-certified doctors –– all without leaving home.
How, you ask? Peak will mail you an at-home testing kit that includes everything you need to accurately measure your current hormone levels. Just prick your finger to collect a few drops of blood in the provided card, then mail the sample back to a CLIA certified lab for processing. Once your results are ready, you’ll schedule a video chat with a certified doctor to go over your results, understand how you are feeling, and recommend a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
Peak’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the stigma around low-T, which is pretty darn cool.
Where is Peak’s low-T platform available today?
Due to state specific regulations, Peak operates in only 40 states, not including CA or NY. But stay tuned! They are clearly growing fast and plan to expand into those states (and possibly others) by the end of 2020.
It’s worth triple checking their availability by emailing them directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All set? Let’s keep going.
Is there an age limit for using Peak?
Nope. Treatment is based entirely on bloodwork and symptoms, which we’ll describe more in detail later.
What are Peak’s Hormone Optimization Treatments?
Image source: Peak
Getting your hormone optimization treatment from Peak is a two step process. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: At-home hormone test kit
After ordering online and waiting for your package to arrive, you’ll receive a kit that measures the levels of eight hormones in your blood:
- Free testosterone: testosterone that’s not attached to proteins (“free”)
- Total testosterone: total amount of testosterone in the blood (free & bound)
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH): hormone that stimulates testosterone production in the testes
- Estradiol: one of three estrogen hormones
- Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): liver protein that binds to three sex hormones
- Albumin: liver protein that carries hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and more through the body
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): liver enzyme
$45 covers the cost of the kit itself, the lab work, and a virtual physician consultation to discuss results and next steps (should the doc determine you’re a good fit). It’s worth noting that all of this could easily cost $300 if you go in person to see a specialist and get referred to a local lab.
Yes, this process does require a small blood sample. But Peak’s at-home testing kit reduces collection to a quick, painless finger prick, which provides enough blood for the lab to properly analyze. The consultation is an opportunity for you to review test results with a physician one-on-one and decide whether or not to move forward with treatment.
If you have recent lab work you can share with the Peak medical team you might not have to complete the testing kit in order to receive treatment. Check with email@example.com for more details.
2) Monthly subscription of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)
TRT treatments vary per individual, but they usually include one of the following combos:
Testosterone comes in the form of a cream, injection, or sublingual troches (a medicated tablet that dissolves in the mouth). Clomid and anastrozole both come in the form of pills. Monthly prescriptions usually cost between $160 – $200 and include the monthly Rx delivery, 24/7 Peak access, and video consultations with MDs as well as retesting your levels every 90 days to monitor your levels.
But before we get too deep into TRT, let’s quickly review the basics.
Low Testosterone Treatment 101
As we all know, testosterone is the primary male hormone.
It’s an androgen (i.e. steroid) hormone that promotes male characteristics in men including sperm production, penis and testes size, muscle mass, facial and body hair, and voice deepening. It’s also vital for red blood cell production and increased bone density.
According to Harvard Health, “[Testosterone] levels peak by early adulthood and drop as you age—up to 2% per year beginning around age 30. Normal levels are between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL.”
So what happens when you have low testosterone?
Men with low-T may experience:
- Fatigue (common)
- Sexual dysfunction (common)
- Physical weakness
- Depression, moodiness, anxiety
- Increased body fat
- Loss of muscle
- Cognitive difficulties
- Low libido
Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have low-T, since they can be caused by many things. But it’s probably worth checking up on your hormone levels to see if that’s the root of the problem.
What causes low testosterone?
Unfortunately, lots of things. Low-T is linked to obesity, short-term or chronic illness, alcohol abuse, medications, and injuries. When the testes simply fail to produce the necessary amounts of testosterone, it’s called Male Hypogonadism.
There are two kinds of Hypogonadism:
- Primary Hypogonadism is when the testes fail to produce enough testosterone, despite receiving brain signals to do so.
- Secondary Hypogonadism (or central hypogonadism) occurs when the brain fails to properly signal the testes to produce enough testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy is traditionally the treatment recommended to treat both of these conditions. So let’s cover that next.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) exactly?
TRT is a form of male hormone treatment that boosts the amount of testosterone in your body. In doing so, it counters the effects of low-T.
Testosterone dosages are small and usually come in the form of creams, injections, patches, or troches. Most are applied daily, except injections, which usually occur biweekly or monthly. Each form comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s important to speak with your doctor about what’ll work best for your lifestyle.
Benefits of testosterone replacement therapy
TRT treatment for men with low-T is known to:
- Boost energy
- Improve mood
- Improve libido and sexual function
- Improve cognition
- Boost muscle mass
- Increase bone density
- Reduce body fat
Results can vary based on initial symptoms. TRT can effectively alleviate the symptoms of low-T, but keep in mind: it’s no fountain of youth (though how cool would that be?). The goal of TRT is simply to get your hormone levels back to normal, not to counter the natural process of aging.
Is TRT covered by insurance?
Usually, yes. As long as it’s deemed medically necessary. (Note: Peak does not take health insurance at this time but their price is reasonable when considering it includes access to a certified doctor and repeat lab work every 90 days and their process is really convenient.)
Insurance may cover TRT treatments if testosterone levels fall below 350ng/dL, but every insurance provider is different. Be sure to consult your provider to understand which medications are covered and any documentation you need to provide. Sometimes they’ll require multiple hormone tests, at specific times of day, to prove that you qualify for coverage.
Non-Medical Uses of TRT
So far we’ve covered TRT as a way to medically treat low-T. It’s worth noting that Peak doesn’t provide testosterone treatments for non-medical or recreational purposes. It’s true that TRT has been oversold in the US to many men who may not actually suffer from hypogonadism, but Peak’s 2-step process of diagnosis — first by blood work, then by doctor consultation — makes it harder for recreational users to abuse.
Keep in mind there are many mens health products that claim to treat low-T with non-medical, dietary supplements that aren’t always vetted by the medical community or FDA. Demand for TRT treatments has grown steadily in the last few decades, bringing many mens health products to market. Be sure to do your due diligence and consult a doctor if you have any questions around specific treatments and products.
What are the side effects of TRT?
The long-term effects of TRT are still unclear. There’s a continued debate around how much it may pose risks to the heart or prostate. Doctors believe more randomized tests need to be conducted for the findings to be conclusive, but it’s still important to be aware of all the potential health risks.
Potential short-term side effects of TRT:
- Acne, hair growth, oily skin
- Flushing of skin
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Sleep apnea
- Ankle swelling
Potential long-term health risks of TRT:
- Cardiovascular risks (potential for stroke or heart attack)
- High red blood cell count (potential blood clotting)
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
Note: Men with a history of prostate or breast cancer, obesity, sleep apnea, or cardiac, hepatic, or renal disease, may be advised against TRT treatment. The physician will cover all of this in detail during the consultation, if you decide to move forward with Peak.
How is Peak different from other TRT offerings?
There are a couple reasons we think Peak stands out.
1) TRT & telemedicine
Telemedicine allows patients and healthcare professionals to connect via video, phone, or email for diagnosis, treatment, and general care. With Peak’s telemedicine services, men can access hormone test kits and TRT treatments from anywhere – including their living room couch.
That’s significant. In the era of Covid-19, the ability to access healthcare services without visiting a doctor’s office is invaluable. Beyond that, cost of transportation or taking time off work no longer act as deterrents for men in need of medical care. For those who act as caregivers, or those who live in remote locations, Peak enables patients to access the care they need without sacrificing time or money to do so.
2) Quality of care
A quick look at Peak’s team of doctors shows an impressive breadth of expertise, many with med school alma maters like Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown. Peak also works exclusively with labs that are CLIA and CAP certified, meaning lab test quality is monitored by the government and peer-reviewed by lab professionals.
For an at-home TRT solution, the guarantee of high-quality care is vital. Peak reduces the emotional and physical stress of searching for the right team of experts by doing all the vetting for you. All patients have to do is log on to Peak’s portal and speak with a specialist. No hassle.
3) Personalized male hormone health
In its own words, Peak delivers “total male individualized health.” Instead of treating one symptom at a time, Peak aims to treat male healthcare holistically. It strives to provide patient care that’s customized to each of its customers.
Here’s why. Peak’s CEO and co-founder struggled to find his own team of TRT specialists to treat his low-T before he co-founded Peak. Armed with that drawn out, negative experience and the realization that many men struggle to find the same, the company’s mission became simple: virtually connect patients with top hormone specialists so TRT isn’t intimidating, expensive, or overcomplicated.
Peak is still young (it launched in early 2020) so it’s working hard to differentiate itself in the men’s telehealth space. But if it continues building on its commitment to personalization and convenience, that’s something we haven’t seen much among telemedicine companies before.
What’s it like to get hormone replacement therapy through Peak?
Step 1: Order Peak’s at-home hormone test
Ordering a kit on Peak’s website just requires filling out a contact form and giving delivery and billing info. When the kit arrives, it’ll include comprehensive instructions on how and when to take the hormone test. Men are recommended to take the test early in the morning to capture your true levels.
After sending the blood sample off to the lab, test results should be ready in about 4-5 days. Once the results are ready you will schedule a video chat with a board certified Peak doctor.
Step 2: Consult with a board-certified physician
Next up is your consultation.
The doctor will likely throw you a lot of information, so be ready to take notes. (Or don’t and just wait for the detailed diagnosis at the end 👍) The consultation usually lasts around 30 minutes, offering you and the physician ample time to answer questions and talk through your results, recommended treatment, and potential side effects.
Most consultations are conducted virtually, but in some cases the doctor might need additional lab work or an in person visit to make sure you can safely continue with your treatment plan. In those instances, the Peak team will arrange for the additional tests to be sent to you or schedule an in home visit.
3. Relax while your subscription is delivered
If you decide to move forward with treatment, every month you’ll get your TRT prescriptions delivered to your door. With the help of your doctor, you can adjust dosages or refine your Rx combo as you both track your progress. Depending on treatment you can start feeling better in as little as a couple of weeks. It can take up to 2-3 months to feel the full impact of your treatment though.
Low Testosterone Treatment Comparison: Peak vs Roman vs Ageless Male vs Low T Center
Well-known brands in the testosterone therapy space are over the counter men’s health supplements – like roman and ageless male – and in-person health clinics like Low T Center. Here’s how Peak stacks up.
Testosterone Treatments: Peak vs Low T Center vs Roman vs Ageless Male
Roman Testosterone Support
|Types of Low-T Treatments||Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)||Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)||Nutritional supplement|
|Dietary supplement |
|How to access treatment||At Home||In-person visits to clinic||Shipped to your house||Shipped to your house|
|Doctor’s Consultation Required?||Yes, virtual||Yes, in person||No||No|
*Will soon accept HSA/FSA cards
*But often only for preventative services, not TRT,.
|Geographic Availability||40 states|
*Not yet available in NY, CA, or FL.
Full list of locations here.
|Monthly Subscription Pricing||Preventative Plan: $40/month|
Proactive Plan: $70/month
Pharmaceutical Plan: $160/month
(Full details here)
|Insurance Hybrid Plan: $85/month|
Self-Pay Plan: $135/month
Self-Pay All In-Office Care Plan: $250/month
(Full details here)
|Monthly plan: $35 per month|
Quarterly plan: $87 every 3 months or $29/month
(Get $15 off your first order!)
|$49.95 / bottle (30-day supply)|
|Initial Testing Fee||$45 for test kit, lab analysis, and consultation.||$99 for in-person health assessment including testing and consultation.||–||–|
What customers are saying about Peak’s low testosterone treatment?
Because Peak is so new, there aren’t any third-party reviews of their products available yet. As soon as those begin popping up across the web, we’ll be sure to add them here!
Peak does have a section of their website that highlights stories of men who’ve used and benefited from their treatment though.
The Verdict: Should you try Peak’s testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) treatment?
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of low-T like fatigue or low libido, it’s definitely worth having your hormone levels tested. Peak makes this initial step easy by eliminating the need to visit the doctor’s office and creating an open channel between patients and physicians online. Plus the $45 price point (for the initial test, lab work, and doctor’s consultation) is extremely competitive, as testosterone tests can normally cost anywhere from $50 to $250.
Unlike supplements like Roman and Ageless Male, Peak offers Rx prescriptions that have been vetted by medical professionals and customized to your unique situation. Being able to reach your doctor via text or video helps save on time, money, and stress. As we all hunker down at home, options for accessing quality healthcare without putting ourselves at risk of contagious diseases becomes limited. Peak makes it possible for men to still access 24/7 care and personalized TRT treatments that help them feel physically and mentally themselves – all from the comfort of home.
If you’re looking for cheaper TRT or are just curious if you should try it for the first time, Peak offers the most convenient way to test your hormone levels and get a personalized treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. If you want to get started, order an at-home testing kit today!