DIY? Testosterone Test Kits ExplainedWelcome back to Testosterone Week! Different labs use different methods and measurementswhich has only created confusion among consumers and even family doctors about what testosterone level results even mean. Hopefully, the current state lean muscle anabolic steroid confusion will soon change. The Center for Disease Control here in the U. I hope in this post I can clarify some of the confusion surrounding testosterone levels and hormone tests.
How to Tell if you have Low testosterone | Everyday Health
Welcome back to Testosterone Week! Different labs use different methods and measurements , which has only created confusion among consumers and even family doctors about what testosterone level results even mean. Hopefully, the current state of confusion will soon change. The Center for Disease Control here in the U. I hope in this post I can clarify some of the confusion surrounding testosterone levels and hormone tests. This stuff is super confusing. Before we begin, I want to reiterate the fact that there are three different types of testosterone floating in your body: When you get tested, there are two tests you can get: Total testosterone is the total amount of T floating in your blood at the time of the test: Free testosterone is the measurement of — you got it — free testosterone which often includes albumin-bound testosterone as well because it can easily convert to free T.
Free T is typically measured in picograms per milliliter. So, when you see research on normal testosterone levels, it usually focuses on total testosterone. Consequently, most of the numbers in this post will be about total T levels. With that said, I do include some references to research that indicates what average and optimal free testosterone levels are. An year-old man with Type 2 diabetes? You could have had a testosterone level of which is super low and still be told by your doctor that you were normal.
However, studies have been done in which researchers do just that. Below, I include the results from two such studies. The above chart groups men into seven ten-year age increments. This chart also lists the average free testosterone levels of the subjects.
My beginning free testosterone was below the average of men my age and my end level was above average. In a study done that same year by another team of researchers, they produced the following chart of testosterone levels broken down by age:. You can see how you compare to men with the lowest and highest T levels. Even for year-old men. Every man is different, so their level of optimal testosterone will be different, too. And from there you can shoot for levels that are in the higher range for your age group.
Past a certain level, testosterone can actually cause a bunch of not-so-good side effects, like sleep apnea and overly thick blood. There are three ways to test your testosterone levels: Each method has its pros and cons. Saliva and urine tests are relatively inexpensive and fast. Instead they use blood serum tests. Because I wanted the most accurate results, I went with the blood serum testing. Some labs use one method, while another lab will use another test.
I also learned that measuring free testosterone is pretty dang hard and that most free T measurements that labs give are typically just estimates. Which brings me to….
And it takes a bit longer to get your results. My total testosterone level using this method was Meaning my T levels increased even more since starting my testosterone changes. Reading about the myriad of ways to measure free testosterone has nearly put me in the nut house. Below I lay out the methods available right now to measure free T.
Recent studies have been calling into question the use of RIA direct methodology to measure free testosterone. Unfortunately, most labs across the country only use RIA direct because of its cost effectiveness. Many in the field of endocrinology argue that equilibrium ultrafiltration is a superior and more accurate testing method to RIA direct.
If you can find a lab that uses equilibrium ultrafiltration, expect to spend a bit more than you would for a RIA direct. This can get pretty expensive, pretty fast. As you can see, you have a variety of options when getting tested for T levels. You can sign-up for a test yourself. These sites contract with labs across the country to draw blood. They basically act as a middleman. Here are the sites I used to buy my tests:. You can also order albumin and SHBG tests from both Health Testing Centers and Request a Test so you can use the calculation method to figure out your free testosterone levels.
Go to a local lab. A nice nurse will draw some blood samples. The whole process takes less than 2 minutes. Test more than once. You could have below average T levels one week, but slightly above average the next. This is particularly important if your doctor is considering putting you on testosterone replacement therapy.
Whoo, that was a lot of info. I hope this information was useful. I definitely learned a lot in the process. Again, if anybody sees any corrections that need to be made or if I missed anything, please offer your constructive and friendly feedback.
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