The How’s and Why’s of T-Level and its Potential Impact on Your Life
Once considered the domain of bodybuilders and elite athletes, the discussion of Testosterone Levels has become mainstream thanks to improved medical technology and evolving attitudes toward aging. But many people don’t fully understand what goes into defining your Testosterone Level and the impact that it can have on your health and well-being.
Below is some useful background information to help you better understand your Testosterone Level and what you can do to improve it.
How is Testosterone Level Tested and Measured?
Your Testosterone Levels are measured by the amount of Testosterone in your bloodstream. The most common way to determine this is with a simple blood test (although some clinicians may recommend urine or saliva tests. Currently, these are not nearly as accurate as blood tests).
Testosterone Level test results are presented in terms of nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood (ng/Dl). Nanograms are about one billionth of a gram, and a deciliter is approximately 1/10th of a liter.
Texas Men’s Health Group has Texas-wide accounts with leading medical laboratory groups, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. We can help you find a location near you and schedule a time for your blood draw that is convenient for your schedule. Your test results will be sent to Texas Men’s Health Group for review by our clinical staff, usually within 24-48 hours.
What is a Normal Testosterone Level?
Testosterone Levels in men can vary based on age, weight, general health, lifestyle, and a variety of other factors. However, there are some general guidelines to help clinicians and patients set a benchmark for measuring their T-Levels.
Below is a chart of Average Testosterone Levels by age group. It shows Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, and SHBG-Bound Testosterone.
Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl), SHBG in (nmol/L)
|Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl), SHBG in (nmol/L)|
Source: Declining Androgens with Age (1996)
“Hypogonadism” is the clinical term for the condition in men who fall below the normal range for their age group (with no other medical reason such as cancer or injury.)
What’s the Difference between Total Testosterone and Free Testosterone?
Testosterone circulating in your bloodstream is defined by the way it is used. There are three different types of Testosterone, SHBG-bound testosterone, Albumin-bound Testosterone, and Free Testosterone.
The majority of the Testosterone your body produces will bond with either the protein albumin or the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBC), where it is put to use for specific tasks that your body requires. The remaining Testosterone, usually about 1-2%, is what is considered “Free Testosterone.”
Your Total Testosterone Level is a measurement of all three types, while Free-Testosterone Level is the amount of unbound Testosterone in your bloodstream. While Total Testosterone Levels are the most commonly measured, some doctors may recommend that you get your Free Testosterone Level tested as well.
What is Bioavailable Testosterone?
Adding to the confusion among the general public is the concept of “Bioavailable Testosterone.” Bioavailability means that the Testosterone is capable of being “put to work” by your body and available for the body’s tissues to respond to it. Obviously, Free Testosterone falls into this category, but Albumin-bound testosterone is also considered bioavailable as well.
Testosterone that bonds to SHBG is too tightly bound to be of much use anywhere else in the body and therefore is not considered bioavailable.
Any one of these methods is a viable way to measure your Testosterone Level, and each is used to better understand specific types of problems that could cause or be caused by Low-T.
Why Does Your Testosterone Level Decrease?
As mentioned above, your Testosterone Level isn’t set in stone, and there are many lifestyle factors that can naturally lower a man’s Testosterone. Age is the most common culprit. As a general rule, once a man hits about 35, Testosterone Levels will begin to decrease 1-2 percent from their peak (remember your roaring 20’s?).
More alarming is a 2007 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that shows that the T-Levels in the average American male has “declined rapidly” over the past two generations.
“… on average, when we measured the testosterone in the blood of a 60-year-old in 1989 it was higher than that in a different 60-year-old measured in 1995,” said Thomas Travison, Ph.D., of the New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Mass.”
The average 60-year old in 1987 had a Total Testosterone level of 501, while a similar 60-year-old in 2006 had almost 20% less with a Total Testosterone level of 391.
Experts haven’t quite decided the reason behind this and have a variety of theories – from the change in the average temperature in American homes to the prevalence of “tighty-whitey” underwear (seriously).
But whatever the reason, today’s men are showing and feeling the difference that comes from lower-T.
How Can I Raise My Testosterone Level?
There are several ways to naturally raise your Testosterone Levels, regardless of your age. Exercise, better diet, weight training, even having more sex can all help boost your T-Level to some extent. Even if you’re not looking to jumpstart your Testosterone, these are healthy habits for anyone looking to improve their overall wellness.
There are also a host of “testosterone boosting” supplements on the market. Some have medical-sounding names, some claim incredible results, and some just have big marketing budgets. But what they all have in common is that there is very little clinical evidence of their effectiveness on any wide-scale testing in humans.
The one sure-fire way we know to raise testosterone levels for men with Hypogonadism is through Testosterone Therapy.
Testosterone Therapy at Texas Men’s Health Group
Testosterone Therapy has grown in its popularity as a treatment for men who are experiencing the symptoms of Low Testosterone.
Results of Testosterone Therapy can include:
More lean muscle
Reduced body fat
Increased energy, strength, and stamina
Increased sexual function and drive
Faster recovery from workouts
Deeper more restful sleep
Improved skin tone and texture
Improved focus, memory and mental clarity
If your Testosterone Test indicates low Testosterone levels, we will schedule a blood draw and then a consultation with our office and review your levels, symptoms and goals and discuss youroptions with you.
If you are a good candidate for Testosterone Therapy, you will begin injection therapy to safely help raise your Testosterone Levels. Testosterone injections are generally administered in the buttocks or the thigh, and our clinical team will help you understand how and when to use them.
Your Testosterone Injections will be delivered discretely directly to your home, where you can administer them safely and privately – at your convivence. No office visits, no waiting rooms, and no long appointment wait times.
Ready to Get Your Testosterone Levels Back Up?
Texas Men’s Health Group is here to help you raise your Low Testosterone Level and begin to feel and look like your old self again. If you’d like to learn more about our programs, please call 800-875 8131 or email us at email@example.com.