Research shows that one out of every four men age 30 or older suffers from low testosterone, even though only one out of 20 men displays clinical symptoms of low testosterone. (ABC News) The effect of hypogonadism (clinically low testosterone) is more prevalent than many of us realize. It’s helpful to know what testing parameters qualify as low testosterone.
Standard testosterone testing evaluates both the total testosterone and the “free” testosterone levels. Total testosterone measures all of your testosterone combined from three separate classifications:
- SHBG – This is your sex hormone-binding globulin, which is testosterone bound to a protein created by the liver. Your testicles can also produce SHBG in a form called androgen-binding protein. SHBG bonds with three other hormones: estradiol (estrogen in men), DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and testosterone. (Mayo Clinic)
- Albumin-bound testosterone – Albumin is another protein produced by the liver. Approximately 40 percent of an average man’s testosterone binds to albumin to aid the body in healing, fighting infections, and monitoring bodily functions, such as aiding with kidney dialysis. (DaVita Dialysis)
- Free testosterone – Refers to testosterone molecules that are not currently bound to any proteins, hence the name “free” testosterone. Since the bond between albumin and testosterone is fairly weak, the bond can often be easily reversed to create more free testosterone.
Healthy levels of total testosterone typically range from 300-1100 ng/ml. Total testosterone is what a basic hormone test would reveal, but your total testosterone may only tell part of the story.
Free testosterone is the mercenary version of hormones: it goes wherever it’s needed where the demand is the highest. If all of your testosterone were bound to SHBG or albumin, you would have no reserve to aid in important functions, such as sexual stamina, muscle growth, confidence, energy, motivation, weight loss, even the depth of your voice.
Thankfully, most testosterone hormone testing methods can accurately depict whether a testosterone deficiency is present, a good step towards receiving the right treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be an excellent solution for any man suffering from low testosterone.
Our Mantality staff put together a FREE eBook available here for immediate download to help you learn more about the many benefits of TRT. Download your FREE eBook right now and schedule your next appointment today with our Mantality team.