Testosterone is a male hormone produced naturally in the human body. The levels of testosterone in the body are at their peak during puberty and remain high during adolescence and youth. These levels gradually go down by almost 1% every year after the age of 30. Male sex characteristics are decided by this hormone which is also responsible for sex drive. Testosterone also helps in building lean muscle mass. As one grows old, he experiences a loss of libido and accumulation of fat in his body because of the depletion of testosterone levels in the body. Testing your testosterone levels is a way of knowing whether your symptoms are a result of deficiency of this hormone or not. What does your testosterone test result tell you? Let us find out.
Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency
Testosterone testing is recommended by doctors when they suspect that you are probably suffering from a deficiency of this male hormone. You can buy affordable testosterone tests on DiscountedLabs.com. Are you gaining weight suddenly without any change in diet or exercise? Do you sense a downfall in your performance on the bed or experience difficulty in getting erections? Accumulation of body fat and the problem of erectile dysfunction may be a result of insufficient levels of this all-important male hormone in your body.
Low levels of testosterone in the body can also result in several other health problems such as the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and low density of bones leading to arthritis. The following are some of the common symptoms reported by men because of low levels of testosterone hormone in their bodies.
- A decreased sex drive
- The problem of erectile dysfunction
- Deposition of body fat
- Hair loss
- Development of breasts
- Low bone density
On the other end of the spectrum are women experiencing a high level of testosterone in their bodies. In normal circumstances, testosterone is found in small qualities in female bodies. High levels of this male hormone in females are also a problem just like depleted testosterone levels. Here are some of the symptoms reported by men experiencing high levels of testosterone in their bodies.
- Growth of facial hair and hair on chest, hands, and legs
- A very deep voice
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Outbreak of acne
In some cases, testosterone testing becomes necessary at a relatively young age when boys do not develop male sex characteristics upon attaining puberty. In many cases, boys do not experience the onset of puberty despite reaching adulthood. In such cases, doctors advise testosterone testing suspecting a deficiency of this important male hormone.
What Does Testosterone Testing Reveal?
Testosterone testing is done to measure the levels of testosterone in the body to find out if they fall within the normal range of testosterone according to your age. In the male body, most of the testosterone hormone is produced in the testicles. There is a unique biochemical reaction through which cholesterol gets converted into testosterone. However, this testosterone present in the body is counted in two different ways. The first count is total testosterone while the second count is free testosterone. What is the difference between these two counts of testosterone? Let us find out.
Free And Total Testosterone
First, there is a total testosterone count in your body and then there is free testosterone. If the test reveals sufficient qualities of total testosterone in your body, there is no need to feel great just because this hormone in your body is in the normal range according to your age. It is the free testosterone count in your body that matters.
Testosterone molecules, after they are secreted from the testicles, find their way to the bloodstream. There, they bind to another molecule called sex hormone-binding globulin SHBG. Some testosterone molecules bind to albumin, which is a protein molecule. It is the rest of the testosterone that does not bind to other molecules, which is called free testosterone. It is this free testosterone that is available to the body for various bodily reactions like sex drive and the feeling of wellbeing. It’s these free T molecules that are readily available for different functions inside the body
Keep in mind that the total testosterone count includes T molecules bound to other molecules in the body. These bound T molecules cannot enter other cells for performing metabolic functions. It means that the total testosterone count is a sum of free plus bound testosterone molecules and hence the total T count is always higher than the free T count. You should be concerned with this free T count rather than the total testosterone count in your body.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hypogonadism (deficiency of testosterone) and go for testing of T levels in your body, you should not pay attention to the test report saying the total testosterone count in your body falls within the normal range of T count according to your age. It is free T levels inside your body that matter for you.
Normal Testosterone Levels
The normal range of testosterone levels in a man is 300-1000 ng/dl. It is natural for a man to have gradually depleting testosterone levels in his body after attaining the age of 40. It is believed that this decrease is about 1% per year and hence not noticeable for most men. If you are over the age of 40 and experiencing symptoms usually associated with low levels of testosterone, it is advisable to go for a testosterone test to know the total and free T count inside your body. An experienced and qualified doctor will analyze your test results to prescribe a suitable treatment for your problem. He or she may prescribe medication or testosterone replacement therapy to help you deal with your symptoms.
Testosterone testing is an easy way of knowing the levels of testosterone hormone inside your body. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with abnormal levels of this male hormone, the T-test results reveal the count of total and free testosterone levels in your body. It is very much possible to get a treatment for your problems caused by low levels of testosterone inside your body.