For many men over 40, understanding your T-Level is an essential first step toward improving your mental and physical outlook.
It’s no secret that most men begin to see a change in their bodies when they reach their 40’s. Muscles start to give way to fat, stamina, and energy dip more frequently, and once red-hot romantic urges can turn luke-warm. Is this just an undeniable fact of life, or could it be a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated just like any other condition?
For many men, checking their Testosterone level can be an eye-opening experience and one that could impact the way they live out the second half of their lives.
What is Testosterone Level?
Before we get into Testosterone levels, let’s back up and discuss what Testosterone is and the role it plays in the male body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Testosterone is “the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. Testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair.”
Despite its impact throughout the entire body, your brain regulates the amount of Testosterone your body produces via the pituitary gland. Testosterone then flows through the bloodstream to the various parts of the body that can utilize it. Most of this Testosterone in your blood attaches to 2 proteins: albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
The Testosterone that does not attach to these proteins is known as “Free Testosterone” and is easily used by your body. Your Testosterone Level can be determined by looking at the Total Testosterone (which is the combination of Free and attached Testosterone) in your blood stream. Some clinicians may also measure the Free Testosterone in your bloodstream as they feel it provides an even more accurate estimate.
What is Considered a Normal Testosterone Level?
Testosterone Levels are measured by the amount of nanograms of testosterone per deciliter (ng/Dl) of blood. (For reference, nanograms are about one billionth of a gram and deciliters is approximately 1/10th of a liter.)
The normal range in healthy males is about 270-1070 ng/dL, with an average level of 679 ng/dL. A typical male’s testosterone level peaks at about age 20, and then it slowly declines at a rate of 1-2% per year. Testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered by many to be out of balance.
How Can I Find Out My Testosterone Level?
The simplest way is with a blood test. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein, usually in your arm or non-writing hand.
Clinicians usually recommend that the blood draw occurs first thing in the morning because that is when testosterone levels tend to be highest. Your doctor may recommend you take multiple tests at different times of day because your testosterone level can change dramatically from morning to evening and from day to day.
To make this as convenient as possible, Boston Vitality has partnered with leading lab testing providers Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, who have dozens of offices across Massachusetts. Our team will help you find one that is closest to you, and the results of your test will be reported directly back to our clinical team. We also perform initial and follow up blood draws in our office in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Lots of our clients enjoy the private, concierge level service that we provide in the office over the experience they have in laboratories. It’s up to you, whichever is more convenient and desirable for our clients is what we accommodate.
What Can Cause Low-Testosterone Levels?
There may be many reasons for Low Testosterone levels. If your lab tests indicate low Testosterone, you should consult a physician to attempt to identify and diagnose the source of the problem. Male hypogonadism is a medical condition where the testes do not produce enough Testosterone.
At Boston Vitality, our Board Certified Urologist Dr. Zachareas and his medical team will review your health history with you and conduct a medical consultation to determine if you have hypogonadism. Some of the things that you might discuss are:
- History of Headaches, visual field change or head trauma
- How you developed at puberty
- Cranial (head) surgery/brain tumor or cranial irradiation
- Loss of ability to smell (called Anosmia)
- History of injury or infection in your testicles
- Mumps after puberty
You will want to also review any drugs or supplements you may be taking as they can have an impact on Testosterone levels, including:
- Past or present use of anabolic steroids
- Medication use (including opiates, psychotropics, glucocorticoids, and others)
- Opiate or Opioid abuse
- History of chemotherapy or irradiation
Finally, understanding your family history can also be important, including:
- Family history of diseases linked to Low-T
- Any history of stroke or heart attack
- Any history of unexplained anemia
There are also some additional lab tests that your doctor may order. These include:
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) – Luteinizing hormones controls how you make Testosterone. Abnormal levels may mean a pituitary gland problem.
- Blood prolactin level – High prolactin levels can also be a sign of pituitary problems or tumors.
What Are Some Of The Issues Associated With Low Testosterone Levels?
Physicians have long known that as men age, low Testosterone Levels can lead to several unwanted consequences, including:
- Loss of muscle mass, muscle tone or strength
- More brittle bones
- Loss of hair (on the head, face, and body)
- A reduced libido/sex drive
- Moodiness, depression, and anxiety
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Mild Anemia
- Infertility and impotence
As part of your initial medical consultation. clinicians may also check:
- Your BMI or waist circumference to check for obesity
- Metabolic symptoms such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal
- Hair pattern, amount of hair/hair loss, and location
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts)
- Testicular size and condition
- Prostate size and any abnormalities
How can you improve your Testosterone Level?
The good news levels there are way to improve Testosterone Levels if you’re fall below the normal range.
Exercise, weight loss, and an improved diet can all help the average man improve his testosterone levels. However, for men with clinically diagnosed hypogonadism, Testosterone Replacement Therapy may be the most effective way to bring t-levels back to a ‘normal’ level.
Boston Vitality offers three types of therapy: Testosterone Injections, Testosterone Pellet Therapy, and Testosterone Gels. Each mode of treatment has its own advantages, and the clinical team will work with you to determine which one is best suited for your diagnosis and your lifestyle if you qualify for TRT, otherwise known as testosterone replacement therapy.
All Boston Vitality testosterone replacement therapies (TRT) are delivered directly to the patient to be administered in the convivence and privacy of your own home.
Want to Learn More?
If you think you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of low Testosterone Levels please call our office at 781-399-LowT (5698) to get started on an evaluation today to see if TRT is right for you.