You went to your doctor and you were told you have “normal” testosterone levels. But what does that actually mean? Let’s take a deeper look. Being told you have “normal” testosterone is not an accurate statement because it only tells you part of the story. Did your doctor tell you what your Free or Bioavailable testosterone level are? Or about your estradiol, Sex Hormone-Binding Globin level (SHBG) and Albumin levels?
Current labs range of normal testosterone can range from the low 200nd/dl to the high 900 ng/dl; that’s a huge range. That’s like being told a $60,000 a year income is the same income class $300,000 a year. Most medical practitioners will not think you need or offer you testosterone if you’re in this “normal” range.
To make matters worse, if you look back 20 years, the “normal” ranges were much higher (from the mid 400ng/dl to the low 1200ng/dl). Therefore, if you’re in this new normal range, you are considered to be normal amongst a population that has shown decades of declining health.
Total Testosterone only represents the amount of testosterone that is in your body. It doesn’t represent the amount being absorbed or used. There is a high percentage of your testosterone that never gets absorbed. This is likely because the receptor sites are being blocked by elevated estradiol levels, the testosterone molecule has nowhere to go and will never be used.
Is Estradiol always the reason your testosterone doesn’t get absorbed? The answer is no. Both SHBG and Albumin will also have an influence on your Free Testosterone or Bioavailable Testosterone level. Albumin is a protein found in the blood that carries the testosterone molecule. If your Albumin levels are not sufficient for the testosterone to bind to, those excess testosterone molecules can’t make it to their receptor and would not become bioavailable for your body to use.
Sex Hormone-Binding Globin (SHBG) is one of the most important factors in determining your ratio of Total Testosterone to Free Testosterone. SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone and prevents it from being absorbed. As you get older your body doesn’t want you to have high testosterone levels. You’re not supposed to have big muscles, look and feel good, and maintain a high sex drive later in life, so your body sends out this binding protein to wrap around the testosterone molecule and prevent it from finding its receptor to be used.
You can’t just look at one number to tell the whole story when it comes to Testosterone. We have the expertise to help understand how these factors work and help you maximize your testosterone levels to help you look and feel the way you want.
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