How To Diagnose High Testosterone
A doctor might recommend a testosterone test if a man shows signs of abnormally high testosterone. Checking testosterone levels requires a blood draw and laboratory test. The test is normally referred to as total testosterone or testosterone serum test.
Since testosterone levels can fluctuate rapidly, you may need to have the test done more than once. Doctors often want to see at least two tests with abnormally high results before the final diagnosis.
You might also need to have an X-ray done if your doctor suspects your increased testosterone is being caused by a tumor
Bottom Line On Normal Testosterone Levels In Men
Here is the bottom line when it comes to answering the question, what are normal testosterone levels in men.
- The range of normal is wide, which accommodates the fact that every mans needs are different.
- While mens total testosterone level can be within the normal range, their free T levels can be low, which can result in symptoms of low T.
- The testosterone level men should be most interested is in the bioavailable number. If men can boost their bioavailable testosterone level, they should expect an increase in energy, sex drive, and muscle strength as well as better mood and well-being.
Testosterone Levels In Women By Age
Just as with men, determining what is considered to be an acceptable testosterone level in women is often complicated. The wide range of fluctuation in normal testing levels makes it difficult to set an ideal number. Doctors are often left on their own to determine who requires treatment for Low T.
In fact, the guideline for determining normal testosterone levels in women by age varies from one laboratory to another. It is necessary to look to published studies to find answers that can help doctors make a proper decision as to who can be helped by receiving treatment.
According to a report out of Boston University School of Medicine regarding Sexual Medicine cited in 2002, women under the age of 50 can be considered to have Low T if they have a plasma testosterone level of less than 25 ng/dL. Women over 50 are ruled deficient with anything less than 20 ng/dL.
Free testosterone levels under 1.5 pg/mL for those under age 50, and below 1.0 pg/mL for the over 50 female are also indicative of Low T.
Maintaining adequate testosterone levels in women by age will help keep bones strong, metabolism converting food into energy, brain functions sharp, and the heart healthy.
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Why Are Athletes At Risk For Low Levels Of Estrogen
Women with low body fat often do not produce sufficient amounts of sex hormones. This can be a problem for women such as athletes, models, and gymnasts. It can also be a problem for women with eating disorders. These women can experience a cessation of menstruation, known as amenorrhea. They may also develop osteoporosis — thin bones — and fractures as well as other conditions more common in older women after menopause.
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Know The Health Warnings Of T Supplementation
When it comes to treatment, there are a variety of forms of testosteronefrom gels to adhesive pellets to injectionsthat can be administered to men.
However, you should be aware that patients who use transdermal gels to restore normal T levels should be careful to avoid any risk of transferring testosterone gels to women and children.4 Covering the shoulders or upper arms where the gel has been applied is sufficient to protect against accidental exposure of this hormone to others.
From a reproductive standpoint, both professional organization guidelines note that men who are trying to conceive should not receive testosterone treatments because it impairs sperm production.
Even when testosterone replacement is stopped, there will be a period of time during which it will take sperm production a while to recover, says Dr. Mulhall.
Theres no magic to diagnosing or treating testosterone deficiency, says Bhasin. Like any other condition its really important to have accurate measurements and be rigorous in the diagnosis and a major concern has been starting treatments without an appropriate diagnosis.
The result has been that half the people never refill their prescriptions and about three quarters of men given a testosterone prescription will not be using testosterone after the first year, he said. It’s a bona fide condition that is under diagnosed and over treated.
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Signs And Symptoms Of High Testosterone In Men
Men with high testosterone can experience a variety of troubling symptoms and possible health consequences. Excess testosterone can lead to more aggressive and irritable behavior, more acne and oily skin, even worse sleep apnea , and an increase in muscle mass. With too much testosterone pumping through your system, you may have a lower sperm count and shrunken testicles.
Testosterone Level Ranges By Age
|5% of men are at or below this low level.||95% of men are at or below this optimal level.|
If you fall within the range 300-1,000 nanograms per deciliter then your doctor is likely to tell you that you are healthy and fine.
However, you should be aiming to be at the optimal part of your range, not the low end.
There is a simple reason for this testosterone plays a vital part in the efficiency of your body.
It aids muscular growth, helps to maintain healthy organs and even minimizes belly fat while stimulating strong bones.
Having optimal levels of testosterone is also desirable as it has been linked with a decrease in your likelihood of contracting a range of diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.
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Testosterone Levels In Men By Age
It is a fact that testosterone levels in men fall as they age, often at the point in life when a man most needs to maintain a steady supply of this vital hormone. This decline typically occurs at some time after a male turns thirty, with a continued decrease of about 1 to 2 percent each year that follows.
Although such a slight reduction in the secretion of testosterone probably does not seem like much at this point, after ten years of a 2% drop every twelve months, a man could find that his production of testosterone is down 20 percent. Now that can make a tremendous adverse impact on his overall well-being quality of life.
Free testosterone that which is not bound in the bloodstream to SHBG levels have been shown to decline faster than total testosterone. A comparison of testosterone levels for males in the chart to the right displays a decrease of about 30% of total testosterone in healthy men between 25 and 75 years of age compared to 50% for free testosterone.
Testosterone Therapy: Review Of Clinical Applications
RYAN C. PETERING, MD, and NATHAN A. BROOKS, MD, MPH, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Oct 1 96:441-449.
The use of testosterone therapy is increasingly common in the United States, with an estimated 2.3 million American men receiving the therapy in 2013.1 More than one-half of testosterone prescriptions are written by primary care physicians.2 Most of these prescriptions are for middle-aged and older men with age-related declines in testosterone,1 despite inconclusive data on testosterone therapy’s safety and effectiveness for this indication.
WHAT IS NEW ON THIS TOPIC: TESTOSTERONE THERAPY
Male hypogonadism should be diagnosed only if there are signs or symptoms of hypogonadism and total serum testosterone levels are low on at least two occasions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration clarified in 2015 that prescribing testosterone for low testosterone levels due to aging constitutes off-label use.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Testosterone therapy should be considered for men with low testosterone levels and clinical symptoms of hypogonadism, particularly sexual dysfunction.
A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, go to .
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
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What Does The Testosterone Test Measure
Testosterone travels through your blood in two ways:
- Attached to the proteins albumin and sex hormone binding globulin
- Free — not attached to any proteins
Usually you’ll get a total testosterone test as a screening test. This measures both free and attached testosterone. To diagnose certain conditions, doctors sometimes look only at free testosterone levels.
In males, the testosterone test can help find the reason for sexual problems, like reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction. If youâre having a hard time getting your partner pregnant, the test can tell if your blood testosterone level is low. A low testosterone level can also mean a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which controls how much testosterone your body makes.
In females, this test can find the reason youâre missing periods, not having periods, having a hard time getting pregnant or experiencing male patterns of hair growth such as on your chest or face. Doctors can also use it to help diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome , which causes elevated testosterone. Thatâs a hormone problem that can cause irregular periods and make it hard to get pregnant. Testosterone testing is part of the work-up of certain adrenal tumors.
Testosterone Therapy For Low Levels
In most cases, men need to have both low levels of testosterone in their blood and several symptoms of low testosterone to go on therapy.
It is possible to have low levels and not experience symptoms. But if you do not have any key symptoms, especially fatigue and sexual dysfunction, which are the most common, it is not recommended you go on the therapy given the uncertainty about long-term safety.
Even if your levels are low and you have symptoms, low-t therapy is not always the first course of action. If your doctor can identify the source for declining levelsfor instance, weight gain or a particular medicationhe or she may first address that problem.
If you and your doctor think testosterone replacement therapy is right for you, there are a variety of delivery methods to consider, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward.
Most men feel improvement in symptoms within four to six weeks of taking testosterone replacement therapy, although changes like increases in muscle mass may take from three to six months.
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Do Estrogen Levels Fall At Menopause
Yes. Estrogen levels fall at menopause. This is a natural transition for all women between ages 40 and 55. The decline in estrogen can happen abruptly in younger women whose ovaries are removed, resulting in so-called surgical menopause.
Perimenopause is the period of transition before menopause. The first natural decline in estrogen levels starts during this phase. Other physiological changes also start. Women going through perimenopause may experience weight gain along with other menopause symptoms. For instance, there may be irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
On average, menopause occurs at age 51. When it does, a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone. The drop of estrogen levels at menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Some women experience moodiness. That may or may not be related to the loss of estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen may also increase a woman’s risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and fractures.
How Testosterone Levels Affect Muscle Growth
It is no wonder that an average male has higher muscle mass than an average female of the same height and weight. In fact, research has proved that even with no difference in diet and exercise regimen, an average male tends to produce and grow more muscles than a female.What drives these key metabolic components? What is the practical application of this knowledge?The answer is pretty simple the primary hormonal driver that stimulates the production and deposition of muscles in males is testosterone. Any disease, disorder or condition that affects the secretion or metabolism of testosterone can alter the muscle mass deposition and motor strength.
Why The Test Is Performed
This test may be done if you have symptoms of abnormal male hormone production.
In males, the testicles produce most of the testosterone in the body. Levels are most often checked to evaluate signs of abnormal testosterone such as:
- Early or late puberty
- Change in voice
- Excess hair growth
- Increased size of the clitoris
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Male-pattern baldness or hair thinning
Puberty And Penis Size
Once a boy hits puberty his penis size grows due to increased testosterone. This is mostly governed by the testosterone metabolite DHT which causes the majority of androgenic features in males
After puberty, penis size is no longer influenced by DHT, so there is a critical window for growth to take place . Otherwise youd see adult men trying to increase their penis size this way, which unfortunately doesnt work.
Most doctors wont treat micro penis with testosterone/DHT until the later ages of puberty .
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Male Child Teenager To Adult Serum Total Testosterone
Premature : 59-125 ng/dl
Premature : 37-198 ng/dl
Newborn: 75-400 ng/dl
1-7 months: Levels decrease rapidly the first week to 20-50 ng/dl, and then increase to 60-400 ng/dl between 20-60 days. Boys testosterone levels then decline to prepubertal range levels of 3-10 ng/dl by seven months.
7-9 years: Less than 9 ng/dl
10-11 years: 2-57 ng/dl
60 years and older: 300-720 ng/dl
What Are Normal Testosterone Levels In Men
There is some general disagreement in the medical community as to what constitutes normal testosterone levels for men. Although there is no clear definitive answer on a specific number, and the ranges used by various labs can vary significantly, it is widely accepted that total testosterone readings from blood tests that fall between 300 ng/dL and 1050 ng/dL are to be considered normal.
That does not mean that a person with a test result of 300 ng/dL is not dealing with Low T. There are many other factors to take into consideration when a doctor is making this determination. That is why it is imperative to seek out treatment from a hormone replacement specialist who will do more than just look at a number, but will, instead, assess the entire individual.
Maintaining optimal testosterone levels in men is crucial for the body to carry out the many functions that this essential hormone is used for. Energy, sexual ability, muscle tone, bone density, cognitive functions, metabolism, hair growth, and mood are all dependent upon a proper amount of testosterone circulating in the body.
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The Highs And Lows Of Testosterone
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Getting a high testosterone reading offers bragging rights for some men of a certain age and may explain in part the lure of testosterone supplements. But once you are within a normal range, does your level of testosterone, the male hormone touted to build energy, libido and confidence, really tell you that much?
Probably not, experts say.
Normal testosterone levels in men range from about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Going from one number within the normal zone to another one may not pack much of a punch.
You dont see the big improvement once men are within the normal range, said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The largest differences in terms of energy and sex drive are when men go from below-normal to normal levels.
A 2015 study in JAMA found that sex drive improved among men who went from about 230, considered low, to 500, around the middle of whats considered normal. There was no difference among men who moved within the normal range from 300 to 500.
Testosterone does influence muscle size. The more testosterone a man takes, the larger the muscle regardless of starting level, one reason the hormone is popular with young bodybuilders. But testosterone supplements do not seem to help frail older men walk farther or get out of chairs more easily, goals that doctors typically look for in aiding older patients.
Testosterone Ranges In Boys
According to the ranges I found it lists anything below 9ng/dl as normal for a 9 year old. Looking at the minimums for the age group above and below 9 year olds it lists the minimums as 2-3 ng/dl so your son may be a little on the low side.
Im not extremely familiar with testosterone interactions in children, but in adults being on the low side of the range can still present symptoms. The ranges are developed by looking at where 95% of the population lies.
Its based on a false assumption that 95% of the population is perfectly healthy, which isnt always the case. Getting close to the bottom of the range may present symptoms of low T as well, however many doctors wont acknowledge this.
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