Testosterone exists in your body in 3 forms – SHBG bound testosterone, Albumin bound, and Free testosterone. The majority of bound testosterone in the body is chemically bound to a protein called SHBG or sex hormone binding globulin. The remaining bound testosterone in the bloodstream is mostly bound to albumin, another protein. Free testosterone is not chemically attached to any proteins and is considered the bio-active form of testosterone as it is readily available to bind to androgen receptor sites on cells.
Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) or sex steroid-binding globulin (SSBG) is a glycoprotein that binds to the two sex hormones: androgen and estrogen.
Since Albumin bound testosterone can eventually break free from its protein, it can eventually become available for use by the body. Together with Free testosterone, Albumin bound testosterone comprises Bio-Available Testosterone.
Testosterone Blood Serum Measurements. A blood serum testosterone test measures the total of Bound, Bioavailable and Free Testosterone in the body. What is considered a normal testosterone level of combined Bound Testosterone and Free Testosterone in a man’s body can range anywhere from 300-1200 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). Levels of androgen circulating in the bloodstream vary by a person’s size, weight, age and health. For physicians treating male hormone deficiency, it is helpful to separately measure the levels of Free Testosterone and Albumin Bound Testosterone in the body, as this indicates the level of biologically available testosterone, or potentially active male sex hormone available for use by a man’s body. A Testosterone Level Blood Test measures the amount of testosterone hormone in the blood and is reported as nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The bloodwork panel is also known as a Serum Testosterone Test ordered from the lab as TTST – Testosterone, Total, Serum.
Formulating an Effective Testosterone Program. The various testosterone levels measured in your lab test and your low T symptoms are the guidelines by which you and our doctors can formulate a customized TRT program, measure treatment progress, and get results. Your bloodwork analysis, medical evaluation, selection of testosterone drug types, and delivery methods impact your dosing schedule and are guided by your current T levels, general health, and how your body and moods react to different steroid hormone dosages. Testosterone Therapy is an individualized medical treatment and even small adjustments in dosage can have a big impact on your therapy results.
As Male Hormone Replacement Therapy progresses, levels of Free Testosterone levels may range between 1% to 4% of the Total testosterone blood serum. with Albumin Bound Testosterone ranging from about 30% to 33% and SHBG Bound Testosterone ranging from about 63% to 70%. 2% Free Testosterone is considered an optimal androgen level for men’s health. The best Testosterone Programs check Total, Bio-available and Free levels of testosterone, as well as estrogens, HGH Human Growth Hormone, DHEA, cortisol, lipids, red blood cells and other important biological markers needed for good testosterone treatment results.
What is the proper Testosterone Dose? Each man’s body has a different reaction to androgen steroid supplementation. Testosterone is highly androgenic and anabolic with any excess that builds up in the body converting to estrogen. That process is called Aromatization. To avoid unwanted side effects from TRT, our hormone physicians may also prescribe AI’s or Aromatase Inhibitors (Arimidex®), Estrogen Blockers as well as HCG Injections during your androgen therapy and as PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) to prevent testicular atrophy and to reboot your natural testosterone production.
What are Normal Testosterone Levels?
Men who think they may have Low T want to know, What is a Normal Testosterone Level? Testosterone levels are usually measured through an androgen hormone blood test called a Serum Total Testosterone Test and normal ranges refer to the lab reference levels of androgen found in the bloodstream.
Lab Reference Ranges for Testosterone
There are two main laboratory references used by urologists and testosterone treatment specialists when determining normal testosterone levels in men.
- 300-1100 ng/dL
- 270-1070 ng/dL
The average normal testosterone level in men is 679 ng/dL, with an average Free Testosterone level of 9ng/dL to 30 ng/dL. Normal male testosterone levels peak at about the age of 20, and then slowly declines with age at a rate of 1% to 2% per year. Testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered by many hormone physicians to be out of optimal balance for good health.
What causes Low T in Men?
As men age, their level of SHBG increases, binding to more testosterone in their body. This leaves less Free or Bio-active testosterone in the bloodstream. This, together with a decline in efficiency of the specialized Leydig Cells in the testes that produce testosterone, or a pituitary malfunction which causes a problem with the hormones that signal testosterone production, can cause an androgen deficiency. In addition to this, the body’s androgen hormone receptors can make less natural testosterone available to a man for use by the body. This androgen deficiency, also known as Andropause – the male menopause, can cause many of the symptoms associated with low testosterone levels in men.
Testosterone for Replacement Therapy in the USA
Testosterone used for TRT in the USA. The most common forms of injectable testosterone in the US include Testosterone Cypionate, Testosterone Propionate, Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Undecanoate, or a combination of different esterized types of testosterone steroid injection. The most popular form of testosterone used for TRT in the United States, is cypionate testosterone. The most popular cypionate injection is Pfizer’s Depo-Testosterone Cypionate (Depo-Testosterone Injections). Some popular ester blends of testosterone are Sustanon 250mg and Omnadren 250mg.
How do Testosterone Esters Work?
A testosterone ester is a molecule that attaches to the testosterone molecule which must be broken down creating a timed released action. The steroid injection is injected into the muscle where it creates a reservoir or depot of testosterone hormone which is gradually and steadily released into the body once it is injected. Each of the esterized forms is a pure testosterone which is then attached to the ester which increases the half-life in the body to provide for a stable level of androgen hormone in the blood. Cypionate, enanthate, undecanoate and propionate are all esters used to produce the testosterone steroid hormone injections used for Testosterone Therapy.
How can I begin Testosterone Treatment?
With over 25,000 patients nationwide, our Male Hormone Center, Optimal Health MD, offers the most competitive pricing and clinical support for Testosterone Therapy. Call us today to speak to one of our Medical Advisors and learn more about Testosterone Treatment at the best price. Our Hormone Doctors have over 20 years of experience prescribing Testosterone Treatments and have been trained by the Cleveland Clinic®.