I recently got the results of some bloodwork back and want to get some opinions. Firstly, I'm 20 years old and have been lifting for about six years. I have always had a hard time putting on muscle, and have frequently changed up my diet and training program. I always seem to fall behind my training partners even though I bust my ass in the gym and am extremely diciplined with my diet.
-The results of the blood test were:
Total test: 542 ng/dL
(Reference range: 250 - 1100 ng/dL)
Free test: 58.2 pg/mL
(Reference range: 35.0 - 155.0 pg/dL)
Percent free test: 1.07%
(Reference range: 1.10 - 2.80%)
As you can see, my percent free test is out of the normal range, while my free test and total test are in range, but certainly on the lower side of normal. These results were suprising to me since I expected that at 20, my test levels would be at their peak.
My questions is this: I know that free test is the number I should pay the most attention to, but what is the difference between free test and percent free test? Also, I certainly appreciate the fact that my levels are not way out of range, but it is frustrating that I frequently feel fatigued, have a very hard time adding lean mass, and easily add fat (especially around my abdomin) while putting in 5 hours a week in the gym and always watching my diet (even moreso because I am diabetic).
I have read about prescription treatments for low test which are not heavy of side-effects, but I would not be willing to sacrifice my future health to overcome an obstacle. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you very much in advance.