T Nation

Determining if Free Test is Too Low


A little history: Last September I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had my right testicle removed. Afterward I did 2 months of radiation therapy where I barely ate anything & was always tired. Obviously I lost some muscle and fat. Skip forward, I am getting back into the swing of things but have noticed decreased strength & energy. I also felt kind of depressed and seemed to have fat appearing in places it hadn't before.

I had never been to a doctor for a physical with blood tests (I hate needles). I went 2 weeks ago and also asked to get my testosterone tested. He was pretty hesitant but I just told him that I wanted to be sure my level was ok with only one testicle. It looks like the test was done by Quest.

Here are the results:
Total test: 665 ng/dl
Free test: 63 pg/ml

I've done lots of googling this morning but am having trouble deciphering what is normal. From what I gather my total level is probably normal. Is my free test low? And if so, is it low enough that a doctor would do anything about it? I have an appointment with my urologist next week.


Can you post with lab ranges?
Those are your only lab results?

Please read these stickies:

  • advice for new guys
  • thyroid bacics
    – have you always used iodized salt
    – check waking and mid-afternoon body temperatures

Many things can make you feel run down and it can easily be more than low-T

TT does not look bad.

Free might be low: http://www.questdiagnostics.com/hcp/intguide/EndoMetab/EndoManual_AtoZ_PDFs/Testosterone_LCMSMS.pdf

If free is low and TT not, then one suspects that elevated E2 is increasing SHBG levels. Then more of TT is in an inactive form of T+SHBG.

So E2 labs would be useful.

You can get over the needle thing. It is not pleasant, but its over fast enough. A small price to pay for when seeking an improved quality of life.


Thanks for the reply.

Range for Total: 250-1100
Range for Free: 35-155

Those are my only results. I also go the comprehensive metabolic panel but I don’t think any of that info would be pertinent to my testosterone. I did skim a few of those articles but didn’t want to dive too deep into it if my numbers looked normal. I would say I don’t have any extreme symptoms but mostly just got this tested to make sure my one testicle was indeed working for 2!


Your FT could certainly be better.

Are you gaining fat on your chest, back and shoulders?

If you don’t want to investigate further …


No extra fat in my chest and shoulders, its mostly in the lower back area. Do you think just taking something like Alpha Male would boost it up? I have to get a blood draw next week for tumor markers so I might just ask if we can also test the stuff listed in the sticky.


Alpha Male might be helpful. Really depends on how it makes you feel.