T Nation

Determining if Free Test is Too Low


#1

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.


#2

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.


#3

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!


#4

Your FT could certainly be better.

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

If you don’t want to investigate further …


#5

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.


#6

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