T Nation

Help Reading Blood Results


I am 34 been suffering with what feels like rollecoaster T levels - my sex drive will drop off to 0 for a couple of weeks or more then come back then drop off again. Im also suffering with sudden agressive baldness which Ive read can be due to a T / Estrogen imbalance.

I also had problems with no energy, falling asleep after eating, sudden drops in blood sugar but these have improved after changing my diet but Im left with no sex drive (most weeks), no night time erections and hair falling out.

Ive had 3 blood tests done so far

Test 1

Total T 17 nmol/L (ref 19-28.7)
LH 6.1 iu/L (ref 1.5-10)
FSH 8 iu/L (ref 2.5-10)
Calcium 2.59 mmol/L (ref 2.2-2.6)
Albumin 51 g/L (35-50)
SHBG 44 nmol/L (ref 14-79)
Prolactin 118 mu/L (ref 40-360)
Free T4 13.2 pmol/L (ref 7-17)
TSH 2.3 mu/L (ref 0.2-4.5)
Billirubin 19 umol/L (ref 0-21)
Urea 6.4 mmol/L (ref 2.5-7.8)

Test 2

Total T 14.4 nmol/L (ref 19-28.7)
LH 5.6 iu/L (ref 1.5-10)
FSH 8.5 iu/L (ref 2.5-10)
Calcium 2.89 mmol/L (ref 2.2-2.6)
Albumin 57 g/L (35-50)
SHBG omitted
Prolactin 202 mu/L (ref 40-360)
Free T4 10.4 pmol/L (ref 7-17)
TSH 8.3 mu/L (ref 0.2-4.5)
Billirubin omitted
PTH 3.3 pmol/L (ref 1.2-6)
Urate 405 umol/L (ref 200-430)
Urea 6 mmol/L (ref 2.5-7.8)

Test 3

Total T 17 nmol/L (ref 19-28.7)
LH 4.3 iu/L (ref 1.5-10)
FSH 9.3 iu/L (ref 2.5-10)
Calcium 2.58 mmol/L (ref 2.2-2.6)
Albumin 44 g/L (35-50)
SHBG 60 nmol/L (ref 14-79)
Prolactin 175 mu/L (ref 40-360)
Free T4 10.8 pmol/L (ref 7-17)
TSH 3.26 mu/L (ref 0.2-4.5)
Free T3 6.3 pmol/L (ref 3.5-6.5)
Billirubin omitted
Urate 295 umol/L (ref 200-430)
Urea 5.1 mmol/L (ref 2.5-7.8)
DHEA 14.8 umol/L (ref 2.2-15.2)

My GP and an endocrinologist think everything is OK but Im going to see a Testosterone specialist private Dr in a couple of weeks and he is going to do a fourth blood test.

I would appreciate any opinions on what my results so far show as Im convinced something is wrong because I shouldnt feel like this. I did try takingg Tongkat Ali and it boosted my sex drive and confidence and energy up massively then flatlined.

Many thanks


Sorry there is a typo ref range for T should be 10-28.7 not 19-28.71


I am 35 and in a similar position to yourself my friend and I have also recently had three separate blood tests carried out, all of which show fluctuating testosterone levels.

I am suffering with low energy levels myself and my mood is up and down at various points during the day. This leaves me feeling very depressed and I have literally no motivation to do anything. This can be so destructive and soul destroying as your quality of life is affected in so many ways.

I too find my sex drive has been affected and my desire is not what it once was. I previously had a very high sex drive.

I don’t seem to be having any hair loss issues at present, but my scalp is very dry and the skin can be flaky. I also seem to be getting more spots on my head and the healing process takes a lot longer than usual these days. I also get dry skin inside my ear lobes.

Some of the other symptoms are brain fog, poor concentration, difficulty in remembering things and I find myself having to read things over and over to absorb information. Something I never previously had an issue with.

I have also recently noticed a slight ringing in my ears and I suffer with regular mild headaches. My eyes are dry and itchy and my vision has become blurry and my sight has deteriorated.

From viewing your blood work results, it appears that TSH is a little all over the place. From my understanding, TSH should be closer to 1.0, so some of the issues you are experiencing may be linked to Thyroid. Maybe one of the experts like KSman will be able to assist you further with this. Take a look at the stickies thread at the top of the T Replacement section.

Do you have any other symptoms similar to myself?


Assuming your second lab test of TSH at 8.3 is a typo, I think the thyroid looks fine. Your T numbers are in normal range and so is FSH/LH. Seems to be operating a normal function!


No its not a typo, it really does say 8.3!


Im concerned about a few issues.

1.According to these studies although my T is in the ‘normal’ range its not normal for someone my age. In fact its normal for someone in their 60’s or 70’s

  1. Whilst my FSH is in range its at the top end on all tests

  2. Ive found studies that show suboptimal T levels can cause greater conversion to DHT or E2 and lead to baldness. Unfortunately Ive not been able to have these checked yet as the previous lab couldnt do DHT and the E2 only came back as ‘<100 pmol/L (ref 0-150)’ which wasnt very helpful. I’d be interested to know other peoples thoughts on this. It makes sense that low T can lead to baldness by the above means otherwise why is it only older men who get it not teenage boys.


Yeah your T probably puts you in the 30 of 40th percentile but its not really that low. You could be experiencing symptoms though because your Free T is likely low. Your SHBG on your tests its pretty high, especially the last test. Free T wasn’t taken but I bet you would be very low. You may want to test that next time. I am your same age and on T treatment. My total T was always lowish but free T was below range due to high SHBG. I also had lowish FSH/LH. My doc recommended T replacement even though I am a borderline case. I’ve been on it for about 6 months. I’m not sure I would have done it over again and contemplate getting off. I felt pretty good at first but the ‘new me’ levels out pretty much the same as the ‘old me’.


What causes high SHBG other than a liver issue and what is the purpose of SHBG? My albumin is pretty high as well interestingly.