T Nation

Hormone Levels & Reference Ranges

Hi guys, I’ve been a long-time, but intermittent reader of this forum. Reader’s Digest Version, I’m 47 years old, 6’5", 258 lbs, do cardio basically every day, do weights 3-4 days a week, different muscle group 1 to 1.5 times per week. Got tested by a (female) endo about 2.5 years ago. She diagnosed metabolic syndrome, and prescribed Metformin. C-Peptide level eventually dropped, but weight didn’t.

I strong-armed her into prescribing TRT, and dropped 55 lbs in 4 months with NO other changes. But NOW, she won’t test me for anything “female related”, i.e. Estrogen, E2, Estradiol or anything along those lines. I want to see if my high T numbers are rendered useless by high E numbers. So tomorrow I’m going to a new endo. HE was recommended on the Life Extenison Foundation site, and a few guys I’ve talked to at the gym recomend him as well.

My BIGGEST question right now is this: These “Reference Range” numbers on my bloodwork from my endo; who comes up with these? Is this more of this “Endocrinology Society” random, overly-conservative BS? How high can we safely go with T numbers for example? My PSA’s are OK, I wake up with not just wood, but concrete probably 5 mornings a week, but how much of that is because my girlfriend is hot vs. T-level? My biggest question is “How high can I go?” Obviously there are a lot of variables involved, but I just wanted to break down the ROOT info the numbers, how they’re arrived at, and start from there.

Your thoughts?

The reference ranges are derived from a random sample of 1000 men of varied age groups and tested for Testosterone levels.
It’s kind of a BS way when it comes to each individual man to compare him to someone else.

How high can you go will depend upon how brave your Endo is, and the top of the ranges used from from the specific lab you test through.
Some labs have ranges from 250-1100 and some use ranges from 400-1200 or so. So, if your doctor doesn’t want you “mid range” you might get to be in the top of the range T wise.

There are ways to help stay at the top of the range, and it depends upon how many days since your last injection passed before the current b/w. Obviously, the more time passed between the last injection and the b/w the lower your “score” on the test.
Does this answer your question?

Yes, it does somewhat… I’m 1266 total, off “their” chart of 250-1100, 260.3 T-Free on a scale of 46.0-224.0, 512.6 Bioavailable on a scale of 110 - 575. All good #'s, now I have to get E levels checked to see if that might be combatting the T. No specific symptoms to make me think that, but I just want to know if I’m all that I can be!

Thanks KNB, and I’d still welcome anyone else’s thoughts on this. Does anyone know what kind of levels hardcore “juiceheads” hit and for how long? I don’t want to look like a freak, nor do I want medical problems, I’ve just always been a stats and numbers kind of guy.

Get a print out of those labs and save them, might want to write the drs name, address etc. Now if you ever have any problems you have proof that your high normal.

“I’ve just always been a stats and numbers kind of guy.”

This isn’t a numbers game. This is your life and well being we’re talking about, not numbers on a piece of paper. I know you already know that, but it needs repeating because it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in the numbers and start thinking they mean more than they do. At this point in my experience, I can pretty much decide a couple of weeks ahead of time what numbers I want on my blood work. You need numbers in the beginning to get a handle on where you’re at and how you react, but get a couple of year’s worth of numbers under your belt and you won’t give a shit about numbers.

“what kind of levels hardcore “juiceheads” hit and for how long?”

Why should they have any numbers at all? If I was doing massive amounts of steroids, the LAST thing I would want is written proof. Pick any numbers you want and you’ll probably be able to find some idiot somewhere claiming to have them.

As for how long… ask Serge Nubret. He’s not talking, but there are many who say he’s be on the gear for more than 30 years and I believe it. Here’s a picture of him at age 65:

“I don’t want to look like a freak”

Sure, you can add a few pounds of muscle by taking T and sitting on the couch, but freaky big takes not only scary amounts of gear and not just full time training, but a level of commitment that only an extremely small number of people are capable of achieving. You’ve obviously never watched a pro work out. It will humble you real fast and make you realize that you don’t even live in the same universe as those guys. No offense, but to think you might get there by mistake is just plain ridiculous.

“nor do I want medical problems”

No one does, but that’s not in your control. The best that anyone can say is that the further away from “normal” physiological numbers you get, then the greater the probability that you might have a problem. If you’re looking for hard and fast numbers with known probabilities that you can be reasonably certain will apply to you, then you’re looking for something that simply doesn’t exist and probably never will.

The real question here is what are you really trying to accomplish? What is your goal? If you want to feel great and function great, you don’t need to get into the supraphysiological zone.

TRT isn’t about having answers. It’s about having strategies for the experiments you’re conducting on yourself.

Personally, the question I’m asking myself is what is the least amount of T I can take and still feel and function in a way that is acceptable to me? Sure, I’ve done a gram a week to see what it was like, but it didn’t take numbers to convince me that it was a bad idea. As always, your mileage may vary.