T Nation

Low Testosterone at 21, Help PLEASE!


To keep a long story short, i headed to the doctors about a month ago with concerns about foggy memory being tired all the time low concentration, low labido and no motivation. When she sent me for blood tests i asked for my testosterone to be tested here are the results.

Blood Glucose 3.0 normal range 3.6-7.8
Free test 24.7 normal range 31-94 this translates to a 360ng/dL
Total test 12.6 normal range 10- 48 this translates to a 85.95ng/dL

just got back from the doctors

-told her im not having morning wood and havent had sex nor any desire to in 9 months
-told her im loosing muscle mass and gaining body fat and my lifts are down - she blames overtraining
-told her my mood level is a 2/10 and that ive had no motivation to do anything even go to the gym
-told her i cant focus

  • brought up the fact that since im lifting heavy and an athlete my testesterone should be at the top of end of the scale and not below normal "well their only a little below"

  • i should also add that she blamed the low test levels at me gettign my blood taken first thing in the morning(?)

... her diagnosis Depression
- treatment antidepressants and counselling

  • she brings up all these medical studies on depression but keeps glossing over the test. scores, but always just bypasses my concerns about the test levels so a couple questions

  • should i not be concerned with these scores since i eat clean, left heavy 5x a week and am only 21

  • does anyone have any medical journals that support my cause as she likes to play this game


So, what is your "cause"?

Low T at 21 is not normal. Are you going to find the reason, or do you just want to get some T?


I want to find the cause, the problem is that living in Canada my doctor refuses to give me a referral to an endocrinologist and would rather blame everything in the book than take a look at it. It seems low to me and I'd like to have it looked into but I need to be able to give her a reason why its unacceptable levels to get the referral.

  • the fact of the matter is that she refuses to even acknowledge that is low and will tell me that the only reason it was on the low side is because I workout and it was the morning - both of which she should know would increase the blood plasma T. -- with Ontario at least specialists will not see you unless you have a referral... so unless I can convince her shes going to be jumping from one thing to the other


change your doctor...this one is useless



this is incredibly common. there is a thread buried somewhere about all of the stupid things doctors say and do.

you really need to find a new doctor if at all possible. yes, your T seems low, and yes that is a prime cause for 'depression'


I also noticed that your glucose levels were on the low side. you might want to have that looked at as well. its very low.


Thank you very much everyone, I went and have made an appointment with a male doctor with the sole purpose of the visit to see an endo - hopefully he wont be saying the same thing and this can be dealt with. I'll also bring up the low glucose and hopefully they can do something with that as well so far all I've gotten with that was "you need to eat more often and graze" ... which is done anyways.


Also pointing out that you got these values backwards. Be sure to straighten that out when you have the convo with your doc.


I have them backwards? --- This is exactly what it says on the bloodwork? do you mean as in the conversion to ng/dL ?


No...I mean if you have a basket of 6 apples, you can't reach into your basket and pull out 12 apples...


How can your free T be greater than your total T, he's trying to say. (I missed it. Good catch, Balla!)

At the least, I'd demand my money back. The lab, the doc, someone should be publicly humiliated.


I have no clue how free test is higher that's just what the results say word for word (I though it was weird also) - there's no money involved since its Canada and public healthcare - I went to the doc's office yesterday and got an appointment with a male doctor this time and stated outright that the purpose of the appointment is because of low test and a referral to an endo.

so that he doesnt pull out that "well its low but low normal" bullshit I'm going to bring this chart http://www.mens-hormonal-health.com/normal-testosterone-levels-in-men.html, hopefully he'll see it as it is - are there any other resources I could use?

Again thank you to everyone who's given advice or suggestions I've been told for almost two months(since getting the results) that its all in my head. The appointment is for next Tuesday and ill keep you updated on what happens.


Ok so heres an update I just got back from from the new male doctor and he was pretty concerned - he kept saying he dosent place much value on my total test but since my free T was incredibly low he ordered a second free T test (he says its custom to do TRT after 2 low blood tests), he also asked me a series of 10 questions and said I scored a 9/10 "which is really high" at the same time

he says that he has never treated anyone under 40 for hypogonadism but said he would definitely refer me to an endo if the test came back low and it was good of me to pursue the matter with him. So now i have to go get blood taken for a free T - oh i brought up the fact about my low glucose and he said that theres not much he can do but ordered the next Free T and Glucose blood test on a fast (will that positively/negatively affect my free T in the morning?)

Again Thank You everyone for all your knowledge and support


you also need more blood tests like estradiol, TSH, 8am cortisol just to name a few.


guess i should bring these up with the endo when I see him? likely just a family physician would not think of these no?


my experience with endo's (and others on forums) have been less than stellar. Endo's are very much in the box thinkers and don't like to be questioned. family docs are usually too overwhelmed and don't have enough specialization. There is a finding an HRT doc sticky that might be helpful.


Man- I haven't posted in a while, but since I just got put on TRT, and my situation is like yours, I feel the need to help a brother out.

I'm 27, live in the US, and have had symptoms just like yours. I've fought with them over the last couple of years and finally decided to get it checked out a year and a half ago. The first doc I went to, said it was depression. I'm pretty sure they will say this to almost anyone who comes in their office. I wasn't going to go on anti depressants tho so I left that doc and didn't get anything done until a year later.

A year later, I switched docs and decided that I just wanted to be treated. So, my new doc- a female first tried prescribing Wellbutrin- an antidepressant. Even tho I didn't want to, I heeded her treatment and started on the antidepressant. I figured, if I proved her wrong, she'd continue trying to figure it out.

Sure enough, antidepressants didn't do anything. Next she sent me to a sleep clinic to determine if I possibly had sleep[ apnea - possibly being the cause of my fatigue and from high fatigue- all the other symptoms. That wasn't it either.

Her next step was to take a full blood profile- about 10 vials worth. My Total test came back in the 400's- not terrible for 27 but it was the SYMPTOMS that made my doctor send me to an outside provider who specializes in atypical cases of male hypogonadism. The outside doc decided to start treatment on me despite a "normal range" from blood tests. What the doc told me is that each person has their own rhythm for how their bodies release test. And throughout the day, it can fluctuate as much as 500ng/dL. Additionally, a normal test for one person, isn't necessarily normal for you. You could be used to a test of 800 and feel shitty at 500-600. It's the symptoms that my doc treated- not the number.

Now, I've been on TRT for only a week- and I'm already feeling better. Concentration and energy is up. I sleep better, and my libido is improving. For the TRT, my doc uses pellets implanted under the skin. The procedure is easy and painless, but 8 hours later, it'll DEFINITELY be sore. A week later and I'm still slightly sore and have bruising, but it'll be gone soon.

My advice- don't go see a dedicated endo. As someone said above, they definitely only think inside the box. See if your doc knows any docs that deal with atypical cases or is comfortable referring you to an anti aging clinic. You'll have to pay out of pocket- but they'll treat you.

Also, I think it may be a misconception that since you workout, your body should be raging with testosterone. I think the opposite may be true- not that you'll have incredibly low test, but that you'll have lower than normal. Yes, after you workout testosterone should shoot up for a little, but that doesn't mean it will- or in a large amount. What you can be certain of- is that your cortisol will be high and your body will need time to repair. But with consistent workouts of 4-5 times a week not including cardio- I think it's possible that it's taxing enough on your body that your test could be lower than what you normally could have. Just a theory. Take it or leave it.

Hope the above helps.


Another update if anyone cares to listen

got bloodwork back and the doctor says that free T is "in range" it came out as a

40.5 with range being 31-94

so I guess thats fine I'm still having symptoms and he says that he dosen't want to dismiss it yet though he just cant refer me to an endo without another T level that isen't in range. He's stumpted as to what else the cause could be also. So he has given me another blood work form for free T and I'm supposed to get tested in a month or so as he says I have a few questions though.

Could I try a test booster, would this elevate my testosterone enough to bring my libido and mood back (and if so recommendations on test boosters)

He also suggested doing a bioavailable T test but it will cost 50 and isent covered by insurance - would bioavailable give different results and help the case.

Also are there things i should stay away from that would increase Free T before I go into my next test?

Thank You to anyone who has helped so far btw I appreciate it alot


any chance of getting a new doctor?

lab ranges do not equal ideal ranges. so yes 40 is "in range" if you are like 60 years old, but not in ideal range for a 21 year old.

you have symptoms supporting a low T diagnosis.
you have test results showing below ideal T.
you don't have any blood work for TSH, cortisol, D25-OH, etc. etc. per the blood test sticky.
if your doc won't work with you find one that will - I had to go to 8 different doctors before I found someone who could partially help.


Dont waste your money on bioavailable...it won't tell you anything that Free T is not...

Search this site for an article called "your doctor your dealer"....up to you if yo uwant to implement the advice in that or not...if you're not getting anywhere with your doc, its worth a shot...