T Nation

Low Total T, High Free T?

I could use some help interpreting my results. Quick background. I’m 35, 175 lbs, probably 15% body fat. I originally requested the testosterone test because I wasn’t getting morning wood, erection quality went down, and I wasn’t lasting as long during sex. Body composition quality has decreased a bit over the years, but nothing too terrible.

And, here are the numbers…
Testosterone, Total, LC/MS 398.9 264.0-916.0 (ng/dL) BN
Free Testosterone(Direct) 31.6 H 8.7-25.1 (pg/mL) BN

Here are my numbers from 2013…
Testosterone,Total,LCMSMS 690 250-1100 ng/dL AM
Testosterone, Free 190.4 H 35.0-155.0 pg/mL AM

Vitamin D is low. Cholesterol is within range, but at the top end. I do drink more than I did, maybe 2-3 craft beers per night. Besides that, no major lifestyle changes.

Is TRT something I should be considering at this point, or should I focus on lifestyle changes first - getting vitamin D levels up, more sleep, less alcohol. etc?


Testosterone isn’t your problem, your Free T is above the ranges. It could be thyroid related or some other cause for erectile issues.

Thanks for the input. You don’t find a drop from 690 to 399 over a 7-year period worrisome?

I guess I don’t really understand the difference between total and free and what effect each has on the body. I guess I have some googling to do.

I find a problem with the labs themselves, because Free T on both tests are above the ranges and yet Total T is 50% higher on one, I call it lab error. The two labs even use different reference ranges, if you want to compare use the same lab company and reference ranges.

The Free T is all your should care about, Total T in inactive. Also hormones levels aren’t static, levels are different every day.

Generally craft beers are quite strong. 2-3 might be 500-600 calories. That is a lot of calories, even if we are ignoring things like impact on sleep, liver, kidneys… I used to be in the same boat. I figured it was worth cutting back on, and now really only have drinks on Friday and Saturday. Sometimes 2-3 on Sunday. Improvement is what I went for, not abstinence.