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Testosterone levels

Hey, i had my testosterone checked a while ago and it was 475 and free testosterone was like 190 i think. is this good for an 18 year old? i thought it’d be higher. Then, later i checked it again and total testosterone was 311 and i got pretty pissed off that it was so low. I just got it checked again last week but haven’t found out the results. Do you guys know what is a good number for someone 18? my doctor said the free testosterone is what matters the most. Thanks

Your doc is right Free Test is more important. Free test range for your age is 19-41.

Your free test is rather good. It’s at the higher range of free testosterone. Although labs can vary, a usual reported range is around 50-210 pg/ml. So, at 190, you aren’t doing so bad.

Bodz, is there a specific unit of measure that you’re referring to? The reason I ask is because when I had my T levels checked, 50-210 was the norm range for Free and 260-1000 was the norm range for Total. I think back in The Big T articles by JB, he mentioned that normal Total levels were more like 400-1200. I’m 20 and my levels are off-the-chart low and I’m in the process of getting things taken care of, but there seems to be some other probs with my liver that I have to get checked out also. Actually the first time I had my T checked, my Total was 153 and Free was 31.8; after an appointment with an endocrinologist I had my Total levels checked again and they were at 42. No that’s not a misprint, and this time the normal range was 14-827. So I am somewhat confused by the ranges and results, as both were in NG/DL. Needless to say, something’s wrong in the kitchen here and I am in the process of getting it squared away.

The 400-1200 range you mentioned is total testosterone. I don’t know where Cy got his numbers from. My lab reports show a reference range for a 20-29 year old as being 19-41 pg/ml. You always want to be on the highest side of the scale, but some docs won’t prescribe unless you are out of range. Cy, I’d like to hear your explaination on your numbers big guy. Thanks. Oh, and Cy and I have conversed via email, I’d just like to see his thoughts made public on this issue for everyone.

Bodz, while you’re answering Timbo’s questions, here’s a few of my own that I’ve been meaning to ask you. Our situation is somewhat similar. I’m 44 with low T, and I think you’re 41, on HRT. I have been on HRT in the past and plan to return to it.

The first question may be redundant with Timbo's. My blood work has free testosterone reference ranges at 16 to 33 pg/ml. Timbo's mentioned a normal range of 260 to 1000. I understand that the total serum T ranges are likely to fluctuate according to medical opinion, but these two ranges for free T aren't even comparable. What measuring standard is used for free T where the "normal" range is 260 - 1000?

Secondly, you've mentioned in previous posts that you were diagnosed with a tumor on your pituitary. Sounds a little frightening. Can I ask how you traced that down? Blood work? Cat scan?

Third question. Are T shots your sole method of treatment? Is Clomid, HcG or anything else involved?

Fourth question. Can I correctly assume that, for want of LH levels, Tribex might not be helpful to you? Or is this exactly where Tribex shines? Personally, my experience with Tribex was unremarkable, and I suspect the reason involves my hormonal profile.

Don't mean to divert the thread, but the heading is "Testosterone Levels," and most of this applies. I'm grateful for your time.

People keep throwing around lab test numbers without reporting the units used. This is like saying of a powerlifter, “he lifted 300” and
not bothering to say whether it was kilos
or pounds. The number by itself means nothing.

Also, with free testosterone, even having the units is not enough if you don’t say what the normal range was for the method used by that laboratory. Many labs in fact give a number which is not just free testosterone, but also “weakly bound” testosterone which their method of measurement also includes. These numbers can be 10 times higher than other labs which use methods which actually measure only free testosterone. Without the reference range of the laboratory giving the result, numbers for free testosterone are meaningless.

So it’s really pointless to post, “My free testerone was 12, what does
this mean?” No one can answer you.

First off guys, the reported range can vary from lab to lab. The variance of numbers found is simply according to what the individual labs have seen as a reference range. However, most labs have a reported range of around 50-210 pg/ml as “normal”. Bodz, apparently, your lab had a normal reported range that was much lower. Doesn’t really mean anything is wrong. It’s just that you can’t use your reported range as a reference for Timbo’s measurements. Otherwise, it won’t make any sense. BTW, I have my blood work done by Quest Diagnostics.

Steve-O, I know your questions were directed at my man Bodz, but I think I can lend a hand, my friend. The normal range of 260-1000 ng/dl I mentioned was Total T.

Often times, after being diagnosed with low T, endocrinologists will request an MRI. The MRI is of the pituitary and that is what tracks down whether or not an abnormality, such as a tumor, is present.

I am also interested to hear about the form of HRT used and if any Clomid or the like is used, seeing that the doc I am currently working with is set on Androgel, which is not parallel with my feelings.

Bill, you're exactly right (as is the case more often than not). I apologize for my ignorance. My first test results (2/10): Total T 153 ng/dl (ref. range 260-1000); % Free T 2.08%; Free T 31.8 pg/ml (ref. range 50-210). Second test results (3/09): Total T 42 ng/dl (ref. range 14-827); Serum LH 2.0 miu/ml (ref. range 1.5-9.3); Growth 3.1 ng/dl (ref. range <10).

I also had Comp 12 done on two occasions because the first showed abnormal liver functions, while the second showed double the abnormal levels. I can post these results also. Thanks, Bill.

Timbo, your first test definitely showed
low testosterone, since free T was below the normal range. The second test numbers you gave didn’t include free T. There’s something wrong with the reference range for total T in the second test: it is never going to span a factor of 59, in this case from 14 to 827. It’s only going to span about a factor of four. Also that high end of their normal range is really unusual for ng/dL whereas the first test had a range as expected. Nonetheless, if your results for total T were 42 ng/dL, that’s basically adrenal-production-only (none from testicles.)

Your LH value in the second test was fine. Now, a single test does not mean much because LH release is pulsatile. You could really have low values of LH, but if the test was done right after the pituitary released a pulse you could get a normal figure. However, let’s say that the value you got was a reasonable indicator, which most of the time it will be. If this is the case, then the problem is not that your pituitary isn’t producing LH, but rather that the testicles are not responsive to LH.

I’d suggest trying HCG and seeing what this does to increase testosterone. If this does not work, then you know where the problem is (testicles not responsive) and Clomid therapy could not help, nor could HCG therapy.

Androgel is really not that bad for replacement, though injecting testosterone enanthate with a 29 gauge insulin needle (bet your doctor did not even know that was possible: a sad commentary) would be preferable.

Hope it works out!

Steve, I think Timbo pretty much answered most of the questions, but I’ll go over them briefly. I had blood work done by an endocrinologist. It came back with low T. He sent me back for FSH and LH levels. Both came back low. He sent me in for an MRI because he felt I might have a pituitary problem. That is when it was found. The doc who read the MRI said it is “worrisome”, probably for CYA. My Endo doc said, that he has never seen one grow bigger, even if I check it in 12 years. I pressured him to let me get it rechecked in a year, but I would like to know sooner. I’ll keep at him. You first question about levels is beyond my scope, as you can see by the experts opinions. The third question: yes, I have a script for 200mg of cypionate every two weeks. I get a 10cc bottle and do it myself. I’m going to use 100mg per week. I didn’t bring up Clomid, since it won’t help me. I brought up HCG and he confused it with HGH. I tried to explain it again, but he still said GH. Oh, well, I’m getting blood tested. He is doing research with a pharmaceutical company and I might get in on some free GH therapy. No complaints about his ignorance in this case. I think in a previous post Bill and Brock both suggested HCG for my case. Fourth question: Tribex is useless in my case, except, as Cy put it, to help block gyno. Same with Clomid. Tribex would be useful if my testes where not functioning optimally, they are working, but the pituitary, which sends a signal to the testes is not working. At least that is how the doc described it. You mentioned that Tribex worked for you. It did for me too. When it first came out, it worked good. But about seven months ago, I noticed that it wasn’t working anymore, no matter what dosage I took. I thought I had a couple of bad batches. Now I know why. If you have any other questions, just ask.

Steve, one more thing. My doc asked if I wanted gel or injections. I, of course, chose shots. I would ask your doc for shots instead. If he asks why, just tell him you prefer injecting every two weeks vs. rubbing gel on every day. Tell him its a hassel, or that your no homo, and don’t like rubbing cream on your body everyday…LOL. He should go along with it, if he doesn’t, and you really want the injections, I would, I would find another doc.

Don’t be so quick to right off Androgel without giving it a try first. I was recently diagnosed with marginally low T also (within the range, but at the low end). My doctor prescribed Androgel, which wasn’t the form of replacement I wanted, but I figured I’d give it a try anyway. After the the first month of using the minimum dosage of 5g/day I ended up gaining 5 lbs of lean mass. I just got my doctor to up the dosage to 10g/day for this month, so I’ll see if this works even better. If you do end up going with Androgel, one little technique you can use to increase the amount of T that gets into your system is to put some of the gel on your marbles bag. From what I’ve read the absorption rate is up to 5 times higher there. You can actually feel a kind of rush within minutes of applying it there.

Actually, I’d like to clarify something. Bodz, I meant that only clomiphene would still be useful in terms of preventing gyno. Not necessarily Tribex. Methoxy, on the other hand may be a different story. Take care bud.

Bill, thanks a bunch for answering my questions and looking specifically at my dilemma. This really whole deal is very taxing on me, especially mentally, as I’m only 20. I should be a bouncing ball of T and drooling over every babe that’s walking around campus. I really want to get things sorted out and get some treatment. But like I said, the endocrinologist I’m seeing is reluctant to begin any treatment until we find out what’s going on with my liver–we all know how vital it is. While I have been reading a bit more about anabolics and keeping up with some of the posts, I have to plead ignorance on HCG…I’m not sure I know what it is. Also, if I do convince the doc to prescribe parenteral treatment, will I need an anti-aromatase or inhibitor? Understand, Bill, that I don’t want to achieve supraphysiological levels, just want to be normal or the high end.

I do have one more question, Bill. I mentioned that I had two tests done that indicated abnormal liver function. I was unaware that I was going to have the second set of blood work done and having about half a bottle of Androsol left and knowing my hormonal situation, for the 4-5 days prior to the second test showing abnormal liver function, I used 80-90 sprays in the morning only. I had done only one week of 70 sprays morning and evening about 4 weeks prior to that, but terminated knowing that I was having my T levels tested. My question is, would the Androsol contribute to the doubling in the abnormal liver functions? Thanks a ton, Bill! You're awesome, my man.

yeah all my measurements were in ng/dl. i wasn’t 100% sure whether it was ng/dl so i didn’t want to get flamed for writing some wrong units.

Bill, here’s a question I put in to T-mag a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to their response. But if you’re reading this, I just have to ask you personally. There’s always a caution with Biotest supps about T suppression. Well, here’s Timbo, Bodz, and me, with low T all around (my free T is 10.1 pg/ml, reference levels 16-33, total serum T 294 ng/dl, reference 270-970 – and that’s after three bottles of Tribex). So, are suppression issues even a factor for guys like us? Is there a silver lining here? Like, “stay on the ‘Sols’ as long as you’d like, fellas, because your T’s a moot point anyway!” Or is the reverse true, where our endogenous T is low – hence, precious – and needs to be safeguarded all the more? (Say it ain’t so, Bill!)

And one (or two) more questions for Bill: both Bodz and I are on T cypionate. You inferred that enanthate is better. May I ask why? And if you were administering T shots for HRT in a clinical setting, what dosage would you be handing out? (This would probably vary with the patient, but could you ballpark it? Can I safely assume that you feel most doctors are too stingy with the T?)

Thanks, Timbo, for the clarification. As mentioned above, I’ve been on T cypionate, like Bodz. Buster’s post is one of the first praises of Androgel I’ve read. Good to hear it, but yeah, I understand your preference for shots. I’ve got a very cool urologist. He charges me about 45 dollars for the shot (300 mg, and that includes the nurse’s injection – which I think is 15 dollars). The gel may be worth a try if no other options are there. I was on the patch for a while. Shots are clearly better. But I don’t know how the patch compares to the gel.

Bodz, many thanks for the explanation. Sadly typical about the HcG misunderstanding. An educated patient is probably the bane of most doctors – or more specifically, patients like me who are in process of learning. You may have misread my post regarding Tribex. I said my experience was unremarkable. That was my diplomatic way of saying it didn’t do squat, for me or my squat. But as I mentioned, I’m assuming I’ve got a hormonal monkey wrench in the equation. Hey, you said you self-administer your shots. Did someone teach you? It would save me some cash. I suspect it’s not rocket science, but I wouldn’t want to try without some training.

You know, I once lamented my limited progress in the gym. The more I learn about these hormonal issues, the more amazed I am that I’ve come this far. I hope everyone on this thread feels the same way. (Okay, so much for the pep talk. Someone call my urologist…)

Steve, nice ending to your post…LOL. Anyway, just tell the doc, it would be nice if you could just self inject instead of scheduling an appointment. The doc should show you how to do it. No shakes. Just pull down your pants over one side of your ass. rub an alcohol swab on the hip/glute area (he’ll show you). Place the needle against your skin and just push. It’ll be a sharp prick, like it always is. After it goes in deep enough, take your time, about 1 minute slowly pushing the plunger down. Pull it out and apply a bandage. I’d keep a small cotton ball handy, sometimes you hit a surface vein, and get a bleeder. Oh, before you plunge, you always want to pull back slightly on the plunger to make sure you aren’t in a vein. No blood, go for it. It really is no great shakes. Oh, rent “the program” in it the guy who is doing roids does a pretty good visual of how easy it is. Of course I don’t ram it in or plunge it all in 2 seconds.

Well, Steve, if Clomid doesn’t work to
restore natural T levels, and natural T
is deficient, then there is no point in
worrying about maintaining LH production
anymore. The options would be testosterone
replacement therapy; replacement therapy
with synthetics (too advanced a concept for
most doctors); a combination of those two;
and/or HCG (if the testicles are responsive.)

The HCG approach has the advantage of maintaining testicle size.

Testosterone replacement therapy is to
be preferred to continuous 4-AD use because
we KNOW that normal or high normal levels
of T can be maintained for a lifetime and this
is healthy. We don’t know that supraphysiological levels of 4-AD, 24/7, for decades is necessarily healthy. And if 4-AD levels were kept merely normal, about 1000 ng/dL total (but your doctor would not be able to test for this since there is no standard medical test for it) your T levels would still be low, probably about 300 ng/dL at best.

You could certainly look into ideas like using
a somewhat lower dose of Androsol, but being “on” more of the time (for same total androgen usage) and could feel free to use 8 on / 8 off cycles if you liked, or a couple of 8 on / 4 off if you are in a hurry; since you need not be worried about LH suppression.

Timbo, HCG is a water-based injectable that acts like LH, and stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone, if they are able to do so. So if a person’s reason for low T is that his LH is low, HCG can get T levels back up to normal, typically with 500 IU per day. Doctors tend to prefer to minimize injection frequency and therefore may prefer doses like 5000 IU twice per week but this protocol is not as good and has some adverse effects (risk of gynecomastia, and desensitizing of the testicles to HCG and LH, due to the massive dose.)

Thanks so much, Bill. I’m printing out your answer, and I’ll discuss it with my doc tomorrow.

Bodz, good explanation. You're helping me get past that initial reluctance. Hey, do I correctly remember that your response to Androsol was negligable, but you gained 5 pounds LBM on Nandrosol? I'm starting on Nandro next Monday -- in tandem with resumed HRT -- and I'm hoping for the kind of improvement I think you described. Also, have you ever discussed upping your HRT dosage with your doctor? What's the highest he'll let you go? I'll be at 150 mg of cypionate per week.