Ever questioned why some men have an incredibly lush beard or a deeper, more resonant voice? The answer doesn’t solely lie in one’s genetics—it’s also affected by the male sex hormone testosterone.
Testosterone—a hormone produced in a man’s testes by the Leydig cells—is responsible for a man’s physical traits and reproductive activities. While women also produce testosterone, men are by far the most significant carriers of it.
To ensure this hormone’s proper functioning and optimal health, a man’s testosterone levels need to be routinely monitored by way of a testosterone test.
This article will explain what a testosterone test is, how it’s done, and the potential implications of its results.It will also touch upon ways men can naturally boost testosterone if they are facing a testosterone deficiency.
What Does Testosterone Affect?
Testosterone is a vital male hormone that plays an important role in a man’s physical and reproductive development.
Some of the key things that testosterone regulates include the following:
- Facial hair
- Muscle mass growth
- Fat distribution
- Sperm motility
As mentioned earlier, testosterone is produced in the testes. However, testosterone production is first initiated by the pituitary gland, which sends signals to the testes to produce more testosterone whenever there’s a shortage.
Similarly, the pituitary gland will also tell the testes to slow down production if it notices that the body’s testosterone level is too high.
However, there may be circumstances wherein this balance gets disrupted, leading to either a deficiency or an excess of testosterone in the body. The best way to determine this is by undergoing a testosterone test.
What Is a Testosterone Blood Test?
A testosterone test is a clinical assessment used to measure a person’s testosterone levels. It involves collecting and testing the patient’s blood or saliva sample. The testosterone levels in the blood give a better indication of the total testosterone levels in a patient’s body.
Three types of testosterone tests measure the testosterone levels in the body. These are:
- Total testosterone test: The most common test that measures both free and bioavailable testosterone.
- Free testosterone test: Measures active testosterone in the bloodstream to diagnose medical conditions.
- Bioavailable testosterone test: Measures testosterone attached to albumin to diagnose medical conditions.
Testosterone tends to circulate the bloodstream bound by a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). A tiny percentage (about 2%) of testosterone remains unbound, and this is known as “free testosterone.”
Total testosterone refers to the combined sum of SHBG-bound testosterone and free testosterone.
How Is a Testosterone Test Performed?
The procedure to carry out a testosterone test involves a quick blood sample. It’s usually conducted during the early morning sometime between 7 AM to 10 AM as that’s when testosterone production is at its peak. Your doctor may also require you to fast for 12 hours before the test to ensure accurate results.
A healthcare professional will use an empty needle to suck out blood from a vein in your arm. The needle will stay in your arm only momentarily—less than 10 seconds at most. The feeling of a string is present but minimal. This blood sample will then be put in a vial or test tube to be given to a laboratory.
After some time passes, they’ll evaluate your blood sample and report the results.
What Do the Results Mean?
Besides the number of testosterone presently circulating in your body, doctors will also examine your testosterone test results relative to your age, present health conditions, and other test results.
Each person will have a different set of circumstances regarding their health status, so talking with a doctor to interpret your results is the best course of action.
As a general benchmark, here are the average ranges for testosterone levels in healthy men, considering their age range:
- Men aged 20-24 years old: 409-558 ng/dL
- Men aged 25-29 years old: 413-575 ng/dL
- Men aged 30-34 years old: 359-498 ng/dL
- Men aged 35-39 years old: 352-478 ng/dL
- Men aged 40-44 years old: 350-473 ng/dL
- Men aged 70 years old: 282-606 ng/dL
These observations have also found that testosterone tends to naturally decline with age, usually at a rate between0.8 to 2% per year.
Furthermore, medical guidelines have imposed that a normal testosterone range is anywhere between the threshold of 300 ng/dL to 1,000 ng/dL.
For people who fall below this threshold, which is a common but abnormal occurrence for aged individuals, testosterone replacement therapy is often prescribed to help bring the testosterone levels back into balance.
Hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency can be asymptomatic. Furthermore, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 men over 60 and 1 in 2 men over 80 have testosterone levels that fall below the threshold.
With these things considered, it’s important to get in touch with a medical professional to have your testosterone levels checked and determine if you need any treatment.
How to Boost Testosterone Levels
Low testosterone can lead to a host of worrisome health problems, such as osteoporosis, increased fatigue, and obesity. This is on top of the dry spell in the bedroom that comes with a testosterone deficiency.
Fortunately, there are ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels if they fall below the normal range. These include a combination of medical and non-medical treatments, such as:
- Testosterone replacement therapy: This is one of the most popular methods for managing low testosterone. It involves using medical treatments, such as oral medications and topical gels, to supplement testosterone levels in your body.
- Dietary and lifestyle changes: Eating a balanced diet full of testosterone boosting foods, exercising with weights, and getting good-quality sleep are ways you can boost testosterone levels. Avoiding opioids and alcohol also helps.
- Take vitamins and supplements: Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium supplementation can correct testosterone deficiency.
- Review your medications: Some medications can adversely affect testosterone levels. Talk with your doctor to know whether your medications are helping or hurting you.
Take Charge of Your Sexual Health with the Top Men’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida
A testosterone deficiency doesn’t have to be the end of your world.
At Prime Men’s Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, we specialize in restoring your sexual health and helping you live your best life.
Our board-certified physicians are experienced and knowledgeable, offering breakthrough medical treatments that help alleviate erectile dysfunction, overcome PE, restore hormone imbalances, increase energy, and boost sexual performance.
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