What Are Considered Normal Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone is a hormone that varies greatly in the human body over a short span of time as well as a long period. A person’s testosterone level is expected to fall as he ages but sharp rises or drops in testosterone can also be witnessed over a twenty-four hour span. This is why it becomes increasingly difficult to ascertain what the normal testosterone levels are.
How to check testosterone levels?
Testosterone is measured using the unit, ng/dl or nanogram per deciliter. There are essentially three types of testosterone that doctors are able to test for. These are free testosterone, SHBG-bound testosterone, and albumin-bound testosterone. When measuring testosterone, doctors typically measure the quantity of free testosterone as well as total testosterone.
Moreover, since testosterone levels change so drastically, a testosterone range is generally used as an indicator of normal testosterone levels. The range might be large but other factors such as a patient’s age and lifestyle will give doctors a good idea of whether the patient’s testosterone levels are appropriate.
What is the ‘normal’ range of testosterone?
A normal testosterone level may range from approximately 360 ng/dl to slightly above 1000 ng/dl. However observations have shown that having a testosterone level below 450 ng/dl may be reason to be concerned. A patient with a testosterone level below 450 ng/dl is likely to experience several symptoms relating to low testosterone such as depression, fatigue, increased weight gain, and reduction in muscle mass and bone density.
As mentioned before though, testosterone levels can change significantly over the course of a day, week, or year. Testosterone levels are generally highest in the mornings and wane over the course of the day. Similarly, testosterone levels in young males of age 20 are likely to be much higher than those of 50 year olds. According to some studies the aging process finds testosterone levels falling by approximately 1-1.2% per year.
How does one know when to take up testosterone therapy?
The range that denotes normal testosterone levels in the body is a good indicator of whether or not one should begin testosterone therapy. If a patient’s testosterone levels are below 450 ng/dl, the doctor or physician should begin testing for symptoms of low-T or hypogonadism. Some psychological tests may also be conducted to ascertain the mental well-being of the patient. Doctors will also find huge worth in noting the patient’s libido or sex drive.
However, there are many instances where a patient may have a testosterone level below 450 ng/dl and still never complain of any of the low-T symptoms. For example, it is often assumed that the vegetarian diet does not aid the body adequately in the production of testosterone. However, due to the nature of the diet and the low fat intake, nitric oxide levels may be boosted resulting in healthy erections, contrary to the symptoms of low-T. While this can be viewed positively, in some cases it is only masking the fact that the patient is suffering from low testosterone levels, and ignoring this may cause several other health complications in the future.
Can people control their testosterone levels naturally?
Although there exists a general range by which one can gauge normal testosterone levels, there are many other factors to consider as well. In order to avoid low levels of testosterone, and consequent testosterone therapy, there are many lifestyle changes that can be made which boost testosterone naturally. Sticking to healthy sleep patterns, exercising regularly (with weights), satisfying one’s libido by engaging in sex, practicing a healthy diet, reducing one’s alcohol consumption, etc. are all quick-fire methods that increase the quantity of testosterone produced and secreted in the human body.