Have you been feeling a little less confident, energetic or happy? All of these could well be related to low testosterone levels, particularly if they’re combined with a lack of interest in sex. There are, of course, many other possibilities that may be more obvious, but low testosterone is one of the most overlooked diagnoses.It’s a health-related issue that’s difficult to spot.
It’s overlooked precisely because we aren’t used to associating male hormones with depression. However testosterone regulates more than just our sex drive. But the number of men with low testosterone has seen a significant increase in recent years. And while you may think you can easily check your levels, it’s not like blood sugar tests.
The fact is, there is no reliable test to measure testosterone. Inaccurate test results are frequent, which is a serious problem because knowing your levels before using a supplement or getting replacement therapy is not exactly optional.
Step One: Identifying Symptoms
There are some classic symptoms that go along with low testosterone that you’re probably familiar with. Symptoms such as no interest in sex, loss of facial or body hair, erectile dysfunction or low sperm count are common.
However, it can be difficult to tell which are most important and which are actual signifiers of low testosterone. It comes down to your doctor and yourself making a judgement call. Not many people who suffer from low testosterone have all the symptoms, but a larger number of these symptoms make this condition the most likely diagnosis.
The biggest issue in diagnosing low testosterone is that a lot of the symptoms are also apparent in men with normal levels, so it’s hard to determine.
Step Two: Total Testosterone
Once the classic symptoms become obvious enough, the next step involves testing testosterone levels within the blood. But as mentioned, the tests are not that reliable.
The first issue is that your testosterone levels will change throughout a day. They are typically at their highest in the morning, though that’s less true in older men.
The next problem presents when actually determining if the number falls within the low range. Normal testosterone levels are around 270 to 1070 nanograms per decilitre. So if your total testosterone levels are above 270, that should mean you have normal levels.
Not quite. The definition of a low level varies from doctor to doctor. You could have as low as 230 and still be considered normal. The labs often have different standards as well.
And your levels may be tested differently depending on which lab your blood is sent. For many men with borderline-low levels, at least 30 percent retested at normal levels.
There’s a lot of confusion regarding just what can be considered low testosterone levels. Knowing for certain can take years, with numerous conflicting tests. If you think you’re suffering from low testosterone, there are ways to boost your levels. Visit Balance My Hormones today for more information.