Testosterone: What is a healthy level and why it is so difficult to measure
Testosterone is a critical male hormone, perhaps the most critical male hormone. It is responsible for strength, energy, a deep voice, strong bones, body hair – and many more traits that are associated with masculinity.
But there are more roles that testosterone plays in a man’s health.
Testosterone plays a vital role in how men’s reproductive system (prostate and testicles) develop and mature.
As important as the above-mentioned masculine characteristics are the protection that testosterone provides. Low testosterone levels (AKA “Low-T”) in men is associated with a broad range of health concerns such as:
- Weak, shrinking muscles
- Joint aches and pains
- Chronic fatigue
- Dry, withered, wrinkled skin
- Brain fog and mental confusion
- A loss of flexibility
- Declining libido and a decreased ability to sexually perform
- Weight-gain and increasing accumulation of unhealthy fat
- Insulin resistance that leads to diabetes
- And more...much more
The above health afflictions demonstrate the importance of ensuring that a man’s testosterone is at a healthy, robust level.
But it is challenging to determine the correct level
The importance of measuring testosterone cannot be overstated. But determining the right testosterone level is not as straightforward as it may seem.
Doctors measure testosterone in nanomoles per liter (nmol/l), and the accepted standard “usual” healthy range in males is somewhere between 9.2 to 31.8 nmol/L.
This range is universally accepted by medical professionals from different societies, countries or laboratories. But is this accurate for everyone? Not necessarily.
What is agreed is that testosterone deficiency is responsible for many of the above-listed problems that men increasingly develop as they age. In fact, most of those symptoms are similar in women who also have low testosterone.
Recent research indicates that low testosterone can be a risk factor for developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in both men and women.
This sets up a chicken-vs-egg question: is a lack of testosterone a leading cause of the health problems that men (and women) encounter? Or does the disease cause testosterone levels to plummet? Regardless, Low-T often shows up when diseases strike.
Women’s testosterone levels are somewhat more steady, without any known daily or yearly changes. As with men, however, they also decline with age. And it is these descending levels that increase the risk of disease.
The Golden Mean
Elevated testosterone levels in men rarely occur naturally. But too much testosterone as used by athletes and bodybuilders for ascetic and performance purposes may cause heart problems.
The same risk applies to women. This tells us that testosterone looks to be most beneficial when it remains in a specific range: not too high and not too low...the “Golden Mean.”
To add to the complexity of determining healthy testosterone ranges, consider that testosterone levels fluctuate from decade-to-decade, year-to-year, and even daily. A man’s testosterone peaks around 4-8 AM and drops approximately twelve hours later.
Even the change of seasons enters the testosterone equation. Seasonal fluctuations will differ depending on the country and continent and move levels up and down by as much as 20%.
To make things even more complicated, consider this: there is no “one-size-fits-all”; everyone is slightly different, especially in the way they respond to testosterone.
Testosterone does its job when it latches on to a cell receptor. However, here is where genetics comes into play. Some people are genetically inclined to have highly efficient cell receptors. Other folks are not so lucky.
Therefore, a low level for one person may adequate if they have more sensitive cell receptors capable of delivering testosterone in lesser amounts. This may explain why some men can have low testosterone levels and not be stricken with disease, and the reverse is also true.
Also, there are other financial, environmental, and social factors at work. Where a person lives, their income levels, their exposure to toxins, their stress levels, and their ability to eat healthily all play an additional role in defining what a “normal” testosterone range is.
Research is ongoing to determine accurate and universal healthy testosterone levels – not too high and especially not too low. But at best there will always be individual considerations that will preclude finding the golden mean that applies to everyone.
And that’s why you need our clinic.
Obviously, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is not something to take lightly. It is also not something to experiment with on your own. You need the supervision of experts in the field of hormones.
Our hormone replacement clinic is staffed with experienced, highly-training, and licensed professionals who have decades of experience in the field of hormone restoration.
When you contact us for beginning testosterone replacement, our initial evaluation will consider all of the facts mentioned above. Our recommendations for your treatment regime will be tailor-made for you and only you.
We will find your personal “golden mean” for your ideal testosterone level.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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