Men who suffer from low testosterone, or Low T, complain of: fatigue, weakness, poor sleep, poor concentration, decreased strength, loss of muscle mass, and decreased libido. When blood tests confirm a testosterone problem, they can be successfully treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The blood test of total testosterone is one piece of the puzzle, but the true measure of Low T is free testosterone.
When testosterone hits the bloodstream – it goes into a few forms:
- SHBG – Sexual Hormone Binding Globulin
- Sexual Hormone Binding Globulin, or SHBG, is a protein that is made by your liver which binds to testosterone and carries it throughout the blood. The problem is that once the testosterone is bound by SHBG, it is no longer usable by the body. The hormone can increase or decrease based on factors such as age, but can also be affected by obesity, liver disease and hyperthyroidism.
- Albumin is a protein that is found in your blood that is produced by the liver. It is another agent that can bind up testosterone in the bloodstream making it unavailable for the body to use.
- Estrogen – through a process called aromatization, the testosterone is changed to estradiol
- Estrogen is commonly mistaken as hormone found only in women. While women do produce and need much more than men. Estrogen is a vital hormone in the men’s body. It prevents bone loss and is essential in modulating libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis.
- Free Testosterone – testosterone that is free to be used by the body.
- Free Testosterone is the testosterone that available within the body that is not being bound up by both SHBG and Albumin.
Free testosterone is the testosterone in the blood that is available to bind to receptors in the brain, muscle, and other organs of the body. The free testosterone, or Free T, is just that… FREE. Free T is also called bioavailable testosterone as it is available to be utilized by the body. This is what all men need to know to understand if their symptoms are related to low testosterone or other health related problems.
Many men that come into our office after visiting their doctor to find out that their primary care physician only checked their “total testosterone” and said that it was fine. A man’s total testosterone can be within the normal limits; however, the Free T can be low giving them the symptoms of Low T. This is when visiting a facility that specializes in low testosterone treatment can help assess the symptoms, perform lab work, and help narrow down the cause of the symptoms.
Can normal Testosterone and Low Free Testosterone be Treated? Absolutely!
We begin our program by establishing what is actually causing the issue. This allows us to verify that it is in fact low testosterone and not a pituitary, thyroid or other medical problem causing this. When finding out the problem, we are able to treat the testosterone that is bound and by introducing more testosterone in the system helping your body have MORE free testosterone also known as bioavailable testosterone.
When this process is done correctly, our team can add to your natural testosterone levels and make a world of difference between a 2 PM coffee run or making your kid’s 8 PM ball game. The process for us is simple, as long as you’re committed, we will make sure your body is primed and optimal for performance.
How do I know if my Free Testosterone is low? It’s simple, a blood test
Our initial work up with patients includes the full testosterone lab panel so that we can treat the appropriate symptoms with a treatment catered to your body. Many of our patients are able to return to normal function with simple changes in their body chemistry, bringing the body back into hormone balance. A body that has hormone balance is: strong, lean, sharp, and can tackle life without fatigue.
If you have any of the symptoms of Low T, contact our office for an evaluation of your hormone balance. We have written a free e-book, available for instant download that can help you navigate what testosterone replacement therapy can do for you. Many patients use it as a guide to speak with their doctors. Click here to download the e book now.