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Testosterone Deficiency Screening

How do you know if your testosterone level needs a boost?

Most likely, you will need a blood test for that to measure both the free testosterone and something called the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin.

The best times for those tests seems to be between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. If your readings are low, don’t be surprised if you will need a second test.

With males, testicles produce most of the testosterone. Levels in youths can be checked if puberty arrives either early or late. A man can be checked if he is infertile, has erectile dysfunction, little interest in sex, or a thinning of the bones.

In females, most of the testosterone comes from the ovaries. Women tend to get checked for the opposite reason that men are. With men, it’s a worry that levels are too low; with women, the concern is that levels are too high, thus showing these possible symptoms:

  • Acne and oily skin
  • A change in a female’s voice
  • Decreased breast size
  • Hair growing in places that most do not want it, like a mustache, a beard or on the female breast, buttocks or inner thighs
  • Increased size of the clitoris
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair

So what’s it mean if your levels are too high?

It could be, for women, a tumor in the ovaries, or for men, cancer of the testes, or for either gender, medications that increase testosterone levels. And if the levels are low? Here are some of the possibilities:

  • A chronic illness
  • A pituitary gland that isn’t doing its job
  • A diseased or injured hypothalamus
  • Testicle disease
  • A pituitary gland tumor

So what’s a normal testosterone level?

It varies by age, and physical condition, and can vary a great by age — for men, the older they get, the lower the number gets, for instance. But an average used by the National Institutes of Health holds these figures out as normal:

  • For men, 300-1,000 nanograms per deciliter.

Leaving aside the ubiquitous television advertisements for prescription drugs aimed at men to raise testosterone levels, health experts say there is little you can do for yourself naturally to boost your levels.

Read More About Low Testosterone

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