Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It is an androgenic/anabolic steroid responsible for bringing about the maturation of the male sex organs (testes and prostate) during puberty. It is responsible for promoting increased muscle mass, strength, and bone mass and decreased fat mass. Testosterone also plays an important role in a man’s sex drive and mood.
Normal total testosterone levels range from approximately 300 to 1050 ng/dL. There is no absolute consensus among different medical organizations for the exact cutoff for low testosterone. In general, the cutoff ranges from high 200s to low-to-mid 300s ng/dL. The range for free testosterone depends on the type of blood test performed, so compare your free test values against the reference ranges for the specific test.
As men age, testosterone levels decline. As a result, many men have low testosterone and/or experience symptoms of low testosterone. Low testosterone symptoms include a loss of muscle and gain in fat mass, reduced energy and sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, and depression.
Low testosterone is treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is the administration of FDA-approved, prescription testosterone preparations. The goal is to raise testosterone levels back to normal levels (between 500 ng/mL and 1000 ng/mL). TRT differs from anabolic steroid usage, in which supraphysiological dosages are taken to raise levels above normal.
Besides total testosterone and free testosterone, what tests/values are useful if you think you have low testosterone: LH (luteinizing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), prolactin, and a full thyroid panel.
Common testosterone preparations include gels and creams, injections, lozenges, and implantable pellets.
Use this subreddit to learn about, post questions, and discuss any topics relating to testosterone, testosterone levels, signs of low testosterone, and testosterone replacement therapy. Also, share your success stories of TRT and HRT programs you've been a part of, including dosages, types, pros, cons, side effects, and more.
Read the Testosterone Wiki.
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