A Guide to the Testosterone Level Test
Testosterone Level Tests...
A testosterone level test is helpful in measuring total levels of testosterone produced by the body. Testosterone saliva testing only measures total testosterone. If the reason for testing has to do with patient symptoms similar to those experienced during andropause, measurements of total testosterone are not always helpful.
A patient's testosterone level test results may be within normal ranges for total testosterone, while the level of "free" or bio-available testosterone may be lower than normal.
In order to measure "free" or bio-available testosterone levels, a blood test must be used. Athletes can use testosterone saliva testing when attempting to measure the effects of working out or supplement use with some degree of accuracy, but even then, the results may be inconclusive.
In other words, a testosterone level test may show normal levels of testosterone and the man may still feel the symptoms (fatigue, weakness, etc.) of a testosterone deficiency.
This is all caused by sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG. It is known that when testosterone becomes attached to SHBG, it cannot enter the cell and therefore cannot affect the body.
A testosterone level test, like testosterone saliva testing, that measures only total testosterone and not the amount attached to SHBG is not measuring "free" testosterone and it is only "free" testosterone that can increase stamina, muscle gain and libido.
Some on-line companies are now selling in-home hormone level tests for men and women. These are saliva tests and can indicate hormonal imbalances.
Testosterone saliva testing does not tell the whole story and they cost about $60.
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