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Table of Contents Testosterone is a hormone produced by the male testes, more specifically by testicular Leydig cells. Very small amounts are also produced by male and female adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys. Levels can also be impacted by a number of issues including illness, infection, and injury to the testicles or even a malfunctioning pituitary gland.
What does the pituitary gland have to do with production? The pituitary gland, called the master gland of the body, is responsible for maintaining the functions as well as control over the increase or decrease of hormones produced and secreted by all hormone glands found in the endocrine system. The pituitary gland sends these signals to the testes to either increase or decrease testosterone production.
In turn, the pituitary gland receives the orders to stimulate this production from the hypothalamus gland, also located in the brain, responsible for homeostasis or balance in the body. It is a powerful hormone in the body, but can also be broken down into a number of components and measured separately.
Testosterone is a hormone that circulates in the blood in two basic forms: bound to blood proteins sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG, also known as androgen binding protein and another protein called albumin or unbound to proteins. Either of these forms is known as bioavailable, meaning that the androgen is ready and available for use by the cells.
In the past it was believed that only free testosterone was bioavailable, but studies have determined that even non-bound is as well. Total test levels may be within normal range even if bioavailable testosterone measurements are deemed low. A man given testosterone replacement therapy may therefore experience an increase of overall total testosterone when measured in the blood, which will then signal the testes to stop manufacturing the hormone.
This results in a decrease in levels in the testes, resulting in potential shrinkage as well as lack of sperm production.
TTFB – Clinical: Testosterone, Total, Bioavailable, and Free, Serum
Bioavailable and free levels are typically parallel to those of total levels. However, time of day the blood test was taken, age, and health status can also have an impact on ranges for any man in any given situation.
Measurements of total amounts are analyzed with a test known as TTST testosterone, total, serum. This is one of the most common tests in regard to determining diagnosis of low T, and is often combined with other hormone tests including luteinizing hormone. A bioavailable testosterone test may also be recommended for a definitive diagnosis. This test is known as a TTBS test testosterone, total, bioavailable, serum. Levels of free T will differ by age.
Free & Bioavailable Testosterone calculator
The bioavailable testosterone range of levels also depends on age.
Men concerned about their hormone levels should schedule a visit with their general practitioner, who can recommend a simple blood draw that can be sent to a lab to analyze a number of aspects when it comes to hormone levels. Talk to your doctor about the level of bioavailable testosterone in your body, in addition to total levels that can be used to determine if you are within normal range based on gender, age, and health. My strength went up in bench and Leg press.
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