My Primary Physician Says My T Levels are Normal
It’s not the doctors’ fault, it’s simply the model of our current healthcare system.
It’s not the doctors’ fault, it’s simply the model of our current healthcare system.
It should be the case that a patient can walk into a doctor’s practice with symptoms such as low libido, muscle loss, weight gain, and depression, and his doctor would say, “Let’s try putting you on testosterone.” In reality, low testosterone symptoms are often easy to read, and blood tests should be secondary. With treatment, that patient would usually see a reduction in their symptoms, and then with a higher dose, these symptoms would reduce even more. However, standard practice rules out testosterone replacement for most men who actually would benefit from it for many reasons. Even if your doctor does do a blood test and it comes back as normal, should you just leave it there?
Doctors should know the signs of low testosterone and all too often shrug patients off with antidepressants, telling them to lose weight, eat well and exercise. Don’t accept being told your levels are normal. If you recognize any of the below symptoms, you could be suffering from sub-optimal testosterone levels.
Insurance companies have become reluctant to pay out for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). So, they invented a ‘normal range.’ In particular, a very low threshold for what they considered to be ‘Low T.’ With guidance from health panels, associations, and their own research, they agreed to 300 ng/dL, a pretty low level, which conveniently excluded millions of men from the help they need.
A 300ng/dL total testosterone level ignores that low testosterone symptoms are broad and vary significantly between men, contradicting any ‘medical’ justification for having such a low level.
The American Urological Association (AUA) states:
“Given the relative non-specificity of symptoms associated with low testosterone, a need exists to define a total testosterone threshold to guide clinicians in the diagnosis and management of the testosterone deficient male. The Panel believes that total testosterone <300 ng/dL is the proper threshold value to define low testosterone.”
Mulhall JP, Trost LW, Brannigan RE et al: Evaluation and management of testosterone deficiency: AUA guideline. J Urol 2018; 200: 423.
It is crucial to notice the above states, “relative non-specificity of symptoms associated with low testosterone.” So, they acknowledge that symptoms vary from person to person yet feel the need to add a minimum value to ‘qualify’ for testosterone replacement therapy. This is not great news for the millions of men who hear the words ‘your numbers look normal’ from their doctor every single day.
Every person is different, and hormones are way more complicated than just setting ‘Normal Levels.’ Numbers don’t easily define low or ‘suboptimal’ testosterone levels. Men with 600 ng/dL may experience symptoms when someone with a very low 120ng/dL does not. Men can experience symptoms over a wide range showing the importance of reading the signs and not just the numbers for an accurate diagnosis.
A ‘normal’ testosterone level for a 20-year-old is a far cry from that of a 55-year-old. Because testosterone levels vary so much between individuals, it is impossible to have a “one size fits all” approach. An 80-year-old can have a ‘normal’ 350ng/dL reading which for a 40-year-old would certainly not be ‘normal,’ especially if accompanied by negative symptoms. The low level set by mainstream medicine doesn’t allow for the fact that optimal hormones are best, and 300ng/dL falls way short of this.
From around the 1500s right up to the 1800s, life expectancy throughout Europe averaged between 30 and 40 years of age. With improved healthcare, better sanitation, immunizations, improved nutrition, and clean running water, people now commonly live into their 80’s and 90’s. Unfortunately, our hormones are still hanging around in the dark ages, expecting us to be long gone by the time we reach 50.
Your hormones fall away from about 35 onwards, with available testosterone falling roughly 3% each year, all because your body thinks you won’t be needing them. Now we live longer; many men need to replace these ‘missing hormones’ to avoid the pitfalls of age-related decline and disease. We should be optimizing hormones to similar levels of your youth.
This predicament leads us to a problem with standard medical practice, as stated by The American Urological Association:
“Clinicians should adjust testosterone therapy dosing to achieve a total testosterone level in the middle tertile of the normal reference range.”
“The Panel recognizes that age adjustments may be required to define this middle range; however, from a practical standpoint, 450-600 ng/dL represents a viable range for all age groups. Achieving testosterone levels in this window should ameliorate any symptoms that are genuinely associated with testosterone deficiency.”
This ‘viable’ range of 450 – 600 ng/dL is not what is best for all ages. An 80-year-old man can feasibly have a testosterone level of 450. Do you want a level of an 80-year-old?
Most people take their doctor’s word as the gospel truth, and conditioning makes us this way. You need to bear in mind that your doctor is not an authority on hormones, no more than he is an expert on heart surgery. It is like going to a farmers’ market for advice on your faulty laptop.
Most primary care doctors don’t understand that ‘normal’ is not ‘optimal.’ The acceptable ‘viable’ range set by standard healthcare isn’t utilizing hormone replacement to its full potential. A 19-year-old man will commonly reach an optimum level of around 1000 ng/dL. He is fit, healthy, and enjoys all the protective benefits optimized hormones offer. When you have optimal hormones, your body operates at its best, whatever your age; this is the kind of level Male Excel aims to achieve using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
By placing a ‘low T’ marker on testosterone levels, you completely ignore the need to look at how a person feels, their symptoms, and how they react to the therapy. Setting a ‘normal’ level takes no account for a person’s ‘androgen’ sensitivity, thyroid health and ultimately places men at risk of age-related disease along the line.
Optimizing hormones from your 40s onwards and leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid age-related diseases, physical decline, and the frailty of old age. The benefits of BHRT are something that men all over the USA could be enjoying, but simply because their doctor says, ‘your labs are normal,’ they cannot attain.
If you’re ready to try Male Excel’s Hormone Replacement Therapy program, click the button below to start our free online hormone assessment.
Male Excel was created by primary care physicians that grew tired of being held back by a system designed to treat the illness and not the cause. Our founders discovered there was a better way by combining hormones with traditional medicines. Along with an improved lifestyle to prevent and treat the causes of common age-related diseases.
Reduced hormones and poor lifestyle are usually the cause of many avoidable age-related diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, related to being overweight. Many of these diseases can be alleviated or reversed by correcting hormone levels and adjusting lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
If your primary care doctor offers testosterone replacement therapy, it will be because your levels are so low you need help. They will aim to get you to within ‘normal ranges’ which in most cases is insufficient. They will also give you off-the-shelf testosterone that isn’t bioidentical. The problem with such hormones is that they are structurally different from those your body naturally produces. This synthetic version is far more likely to cause unwanted side effects and less likely to benefit you in the same way as bioidentical.
Bioidentical hormones are identical to the natural hormones your body produces naturally, and therefore your hormone receptors do not see any difference. This type of hormone benefits your body in the same way your natural hormones do – this is why many people call bioidentical hormones ‘natural’.
With BHRT, you will be fitter, stronger and healthier, with the renewed energy of youth.
If you feel your doctor keeps telling you your levels are normal, it is well worth taking our hormone assessment to check if you could be a good candidate for BHRT. Our specialists are fully trained in all aspects of BHRT. With a combination of looking at your symptoms and blood test, they can create a customized program specific to your needs.
 Beltrán-Sáncheza H, Crimmins E, Finch C. Early cohort mortality predicts the rate of aging in the cohort: a historical analysis. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2012;3(5):380–386. doi:10.1017/S2040174412000281