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Monday, August 17, 2015

My testosterone level

I had my first checkup in four years a week ago. I asked the doctor if he could get my testosterone number along with the usual set of statistics when they analyzed my blood sample.

A few days ago my doctor reported back that my testosterone level was 502 nano grams per deciliter, or, as he put it, "perfectly normal."

I then looked it up and found that the average healthy adult male ranges from 270 to 1070, but that after the age of 30, testosterone tends to decline roughly 1% per year.

I had, of course, secretly been hoping that my number would come in above average, so was a little disappointed to be so middle of the road. I suppose I can still hope that they caught me on a day when I was at low ebb (levels do fluctuate).

Then again, maybe they caught me at high tide.

But, the doctor confirmed what I had always suspected: I am merely average.

In any case, that finding confirms that this is in fact not a ballsy blog, merely an honest one.

23 comments:

Steven said...

I wonder what your son had to say?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Ha, haven't told him yet. Will report back.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Just told him. At first he just said, oh. Then he smiled and said, "Actually, that's surprisingly high for you. Are you sure you didn't slip a testosterone pill into your sample or something?"

Remnant said...

That's actual not a terrible score. Also, it can vary a lot from day to day. Many things you can do to raise it naturally: eat more saturated fat, take cold showers, do resistance training (but don't overtrain), get sun, get sleep, etc. I'm sure you know all that. Check into lifestyle issues that could be inhibiting it (For example, does excessive chlorine exposure affect T levels? I have no idea, but worth researching for someone like you).

The following is a great source for natural* ways to increase testosterone.

http://www.anabolicmen.com/welcome

* I know that the word "natural" is in much dispute in the world of T-boosting. For example, if one has been drinking water from plastic containers one's whole life, is one's testosterone level "natural", and would using TRT really be "unnatural" to undo such effects? Etc. etc.

Remnant said...

Actually, a quick perusal of his site provides some (unwelcome) answers on that question. Check number 5 of the list in the following link.

http://www.anabolicmen.com/testosterone-killers/

John Craig said...

Remnant --
Yes, thank you. I'm actually not concerned, I'm pretty happy with my health overall. And when I had that taken we'd just gotten back from a vacation where I ate a ton of desserts, and I normally avoid sugars, so that could have had an effect as well. And thanks, but I'm aware of the ways to increase testosterone naturally; you just gave a pretty good summary of them. I do overtrain at times, and I haven't tried the cold shower/bath route yet, but maybe I will. Good question about chlorine exposure, I know that has other ill effects, like making you more susceptible to pneumonia, it hadn't occurred to me that it could affect testosterone, but good suggestion.

John Craig said...

Remnant --
WOW. So it turns out all my life I've been de-masculinizing myself. Thank you for that, I'll definitely have to supplement my iodine intake. and maybe spend a little less time in the pool, though I'm pretty much addicted.

Remnant said...

Pretty scary to imagine the beast you would be if it weren't for swimming. :)

He only cites one study for that, and it doesn't strike me as one of the more serious inhibitors. As you note, you can take some action to counter-act it that doesn't involve giving up swimming.

John Craig said...

Remnant --
I appreciate your advice. I actually immediately Googled "Iodine supplements" after reading that link; will order some tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, John. Glad I provided a useful link.

Mark Caplan said...

I thought the significant statistic a man needs to monitor isn't the absolute testosterone level but the ratio of testosterone to estrogen.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Now that you mention it, I think you're right. But the doctor didn't give me that.

And actually, just as I've always suspected that that my testosterone level is average, I've always suspected that my estrogen level is very low (I don't have big muscles, but I'm lean).

Next time I'll ask for that number too. Thank you.

Steven said...

at what time did you get the blood taken?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Around 8:15AM, why?

Steven said...

oh, you probably know its highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. I read that for young people it varies by around 30% throughout the day but at 70 it only varies by 10% so your levels should be relatively constant throughout the day. I guess that means in the evening your levels would be closer to your sons than in the morning.


Not sure how much it varies from day to day or week to week but I imagine quite a lot.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, I'd heard that. Hadn't realized it varied more for young people than old people, though. I'll have it tested again at some point, this time I'll make an effort to raise it by doing all the recommended things.

europeasant said...

I asked my doctor for an additional testosterone level check in addition to the normal blood workup but was told that insurance would not cover that.Insurance would only pay if there were some medical reason like unusual hair growth etc.I only tried steroids once for a six week period and only one pill (Dianabol)a day for six out of 7 days.The effects were considerable, up to a 5 percent increase in strength.I decided after that not to go the drug route.BTW I have heard of people using up to 30 pills a day.

Anonymous said...

Hi John--that's such a general number it's virtually useless. If you took the bound and unbound testosterone along with estrogen and estradiol levels that would tell you infinitely more. Based upon those, your # of 500 or so may be very high, normal, or low depending upon the others. If you don't mind my suggesting this, I would just go to a doc who already understands this stuff. That said, I would agree with one of your respondents who said that the intense swimming might be influencing testosterone levels to the downside. But given that you'll probably not change your lifestyle anyway, why bother. PS-my total testosterone is well 1000 but balanced by other things, fyi. Brian

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
I don't know whether mine was covered as part of the yearly checkup, I guess I'll find out soon enough.

did you notice any unwanted side effects from the Dianabol? Was there a period of "withdrawal" afterwards? did you notice an increase in sex drive during the six weeks, and a decrease afterward?

Thirty pills a day, my goodness. I have to admit, for all that I criticize athletes who cheat by taking steroids, I've always been curious to try them myself. Have never had the courage to pull the trigger, though, and to tell the truth I'd feel like a hypocrite after all the criticisms I've leveled at users. (BTW I have nothing against people who take them for reasons of self-image, as opposed to people who want an unfair edge on their competitors.)

John Craig said...

Brian --
Yikes, over 1000!! I'll definitely feel less manly the next time I bump into you. My doctor actually gave me another number, it may have been the free testosterone number; he said the range was from 40 to 160, and I came out at 90, which I guess is about average for my age.

I have been reading, for a somewhat related reason, about how chlorine and bromine can decrease your testosterone levels, and I swim practically every day. So I'm thinking seriously about changing my workout routine, and cutting the swimming way back, though I'll find that difficult to give up. But I can substitute more running and lifting, etc. And overtraining can also depress your levels, and I do have a tendency to do that.

Justice Forvectim said...

High testosterone levels in women are associated with sociopathy and psychopathy. I'm not sure about men's levels.

John Craig said...

Justice Forvectim --
My guess is that there's a slight positive correlation. Guys with more testosterone tend to be more aggressive, and less easy to socialize. That has something to do with why there have been thought to be higher rates of sociopathy among men than women. (Though I have my doubts about the standard 1% vs. 3% figures.)

Justice Forvectim said...

I definitely have my doubts about those statistics as well...