Can you boost testosterone without taking testosterone? Yes, you can. Why might you want to consider that? There are two reasons why you might want to consider using testosterone boosters. Consider this scenario first.
You’re fatigued and occasionally nap during the day. Your wife or girlfriend says you are moody and easily irritable. You’ve gained some weight despite no change in your diet or physical activity. You don’t feel mentally crisp. You have a hard time completing a workout at your usual intensity. Your motivation to do anything is down. Plus your libido is down and you suffer from erectile dysfunction from time to time. In short, you have the classic symptoms of low testosterone or androgen deficiency. You go to the doctor thinking your testosterone is low.
Your doctor agrees that you have symptoms to suggest low T and checks your testosterone level and says “your testosterone levels are normal so it’s not low T.” But he cannot give you a good explanation as to why you feel like you do outside suggesting you might be depressed and “you are getting old.”
The above scenario is not uncommon though a male may not have all those symptoms just listed. But many men have symptoms of androgen deficiency despite having “normal” testosterone levels. At the end of the day you want to know your actual testosterone level not just that it is normal or not because “normal” is not necessarily healthy.
What do you do if you have normal testosterone levels but symptoms of low T? Most doctors will not treat you with testosterone if you have a normal testosterone level even if you have every symptom of it in the book, though we disagree with that closed-minded approach.
Symptoms of low testosterone in the face of normal testosterone levels means you are a candidate for some type of testosterone booster. In other words, you will likely benefit from some compound or lifestyle change that will enhance your natural production of testosterone.
What is a Normal Testosterone Level?
Before we get into that there are couple things you need to understand that many physicians do not understand. First, you need to understand what “normal” means when it comes to testosterone. Secondly, you need to understand that “normal” does not mean healthy or optimal.
The reference range for total testosterone is quite broad typically 300 ng/dl to 1000 ng/dl in most labs. The various techniques to measure testosterone are not nearly as accurate as they need to be and labs can have a margin of error of 5% to 10%. Studies show that you can take a blood sample from a patient and have testosterone levels measured in several labs simultaneously using the same sample of blood and can see a 30% variation in the testosterone levels reported.
Couple that with normal day to day fluctuations of testosterone levels resulting from day to day changes in diet or sleep and other factors and getting a handle on what your real testosterone level is rather challenging.
In essence, the reference range for testosterone is not based on any science or evidence. It is an arbitrarily established range in which 95% of the male population is automatically considered to have normal levels and only 2.5% are considered low. And, guess what? Another 2.5% have levels “too high” yet no doctor ever suggests they should lower their levels.
But, here’s what we know based on medical evidence. Several observational studies have shown that testosterone levels at least above 550 ng/dl and preferably even high as high as 650 mg/dl are associated with lower rates of heart disease and cancer and better quality of life. So a good case can be made that 550 ng/dl should be the minimal level for testosterone for most men. Now 550 ng/dl is not even the mid point in the reference range, but 650 ng/dl is.
Many physicians simply look at where your testosterone level is in relation to the reference range in making a decision whether to treat a male or not. But, most physicians who specialize in hormone treatment typically recommend hormone levels in the upper half of the reference as other studies on other hormones show better quality of life and less chronic disease with hormone levels in the upper half of the reference range. This is true for women, too. Another way to look it at is this way. A normal – meaning healthy – testosterone for you is the minimum level at which you do not have symptoms of androgen deficiency. And, that will vary from man to man.
Even if your doctor is reluctant to treat you with testosterone replacement there are testosterone boosters to get your testosterone above the 650 ng/dl threshold (or closer to it) and alleviate your symptoms.
Here is the second reason to consider testosteorne booster. More and more insurance companies will not cover the costs of testosterone replacement therapy unless you have levels below 300 ng/dl. So even if your physician will treat you because you have symptoms of low T despite having “normal” testosterone levels you may have to pay out of pocket for treatment. That’s another reason why trying testosterone boosters might be appealing.
So what are these testosterone boosters? That we will save for the next article.