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Normal Testosterone Levels

What is considered a "normal" testosterone level for a healthy 45 year old man?  I have been suffering from a variety of symptoms consistent with low testosterone: low sex drive, lack of morning erections, less intensity during ejaculation, less hard erections, irritability, etc..  I had my doctor run blood tests and everything came back normal.  Testosterone was 257 on a scale of 241 - 800.  Doctor says this is normal and will not consider hormone treatments.  The only medication I take is a statin, which has lowered my cholestorol to normal levels.  I am not overweight, nor do I feel depressed.  This has become a major quality of life issue, as my wife is feeling somewhat undeisrable and neglected. I'm not ready to give up on a healthy sex life, but now that my doctor has determined thal all is "normal," I'm not sure what my next step is.  I have unable to find a chart that lists normal testosterone levels by age.  I'm hoping that if I could find some evidence of what I suspect (that my testosterone is indeed low) then I might be able to convince my doctor to consider treating me.  Can you help?
204 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
      Thanks for writing in. What you may consider normal testosterone levels for
one person, may be different for another. As when you age, your testosterone requirements can change over time. The typical male testosterone level is between 250ng/dl to 850 ng/dl. In a 45 year old man normal testosterone levels are around 600 ng/dl.

Discuss with your doctor regarding the symptoms you have and ask for a hormone replacement therapy.
Best.

Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.  I have discussed this with my doctor and he maintains that my number (257) is normal and that no hrt is necessary.  I was hoping to find a study or a medical reference or a medical chart that listed normal testosterone levels by age so that I could go back to him with that and convince him to treat me.  Any suggestions?
Avatar universal
Hi,
     How are you? I can understand your situation, but I would suggest that you discuss with your doctor regarding, why he does not want HRT for you. In some patient’s with obesity, treating obesity itself resolves the condition, but it takes time and is a safer method. Also, check the link provided below for age related testosterone levels chart and other information.
http://www.mens-hormonal-health.com/normal-testosterone-levels.html
Avatar universal
Thank you.  I will take the chart and talk to him about why is doesn't want to treat me.  I am not overweight, so that isn't the issue.  If he still declines to treat me, what sort of doctor should I see next - a urologist or an endocrinologist?
873425 tn?1241623977
First, I'm not a doctor so take this as 2 cents worth from a fellow patient.  From what I've read what is normal Testosterone levels and what is considered treatable has changed a bit in the last couple of years.  There are some good references out there that may help you understand what the current thinking is.

Google the AACE Guidelines to Male Hypogonadism.  This is a little bit dated but I think if you want hard technical information on this condition that will be a good reference.  Its not easy reading however.  If you want a book that is geared for the patient I liked "The Testosterone Syndrome" by Dr E. Shrippen.  He writes in an easy to read style that I think you will enjoy.

As to what is normal.  The doctor is correct.  Age plays a factor.  Download the Age vs (Average) Testosterone chart in the Files area.

If you look it over you will see that at your level it would be "normal" but you would need to be over 100 years old!  Not good.  The average normal level at your age is  over 600 ng/dL and the current thinking from the AACE guidelines is that levels under 325 ng/dL are the new treatment (or further diagnosis at least) indicated.  If you have symptoms be sure your doctor knows about them because this is a piece they need to know.

Try to find out if your form of Hypogonadism is primary or secondary.  If you have testicular failure there are a variety of treatments that will work (Androgel, Androderm, Testim, Injectable Testosterone etc)  If the failure is the control signals to the testes they can try a variety of meds to try to kick start them into function but they should try to figure out why these hormone signals are not present.  

Be proactive!  Keep on this and work with your doctor.  Don't be afraid to read up about this and share what you find.  But DO remember that what you read on the Internet in particular may not be medical fact.

- James
Avatar universal
I went through the exact same thing. My test level was 218 and I am 35 years old. Lots of good and accurate advice given so far on this message string. But, one thing you may want to look into that hasn't been mentioned is the possibility of a pituitary tumor. Yes, it is a type of brain tumor, but don't freak out. I found out that I had one and that it was the culprit behind my problems. Get an MRI done. If it comes back clean, then I would start researching the hrt and the possibility of hypogonadism. But, if you do have a tumor, get it removed. There are other complications other than low testosterone that the tumor can do. My surgery was done through the nose, and I was out of the hospital in 5 days. Unfortunately, my tumor caused permanent damage to my pituitary and I ended up having to be on hrt. But, I was lucky enough to save my eyesight. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I know what your going thru. I'm a 44 yr old male. My libdo had gone to nothing and my wife was feeling un loved and i thought i was going crazy. Because i always enjoyed sex. So i got blood tested and my level was 125. So i ask to beput on test. We started with andro gel 10mg for about 3 months and i was tested again . I had not noctice any change and my level was 150. So i ask for the injections and we started at 1cc of 200 mg depo test a month. I did it for two months and just went back this monday for blood work and my testosterone level had dropped to 135! So nw he pu me on 1cc every two weeks. I will make sure i ask them to check my glands out! I know he felt around and looked up my nose and throat,bu no MRI was done. But Ed i know what your going thru, Low test cause alot more problems than just sexual.It seems im tired , with no entergy all the time. But to look at me you'd think im a very healthy guy. Not over weight at all. He thinks my problem may stem from a terrible Motorcycle accident i was in 9-1-04 that has caused me to have over 50 operations . The last being 10-08. So if you've had any serious broken bones or head injuries it could be a thought. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Hey Rafe. Please tell me more about this connection between the trauma/accident and the low testosterone levels. I'm 47 and very athletic. In May 2008, while I was hiking, a freak gust of wind blew me off a 60-foot cliff. I almost died. I broke 11 ribs in multiple places, pierced both lungs and both lungs collapsed, I shattered my left shoulderblade, crushed my L1 vertebrae, all my transverse processes on the left side of my thoracic spine were sheared off, and had blunt trauma and a laceration to the head. It's a miracle I survived. I'm mostly recovered and am primarily just dealing with the chronic pain from all that my body went through. Was doing a lot better until about three months ago (May 2009) when I started having a set of symptoms that just debilitated me. I spent half of June in bed with extreme fatigue/exhaustion; difficulty concentrating, focusing and thinking; terrible headaches; nausea and dizziness; and a general feeling of being "unwell." My primary care physician didn't know what was going on, so I switched PCPs. The new guy ordered an MRI of my head to rule out a brain tumor (the results only showed "cerebral atrophy consistent with a 47-year-old male" ... jeez) but he noticed that my thyroid/pituitary readings were out of whack and he couldn't figure out why, so he sent me to an endocrinologist, who I saw yesterday and who re-tested my TSH and T4 and found my thyroid/pituitary readings back to normal. But he also tested my testosterone and my total testosterone was 169 (normal is 175-781, and as one of the guys in this thread pointed out, guys our age should have testosterone readings around 600). We're waiting for my "free" vs. "bound" testosterone reading to come back (it won't be in for another week), but I'm wondering why my testosterone is so low. You and I are both around the same age, with similar test. readings, and we both have the tired/no energy thing going on (even though we look healthy). My interest is in this connection between trauma (your motorcycle accident/operations and my fall off the cliff) and our bodies' low testosterone production. Please keep me informed of anything more you find out about that connection between trauma and low testosterone.

Also, have you been taking a narcotic to treat your pain from the accident and operations? I've been taking oxycodone for over a year now, and I'm wondering if there's a connection between narcotic usage for chronic pain and suppressed testosterone production.

Avatar universal
WoW. Guys, I have just one thing to say. GET ANOTHER DOCTOR. Do not let "your doctor" play God in your life. He's someone elses Dr also, so there no reason for you to have him/her as your only Doctor. I had low T, 157 and for TWO YEARS, I got all the blah blah blah that I see in this post. The biggest issue with Low T (under 300 total) is finding the right doctor. DO's rather than MD's seem to know better. Get on this moderated Group and find out the truth.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hypogonadism2/summary
Avatar universal
To Rafe44 & Christompher47. I know for a FACT that anyone taking opioid narcotic pain medicin for an extended period of time will have an extremely HIGH chance of having Low Test. I have been seeing a pain specialist for over 4 years now. My monthly pain meds include 15x100mg fentanyl + 60 Opana ER 40mg pills(these ar a little over twice the strength of "2" 80mg Oxycotin), 120 Percocets & mucsle relaxer. My Pain doc recently tested my test and it was 164. I am 32 years ol 6ft 3in tall, weigh 220 lbs, played college football, ^& am in decent shape considering I have just started excericising again after 10 years(VERY light exercise). My pain doc told me that ANYONE who has been on pain killers for an extended period of time will more than likely have low T when tested. He has just put me on this med called andro gel. Have not picked up from pharmacy yet and tried though. I had depression (did not know it until i started taking webutrin to stop smoking and just kind of woke up one morning with a little brighter outlook on life), not as strong erections, tired ll of the time, not alot of enjoyment out of life,etc. Still have a decent sexdrive, but not as strong as once before. will keep posted on how gel works.
Avatar universal
I had my testosterone recently checked and it came back at 236, I am 40 years old.  I have steatohepatitus (according to liver biopsy done in June) enlarged spleen (mri), enlarged lymph nodes (visually noticable), (hiv neg, had test done several times)(hep a,b,c ..ect came back clean).  I have constant diehrea, abdominal pains, NO energy, I get dizzy a lot with any slight movement, I can sleep 10 hrs at night and get up to do things around the house and be ready to go back to bed within 20 minutes of getting up.  I am starting to have really bad depression because of the doctors telling me there is nothing wrong with me out of one side of their mouth then tell me all this other stuff at the same time!!
I told my Family dr that I have been falling down the stairs when I attmept to go downstairs, his comment "well things happen quickly" .. like what the hell is that supposed to mean?  My billiruben was 2.14 in June (had blood work for a life ins policy - which was denied) and then last month it went up to 2.4..  If there is nothing wrong with me, why is it I got denied for a 20k life insurance policy due to my medical history? and why is it that I am so tired all the time? I am wondering what it is they are NOT telling me.  and I applied for SSDI twice and was turned down both times, I am appealing it this time.  I have no clue what to do at this point.
Avatar universal
I am a LOT less tired after starting treatments, where my T was tested at 168!!! I now feel like King Kong, and am back to working out and nearing the physical conditioning I had 10 years ago. Life, including my sexual functions, are night and day. I am able to run again, lift weights without fatiguing too easily, and am losing weight.

For anyone who is low on the normal range, I encourage you to look into trying this therapy. Of course you should consult with a proper physician. If you get a 'no' answer, see another. I connected with a urologist after being told I didn't need this by my internal med doctor, and can relate many examples where I had legitimate conditions where doctors swore I had no problem. It took five to find one who could feel my hernias, for example ... three of them. I knew my body, and I knew they were there.

And I agree ... there's a range ... try this and see where it 'feels right'.  

It's changing my life in six months, after feeling like dogcrap for at least 10.
919239 tn?1269394658
Instead of the Andro Gel, I would recommend taking self injections of testosterone. I am no fan of needles, but I found that after taking about 3 injections that it is painless and a fraction of the cost of the gel or testosterone patches. One excellent site to check is  thehiddendisease.com. I especially like the patient interviews. Well worth a look.
Avatar universal
I have been told I have low test levels, I am 24 years old. I still want to have kids, and all so I am thinking of holding off, but my doctor seems set on the gels and from my research do not really wanna go down the gel road. Any advice? Also will I see any growth, or balding or gyno? I figured not because I am just bringing my test levels up to a normal level. One thing though is he hasn't even discussed what may be causing a otherwise healthy 24 yr male to have this problem.
Avatar universal
My husband has had low T since he was 19.  The injections work the best, although he hated the needles so he went to Testim.  There should eventually be a new drug coming called AVEED. This used to be Nebido. My husband was on the clinical trial and I cired when they took him off of it. 1 shot every 3 months. Worked miracles! One thing to remember, if you don't take your medicine, you not only will have no sex drive, but it effects your mood also. Please do not forget your wife!!!  She is suffering right along with you. I can't tell you how many times I cried because my husband isn't "normal"!! Men are supposed to chase their wives for sex and when they don't...we think something is wrong! If my husband even misses 1 dose of his medicine, I can tell. The other thing to remember is, your body is not producing hormones. A normal body would. So, you work out, work hard labor, run, jog, whatever...your body uses that testosterone up. A normal body,  no problem just make more...guys with this problem...not so simple. Then you are a little low.  With my husband being a construction worker this is an issue. He's on 2 tubes of testim a day. 2 boxes of this stuff a month because he works hard labor everyday.  To this day, (he's 27 now) we have no idea why he has this. He went through puberty fine, we had 2 kids and then bam...no tumor just stopped.  He has gotten hairy from the hormones so if body hair is an issue with you, facial hair, you will grow it out. If you want someone to talk to that knows what you're going through, you or your wife, feel free to email us at ***@****, we'd be glad to help!!
Avatar universal
Am 22 year old ex College Baseball player, had gotten testicular cancer and underwent removal of one testie and chemo, since then low energy, depression, lack of concentration, no drive for work out, muscle growth basically impossible. Got levels tested and my testosterone was 300 which I think is low for my age. What is best product to boost my levels back up?? injections, creams, HGH??? Any advice??

Thank you
Avatar universal
I had all of the same symptoms everybody else had . Tired , grumpy no sex drive ,impossible to work out or get into shape because of fatigue . I had my testosterone checked it was 250 . I am 47 . My doctor said it was normal. A friend of my sent me to a Doc that raises tour testosterone  using bio similar  steroids . No side effects supposedly . He put six pellets in my hip .It's been 3 weeks and I feel terrific . I haven't had my blood test to check my testosterone but I suspect it will be in the six hundred range . I suggest to anyone to have your testosterone level raised  with bio similar steroids. Oh by the way it lasts six months .
Avatar universal
No ones mentioned zinc here. If your deficient in zinc, that would definately cause low testosterone levels. An easy cheap way to check is the zinc taste test. To sum it, you just mix zinc sulphate and water and drop it on your tongue, then count seconds until you taste it. I've also noticed on one here has mentioned the supplument adt. I was taking ADT'
s but didn't get the results I was looking for until I started supplumenting with zinc. With adt's their are no worries about your body cutting it's own production and when you stop taking them, your body just goes back to normal. They are considered safe, but no long term studies have been done yet though the short studies all look good though they do increase your dht levels as well as the testosterone so many people notice side effects like balding, enlarged pituatary gland, and acne so unless you are working out and trying to gain muscle mass, you should probably just try the zinc test.
Avatar universal
not pituatary, they enlarge the prostate gland from the increased dht levels.
Avatar universal
Hi.  I just signed on to make a comment that might help.  Those of you with doctors refusing to bring levels to optimal should really consider seeing another doctor.  Most "Knowledgeable" doc's these days consider anything under 325 or 350 to be too low, and higher than that is typical for younger men and "optimal", not "normal" health.  It's normal to have high cholesterol, too, that doesn't mean it's 'good'.  One thing you might consider looking into....Hormone Pellets.  I know several men AND women taking these in our area, but there are limited practioneers with certification.  Look under Sotto Pelle for info on the internet.  Been used in Europe for years.  Bioidentical hormone pellets (testosterone for men, both testosterone and estrogen avail. for women) injected under the skin produce steady, continuous release of hormone.  Usually lasts 3-6 months depending on person.  Again, limited doc's available, but might be helpful for some of you.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Help...I am very confused.  I've had all of the appearances of being hypothyroid for years (intollerance to cold, absolutely zero excersize ability, can't walk a flight of stairs yet appear healthy 190#'s) yet every year I ask for a thyroid test it comes back the opposite (low TSH, meaning high thyroid) so the docs just tell me not to worry about but my 20 years of fatigue have been exhausting.  Now, at age 42 I got tested as we are trying to have a baby.  Everything checked out on that but they checked my testosterone and it just came back at (44).  It looks like that is a really low number.  Since my count is very good I am confused.  I didn't get checked in the morning, but it still seems like a testosterone number of 44 is  low enough that I should follow up on.  I am searching the boards and don't see anything about guys with a number like this,  Should I do anything about it or just not worry?
Avatar universal
You guys are way off. The only meaningful measure of testosterone is bioavailable testosterone, i.e. the "free" testosterone that  is unbound to sex steroid binding globulin. All of the above posts speak only of the "total" testosterone, which is a useless figure. You could be oozing with total testosterone and still be deficient if you also have high levels of binding globulin. Normal levels of bioavailable testosterone are 2.00 to 8.60 nmol/L. That's it. Everything else is irrelevant.
Avatar universal
I think most of you guys should consider seeing a sicologist (this people are doctors too, and can help in a field where others can't) and keep your md because he actually cares for you and knows that anything foreign or synthetic to the human body may have side effects I am 40 at 252 and I take care of my wife 3 or more times/week with no problem and as far as energy are you guys eating healthy or do you guys think hamburgers are a good source of energy for a highly efficient machine as your body is.  We all have many things to do that actually make us forget that life goes by quickly and we should enjoy every minute of it as if it's the only life we have, yes just being a little sarcastic, hope it works.  My two cents. Lets try to always see the glass half full and not half empty, if you guys are writing here and there that means you actually have energy and are motivated to try and help your self and others to feeling better at least by socializing, so take the same steps you take on the internet and live life outside your door, believe it,being around people brings out lots of energy.
Avatar universal
I am 38 years old and 3 years ago I went to the doctor complaining of low energy, feeling lethargic, depression. Basically I felt like I had the flu but no sneezing or coughing of fever. My doctor did my blood work and found my test level to be 133. We tried the patches I felt a little better but I sweat a lot and they would fall off during work or while coaching my sons baseball team. I hated the gel because I sleep without a shirt and had to put the gel on at night. I asked my doctor for injections and she didn't feel comfortable prescribing them. She suggested I see an endocrinologist. I put it off for a year and when I could not take it any more I went to a male doctor who is a GP. He is very well studied in HRT and when I asked for injections he prescribed them no questions asked. He told me start at 1cc every other week. I took my first injection and with in hours started feeling better. After a week I could tell I just wasnt there yet. I went to 1cc every week and was tested again. My levels were in the mid 400 range. Seeing as I started working out again I wanted my levels to be on the upper end of the safe scale. I wanted to take advantage of the product I am using and am now taking 1.5 cc every week and my levels are currently in the 900 range and my doctor said that I was fine. The problem with taking Testosterone Ciponate at this level is the water retention and bloating. My blood pressure has always run a little hi and so I am now on blood pressure medicine with a diuretic to loose the water weight. I admit I need to drop some weight and have changed my diet dramatically and can see my new muscle is burning off the fat. I plan on maintaining my current intake of Test and increasing my cardio and reducing my sodium to get my blood pressure down. I would say not to be scared of injections and stay at 1cc a week max. You will feel like a 20 year old again soon and any side effects will be minimal because you a getting back to normal levels. Take advantage of the product you are taking and start a light free weight work out just remember you joints need to catch up to your new found strength.
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