It is the biggest craze these days amongst us health freaks to go and get our bloodwork done. This is an amazing trend as it gives us a greater insight into the workings of our bodies and tells us whether we are in the physical health that we presumed we were. It is important to remember that these measurements are just one part of the equation when it comes to your body and its unique physiology. One such measurement that is quite popular is that of our testosterone levels, here are some reasons why you should second guess what that number truly means:
1.) Androgen receptor sensitivity:
For any hormone to exert its effect, it first needs to bind to a receptor, this whole process is often referred to as a lock and key mechanism. Everyone’s receptors came genetically coded with a particular sensitivity to certain hormones. If the receptor is not very receptive to a particular hormone, it won’t exert its effects very effectively. You could have the highest testosterone level known to man but still have symptoms of low testosterone due to faulty receptors.
2.) Sex Hormone Binding Globulin:
This physiological component was designed to capture any free-roaming sex hormones within the bloodstream to regulate their release. Problems come in when this component becomes too high and starts greatly affecting the levels of free testosterone circulating within your bloodstream. Only free testosterone can exert its effects upon the body, the testosterone locked up inside SHBG is for all intents and purposes: useless. So again, you can have incredibly high testosterone levels but still, be suffering from the effects of low testosterone due to SHBG being too high. Most modern tests now test for free testosterone as well so that you have a clearer idea of what’s going on.
3.) Derivatives of Testosterone:
Many people do not know this, but Estrogen is made in men by using testosterone as a base. This also works the same way for DHT by of course using a different enzyme to break down testosterone. If your testosterone count looks low, then also get your estradiol (estrogen) and DHT checked to make sure that the problem isn’t due to overactive enzymes nuking your test for the production of these derivatives.
Measurement of Testosterone is often not enough to get a good picture of what is going on, it may be more expensive but opting to get tested for the other things in this article will help you derive a more definitive conclusion on your endocrine health status.