Most people know that testosterone is the main hormone needed for male puberty, but it also affects many organs and tissues in both men AND women including the brain, bone, muscles, fat distribution (which is why it is a marker for our metabolism test), the vascular system, sexual function, genital tissues and organs, and overall energy levels. Finding out what your testosterone levels are is a great way to discover more insight about your health.
Testosterone is found in our bodies in two forms: Free and Bound. The Free Testosterone can be measured in blood or saliva, the bound testosterone (called Total Testosterone) currently can only be measured in blood. Someone can actually calculate their free testosterone by measuring their total testosterone and measuring the protein that it is bound to, called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) - you would take the total testosterone minus the SHBG and calculate the free testosterone. The MAJORITY of testosterone is bound to SHBG, but it is the free testosterone that is considered the "active hormone" and the one used to check for issues that may be related to high or low levels of testosterone (ie. male infertility, decreased sex drive, erection problems, metabolism issues, energy issues, etc.).
There are certain conditions that can alter the levels of SHBG, which is why it is best to always check a comprehensive testosterone profile when trying to make a medical diagnosis (free, total, and SHBG). Our testosterone panel only tests for free testosterone due to the fact that (in men), the free testosterone is clinically significant for causing symptoms of either high or low testosterone levels. Total testosterone levels are irrelevant for determining bio-available testosterone in a man's body.
EverlyWell can help men identify if their testosterone levels are lower than the common range. If testosterone levels are low, there are many ways, through activity, diet, and occasionally medications in consultation with your health providers, that you can improve these levels, and therefore improve your athletic and sexual performance, mood, and overall health.