Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
138 Doctors are Online

Is a free testosterone test conclusive for treatment?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1663 Questions
Is having a low result on a test of free testosterone enough to warrent treatment or should I ask for a total testosterone test first?
Posted Mon, 18 Aug 2014 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 4 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Free testosterone as a blood test is reliable only when done by a method called 'Equilibrium dialysis'. Few laboratories use this method. So check with yours to see of this technique was deployed.

If not, there is an indirect way to estimate free testosterone in the blood. This requires the following three blood tests:

Total testosterone
SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin)

Then there are free online calculators that allow you make this conversion after plugging in these values.

The normal range for free testosterone can vary a bit from lab to lab but a lower limit cut off 5.7 to 6.5 is generally acceptable.

Furthermore, the timing of the blood sample for total and free testosterone measurements is important. It is best drawn before 9 am. Fasting is not necessary.

Interpreting testosterone lab reports is not as straightforward as reading the numbers. A host of clinical symptoms and signs are required to put the numerical value in perspective. This entails a systematic assessment in person by an endocrinologist, including a detailed history and thorough physical examination, followed by further tests such as
Free T4

These are just examples of tests that may be considered by the treating physician based upon findings of other basic tests.

Free testosterone is the actually active testosterone in the body. However, for many years total testosterone has been studied and hence there is more experience and familiarity in reporting total testosterone in general.

But free testosterone is increasingly becoming standard of care for testing and diagnosing 'Androgen deficiency in Males'
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is a free testosterone test conclusive for treatment? 51 minutes later
Thanks, which sub-specialty of doctor should I consult about getting this more fully investigated in person? I think i want to get the total testoterone blood teat done and work with someone who understands low t fully (if i have it. Im guessing an endocrineologist?)
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
Yes, Endocrinologists are best equipped to understand and manage this condition. You may also want to think of what gender of the doctor you would be more comfortable discussing these issues with
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Endocrinologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor