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Urology/What is a TRUE and honest low testosterone level?


I got my test results back today from my Dr after 3 years of EXTREME lack of energy, zero sex drive or interest in sex at sex with another person or even masturbation, weight gain around the midsection and of course "man boobs"(on my charts it shows that in the 3 years I've been going to this Dr's office I've gone from 171 to 216 at one point, but down to a slim 208 now haha) after being a fairly well built guy for my age(I just turned 57 a couple weeks ago), my muscle mass has turned to mush, my penis and testicles have both shrunk significantly as well during this time, loss of body hair, I get times where I feel very hot in spite of sitting only about 3 feet from the A/C vent, when I used to be active walking miles at a time out in the woods, camping, fishing, hunting among other things, I now have no ambition or desire to do anything much at all, I can't concentrate, my memory is VERY spotty, I'm depressed a lot(wonder why?), irritable and confrontational at times which isn't my normal nature at all and I want to sleep a LOT! but with no particular sleep pattern, I just wear out easy and sleep until I wake up. I don't care what time it is. I had a friend till up my garden spot, I got it planted and that's about all I did. It simply wore me out after just 15-20 minutes and eventually the weeds took over and I got NOTHING from the garden except a lot of wasted money that went into healthy non GMO, heirloom seeds that went into it. Actually, I don't even feel like going outside much anymore, and when I DO have to leave, I just want to do whatever it is I've got to do, be it a Dr's appt, pick up a prescription, or buy groceries, and get back home asap. I don't even have friends over anymore except for in the driveway, but not inside the house, and have "No Trespassing" signs around my yard to keep other people away. I don't even answer the phone unless I know who it is first and actually want to talk to them. Having said all THAT, I'm actually a nice guy who holds a door for people, is polite most of the time, and when I have a very rare day that's "good", I'll talk your ears off, make jokes and cut up like nothings wrong at all, but those times are rare and getting moreso all the time.          Back to the "man boobs", I mentioned to the Dr. I had at the time, that they were tender and my right one had a lump in it, which she felt, but did nothing including writing notes concerning it.(The office now has a place on the internet so you can see all of the results of visits, tests, all notes, etc. So, back to my T level. I don't know what lab did the work since the Dr's office closes early on Fridays and sent the lab work results to my email just before they closed. It said my level was at 371, and the "normal" range was anywhere between 348 and 1197 and I was just fine! ?? Naturally I've looked all over the web and found a dozen different levels of "normal" T. From the charts I've seen, the lab used the most basic and standard testing since I live in a very rural county and the results were back in 2 days after the blood test was done late Wed. afternoon and back Friday am. Quite a few sites I found said that 371 WAS within the normal range, but it was a low normal and men in that range should seek hormone treatment, some said it was LOW! and others said it was very average, so I'm very confused with the symptoms I've been struggling with for 3 years and the results from the test that I actually had to suggest, since they weren't doing anything to help! I don't use cane sugar(I use local honey) or drink caffeinated drinks even though they'd give me SOME short term energy, but then the crash that'd come afterward which I don't want, as a former sous chef I eat well, I stay thoroughly hydrated even though I rarely sweat, take a good multivitamin, a B Complex and 500mg of vitamin C in addition, drink Aloe Vera juice sparingly as a supplement and NOTHING still seems to make a difference and I'm honestly at my wits end. Maybe I should just find another Dr that'll take the time and effort to figure out what's going on if it's not low testosterone causing all this, and I think I want a second test done as well. What would be your thoughts on this, all things considered? ANY suggestions would be GRATEFULLY appreciated! Thanks for your time!


You can't compare laboratory results from one lab to another so looking it up on the internet, at least for testosterone, is not reliable.

Your levels were technically within the normal range, but that doesn't mean you couldn't have a problem.  In most labs, a total testosterone level of 300 or more is acceptable but each lab has a different range so you can't compare them.

As to have a morning level checked.  If this is also OK, then your problem is elsewhere.  The most likely causes would be low blood count, diabetes, depression or low thyroid function.  Most of these can also be checked with a blood test. If you are not getting anywhere with your current physician, get a second opinion from another.  Good luck.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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