Your Testosterone Levels

What Causes Abnormal Testosterone Levels?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of abnormal testosterone levels we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow abnormal testosterone levels to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind abnormal testosterone levels consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to abnormal testosterone levels.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Male Hypogonadism
  • Zinc Need
  • Premature Aging
  • Low Progesterone

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
discontinued prednisone use
water retention before menstruation
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
increased focal length
slow reaction time
painful menstrual cramps
past calcium-based antacid use
elevated basophil count
many white spots on fingernails
weak sexual desire
unpleasant smell sensations
reduced sense of taste
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal testosterone levels:
Cause Probability Status
Zinc Need 90% Confirm
Low Progesterone 24% Unlikely
Premature Aging 1% Ruled out
Male Hypogonadism 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
What are your testosterone levels when you are not using supplemental testosterone?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Extremely low
→ Reduced (low)
→ Normal
→ Elevated
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate confirmed low testosterone levels, confirmed normal testosterone levels or confirmed high testosterone levels, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

Testosterone is converted into estrogen naturally.  When this conversion is overactive the result is too little testosterone and too much estrogen.  High levels of estrogen also trick the brain into thinking that enough testosterone is being produced, thereby reducing the natural production of testosterone.

Zinc Requirement

(This relationship of testosterone levels to zinc status does not apply to women.)

Studies support the use of zinc supplementation in the treatment of low sperm count especially in the presence of low testosterone levels.  Both sperm count and testosterone levels rose in men with initially low testosterone levels.  Zinc status should be evaluated in men with decreased serum testosterone levels.  [Nutrition Report, September-October, 1996;14(7): p.52]

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