Home / Hormones / Free testosterone: what is it, function and males

Determination of free testosterone in men and its standards

Total testosterone is the combination of three fractions (three States). It can be bound to albumin (about 23 to 63 %), globulin of SHBG (approximately 33-73 %) and free (1-2 %). Free testosterone is called the active androgen is produced in men in the testes and do not interact with proteins.


Hormone in free form is an important "character", as it is responsible for the functioning of the genital organs and the formation of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. That's why it's so important to monitor its level (where the deviation of the free hormone, the overall level may remain normal).

Indicating deviations

Symptoms of deficiency of free testosterone are:

  • degeneration of muscle tissue;
  • fragility of the bone tissue;
  • violation of metabolic processes leading to obesity;
  • violation of water-salt balance;
  • an increase in breast glands men;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • increased sweating and shortness of breath;
  • depression, panic attacks, manic-depressive psychosis;
  • neurological disorders (migraine, high blood pressure, including intracranial pressure).

If time does not respond to deviations from normal levels of free testosterone, it could cause the rapid development of serious diseases (that is itself elevated or lowered level does not cause these diseases, but he provokes them and contributes to the overall complication of the condition):

  • heart disease;
  • asthma and other respiratory illnesses;
  • hypertension;
  • obesity;
  • impotence;
  • infertility;
  • diabetes;
  • atherosclerosis.

In these diseases the excess of free testosterone exerts the main effect, that is, its excess in the blood is the root cause for the development of the disease:

  1. Testosteronproduktion tumors of the testes.
  2. Virilizing tumor of the adrenal gland.
  3. Hirsutism.

Lack of free testosterone causes the following diseases in men:

  • Primary hypogonadism (underdeveloped testes).
  • Syndrome Kleinfelter.
  • The Syndrome Itsenko-Kushinga.
  • Secondary hypogonadism (testicular cancer).

To prevent the occurrence of these diseases, it is important to react promptly to the symptoms of impaired secretion of male sex hormones. To check the level of free testosterone can be in any hospital or diagnostic center – it will have to take a blood sample and to calculate the level of total, bound and free testosterone. If a deviation is detected, the doctor will prescribe a special diet (with low variance), will prescribe the necessary drugs or send you for surgery.

Why it becomesmore or less

Raised or lowered levels of free testosterone in the blood of men due to both internal (due to diseases) and external causes (due to poor lifestyle).

Most often, the deviation from the norm occurs due to disease of the thyroid gland or testes (for example, tumors of these glands). Changing hormone levels may begin when an unbalanced diet, wrong mode of the day, lack of activity.

There are a number of diseases, a symptom of which is the increase or decrease amounts of free testosterone. For example, increased levels of unbound hormones can cause hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex, also called Androsterone. Manifested pathology in boys at puberty.

Methods of testing

There are five major ways how to install free testosterone – norm or the deviation.

A little comparison of techniques

Name analysis

The prevalence in hospitals



Equilibrium dialysis of blood

Offered in a small number of clinics

Very high

Average price

Radioimmunoassay of blood (RIA)

Offered by many clinics


Budget analysis

The ultracentrifuge forces blood

Offered in a small number of clinics

Very high

Budget analysis

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (drawing blood through a vein)

Is offered by almost all clinics

Very high

Average price

Detection of free testosterone in the saliva of the patient

Offered by many clinics

Very high

Average price

Normal levels healthy men

By itself free testosterone impossible to isolate. It is calculated as the difference after subtraction of the number of associated hormone of total testosterone. The remainder obtained by the calculation, is called "free testosterone index".

The volume, which is considered a normal amount of free testosterone boy or man



Calculation rules, µg/l

up to 1 month.


1-5 months.


6-12 months.


1-6 years


7-12 years


13-17 years

Of 0.28–11.1 V

18-50 years


> 50 years


Elevated levels

If in the calculation it was noticed a slight increase in free testosterone, as a rule, treatment is restricted diet. Primarily because diet excludes products containing starch. Meat is consumed in limited quantities. The emphasis is on the salty foods and foods that contain phytoestrogens (soybeans, red grapes, flax seed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, kvass, beer). A little snijaet testosterone daily Jogging and walking in the fresh air (at least 3 km a day).

If the increase in free testosterone associated with a tumor of the adrenal glands, then the treatment will be surgical. After surgery, hormone level begins to stabilize. Excessive synthesis of androgenic hormones suspended drug containing luteinizing hormone. It inhibits function of the pituitary and decreases the secretion of gonadotropins.

Lowered value

If the calculation found a small deficiency of free testosterone, you can take the following measures for improving it:

  • More exercise. To focus on weight training (no matter what) – it stimulates the release of hormone into the bloodstream.
  • Avoid stress, try to sleep regularly to relax in a nervous situation and, if excessive fatigue occurs cortisol, which inhibits the secretion of male hormone.
  • Go on a healthy diet. Give preference to foods low in fat, high in fiber. Carbohydrates are consumed sparingly. Better to get them from fruits and vegetables, but pasta, cereals and bread is best removed from the diet.

With a critical shortage of free testosterone, the doctor prescribes the male replacement therapy, which involves the introduction of artificial hormone. It can be injectables (injections made every day, 1-2 times a week or less – depending on the deviation of the index from the norm), granules (capsule with the drug is sewn under the skin of men), drugs in pill or hormonal patches.

Unrelated to testosterone protein is very important for men. A deviation from the norm immediately provokes the development of diseases of many systems. More common disadvantage is not associated with protein male hormone. But there are cases and its overabundance. When the first symptoms of rejection should beto go to the hospital, get tested and determine free testosterone index. If a breach is confirmed, immediately begin treatment prescribed by the doctor drugs – this will allow time to bring hormonal balance back to normal.