Most testosterone hormone is transported through the blood via special carrier proteins known as albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). When the carrier proteins with testosterone on board get to tissues that need testosterone, they will release testosterone so it can perform its functions. In addition to testosterone bound to carrier proteins, a small portion of the total testosterone hormone is known as bioavailable, or free, testosterone as it circulates unattached or loosely attached to the carrier proteins. This particular total testosterone test measures the total amount of testosterone attached to albumin and SHBG and bioavailable and reports it as one testosterone test result.
So, how does one ensure that testosterone levels remain in balance? Some doctors suggest that monitoring testosterone levels every five years, starting at age 35, is a reasonable strategy to follow. If the testosterone level falls too low or if the individual has the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels described above, testosterone therapy can be considered. However, once testosterone therapy is initiated, testosterone levels should be closely monitored to make sure that the testosterone level does not become too high, as this may cause stress on the individual, and high testosterone levels may result in some of the negative problems (described previously) seen.