I'd like to start a topic on a most frequently asked question! Testing your T levels and HGH

Many times I've seen individuals make it clear that they cycle but seem to lack an understanding about getting bloods and it's importance, especially beginners and even advanced users for that matter..
So I gathered some information that will provide the basic essentials with covering the following -
How to read normal bloods,where to get bloods, and how to read a chart..

It's vital to know where you stand before a cycle, during and after,especial comparing numbers and keeping a record, time and dates and what compounds where used!

It's crucial to get a blood analysis, pre cycle, midway (5 weeks into cycle/blast) and post cycle (4-6 weeks after PCT is complete for optimal results..
I also suggest getting bloods in the morning AM hrs, when test levels are at peak..

I also added some additional info in regards to testing HGH serum levels.

What’s a “Normal” Testosterone Level and How to Measure Your Testosterone! (At the bottom is the additional info on testing HGH serum levels)
Today we’ll be taking a look at what’s considered a normal testosterone level and how you can get your testosterone levels tested. As I began researching testosterone levels and hormone testing for this series, I quickly learned that there’s a lot of conflicting and confusing information out there — some websites will say that “X” is a normal testosterone level, while another website says “Y” is the ideal range. Even medical labs give conflicting numbers on what’s a normal testosterone level.

Why so much confusion?

The problem is that there hasn't been much standardization in hormone testing, particularly regarding T levels. Different labs use different methods (and measurements), which has only created confusion among consumers and even family doctors about what testosterone level results even mean.
Hopefully, the current state of confusion will soon change. The Center for Disease Control here in the U.S. started a project in 2010 to get labs to agree on standard hormone testing procedures. It’s slowly gaining ground, but not every lab has signed on.
I also learned that the bottom range of what’s considered “normal” by many doctors is actually woefully underestimated. Doctors are telling men who come to them with symptoms of low testosterone, “Well, you’re barely within normal range, but it’s still normal, so… you’re fine!”

No, Dr. Everything’s not-A-Okay. It’s not fine.

I hope in this post I can clarify some of the confusion surrounding testosterone levels and hormone tests. I’ll be straight with you. This stuff is super confusing. I’ve done my best to synthesize all the disparate info out there into an easy-to-read format for the layman terms and have sought to create the most accessible resource on the web. However, I’m not a scientist or doctor, and may have gotten a few things wrong. If anyone see an error, I welcome your corrections.

Let's begin -

Total and Free Testosterone Levels

Before we begin, I want to reiterate the fact that there are three different types of testosterone floating in your body: free testosterone, SHBG-bound testosterone, and albumin-bound testosterone. When you get tested, there are two tests you can get: total testosterone and free testosterone.
Total testosterone is the total amount of T floating in your blood at the time of the test: free, SHBG-bound, and albumin-bound combined. Total testosterone is typically measured in ng/dl, or nanograms per decilitre.
Free testosterone is the measurement of — you got it — free testosterone (which often includes albumin-bound testosterone as well because it can easily convert to free T). Free T is typically measured in picograms per milliliter. As we’ll discuss later in this post, because free testosterone makes up such a tiny, tiny percentage of your total T, it’s really hard to measure accurately. So, when you see research on normal testosterone levels, it usually focuses ontotal testosterone. Consequently, most of the numbers in this post will be about total T levels. With that said, I do include some references to research that indicates what average and optimal free testosterone levels are.

What’s a “Normal” Testosterone Level?

When you go to get tested for testosterone, the lab will often show you what’s considered the “normal” range among patients who have tested with that particular lab. It’s called the“reference range.”
For example, LabCorp (the lab I used to test my T levels here in Tulsa, OK) shows a reference range of 348 – 1197 ng/dl (nanograms per decilitre) for total testosterone levels. According to this reference range, my total testosterone level of 383 ng/dl at the beginning of my experiment would mean my total T levels were — barely — within the normal range.
Here’s the problem.
That reference range consists of a wide variety of men who tested with LabCorp: 80-year-old men and 20-year-old men; obese men and super fit men; men with pituitary gland problems and men with glands that work like champs.
Sure, my 383 ng/dl was considered normal, but normal compared to whom? An 80-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes?
The fact that reference ranges don’t break patients down by age or health status explains why a 30-year-old man can go to his doctor with the symptoms of low T, only to be told that his T levels are fine because they’re within the “normal” range. If you’re 30 (or even 50), but have the same testosterone level as an 8o-year-old, diabetic man, your doc may say you’re okay, but you’re still not going to feel good. Plain and simple.
What’s interesting is that for many years, the bottom number of the reference range for T levels at many medical labs was much lower. For example, up until last year, LabCorp’s reference range for testosterone was 249-836 ng/dl. You could have had a testosterone level of 250 (which is super low) and still be told by your doctor that you were normal.
All this is to say that the “normal” levels put out there by doctors and labs aren’t all that useful.
Average Testosterone Levels by Age
When determining what’s considered a normal testosterone level, it’s best to look at what the reference range is for men your age. Researchers have known for years that T levels typically drop by about 1% every year after you hit your mid-30s. So if you’re 35, comparing yourself to a bunch of 80-year-old men isn’t very useful because they likely have really low T levels.
Unfortunately, many labs don’t break down reference ranges by age. However, studies have been done in which researchers do just that. Below, I include the results from two such studies.

Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl), SHBG in (nmol/L)

Age # Subjects Total
SHBG Stand.
25-34 45 617 170 12.3 2.8 35.5 8.8
35-44 22 668 212 10.3 1.2 40.1 7.9
45-54 23 606 213 9.1 2.2 44.6 8.2
55-64 43 562 195 8.3 2.1 45.5 8.8
65-74 47 524 197 6.9 2.3 48.7 14.2
75-84 48 471 169 6.0 2.3 51.0 22.7
85-100 21 376 134 5.4 2.3 65.9 22.8

The above chart groups men into seven ten-year age increments. It’s based on results fromthis 1996 study. According to this chart, my T level at the beginning of the experiment (383 ng/dl) was closer to the average of an 85-100-year-old man. Yikes! This chart also lists the average free testosterone levels of the subjects. My beginning free testosterone was below the average of men my age and my end level was above average.
In a study done that same year by another team of researchers, they produced the following chart of testosterone levels broken down by age:

Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl) (source)

Age Number
5th % 10th % 95th %
<25 125 692 158 697 408 468 956
25-29 354 669 206 637 388 438 1005
30-34 330 621 194 597 348 388 975
35-39 212 597 189 567 329 388 945
40-44 148 597 198 597 319 378 936
45-49 154 546 163 527 329 358 846
50-54 164 544 187 518 289 348 936
55-59 155 552 174 547 319 338 866

While this chart doesn’t show average free testosterone levels, I like the fact that it shows the T levels of men in the bottom five and ten percentiles as well as the T levels of the men in the top 95%. You can see how you compare to men with the lowest and highest T levels.
According to this chart, my beginning T level (383 ng/dl) was near the bottom 5% and 10% across all age groups. Even for 55-59-year-old men. (Boo!)
My testosterone level after 90 days of good living (778 ng/dl), was above average for my age group (Bully!).
These charts are a much better source than labs’ reference ranges to check if your T levels are normal. If your doctor tells you that your T levels are normal, make sure to compare the results to these charts to ensure he’s not shortchanging you.
As far as normal percentages of free testosterone go, ~2-3% is considered normal. If you’re significantly below that percentage range, you’ll likely experience symptoms of low T even if your total T is average or above average.

Go For Optimal, Not Average

If your testosterone levels match up with the average in the charts above, it’s safe to say that you have adequate amounts of T in your system. But we don’t want to go for just adequate, we want optimal testosterone levels so that we can derive as much benefit as we can from this virile molecule.
What’s an optimal T level, you ask? Great question.
The answer is: “It depends.”
Every man is different, so their level of optimal testosterone will be different, too. For some men, a testosterone level of 600 ng/dl will make them feel great, while other men need to be around 800 ng/dl in order to experience the benefits of optimal T.
Clinical research still hasn’t determined a hard threshold level for when symptoms of low T begin appearing. Some recent research suggests that symptoms of low T might begin appearing in men when their total testosterone level dips below 320 ng/dl. According to anecdotal evidence from the owner of Peak Testosterone, many men start noticing low T symptoms when their total testosterone dips into the 400s. Of course, it’s anecdotal, so take it for what it’s worth, but it’s probably a good idea to stay above 500 ng/dl if you don’t want to experience symptoms of low T.
So that’s a good rule of thumb for the lower threshold. And from there you can shoot for levels that are in the higher range for your age group.
But it’s important to note that optimal testosterone doesn’t necessarily mean you need super-high levels. Past a certain level, testosterone can actually cause a bunch of not-so-good side effects, like sleep apnea and overly thick blood. You typically only have to worry about too much testosterone if you’re using testosterone replacement therapy. Barring some physiological defect, too much T usually isn’t a problem found in men increasing their testosterone naturally through changes in lifestyle and diet.

How to Measure Your Testosterone Level

There are three ways to test your testosterone levels: saliva sample, urine sample, and blood sample. Each method has its pros and cons.
Saliva and urine tests are relatively inexpensive and fast. You can even buy a saliva test kit on Amazon for about $30. Just spit in the cup, put it in the mail, and a week later you’ll get a total testosterone measurement. The problem is that saliva and urine tests aren’t very accurate, which is why endocrinologists typically don’t use saliva or urine samples when diagnosing low testosterone levels. Instead they use blood serum tests.
While blood tests are much more accurate and sensitive than saliva or urine tests, they’re also much more expensive — blood tests for total and free testosterone can set you back $130. Because I wanted the most accurate results, I went with the blood serum testing.
What I didn’t know before I got tested was that there are different kinds of testosterone blood tests, some more accurate than others. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there isn’t much standardization amongst labs when it comes to testing. Some labs use one method, while another lab will use another test.

I later learned that the blood test I used to measure my total testosterone for my experiment wasn’t the most accurate on the market and wasn’t what the CDC is recommending labs use in their goal to standardize hormone testing. (I tested myself a month after my 90-day experiment with the blood test the CDC recommends. I’ll share my results in a bit.) I also learned that measuring free testosterone is pretty dang hard and that most free T measurements that labs give are typically just estimates.
Below I share what I learned about the confusing world of testosterone blood tests.

Blood Tests for Total Testosterone

ECLIA Method. When I tested myself for total testosterone for my experiment, the method the lab used was ECLIA, short for Electrochemiluminescent Immunoassay. It’s a fast and affordable method to measure total testosterone in your blood. Many labs use this method because it’s automatic and doesn’t require too much work on a lab technician’s part.
However, some studies have shown that values obtained with ECLIA are significantly higher compared to the more reliable LC/MS method.

Which brings me to-
LC/MS Method. LC/MS is short for liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. It’s considered the gold standard method by many researchers in measuring small molecules. Its accuracy and consistency is why the CDC is recommending LC/MS to be the standard method used when testing total testosterone. Because LC/MS is more sensitive than ECLIA, doctors typically use this method when testing patients with really low testosterone levels, such as women and children.

While it’s more accurate and sensitive, the LC/MS method is more expensive than ECLIA. And it takes a bit longer to get your results.

A month after my 90-day experiment, I got tested again, but this time using the LC/MS method. My total testosterone level using this method was 826.9 ng/dl. Meaning my T levels increased even more since starting my testosterone changes.
You’ll have to make the call on which method you go with. If you don’t think you have extremely low T, ECLIA will work just fine. Just know that most researchers see LC/MS as the method that produces the most accurate and consistent results. Labs often offer both ECLIA and LC/MS tests. Later on, I’ll share where you can get tested using either method.
Blood Tests for Measuring Free Testosterone
Reading about the myriad of ways to measure free testosterone has nearly put me in the nut house. It’s confusing.
The problem that labs face is that there is so little free testosterone in our body, it’s hard to measure directly. Below I lay out the methods available right now to measure free T.

RIA Direct. It’s cheap, fast, but not very accurate. Recent studies have been calling into question the use of RIA direct methodology to measure free testosterone. Unfortunately, most labs across the country only use RIA direct because of its cost effectiveness. LabCorp, the lab I used, only measures free T using RIA direct. Despite the criticisms levied at RIA direct tests, many researchers believe it’s an adequate method for routine tests.
Equilibrium Ultrafiltration. Many in the field of endocrinology argue that equilibrium ultrafiltration is a superior and more accurate testing method to RIA direct. The problem is that many commercial labs don’t offer the method because it’s so time consuming and requires well-trained technicians. If you can find a lab that uses equilibrium ultrafiltration, expect to spend a bit more than you would for a RIA direct.
Calculated free testosterone. Instead of directly measuring free testosterone in your blood, it’s possible to get a rough estimate by calculating the amount of albumin, SHBG, and total testosterone in your blood. The problem with this method is that 1) it’s not very accurate and 2) it requires you to pay for three different tests: albumin, SHBG, and total testosterone. This can get pretty expensive, pretty fast.
As you can see, you have a variety of options when getting tested for T levels. My recommendation is to try to get your total testosterone number using the LC/MS method and use whatever method is available and cost effective to measure free testosterone. Of course, I’m just a guy who writes a blog about manliness, so take that recommendation with a grain of salt.

Where to Get Tested for Testosterone (order here online)

Here’s how:
Order the test. You’ll need to order a blood test using a website that sells blood tests to consumers. No, you don’t send the website a blood sample. These sites contract with labs across the country to draw blood. They basically act as a middleman. Here are the sites I used to buy my tests:

You can also order albumin and SHBG tests from both Health Testing Centers and Request a Test so you can use the calculation method to figure out your free testosterone levels.
Go to a local lab. After you pay for your blood test, you’ll get an email from the website with your order information. You’ll also be told which lab you need to visit in your area to have the test done. Both Health Testing Centers and Request a Test sent me toLabCorp. If you’ve ever applied for a job that requires a drug test, you’ve probably been to LabCorp yourself, as they are a national company.
Get blood drawn. A nice nurse will draw some blood samples. The whole process takes less than 2 minutes. It’s best to get your blood drawn first thing in the morning, as T levels are at their highest in the morning and steadily decline throughout the day.
Get your results. Two or three days later, you’ll get an email from the lab with your results.
Test more than once. Because testosterone levels are sensitive to a whole host of environmental factors, it’s important to get tested more than once when diagnosing low T. You could have below average T levels one week, but slightly above average the next. This is particularly important if your doctor is considering putting you on testosterone replacement therapy. You don’t want him to make the decision from a single test!

  • Don’t use lab reference numbers to determine if your T is low. They’re not usually accurate. Use the charts above for your specific age range.
  • Take a blood test to determine your total T levels. You can get this blood test at the doctor, or by signing up online and going to a local lab. Make sure to get tested in the morning!
  • If you can, take the LC/MS test to measure your total T — it’s the most accurate. If that’s not available, the ECLIA test will work okay.
  • To find your free T, try to use the Equilibrium Ultrafiltration test — it’s the most accurate. If that method isn’t available, the RIA Direct test will work okay.

Below is some general information in regards to other hormonal levels that indicate the normal ranges

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a more potent form of testosterone that is metabolized by the body from other androgens. In men most is made from testosterone, while in women the main source is androstenedione (which is first converted INTO testosterone). Current research indicates that DHT is responsible for male-pattern balding and excessive, unwanted hair in both sexes. In males it is also responsible for non-cancerous prostate swelling (BPH).
SEX pg/ml
Premenopausal 24-368
Postmenopausal 10-181
Males: 250-990

LDL - this is the so-called "Bad cholesterol" and may be a factor for some people. Estrogen therapy tends to lower the LDL level while testosterone therapy makes it go up. If you have a high LDL level and are on TRT therapy, you may have to make adjustments to diet or take other medications to address it.
160 mg/dL or more HIGH
130 to 159 mg/dL BORDERLINE
100 to 129 mg/dL NEAR OPTIMAL
Less than 100 mg/dL OPTIMAL
source: National Cholesterol Education Program

Estradiol (E2) - this is the main "female" hormone. There are two others, Estriol and Etrone, that are also sometimes tested, but they are metabolized from Estradiol, so it is usually the main one checked. The full name is 17-beta-Estradiol, which is also available in several medications for ERT therapy. Current research indicates that, in some people, this hormone may play a role in the loss of bone density, prevents male bodies from clearing DHT out of the prostate gland, and can stimulate estrogen-sensitive tumor growth (if estrogen-sensitive cancer cells are already present).
SEX pg/ml
Women (> 18 years old)
Follicular Phase 30-120
Ovulatory Peak 130-370
Luteal Phase 70-250
Post-Menopausal 15-60
Male 15-60

Progesterone (Pg) - This steroid hormone is a female sex hormone which, in conjunction with
estrogens, regulates the accessory organs during the menstrual cycle and it is particularly important in preparing the endometrium for the implantation of the blastocyte and in maintaining pregnancy. In non pregnant women progesterone is mainly secreted by the corpus luteum
whereas in pregnancy the placenta becomes the major source. Minor sources are the adrenal cortex for both sexes and the testes for males. Current research indicates it balances agaisnt overactivity of both testosterone and estrogen, and effectively blocks 5-alpha-reductase enzymatic conversion of testosterone into DHT. Progesterone also plays a role in stimulationg Osteoblast (bond building) enzymes, lowering cholesterol levels, stimulating growth of epithelial tissue and lobule-alveolar systems in the breasts, and upregulation of the P-53 cell-division gene, thus offering an anti-carcinogenic effect against run-away cell division in hormone sensitive tumors.

SEX ng/ml nmol/l
Follicular phase 0.2-1.4 0.64 - 4.45
Luteal phase 4 - 25 12.7 - 79.5
Post-Menopausal 0.1 - 1 0.32 - 3.18
Males 0.1 - 1 0.32 - 3.18
Conversion factor: 1 ng/ml = 3.18 nmol/l

Testosterone (T) - one of the most important male sex hormones. In men it is mainly synthesized by the testes, in women both the ovaries and by the adrenal cortex; it is secreted into circulation. Testosterone is transported in the plasma by a beta-globulin, called testosterone binding
globulin. It is estimated that about 98 % of the circulating testosterone is bound. The remainder, present as free testosterone, is assumed to be the metabolicly active portion. In the target organ, it is transformed by 5-alpha-reductase into the physiologically effective androgen DHT. In men the determination of testosterone is used as an indicator for the function of the testes: low hormone levels are found in cases with Klinefelter's syndrome, cryptorchism or anorchia. Male or female patients with an androgen producing tumor (ovaries, adrenal cortex, testes) show
increased values. Measurement of testosterone is used to confirm hirsutism in woman. The determination of free or not specifically protein-bound testosterone can be helpful in cases of hyperprolactinemic women or hyperandrogenism. It promotes the burning of fat and the building of lean muscle mass. It also appears to be the fuel for the libido in both sexes. The role of testosterone in cardiovascular health is still hotly debated, but it appears that it may have a detrimental effect over the long term. Testosterone, like progesterone, upregulates the P-53 gene to turn off rampant cellular division, so in that sense is anti-carcinogenic. Testosterone also stimulates oil production in the skin, which can lead to acne problems.
SEX ng/dl ng/ml
Females 6 - 86 0.1 - 1.2
Males 270 - 1100 2.4 - 12
Conversion factor: 1 ng/ml = 3.47 nmol/l

Free or Unbound Testosterone ("Free T") - As mentioned above, about 98% of the testosterone in a man or woman's body is bound to blood proteins. This means that only a small portion is actually "bio-available" and acting on the body's tissues. A healthy percentage for either men or women is around 2.5%. One thing that sometimes frustrates gender patients is that the measurements for the biologically significant free testosterone are not easily compared between men and women. Labs often will state the percentage free for men, but give a measurement in pg/ml for women. Or the male measurements will be in ng/dl requiring a mathematical conversion for direct comparison to the "normal" range of the opposite sex. The percentage is usually higher in adolescents (up to 5%) and quite low in elderly people (around 1%). Many doctors believe that any reading below 2% means the patient should take testosterone supplements, and that any reading below 1% indicates a completely absent sex drive. The level readings between men and women are so vastly different because the number represents a percentage of the TOTAL testosterone. Women naturally start with a lower total amount, so 2.5% of 40ng/dl is going to be much less than 2.5% of 800ng/dl in a man.
SEX ng/dl pg/ml % Free Range
Females 0.3-1.9 0.6 - 6.8 0.4 - 2.4
Males 9-30 47.0-244.0 1.6 - 2.9
Total Free Range is 0.3 - 5% ( 2% average )

CLICK HERE for sample reference ranges for other free/bioavailable hormone levels.
DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) is secreted by the adrenal cortex. DHEA-S
is thought to be a biologically weak androgen, but because of its high concentration in blood, it contributes significantly to the androgenization process. The physiological role of DHEA-S is not well known, but it seems to be intricately involved in adrenarche (axillary and pubic hair growth). DHEA-S appears to be an excellent indicator of adrenal androgen production. Elevated levels of DHEA-S have been reported in states of excess androgen production such as cystic acne, hirsutism, infertility, enzymatic adrenal defects, Cushing's syndrome due to bilateral adrenal hyperplasia, and virilizing adrenal tumors.

SEX µg/ml µmol/l
Premenopausal 0.8 - 3.9 2.1 - 10.1
Pregnancy (3. Trimenon) 0.2 - 1.2 0.5 - 3.1
Postmenopausal 0.1 - 0.6 0.3 - 1.6
Newborns (both sexes) 1.7 - 3.6 4.4 - 9.4
Males 1.0 - 4.2 2.6 - 10.9
Conversion factor: 1 µg/ml = 2,6 µmol/l

Androstenedione - this hormone is produced by the adrenals and gonads. Therefore, the determination of the level of androstenedione in serum is important in the evaluation of the functional state of the glands. Androstenedione is a precursor of testosterone and estrone. Besides the adrenals, in females, the ovaries have been shown to be an important source of androstenedione during the ovulatory cycle.The principle production of testosterone in females is from the conversion of other related androgens, especially androstenedione. An abnormal testosterone level in women should be accompanied by the estimation of serum androstenedione. The use of serum testosterone determination in conjunction with Enzyme Immunoassay of androstenedione can be used to determine if source of excess androgen production is adrenal or ovarian.
SEX Mean [ng/ml] Absolute Range [ng/ml]
Females (18-49 years) 2.15 0.70 - 3.50
Females (50-80 years) 1.80 0.20 - 3.40
Males 1.75 0.35 - 3.15
Conversion factor: To convert to nmol/L: ng/ml x 3.45 = nmol/l

Leutenizing Hormone (LH) -LH stimulates Leydig cells in the testes to produce and secrete testosterone (T). As the testosterone travels through the bloodstream it passes through the anterior pituitary gland and hypothalamus it creates a "negative feedback loop" that triggers a decrease in GnRH and LH. LH also stimulates the adrenal gland to produce androstenedione and progesterone. A problem with LH levels alone is rarely seen, so testing is only needed if testosterone level is abnormal, for example, if the patient is suspected to have been born with Klinefelters Syndrome. In women a normal LH level is similar to FSH. An LH that is higher than FSH is one indication of PCOS.
SEX mIU/ml
Females (follicular) < 7
Females (Surge 48 hours before ovulation) > 20
Males 2 - 18

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) - In women FSH is often used as a gauge of ovarian reserve. In general, under 6 is excellent, 6-9 is good, 9-10 fair, 10-13 diminished reserve, 13+ very hard to stimulate. In PCOS testing, the LH:FSH ratio may be used in the diagnosis. The ratio is usually close to 1:1, but if the LH is higher, it is one possible indication of PCOS. Basic hormone testing for males often only includes testosterone and FSH. However, in cases such as Klinefelters Syndrome doctors will usually look at both FSH and LH levels. In males FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testes to produce androgen-binding proteins, testosterone, and a protein called inhibin. Inhibin, in turn, travels in the blood back to the pituitary gland whre it creates a "negative feedback loop" that decreases the output of FSH. Since FSH stimulates testosterone production, and testosterone can be converted to DHT and estradiol, an increase of any or all three can also create a "feedback loop" that decreases FSH secretion.
SEX mIU/ml
Females 3-20
Males 1-18

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) - this is the principle blood protein that ties up the bulk of the steroids the body produces. For example, it bind with about 98% of the total testosterone, but also binds with other steroids as well. As androgen production increases, available SHBG decreases.
SEX nmol/l
Females 18-114
Males 7-50

__________________________________________________ ____________________

Bonus information about testing HGH serum levels

Checking your HGH serum levels through blood work!
(Textbook testing for therapeutic levels vs 4-10ius is far different)

In today's age we are limited to testing methods when testing our HGH serum levels due to expense factors.. Though direct HGH serum blood work seems to be the only practical method we have available when it concerns "Meat Heads on a budget" such as PrivateLabs/labcorp, it's known as a "Crude method" like all blood work, however it's a good indicator of where we came from, where we are, and where we are going!

Before we begin, I want to reiterate the fact that there are different testing methods that will yields different results..

For instance ECLIA vs LC MS-MS; ECLIA Method which is short for "Electrochemiluminescent Immunoassay".. It’s a fast and affordable method to measure total hormones in your blood. Many labs use this method because it’s automatic and doesn’t require too much work on a lab technician’s part, it's simply the standard affordable method done by most clinics for blood tests..It's not reliable or entirely accurate..It's simply just a "standard generic method", fast turn around, nothing more, nothing less...It's simply just a fast,quick snap shot for the moment to give almost instant results, so it's somewhat accurate for that sole purpose when it concerns "Just tell me whats going on now, yes or no"...

LC MS-MS Method is short for "liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry". It’s considered the gold standard method by many researchers in measuring small molecules. Its accuracy and consistency is why the CDC is recommending LC/MS to be the standard method used when testing HGH/IGF or even total testosterone. Because LC/MS is more sensitive than ECLIA, doctors typically use this method when testing patients with really low levels with HGH or even again - testosterone levels, and testing individuals such as women and children. While it’s more accurate and sensitive, the LC/MS method is more expensive than ECLIA. And it takes a bit longer to get your results...Always place into great consideration that with the LC MS-MS method it will be more pronounced with measuring specific concentrations..

The truth of the matter is, HGH serum levels only validates it's legitimacy NOT potency because testing results will vary "dramatically" from each individual to the next..Testing HGH levels is a crude method at best, at the same time providing a keen indication on what's taken place..

Testing for IGF serum levels is one of the better methods to assure the quality, in which will help validate the authenticity of the product!

FYI; Always have a baseline, knowing your baseline is pivotal especially if you have a history with testing and having a complete understanding of what your REAL baseline is, this way comparisons can be applied from prior dates to future instances, or even protocols, as there's numerous variables that may effect results..

Test pricing can range from 50-75$ in some cases for a HGH or IGF panel http://www.privatemdlabs.com/

Testing HGH serum through a blood panel is NOT the current lab standard,IGF levels establish the effectiveness of TRUE HGH levels,and they are seen and recognized by a labs aspect as the RELIABLE standard (depending on time of day,diet,and/or the influence of injection of HGH(exogenous) other then natural levels (endogenous ),However, I'm not suggesting that HGH labs are poor with inaccuracy, in fact I'm going to implementing that it's a GREAT alternative compared to the expensive lab standards, as it can provide overwhelming evidence if your HGH is in fact real HGH..

Now, if your utilizing HGH through subq/IM administration (exogenous influence) your levels will spike approximately 3 hrs after administration, an IFG analysis is completely unnecessary UNLESS you have tested prior for baseline levels and wish to compare, the simple HGH serum test will yield a sufficient readout if in fact your HGH is legit or not, as your HGH serum will stand far outside of the standard reference range.. FACT- This is a proven method to determine a YES or NO.. (Its's suggested to do a pre base line readings on HGH & IGF levels for comparison)
Also, always keep notes when testings, with each pre and after test method..

Preparing for Blood test (6-10ius pre testing)

There's a lot of controversy in regards to fasting vs finding it unnecessary.. There's some truth behind this for great reason, such as fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in men (when testing natural levels), levels can be very infrequent and erratic, especially during a fed state, as many nutrients posses an unpredictable effect on GH release in most people..(metabolization sensitivity will vary).. However, when testing 3hrs after IM injection of HGH fasting has been proven to be irrelevant to serum levels (in some/most patients).In order to rule out and opposing factors that can be questionable with manipulation through serum levels, it is SUGGESTED to fast 6-10 hrs pre-blood drawing. Carbohydrate intake should be lowered considerably 24 hrs prior, up until 6-10 hrs fast, there after no consumption (glucose may suppress GH release effecting spike levels)..

Dosages and Serum levels to expect

6-8ius can yield 15-50 ng/mL as ranges can vary (this has been proven in real life experiences, regardless of the quality, generic or US Pharma grade,some user do NOT respond well with HGH injections, fact this is why it's suggested to keep notes from prior testing) Toss text book reads out the window!

Remain inactive pre-testing

As Further recommendations have it, absolutely no strenuous or rigorous stimulation through activities such as running,walking,or exercising, anything that can stimulation hormonal levels and HGH secretions..
Consumption of water is fine, a glass or 2 will NOT hurt, but limit hrs up until testings..
The usage of alcohol and/or tobacco is entirely prohibited, and not recommended, especially alcohol..cease all consumption 72hrs prior due to the brake down enzymes and glucose levels and pancreases secretions from alcohol..


6-10 ius (IM) 3 hrs pre testing (subq administration possess a slower rate with metabolizing in some users, IM has proven a 2-6 fold in levels)
Fasting is recommended, but not necessary (suggested 6-10 hrs pre)
Limit carb intake to absolute minimum
Consumption of water is OK if limited to 1 glass or 2, and not 3 hrs pre testing
No strenuous activities under any circumstances before testing
The use of alcohol and tobacco and other drugs should be completely eliminated 72 hrs prior to testing