Hormonal blood markers provide crucial insights into the body’s endocrine function, impacting everything from metabolism to mood. Understanding these markers can help optimize health and performance and detect potential hormonal imbalances. In this blog, we’ll explore key hormonal blood markers: testosterone, IGF-1, free testosterone, estradiol, DHEA, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), along with intervention strategies and optimal vs. normal levels.


Testosterone is a primary sex hormone in males, but it’s also present in females in smaller amounts. It plays a vital role in muscle mass, bone density, libido, and overall energy levels.

– Muscle Growth:Stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
– Bone Health: Increases bone density.
– Mood and Cognition:Affects mood regulation and cognitive function.
– Sexual Health:Essential for libido and sexual function.

Testosterone levels are typically measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

Normal Levels:
– Men: 300-1,000 ng/dL
– Women: 15-70 ng/dL

Optimal Levels:
– Men: 600-900 ng/dL
– Women: 40-60 ng/dL

Intervention Strategies:
– Resistance Training:Engaging in regular strength training exercises.
– Healthy Diet: Consuming a diet rich in healthy fats, lean proteins, and micronutrients like zinc and vitamin D.
– Adequate Sleep: Ensuring 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
– Stress Management:Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness or yoga.
– Medical Interventions:Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for clinically low levels.

 Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)

IGF-1 is a hormone similar in structure to insulin and plays a significant role in childhood growth and anabolic effects in adults.

– Growth:Promotes growth of bones and tissues.
– Cellular Repair: Aids in the repair and regeneration of cells.
– Metabolism: Influences metabolism and body composition.

IGF-1 levels are measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

Normal Levels:
– Adults: 100-300 ng/mL

Optimal Levels:
– Adults: 200-300 ng/mL

Intervention Strategies:
– Exercise: Engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training.
– Balanced Diet: Consuming adequate protein and avoiding excessive sugar intake.
– Sleep Hygiene:Prioritizing deep, restorative sleep.
– Supplements:Considering supplements like colostrum or arginine, after consulting a healthcare professional.
– GH Therapy: Growth hormone therapy for individuals with clinically low IGF-1 levels.

Free Testosterone

Free testosterone is the unbound form of testosterone that is bioavailable and can easily enter cells to exert its effects.

– Direct Action: Regulates sexual development, reproductive functions, and maintenance of male characteristics.
– Muscle and Bone Health: Directly impacts muscle growth and bone density.

Free testosterone is typically measured in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Normal Levels:
– Men: 1-28 pg/mL
– Women: 0.1-6 pg/mL

Optimal Levels:
– Men: 15-25 pg/mL
– Women: 2-4 pg/mL

Intervention Strategies:
– Reduce SHBG Levels: Managing SHBG levels through lifestyle changes like reducing alcohol consumption and increasing physical activity.
– Dietary Changes: Consuming foods rich in healthy fats and low in refined sugars.
– Supplements:Considering supplements such as DHEA, or magnesium.
– Stress Reduction: Lowering stress through mindfulness practices.
– Medical Interventions: Discussing TRT or other hormonal therapies with a healthcare provider.


Estradiol is the primary form of estrogen in both men and women. It is crucial for reproductive and sexual function.

– Reproductive Health:Regulates menstrual cycles in women and sperm maturation in men.
– Bone Density:Maintains bone density and prevents osteoporosis.
– Cardiovascular Health:Influences cardiovascular function.

Estradiol levels are measured in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Normal Levels:
– Men: 10-40 pg/mL
– Women (pre-menopausal): 30-400 pg/mL
– Women (post-menopausal): 0-30 pg/mL

Optimal Levels:
– Men: 20-30 pg/mL
– Women (pre-menopausal): 100-200 pg/mL
– Women (post-menopausal): 10-20 pg/mL

Intervention Strategies:
– Diet: Incorporating phytoestrogen-rich foods (e.g., soy products) and reducing excessive fat intake.
– Exercise: Regular moderate exercise to help balance hormone levels.
– Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight.
– Avoiding Endocrine Disruptors: Reducing exposure to chemicals that can interfere with hormone balance.
– Medical Interventions: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or medications to manage estradiol levels.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and it serves as a precursor to other sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

– Hormone Production: Acts as a building block for testosterone and estrogen.
– Immune Function: Supports the immune system.
– Energy Levels: Influences energy and mood.

DHEA levels are measured in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL).

Normal Levels:
– Men: 31-701 mcg/dL
– Women: 18-391 mcg/dL

Optimal Levels:
– Men: 400-500 mcg/dL
– Women: 200-300 mcg/dL

Intervention Strategies:
– Supplementation: DHEA supplements, taken under medical supervision.
– Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity.
– Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidants.
– Stress Reduction: Implementing stress management techniques.
– Sleep:Prioritizing quality sleep to support adrenal function.

Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG)

SHBG is a protein that binds to sex hormones, particularly testosterone and estradiol, regulating their bioavailability in the body.

– Hormone Regulation: Controls the amount of free and active sex hormones.
– Balance: Helps maintain hormonal balance by modulating hormone levels.

SHBG levels are measured in nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).

Normal Levels:
– Men: 10-57 nmol/L
– Women: 18-144 nmol/L

Optimal Levels:
– Men: 20-30 nmol/L
– Women: 30-70 nmol/L

Intervention Strategies:
– Dietary Adjustments: Eating a diet high in fiber and low in refined sugars.
– Exercise: Regular physical activity to lower SHBG levels.
– Weight Management:Maintaining a healthy weight.
– Reducing Alcohol: Limiting alcohol consumption.
– Medical Interventions: Medications or hormone therapies to adjust SHBG levels.


Understanding these hormonal blood markers is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being. Regular testing and monitoring can help identify imbalances early, allowing for timely interventions. Whether you’re looking to optimize athletic performance, improve mood, or address specific health concerns, knowing your levels of testosterone, IGF-1, free testosterone, estradiol, DHEA, and SHBG is a crucial step in managing your health.

By gaining insights into these markers and understanding the difference between normal and optimal levels, you can work with healthcare professionals to develop personalized strategies that support hormonal balance and enhance overall quality of life.



Founded in 2001, The team at Dynamic Health And Fitness believes that individuals must take a proactive, integrated approach on their personal vitality. Our mission is to provide the strategies and techniques necessary for individuals to enhance their lives and also impact those around them. We provide cutting edge programming that fuels our performance center and suite of mobile apps. Our goal is to become a leading resource for individuals, groups, and companies to create a needed shift in health.

The DHF Performance Center is located in the Syracuse, NY area and boasts world class training facilities with cutting edge technology to assist our clients in achieving their health, wellness, and performance goals.