Most men worry about not having enough testosterone, especially if they want to take care of their physical health and appearance. However, many are unaware that this hormone’s high levels can also cause problems.
Testosterone is responsible for stimulating puberty, so its production usually increases around this stage of life. However, there is a fine line between having high and normal testosterone levels.
While having high testosterone is relatively rare, it does happen and can cause acne, mood swings, hair loss, and trouble sleeping. In some cases, it also results in enlarged prostate or other problems.
Have you experienced any of these signs? Do you think you might have high testosterone levels? Do you want to learn to detect the symptoms that can come with it? Read on to find all the information you need!
What Is Testosterone?
Before knowing more about the effects of high testosterone levels in men, you should understand what this hormone is.
Testosterone, also called “androgen,” is the primary male sex hormone, mainly produced in the testicles. However, both men and women have it.
This hormone is essential for building muscle mass, having good energy levels, producing sperm, maintaining a healthy libido, and more! In other words, it’s indispensable for men’s and women’s wellness.
As mentioned, in men, testosterone production usually occurs in the testicles. Since they need this hormone to grow and mature, its levels start to rise as puberty approaches.
At this stage, having low testosterone levels can have a negative effect on a man’s normal development and even delay puberty.
However, when there are no problems, the body continues to produce testosterone until the mid-30s. After men reach this age, this hormone’s levels begin to decline naturally.
Normal Testosterone Levels in Men
Although the phrase “the more, the merrier” is common, this is not true when it comes to testosterone. In men, healthy levels positively impact sex drive, muscle size, and more.
However, having too much testosterone could cause numerous issues, such as trouble sleeping, hair loss, acne, and mood swings.
There are two types of this hormone: protein-bound and free testosterone. The make-up of a man’s total levels includes these two.
What Is the Normal Range?
A normal reading of a man’s total testosterone levels could be anything from 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Overall, if your T levels are above 950 ng/dL, that means you have too much testosterone. However, it has a lot to do with how the lab processes the sample.
Defining abnormal testosterone levels is often challenging because you can’t measure them as precisely as other blood values, for example, hemoglobin levels.
The American Urological Association says that a man with testosterone levels under 300 ng/dL could receive a diagnosis. Nonetheless, the treatment will be very specific because they know that what appears in the test is not 100% accurate.
Different factors could affect a man and cause low testosterone levels. Genetic conditions, aging, and trauma are some of them. However, it’s important to check if this hormone is at very low or high levels to get the right diagnosis and treatment to bring them back into the normal range.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Normal Testosterone Levels?
If your testosterone levels are too low, you may experience different symptoms, including fatigue, low libido, weight gain, decreased muscle strength, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and more!
Since low testosterone levels (also known as testosterone deficiency) tend to be more common, many are aware of these signs. However, the body can also produce this hormone in high amounts, which can result in different symptoms.
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Signs of High Testosterone Levels
High testosterone levels also have a major impact on a man’s body. It’s similar to what you have likely seen in those who use anabolic steroids to boost their physical performance at the gym and build more muscle mass.
While having high testosterone levels can help men build muscle mass more easily, it is also linked to uncomfortable and dangerous side effects, including the following:
- Liver damage
- Low sperm count
- Prostate enlargement (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Heart muscle damage
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping and related problems, such as sleep apnea
- Mood swings
- Excessive body hair
- Aggressive behavior
Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Other Common Causes of High Testosterone in Men
From tumors growing in the adrenal glands to testosterone supplementation, different things can cause excess testosterone. The following are some of the most common:
- Testicular tumor growth
- Tumors in the adrenal glands
- Anabolic steroids use
- Testosterone supplements consumption
- Testosterone replacement therapy
It’s important to treat high testosterone levels to avoid suffering from other health problems that the overproduction of this hormone often causes.
If you have too much testosterone, you can suffer heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases that would put your health and well-being at risk.
Additionally, excess testosterone has also been associated with higher risks of developing blood clots and other cardiovascular issues. Therefore, identifying if your T levels are too high is essential.
Some Signs and Symptoms of High Testosterone In Men
If testosterone levels spike, you may experience different signs. Here are some of them:
Overproduction of testosterone can increase your skin’s production of sebum, an oily substance. Consequently, this will lead to acne and clogged pores.
Therefore, men with high testosterone often experience more acne than those with normal levels.
Some people with high testosterone have male-pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia (it’s also called male-pattern hair loss).
In addition, those with a genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia may also experience hair loss if their testosterone levels are too high.
Men with abnormally high testosterone levels could suffer from mood disorders. You could feel more irritable than usual or be unable to control your aggressiveness.
Furthermore, mood swings could also make you more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Besides the problems listed above, high T levels could also cause more serious consequences, such as the following:
Men who are genetically predisposed to high testosterone have almost an eightfold increase in the chances of suffering from heart disease. They also have twice the risk of having blood clots, which could block arteries and affect the lungs and brain.
Since testosterone is necessary for your body to produce sperm, you may think you need more of it to make extra swimmers. However, elevated T levels could decrease sperm count, even if they’re within the normal range.
Some doctors don’t prescribe TRT to men who want to have children. Here’s the reason behind this decision: Although it can increase testosterone production, it can affect your sperm count because it decreases the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
High testosterone in men has also been linked to restlessness and trouble sleeping. If you have difficulty falling asleep, you should check your hormone levels to see if they are in order.
Although the results have been inconclusive, researchers believe that having too much testosterone may affect the circadian rhythm.
Some experts have started using testosterone therapy to treat sleep problems, including sleep apnea, but the results have also been inconclusive.
Disadvantages of Having High Testosterone Levels
As mentioned, high testosterone levels can result in increased muscle mass and help men gain physical strength. However, this imbalance can bring other problems and disadvantages.
Besides the symptoms explained above, here are some of the downsides of having too much testosterone:
- Irritable behaviors
- Alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behaviors toward yourself and others
- Stunted growth
- Leg and feet swelling
- Increased risk of being injured
- And more
However, you shouldn’t rely on these symptoms and signs of high testosterone to know if your T levels are not normal. Making an appointment with the doctor to get a proper diagnosis is the best thing to do.
Diagnosis of High Testosterone Levels
Health professionals usually diagnose high testosterone levels by using one of these two methods: performing T blood tests or a physical examination.
Through physical examination, doctors can check your body to see if you experience the signs of high testosterone in men, including abnormal sex organ size, excess body hair, and others.
In addition, a blood test can help professionals measure the levels of male sex hormones, including testosterone, in your body.
Generally speaking, doctors perform T blood tests around 7:00 and 10:00 PM, when men’s testosterone levels are usually at their highest. After this check, professionals often recommend continuing to monitor levels.
How to Monitor Testosterone Levels
High testosterone can be detrimental to men’s health in many ways. As explained above, hormone levels that are too high can cause unpleasant symptoms and even pose some health risks.
Therefore, all men should make sure that their testosterone levels are in proper ranges. Have you noticed any of the symptoms and now think your body may be producing this hormone in excess? See your doctor as soon as you can!
If you manage to detect that your testosterone levels are too high on time, you can reduce the risk of suffering those health complications often related to an imbalance in the male sex hormones.
You can also talk to your doctor about getting a T blood test from time to time or as a routine checkup if you’re prone to high testosterone levels.
How to Treat High Testosterone Levels in Men
Although having low testosterone is common among men, the opposite rarely happens. Therefore, pinpointing the cause of the problem and addressing it is often much more straightforward.
Even so, research has shown that some men are genetically predisposed to having high testosterone. This rarely occurs, but it can happen. Furthermore, if you do things that put you at risk of high T and you’re already genetically predisposed, you have more chances of experiencing problems.
Most high testosterone cases occur because men use anabolic steroids to have increased muscle mass. They want to build their athletic bodies but fail to realize they’re giving their organisms between 10 and 30 times as much testosterone as they should.
A man could also have tumors in the adrenal gland, but they’re very rare. Plus, if you have them, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cancerous.
Different Treatment Options
In this regard, these are the potential treatments if you notice signs of high testosterone and get a proper diagnosis.
Stop Anabolic Steroids Use
If high testosterone levels are caused by the use of anabolic steroids or testosterone supplementation, stopping the consumption of these products may be the right solution.
In some cases, high testosterone levels are related to a tumor that causes the overproduction of this hormone. Overall, the most effective treatment is surgery.
Although it’s rare, a tumor can be carcinogenic. Therefore, some men might need chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Some medications may also be effective in reducing high testosterone in men, including the following:
- Steroid synthesis inhibitors
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs
- Alpha reductase inhibitors
However, if you notice symptoms of high testosterone, you shouldn’t take any medication until you see a doctor and get a professional diagnosis.
Besides determining if your testosterone levels are really high, a health professional can recommend the best treatment for you.
When to Seek Help
If you experience high blood pressure, excessive body hair growth, sleep problems, and other symptoms of high testosterone, you should seek professional help immediately.
Doctors can help you treat the underlying issues that can result from high testosterone and monitor testosterone levels to ensure your long-term well-being.
Excess testosterone can be quite detrimental to men’s health and well-being. Therefore, if you think your T hormone levels are not in the normal range, it’s time to seek medical help.
As mentioned, there are different causes of high testosterone, including testosterone replacement therapy, anabolic steroid abuse, problems with the pituitary gland, and others.
Don’t wait until the last minute if you notice the signs mentioned above. Addressing testosterone imbalance in time is key to avoiding different health complications and living a healthy life in all senses.