High testosterone levels are rare, but they can have serious consequences for your health. If you’re worried your testosterone levels might be too high, there are a few things you should know. Here’s how to recognize the signs of high testosterone in a man and what to do if you think you have high testosterone.
Isn’t High Testosterone a Good Thing?
It might sound like a good thing, but high levels of testosterone can actually be harmful.
Men need testosterone for healthy function, but there’s an upper limit for how much testosterone the body can realistically use. If the body gets too much testosterone, negative side effects will start to appear.
The goal is to have normal testosterone levels — you should never use testosterone or steroids if a physician hasn’t deemed them to be beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Testosterone is necessary for both men and women. Women only need a very small amount to carry out normal bodily functions that involve this hormone — in women, the other sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are instead responsible for reproductive health.
Men, on the other hand, need substantially more testosterone, as this male sex hormone plays an important role in shaping the way men’s bodies develop during puberty, then helping to support everyday functions after that like energy production, metabolism, muscle maintenance, and more in adulthood.
Testosterone is necessary for sexual function in all genders. As one of the hormones responsible for sex drives, it drives libido and fertility. It also determines body composition, affecting how the body stores fat and builds muscle mass.
What Is a Normal Testosterone Level?
What constitutes normal testosterone levels will vary throughout a man’s life. Testosterone levels are usually at their highest before men reach age 30, after which levels start to naturally decline with age.
Mild changes in sex hormone levels usually aren’t a problem in terms of overall health, but too low testosterone levels may cause unwanted side effects like balding. Low T, as it’s also called, is additionally one common cause of low libido and erectile dysfunction. Lower testosterone can also lead to weight gain, higher percentages of body fat, and eventually, obesity. There is even evidence to suggest a link between low testosterone levels and sleep apnea.
The body only needs a small amount of testosterone to function properly. Testosterone levels are even measured in nanograms (one billionth of a gram) per deciliter (one tenth of a liter).
The optimal amount for most men is somewhere between 400 and 600 nanograms per deciliter, but the safe range is anywhere between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter.
If your testosterone is on the lower end of normal or below normal, your medical diagnosis would be low testosterone. If your level is closer to 1000 or above 1000, this would be considered high testosterone. Either type of imbalance can contribute to medical conditions.
What Causes High Testosterone?
There are three things that can cause high testosterone. In most cases, high testosterone can be reversed by changing lifestyle habits and ceasing testosterone supplements or steroids.
Naturally Occurring High Testosterone
Naturally occurring high testosterone is rare, but it can be a side effect of testicular tumors or tumors in the adrenal glands that cause the body to overproduce testosterone. If you have a tumor or other health condition affecting your testicles and testosterone levels, your doctor will work with you to create a solution to protect your health.
If you aren’t using any testosterone supplements or anabolic steroids and you believe you’re showing symptoms of high testosterone, it’s vital to book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
High testosterone often occurs as a result of overusing or misusing testosterone supplements. It’s extremely important not to use testosterone products if you don’t actually have low testosterone.
You should also never order testosterone supplements online without a prescription. Instead, you always need to speak with a doctor and undergo formal testing before using testosterone supplements.
If you’re using doctor-prescribed testosterone supplements, it’s also crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions word for word and not use more testosterone than prescribed. Improper testosterone use can lead to blood clots, heart attacks, and even infertility.
If you’re concerned that you aren’t experiencing the benefits you expected, it’s important to remember that the benefits of testosterone therapy can take several months to fully manifest.
Testosterone supplements alone will not result in significant weight loss or cause muscle mass to appear. Rather, the testosterone will help your body perform as expected when you make healthy lifestyle changes, such as being more mindful about what you eat and incorporating more physical activity into your week.
Just using extra testosterone won’t do anything to replace the work it takes to get in shape.
Steroids should only be used when medically necessary. Black market steroids or steroids prescribed by questionable providers can interfere with many processes throughout your body, including increasing your testosterone levels.
As tempting as it may seem, you should never use steroids to boost the results of your workout. You may look more muscular, but it can come at great expense to your health.
The Signs of High Testosterone in Men
Signs of high testosterone are usually easy to spot. If you’re using testosterone supplements or steroids, you’ll likely be able to easily identify high testosterone as the cause of symptoms you’re experiencing. Even though the symptoms are easy to self-assess, you should still speak with your doctor when you suspect your testosterone levels might be too high.
Acne can be caused by everything from bacteria to poor reactions to skincare products like skin creams and cleansers. But if you haven’t changed your skincare routine and you don’t have a history of acne, it’s possible that high testosterone is playing a role in the state of your skin.
Testosterone prompts the body to create sebum, an oily substance that creates a protective barrier over the skin. Everyone needs a small amount of sebum to support skin health, but an overload of testosterone can cause excessive sebum production. This leads to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne..
Starting a better skincare routine, managing testosterone levels, and incorporating more skin-healthy B vitamins into your diet can help to control acne.
2. Excessive Body Hair Growth
Some men use testosterone specifically to try and promote hair growth. In many cases, testosterone can successfully combat thinning hair or patchy beards that occur with age. It may also cause hair on other parts of the body to grow thicker.
If you notice the hair on your arms, legs, and chest seems to be darker and fuller, this can indicate high testosterone.
3. Changes in Mood
You might be familiar with the term “roid rage,” which refers to the aggressive mood swings experienced by people who use anabolic steroids. Steroids cause the body’s testosterone levels to rise, and excessive testosterone can cause disproportionate, unpredictable feelings of anger and depression.
These changes are rarely the result of a mood disorder. Regulating testosterone levels in the body should help diminish mood swings and heightened emotional states without the need for additional interventions.
4. Changes in Blood Pressure
Testosterone helps the body regulate blood pressure. When you have too much testosterone, your blood pressure can spike unpredictably. Bouts of very high blood pressure are common in people with high testosterone. Bouts of very low blood pressure are less common, but they can still occur. High blood pressure associated with high testosterone levels can lead to an increased risk of heart disease over time
Both of these situations are dangerous. Anything that negatively affects the way your heart works and the way oxygen is distributed throughout your body should be treated as an emergency.
If you notice changes in your blood pressure, call your doctor immediately to schedule a wellness check.
Maintaining Healthy Testosterone Levels
If your testosterone levels are too high after using testosterone therapy or steroids, you need to correct your course. If you’ve never had low testosterone, there’s generally no reason to be using testosterone supplements or steroids.
If you do have low testosterone, you should work with a professional to develop a closely-monitored treatment plan that will address your body’s needs without causing your testosterone levels to rise too high.
The hormone replacement doctors at Elite HRT can help you create a safe testosterone replacement therapy plan as appropriate for you and your body. We’ll monitor your progress and provide you with instructions to gradually raise your testosterone to a level that’s safe and comfortable for you.
Testosterone Information | Mount Sinai – New York
Sex-Hormone Producing Tumor | Columbia Surgery
Testosterone Therapy May Be Linked to Blood Clots | WebMD
Roid Rage in Rats? Testosterone Effects on Aggressive Motivation, Impulsivity, and Tyrosine Hydroxylase | National Institutes of Health