Signs Your Testosterone Levels are Too High
Testosterone (T) is an important sex hormone that plays many important roles in our bodies, such as bone growth and strength, boosting sex drive, stimulating red blood cell production, and more. Although testosterone has been often associated as the “male” hormone, both men and women produce it. These hormones are generally produced in one part of the body and makes its way to other organs. Men have higher levels of testosterone than women do, but imbalanced T levels in either gender results in adverse symptoms. Today, we’ll be focusing on being able to recognize some signs your T levels may be too high and how to stabilize it to optimal levels.
Symptoms Testosterone Levels are too High
Acne can develop at any age, not just during puberty, and hormones like testosterone are often to blame. Testosterone stimulates sebum production, an oil produced by tiny glands inside the pores. Sebum helps move dead skin cells from your follicles to the surface. However, having high T levels can over-stimulate the sebum oil glands, clogging your pores and leading to acne. Typically, most women experiencing acne can still have normal levels of testosterone since their ovaries produce testosterone in smaller amounts.
2. Changes in health
Having too much testosterone can contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol which can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, or fainting. You may also have an increased risk of heart attack from heart muscle damage. Women with a high T level can develop a common disease called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
3. Hair growth
Men with more testosterone and DHT (a sex hormone that stimulates hair growth) will usually have much more facial hair than men with less testosterone. However, elevated DHT levels can lead to accelerated balding even with a strong and thick beard if the body is sensitive to the hormone. Interestingly enough, the same chemical that can stimulate hair growth can actually cause you to lose the hair on your head. Besides genetics, men with lower T levels have a lower risk of thinning head hair.
There can be certain mood changes linked to high testosterone levels, such as aggression, anxiety, irritability, and feelings of depression. Although these mood changes are not clearly proven to be directly due to high T levels since it can be complex and related to a number of factors, people with high testosterone have reported uncharacteristically aggressive behavior along with mood swings. Studies of male animals in the wild compete for mates by asserting dominance over other males. Men with high testosterone tend to take control of conversations and were more likely to attract females.
5. Sexual Health
Noticing a change in your sexual health can also be a symptom of abnormal T levels. Interestingly enough, having too much testosterone can cause low sperm count and shrunken testicles. Men with high testosterone may also experience issues getting an erection or keeping an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED).
Causes of High Testosterone
Some common reasons why people have high testosterone include:
Taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or Testosterone supplements
Using anabolic steroids
Tumor growth near your testicles or adrenal gland
Accidentally absorbing testosterone gel into your skin
How to check if your testosterone levels are high
1. Consult with your primary care doctor
A physical examination may be recommended for your doctor to take a closer look at your overall health as well as check for any physical signs of high T levels (excessive body hair growth, abnormal breast/testicle size, etc.).
2. Take a blood test
Another way to check your testosterone levels is to have your doctor take a sample of your blood to send to a laboratory to analyze. This is a great way to have a definite measure of your T levels to confirm whether or not you have high testosterone
Related: 5 Fun Facts About Your Blood Type
Treatments for High Testosterone
Proper treatments will depend on the cause of high T. The first thing you should consider is to stop taking any external testosterone medication, cream or anabolic steroids. If you are taking supplements or TRT, discuss with your doctor to see how your body may respond to these changes. Using facial cleaners and shaving body hair can help control superficial symptoms of excess hair and breakouts. Adopting an active lifestyle with regular exercise and maintaining a well-balanced diet are natural ways to help regulate your t levels. If a tumor is the cause of your spike in testosterone, your doctor will discuss next steps to treat and remove. Women that take birth control pills such as gestodene, norgestimate, or desogestrel also helps keep their testosterone levels from getting too high.
When to see a doctor
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms that may be related to high testosterone, please seek a doctor immediately:
Abnormal changes in your good cholesterol (HDL)
Swelling in hands or legs
Having high T levels can cause issues for both men and women. If any of the symptoms discussed above pertain to you, it is important to talk to your doctor and consider taking a blood test to help determine whether or not your testosterone levels are abnormal.
Related: 5 Signs Your Testosterone is too Low