Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a very important role in the development of male genitals during the puberty period. However, testosterone levels can rise if this hormone is not regulated properly.
Some of the common symptoms of high testosterone levels in the body are mood changes, irregular menstrual cycle, increased muscle mass or an enlarged clitoris, excess body hair growth or balding, and acne. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must read this blog.
In this blog, we are going to shed light on everything that causes high testosterone levels, including symptoms, complications, and treatment.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a sex hormone primarily released in the ovaries (female) and testicles (male). While it is a main male hormone, it is also produced by ovaries in women but in smaller amounts. However, due to some reasons, the body may release excess amounts of testosterone.
Generally, Testosterone is released in larger quantities in men than women. The main roles of Testosterone are Sex Maturation, Sex Differentiation, Male Sex Characteristics, Fertility, and Spermatogenesis.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a small amount of released Testosterone is converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen.
The human body (both male and female) contains some amount of opposite hormones for the functionality of regular body processes. However, have you ever wondered what will happen if the levels of testosterone increase in any of the sexes?
What are the Symptoms of High Testosterone?
Testosterone is the main male hormone released in large amounts by the testicles for sex maturation and spermatogenesis. However, if it is produced in larger amounts than necessary, symptoms of high Testosterone may occur. Given that, here is what you may experience:-
Excess breakouts or acne can be a common symptom of high Testosterone. As the testosterone level rises in the body, it causes excess sweating. The sweating, in turn, leads to acne and breakouts.
2. Blood pressure changes
High T can cause changes in blood pressure, leading to dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Hypertension and Hypotension both can be a key symptom of High Testosterone.
3. Sexual Health
High T can affect your sexual health. One of the most common symptoms of high Testosterone is erectile dysfunction and low sperm count in males. In women, symptoms of high T may be less sex drive, vaginal dryness, irregular or missed menstrual cycle, and difficulty in conceiving.
4. Body hair
Testosterone level changes may affect body hair. It can either lead to balding or excess body hair growth. Excessive growth in body hair is a common symptom of high Testosterone in women. The body hair can appear on the face, chest, and back.
Testosterone level directly affects mood. If you are experiencing irritability, anxiety, and depression, these may be symptoms of high Testosterone.
Symptoms of high Testosterone specific to Males:
In some serious cases in males, it can even lead to heart attack and stroke. Other symptoms of high Testosterone in male are as followed:-
- Pain in your chest
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling in hand and Leg
- Overproduction of RBCs (red blood cells)
- lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
- sleep disorders
- a blood clot in a vein in your body
- a blood clot in your lungs
Symptoms of High Testosterone specific to women:-
Please note that severely high Testosterone in women can cause infertility. Several health conditions, such as PCOD and PCOS, may cause these symptoms. Other symptoms of high Testosterone in women are as followed:-
- Enlarged clitoris
- Reduction in your breast size
- Voice Change, becoming deeper than usual
- Infertility or difficulty in conceiving
- Increased body mass
What are the causes of High Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone levels can increase in both men and women due to many conditions. Some of the common causes of high testosterone levels are:-
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common disease prevalent in 2 out of every 10 women. PCOS leads to increased production of levels of androgens, weight gain, and facial hair in the body.
Nonclassic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCCAH)
Nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) is an inherited disease affecting adrenal glands and excess male hormones.
Adrenal or ovarian tumors
Just like PCOD/PCOS, tumors can grow in the ovaries, resulting in symptoms of high Testosterone.
Anabolic steroid misuse
Steroids such as prednisolone can lead to high are Testosterone in the body. These steroids are used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such as HIV, organ transplants, immuno-deficiency diseases, and more. The use of these steroids can lead to high Testosterone.
Acromegaly or Cushing syndrome
This is a medical condition that affects the pituitary gland. Here, the “cortisol” hormone is released in higher amounts, resulting in high Testosterone.
Benign or Cancerous Adrenal Tumors
Just like PCOS/PCOD in women, benign or even cancerous adrenal tumors can cause high levels of testosterone secretion.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
It is a condition that results in the underdevelopment or hypertrophy of the adrenal cortex due to some clinical conditions, leading to excess secretion of Testosterone in the body.
Use of Fluoxymesterone (Halotestin)
Synthetic anabolic steroids are often used in males for delayed or low puberty. The use of these steroids can lead to high levels of Testosterone.
Some people use testosterone supplementation to increase body muscle mass and strength, which increases the testosterone level in the body.
Treatment of High Testosterone Level
Treatment for men and women can be very different for high testosterone levels. Generally, medication, adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating habits, exercising, etc can help treat high levels of Testosterone.
Women can use the following medicines to regulate the high levels of Testosterone:-
- Oral Contraceptives
Men can use the following medicines to regulate the high levels of Testosterone:-
- Steroid synthesis inhibitors, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Alpha reductase inhibitors, such as finasteride (Proscar),
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) producers, such as degarelix (Firmagon)
What are the Prevention of High Testosterone Levels?
To prevent high testosterone levels, you should follow a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.
Most of the cases of high Testosterone are because of unhealthy eating, improper rest/sleep, certain medications, and more.
Food items such as Mint, Licorice root, Flaxseed, Trans fats, Alcohol, Nuts, and Soy are great for naturally lowering high Testosterone.
Additionally, you should practice:-
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding Diabetic conditions
- Getting enough sleep
- Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms of high Testosterone, you must visit a doctor and turn to a healthier lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits and exercise.
Some prevailing medical conditions like PCOS, NCCAH, Acromegaly, or Cushing syndrome,
Adrenal or ovarian tumors, etc, can lead to high testosterone levels in the body. So, if you have any of the following medical conditions, take proper preventive measures like maintaining a healthy body weight, Exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.
Stay healthy and fit!