Testosterone is an important hormone that is naturally produced by the body. In men, it is the primary sex hormone and is produced in the testes in large amounts, and, in women, it is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands in much smaller volumes.
Why is testosterone important?
Testosterone is instrumental in various bodily functions in men and women.
In men, it:
- Regulates sex drive or libido
- Aids in the growth and development of bones and muscles
- Helps in fat distribution
- The production of new red blood cells
- Producing enough fully developed sperm
- Promotes body hair growth (pubic hair, facial hair, etc.)
- Is responsible for various changes that occur during puberty, such as deepening of the voice, enlargement of the penis and the testicles, and increase in height
In women, it:
- Promotes sex drive or libido
- Helps in the development of muscle mass and strength
- Helps in increasing bone density and strength
- Boosts energy levels
- Enhances memory, concentration, and overall brain function
What are the signs and symptoms of high testosterone levels in the body?
Having too much testosterone in the body can be risky. It can negatively impact several of one’s physical, sexual, and reproduction functions. The following are the common signs and symptoms that usually occur if the body has testosterone levels:
In men, high testosterone levels can cause:
Acne and oily skin
Excess testosterone can make your skin oilier, and trigger the appearance of acne, pimple, and other blemishes more frequently.
Too much body hair
Because there is more testosterone in your body, the rate of growth of your pubic hair, facial hair, and other body hair also increases.
High sex drive or libido
With higher testosterone levels in the body, you can experience a boost in your desire for sex.
Decrease in sperm count
Having too much testosterone can impair your sperm production and cause a decrease in sperm count and also result to poor sperm structure and motility.
Over time, high testosterone levels can severely impact your ability to reproduce and leave you infertile.
Increased red blood cell count
Because testosterone promotes the production of new red blood cells, having too much of it can boost your red blood cell count to unhealthy levels.
High blood pressure levels
Testosterone levels that are above the normal range can cause an increase in your blood pressure levels and put you at risk of cardiovascular disease and other disorders.
Many studies found that men with high testosterone levels displayed more aggressive behaviors, got angry or irritated more easily, and were prone to making reckless and hasty decisions.
In women, high testosterone levels can cause:
Irregular menstrual cycle – High testosterone levels in the body can make your periods erratic, i.e. they can happen less or more frequently.
Too much testosterone can increase the occurrence of acne, pimples, and other skin problems.
Increased muscle and bone mass
Having more testosterone in the body can make you more muscular or bigger than an average female.
With an increase in the body’s testosterone levels, you may suffer from hair loss or balding.
What should be done to treat high testosterone?
If you encounter the common signs and symptoms of high testosterone enumerated above, you should go see your doctor right away. It is important that you get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible to figure out how to best fix the problem.
To confirm that your testosterone levels are indeed high, you will have to undergo a testosterone level test. You will provide a blood sample that will be taken to the laboratory for analysis.
For adult men, the normal testosterone level range is from 270 nanograms per deciliter to 1,070 nanograms per deciliter, and, for adult women, the normal testosterone level range is from 15 nanograms per deciliter to 70 nanograms per deciliter.
If your testosterone level test returns with a number that is higher, you should sit down with your doctor and discuss how to proceed.
There are many ways to treat high testosterone in men and women. Your doctor will prescribe you the method that is the most appropriate for your circumstances.
For example, if the cause of the increase of your testosterone levels is your intake of testosterone boosters, your doctor may advise you to stop. These testosterone boosters, which may come in the form of injections, gels, patches, pellets, and pills, are usually prescribed to those who have low testosterone levels. They are also often used by athletes, weight lifters, and body builders to enhance their physical performance and muscle development. While they are helpful if you do not have enough testosterone in your body, they can be detrimental if you already have more than what is normal. So, for your safety, obey your doctor’s orders, and wait for your testosterone levels to get back to normal after a number of months.
Sometimes, for women with high testosterone, their doctors may recommend taking birth control pills or anti-androgen drugs to lower their testosterone levels. However, this treatment method may not be ideal if you are trying to get pregnant.
In some cases, health experts may also suggest going the natural way to treat high testosterone, such as by eating foods that are capable of lowering testosterone levels. Some good examples are:
- Vegetable oils
Various studies have found that vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, canola, corn oil, or cottonseed oil, are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which are substances that give them the ability to decrease your body’s testosterone.
Loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, flaxseed is a good food option that can lower the body’s testosterone levels. It also helps in weight loss and lowers your risk of obesity.
One study found that a certain type of protein found in walnuts, almonds, and other nuts binds to the testosterone in the body, resulting to a decrease in free testosterone levels.