Testosterone supports vital functions in the body. While both men and women produce testosterone, men need a much higher level of the hormone. It plays a role in puberty, sexual health, energy levels, mood, muscle growth, and overall health. 

In fact, having the right balance of testosterone is an essential part of wellness. You’re probably aware that low testosterone in men can cause problems, but you might be less familiar with the issues and complications caused by high testosterone. 

Men with too much testosterone can have significant symptoms and are at risk of numerous health complications. The same is right for high testosterone in women that can result in mild to serious health complications.

Testosterone levels in men can be affected by numerous factors and can change over time 

So how do you know what a normal level of testosterone is? What can cause too much testosterone, and what can you do about it? Read on to learn about high testosterone in men and discover what treatment options you might have.

What is the Normal Level of Testosterone in a Man?

The optimal level of testosterone for healthy function in men can vary from person to person and can change over time. However, male levels of testosterone normally fall into a range between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl), or 10.41 to 34.70 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).  

For comparison, testosterone in women is normally much lower and falls within the smaller range of 15 to 70 ng/dL or 0.52 to 2.43 nmol/L. Men naturally lose testosterone as they age, but levels tend to stay within the normal range.
Testosterone levels in man body

Balanced hormone levels can help you to feel and look your best. Men who have testosterone levels that are below the normal range might experience:

  • Loss of libido
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Body hair thinning or loss
  • Brittle bones
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Weakness
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating

Men might seek treatment for low testosterone when they are experiencing these symptoms. Often, sexual health problems and loss of energy are what lead men to get their testosterone checked. 

However, levels that are above the average range are not without their own concerns and should also be addressed by a professional.

What Does High Testosterone Do to a Man?

When people think of the effects of high testosterone in men, they’re likely to think of negative behaviors, such as rage or poor impulse control. You might be surprised to learn that this is not necessarily the case. High testosterone levels in men are sometimes associated with mood swings and impaired decision making. However, those are not the only symptoms many men experience or even the most common ones.

What Causes High Testosterone in Men?

Testosterone levels can change throughout a man’s life and can even vary throughout a typical day. Very high testosterone in men can be hard to spot and is seen less often than low testosterone in men. There are a number of factors that can cause increased testosterone production. Some common causes are discussed below.

Wrong Dosage of Testosterone Supplements

Testosterone supplement treatments such as pills, shots, and gels that are part of TRT taken for low levels of testosterone in men. They can sometimes cause testosterone levels to overshoot a normal and healthy range. This is the most often the cause of too much testosterone in men.

Here’s a complete guide on how to buy testosterone injections legally and don’t face incorrect dosing.

Steroid Use and Misuse

Using steroids to increase muscle mass or enhance athletic performance can cause a man’s body to produce an overabundance of testosterone. Steroid abuse is also thought to be responsible for symptoms such as rage and extreme confusion. 

Medications that Affect Testosterone Production

Some medications to treat unrelated conditions can affect the amount of testosterone a man produces. It’s important to tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking, even vitamins or other over-the-counter medications. 

Everything from pain medications to vitamin D supplements can affect your testosterone production

Tumors Around the Testicles or Adrenal Gland

Growths near areas of the body that produce hormones, such as the testicles or adrenal gland, can cause very excessive testosterone in men. Both cancerous and benign growths can affect testosterone production. Your doctor may want to rule this out early on, especially if you’re not currently being treated with any form of testosterone replacement therapy

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

CAH is a genetic condition that causes the adrenal glands to produce a higher than average amount of testosterone. Severe cases of CAH are diagnosed in infancy, but people with milder cases might show very few symptoms until later in life. 

Conditions that Affect Hormone Production

Testosterone levels can be impacted by any condition or disease that causes hormone dysregulation. This is most often seen in hyperthyroidism and other thyroid conditions.  

Signs of High Testosterone in Men

So what are the signs of high testosterone in men? Commonly seen signs include:

  • Acne
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Fluid retention, including swelling of legs and feet
  • Increased appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Impaired judgment and decision making

Keep in mind that these signs can vary depending on a man’s age, overall health, and genetics

When high testosterone levels are not treated, symptoms can increase. Over time, this might even lead to serious health concerns such as:

  • Weight gain 
  • Damage to the heart muscle
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Increased risk of a heart attack
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Higher cholesterol
  • Liver disease
  • Sleep apnea

How to Diagnose High Testosterone

A doctor might recommend a testosterone test if a man shows signs of abnormally high or low testosterone. Checking testosterone levels requires a blood draw and laboratory test. The test is normally referred to as a total testosterone, or testosterone serum, test. 
How to diagnose high testosterone

Since testosterone levels can fluctuate rapidly, you may need to have the test done more than once. Doctors often want to see at least two tests with abnormally high results before diagnosing high testosterone.

You might also need to have an X-ray done if your doctor suspects your increased testosterone is being caused by a tumor

How to Lower High Testosterone in Men

There are many treatment options once you’ve received a diagnosis of high testosterone. The treatment for men can vary and might include lifestyle changes, medication changes, and visits to a specialist. 

Your specific treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your increased testosterone level. In some cases, it might be as simple as adjusting or stopping your testosterone replacement therapy supplements. 

Your doctor will want to monitor your testosterone levels on a regular basis to make sure they are stabilizing regardless of the treatment plan. 

What Type of Doctor Treats High Testosterone?

Your physician might refer you to an endocrinologist to treat your increased testosterone levels. An endocrinologist treats hormone-related conditions. He can help to reset the balance of testosterone in your body and help you maintain a healthy level.

Endocrinologist treat high testosterone in men

However, in some cases, you might need to treat the underlying cause first. For example, high testosterone levels caused by a malignant tumor would be secondary to the tumor itself. You’d need to see an oncologist to treat the tumor before taking any other steps.

What Lifestyle Changes Can Lower High Testosterone in Men?

You might need to make some changes if your testosterone levels are very high. For example, you might need to stop taking any medications, including steroids, your doctor suspects are causing the abnormal levels. You’ll also need to treat any symptoms being caused by abnormal hormonal levels. Your treatment plan will depend on your symptoms, the underlying cause, and your overall health. 

What Food Lowers Testosterone?

Production of testosterone in the body can be affected by the foods you eat. You should talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet, but foods thought to lower testosterone include:

  • Soy products
  • Wine and other alcohol
  • Flaxseeds
  • Vegetable oils
  • Licorice root
  • Mint
  • Dairy
  • Processed grains such as pastries
  • Trans fats

Healthy Testosterone Levels in Men

Testosterone levels in the normal range are an important piece of your overall health. When your body produces too little, or too much, you’ll feel the effects. You should seek medical help if you suspect your testosterone levels are too high. It’s never a good idea to try to correct hormone levels on your own. Even lifestyle changes should be run past a healthcare professional first. Tell a doctor about your symptoms, and let them know if you’re taking any medications or hormone supplements.

You can achieve the appropriate balance of hormones for your body by working with a doctor. Keeping your testosterone levels in range will help you not only feel better today but protect your health in the years to come.

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