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The Impact of High Testosterone Level On Men

Hyperandrogenism is the term used to describe elevated levels of testosterone. Although adults may not exhibit many visible symptoms, there is a potential risk of complications, including a liver tumor, jaundice, and an enlarged prostate gland. Excessive levels of testosterone in males can lead to a range of symptoms, such as an increase in facial and body hair, heightened aggression, and difficulties with fertility. 

The primary causes of high testosterone in males are typically linked to the use of anabolic steroids or the supplementation of testosterone. Individuals who experience symptoms related to elevated testosterone levels should seek medical attention from their doctor in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Failing to address high testosterone levels can potentially elevate the risk of infertility, cancer, and other health complications.

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is an essential hormone primarily responsible for initiating puberty and facilitating the emergence of secondary sexual traits, such as the growth of body hair and the production of sperm, in individuals with male reproductive organs. Moreover, it plays a significant role in various bodily functions, including the preservation of bone and muscle mass, as well as the regulation of body fat storage and metabolism.

While testosterone levels are typically higher in individuals with male reproductive organs, it is important to note that it is also present in individuals with female reproductive organs, in lower concentrations. Although it is an essential hormone, abnormally high levels of testosterone can cause multiple health issues. Maintaining a balanced level of testosterone is crucial for optimal health and proper growth, regardless of an individual’s sex.

Role of Testosterone in Men

As a primary male hormone, testosterone plays several important roles in the body. The major functions include:

  • Development of reproductive organs.
  • Deepening of voice during the adolescent period.
  • Increase in muscle size and strength.
  • Enhanced bone growth and strength.
  • Increase libido.
  • Increase sperm production.

Diagnosis of Testosterone Level

There are two main approaches that are typically used to diagnose the level of testosterone:

  • Physical examination – Any physical indications of elevated testosterone level such as excessive hair growth and changes in the size of sexual organs will be observed. 
  • Blood level of testosterone – Blood test will be conducted to measure the accurate level of testosterone in the blood. This test is usually conducted in the morning when the testosterone level is at peak.

Causes of High Testosterone

Elevated levels of testosterone may indicate an underlying medical condition that leads to an increase in circulating testosterone within the body. There are various factors that can contribute to the rise in testosterone levels, including:

  • Acromegaly or cushing syndrome.
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
  • Use of anabolic steroids.
  • Testosterone supplementation.
  • Use of certain medications such as fluoxymesterone (Halotestin).
  • Benign or cancerous adrenal tumors.

Common Side Effects of High Testosterone

Although it is an essential hormone and plays a vital role in male, a higher level of testosterone than normal can cause several unwanted effects. These include:

  • Enlargement of the breast.
  • Swelling of the prostate gland.
  • Decrease in sperm production.
  • Hypertension.
  • Risks of blood clots.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Weight gain.
  • Higher chances of heart damage.

Helpful: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Cost in India

Treatment Options For High Testosterone Level in Men

There can be a variety of treatment options for high testosterone level depending on the underlying cause. These include:

  • Medication– Certain medications can decrease the level of elevated testosterone levels. Some examples are; steroid synthesis inhibitors like ketoconazole,  alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs like degarelix (Firmagon). 
  • Tumor Treatment – In rare instances, high testosterone levels can be due to the presence of a tumor. These tumors can produce sex hormones, including testosterone, leading to an increase in testosterone levels. Surgical removal of the tumor might be necessary in these cases. If the tumor is cancerous, additional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy may be required to address the condition effectively. 
  • Stopping the Use of Steroid Medication– In the case of elevated testosterone levels resulting from the use of anabolic steroids or testosterone supplementation, discontinuing the use of these substances typically resolves the issue.

Takeaway

Testosterone is essential for the normal development and functioning of both men and women. However, determining the ideal quantity of testosterone remains uncertain. Evaluating testosterone levels merely requires a blood test, but the challenge lies in interpreting the outcome. These levels fluctuate throughout the day, making it advisable to measure free testosterone levels in the morning.

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