Is it possible for a man to have too much testosterone? Those who suffer from low testosterone levels would hardly believe it, but yes. Following the rules of homeostasis, which is the intrinsic equilibrium in our system and hormones, too low and too high can have side effects for each. However, men want to have high –but still healthy- levels of testosterone. So, we will tell you what does high testosterone do to a man, and show you the difference between high and too high.
The effects of testosterone in healthy men
Healthy levels of testosterone are the ones that cause all of the body changes that turn children into men. A deep voice, the increase in muscle mass, widening of the back, sex drive and increased libido. These changes are experienced by all males starting at their 13 to 15 years, pointing out their testosterone levels are rising.
This hormone is also responsible for some additional changes in young men’s psychology. Healthy levels of testosterone are sometimes related to an improvement in motivation and well-being in men. Those who have high levels of testosterone are not susceptible to depression, although this doesn’t mean they are immune to sensitivity and emotion.
Higher testosterone levels are usually related with more confidence in males, especially around women. Men with high levels of testosterone are not prone to fatigue, they typically have more energy and endurance in sports, work and daily life activities. Their sexual drive is increased because that’s what testosterone is, a sex hormone.
Myths about high testosterone levels
People may think testosterone is related to antisocial and aggressive behavior. But that’s not the case necessarily. As we mentioned early, testosterone makes men more confident. Men with high levels of testosterone usually protect their relationships and everything else that matters to them. But the aggression part is not driven by this hormone, but often related to the social background, psychological conditions, and individual principles for each different guy. While it is true that some men with higher testosterone levels may undertake some risky behaviors, it only becomes a primary concern when there’s a disruption in the normal synthesis and release of testosterone, as we will discuss further.
People also say guys who are bald most probably have high testosterone levels, but once again it depends on many different factors. Androgens can cause baldness in some individual cases, especially when genetic factors are contributing to this phenotype. However, there are many other causes of baldness not related to testosterone (autoimmune problems, scalp infections, and others).
When high becomes too high
Its unlikely in our modern worlds this will be a concern of TOO HIGH TESTOSTERONE. Simply because levels of “T” Testosterone are declining rapidly in the Western World. When does high testosterone become TOO high? Our organism tightly controls testosterone levels. There’s a gland in our brain called hypophysis –or pituitary gland- that measures testosterone levels and sends back signals to keep it controlled. This signaling hormone is called luteinizing hormone (LH), and when high levels of testosterone are detected, the pituitary gland decreases LH release to the bloodstream to stop stimulating the synthesis of additional testosterone.
So, if this biofeedback mechanism is working as it should, there won’t be excessively high levels of testosterone circulating. The problem starts when testosterone replacement is not correctly administered, and when there’s illegal doping and steroid abuse. In these cases, a foreign element outside this tightly controlled system disrupts testosterone synthesis and release causing unexpected adverse effects:
- Increase in estrogen levels: This might be the most unexpected side effect. Most people don’t know that testosterone is converted into estrogens in the fatty tissue and other cells with enzymes called aromatase. The more testosterone a man has, the more it will turn into estrogen. This change is usually balanced and remains undetected with normal levels of testosterone, but when there’s a hormonal disruption estrogen levels can cause an increase in breast tissue, a condition called gynecomastia.
- Mood swings: As we said previously, testosterone affects the way we think and behave. Healthy testosterone levels in men can improve their mood, but an excess of this hormone may have the opposite effect: depression, anger, and mood swings. Some of these guys can even turn aggressive and dangerous. This can be experienced especially when there’s abuse of steroids and incorrect dosages of androgens.
- Shrinking testicles: This is not experienced by everyone undergoing testosterone therapy, but especially those who do it for long periods of time. This is the reason why it is recommended that patients who undergo testosterone replacement therapy should readily report if they are experiencing changes in the size of their testicles.
There are bad effects when Testosterone becomes too LOW see here.
High testosterone face
Most men want to have a higher level of testosterone that helps them gaining muscle, being confident around women, and becoming a sexual guru. Having a “manly face” can become important when looking for a wife/girlfriend. Women are subconsciously looking for markers a man will become a success. But even before measuring their testosterone levels with blood tests, they can see a few hints if they stare at the mirror for a moment. As we mentioned earlier, there are many reasons behind the way we look, and the only way to make precise measurements is through a test. But there are some physical cues pointing out that we have a high level of testosterone, for example:
- Big Adam’s apple: This one is called thyroid cartilage, and it is one of the first changes young boys experience when reaching their puberty.
- Facial hair and body hair: People with higher testosterone levels usually need to shave more frequently because their facial hair grows exponentially. They also have body hair all over, which is an effect of dihydrotestosterone in our skin.
- A wide jawline: Since testosterone is deeply involved in bone density, the jawline from people with higher testosterone levels may look broader and stronger. The edges are sharp and provide a more masculine profile.
- Baldness: There are many types of alopecia, and one of them is related to high circulating levels of testosterone. When dihydrotestosterone reaches the hair follicles, it can cause the hair to fall when there’s a genetic disposition to it.
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Choi, M. H., Yoo, Y. S., & Chung, B. C. (2001). Biochemical roles of testosterone and epitestosterone to 5α-reductase as indicators of male-pattern baldness. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 116(1), 57-61.