Testosterone plays many important roles in males, from maintaining the density in bones and muscle mass to regulating sex drive and sperm production. By itself, high testosterone does not necessarily mean problems or that you need to be tested and treated; it all depends on how high the levels are and the state of your health otherwise.
There are several medical conditions and factors such as steroid abuse that can increase testosterone levels.
What does high testosterone do to men?
Just like other hormones that your body produces, having too much or too little will produce noticeable side effects.
Physical effects and signs
Testosterone is responsible for how physically “masculine” males appear. This means that the more testosterone you have, the more “masculine” you look.
Stronger and more pronounced jawline
There is evidence that shows high testosterone levels shape your face to be more strong and edgy. Men who have above average testosterone levels tend to have a more pronounced jawline.
Wider facial area
Besides affecting your jawline, high testosterone levels also result in a wider and ‘bonier’ facial area. This means a wider face, sharper cheekbones, and a strong chin.
Larger Adam’s apple and deep voice
During puberty boys experience surges in testosterone levels. Testosterone surges result in the deepening of the voice which is cause by developing muscle and cartilage in the laryngeal area.
Higher bone density
Men with high testosterone levels will develop a higher bone density, which makes their frame larger.
Lots of facial and body hair
The ability to grow a full beard is a sign of high testosterone levels. Testosterone and its other derivatives are responsible for accelerating facial hair growth.
Longer ring finger
A study shows that if a man has high testosterone levels while in the womb, his ring finger will be longer than average.
High testosterone means more muscle mass and that means more strength.
High metabolic rate
Testosterone plays a large role in how the body uses and stores energy, with higher levels your body metabolizes food quicker.
Increased sex drive
Testosterone is a sex hormone. Which means the more you have of it the higher your sex drive will be. In contrast, low testosterone levels can cause a profound decrease in sex drive.
In general, men tend to be more aggressive than women. Testosterone plays a major role in this trait. When a person gets angry, their body produces more testosterone to prepare for a fight-or-flight situation. So therefore having excess testosterone can cause a man to be more prone to rage, picking fights, and physical violence in general.
What causes high testosterone?
Disorders that involve the adrenal glands, small organs above the kidneys, can cause the body to produce too much testosterone. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a condition that some people are born with and that can be passed down genetically. People who suffer from this disorder can’t produce other hormones therefore leading to too much testosterone in the body.
The AACC, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, explains that various types of cancers can create abnormal levels of testosterone in the body. Tumors that appear on organs that help regulate hormones in they body such as adrenal glands and ovaries/testicles may cause the body to produce high levels of testosterone.
Hitting puberty earlier than normal is a big sign in having too much testosterone. Puberty is a stage when young males develop pubic, underarm, and facial hair and experiences growth in their genitals and a deepening of the voice. Puberty is considered early if it happens before a boy is nine years old.
Using illegal or illicit steroids for non-medical uses can cause high testosterone levels in the body.
Although high testosterone levels don’t necessarily mean serious health issues, it is important to get tested and know if symptoms you are experiencing are due to high testosterone. The only way to know and therefore diagnose it to get tested today.