High & Low Testosterone Levels: Symptoms, Signs & Side Effects
Testosterone is considered to be the "male hormone" that's produced in men by the testes. Although women's ovaries produce some testosterone, the hormone is produced in much higher concentrations in men and it is responsible for many of the secondary sex characteristics seen in men such as a deeper voice and hair on the chest, in addition to contributing to a healthy libido, building muscle mass, and maintaining energy levels. The problems associated with high testosterone levels are infrequent and rare in middle-aged and elderly men who are not receiving testosterone or other steroid treatments.
When the testosterone level becomes out of balance, it usually becomes too low rather than too elevated. The most common "out of balance" testosterone levels are found to be on the low side of normal; this occurs because a male's highest testosterone level usually peaks at about age 20, and then it decreases slowly with age.
While this decrease may not be noticeable in some men, others may experience significant changes starting in their middle-aged years or more commonly at age 60 and above.
This drop in testosterone levels is sometimes termed hypogonadism, " male menopause " or andropause. Low testosterone levels may result in a decline in:. A normal male testosterone level peaks at about age 20, and then it slowly declines.
Testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered by many to be out of balance. Examples of benefits, which are modest, of men having higher than average testosterone levels include:. Examples of drawbacks or disadvantages of men having higher than average testosterone levels include:. Both men and women that utilize anabolic steroids to gain an athletic "edge" for example, some professional athletes or to increase muscle mass for example, some bodybuilders may experience high levels of testosterone and develop complications, and side effects, for example:.
There is treatment available low testosterone levels. Doctors may prescribe medications that contain testosterone such as:. So, how does one ensure that testosterone levels remain in balance? Some doctors suggest that monitoring testosterone levels every five years, starting at age 35, is a reasonable strategy to follow. If the testosterone level falls too low or if the individual has the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels described above, testosterone therapy can be considered.
However, once testosterone therapy is initiated, testosterone levels should be closely monitored to make sure that the testosterone level does not become too high, as this may cause stress on the individual, and high testosterone levels may result in some of the negative problems described previously seen. Finding the appropriate balance of testosterone is possible through discussions with your doctor, and it requires your willingness to have testosterone levels checked before the initiation of therapy and then checked routinely in the future.
Is testosterone replacement therapy safe? National Institute on Drug Abuse. New medical review refutes link between testosterone replacement therapy and heart disease; low t institute weighs in. Southeastern Medical Oncology Center. Polycythemia is a Common Blood Problem. What are the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels in men? What are normal or average testosterone levels in men? What are the benefits of higher than normal testosterone levels?
What are the disadvantages of having higher than average testosterone levels? What are anabolic steroids, and what their side effects? Take the Low Testosterone Quiz. Embarrassing Male Body Problems. What is the treatment for low-T in men? What men should not use testosterone therapy?
How often should a man have his testosterone levels checked? Does Pot Dull Teen Brains? Recognize These Common Eye Conditions. What the Numbers Mean. Low-T and Erectile Dysfunction.
The Most Effective Birth Control. Migraine Triggers You Can Avoid. Foods to Help You Concentrate. Stop Wrecking Your Teeth. Learn More About Eating Disorders. What is Crohn's Disease? Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes. Easing Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain. Know Your Migraine Triggers. The Stages of Lung Cancer. Who's at Risk for Hepatitis C? When is Binge Eating a Disorder? A Normal Part of Aging? Schizophrenia and Mental Health. The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis? Choose the Right Birth Control. What is Deep Vein Thrombosis? Put an End to Nail Fungus. How Much is Enough? Shocking Diseases of the Mouth. The Stigma of Psoriasis. Guide to Understanding Cancer. Beware of Diabetes Foot Dangers. Am I Having a Heart Attack? What Cholesterol Levels Mean. Diseases of the Eye.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes. Ease Psoriatic Arthritis Pain. Alzheimer's and Aging Brains. Spring Allergies Precise Cancer Therapy.