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What Causes High Testosterone in Men? An In-Depth Look

Julian Carter


what causes high testosterone in men

Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for developing of male reproductive tissues. 

Additionally, it is also responsible for the development of secondary sexual characterstics like bone mass, and growth of body hair, etc.

Although high testosterone is relatively uncommon among men, it can lead to several health issues, infertility being one of them.

But do you know what causes high testosterone in men?

High testosterone in men could result from underlying medical conditions and anabolic steroid usage.

This article will highlight the different causes of high testosterone levels in men and ways to tackle the condition.

What causes high testosterone in men

Anabolic steroid usage, Testosterone Replacement Therapy, and some medical issues like tumors in the adrenal gland and testis can cause a rise in testosterone levels in men.

Also, genetics can contribute to the high levels of testosterone.

The hormone testosterone promotes sperm production and boosts libido and muscle building. 

Although low testosterone in males may contribute to infertility. 

Testosterone is important for proper physical growth and sexual functioning. But, extremely high testosterone levels can also be a matter of concern. 

Skin problems, sleep disorders, a reduced sperm count, and other problems might result from high testosterone in the blood.

In men, healthy levels of testosterone lie between 300-1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). A testosterone level over 1,200 ng/dL is considered high.

Anabolic steroid use

SteroidSource: Pixelshot
Anabolic steroid use

The use of anabolic steroids frequently results in unusually increased testosterone levels. 

Anabolic steroids are used by men to increase their athletic performance and build up their muscles.

An anabolic/androgenic steroid contains around 10 to 30 times more testosterone than a prescribed TRT dose.

Confused if testosterone and steroids are same? Read our article: Is Testosterone a Steroid? What You Need to Know

Tumor in the testicle or adrenal gland

Testosterone levels may also rise as a result of testicular or adrenal tumors. 

However, adrenal gland tumors that produce sex hormones are quite rare and aren’t necessarily cancerous. 

Additionally, tumors of the testes’s Leydig cells, where sperm is produced, are also uncommon but cancerous.


Genetics also have an impact on the testosterone levels of men.

According to studies, males with particular genetic polymorphisms are more likely to have abnormal testosterone levels.

Genetic polymorphism refers to the occurrence of two or more distinct variations of a given DNA sequence in different people or groups.

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  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

    TRT is another cause of men’s high testosterone levels.

    If you come in contact with someone using testosterone gel (a form of TRT applied on the skin), it can accidentally transfer to your skin.

    This, in turn, can lead to high testosterone levels.

    Unaddressed high testosterone can increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiac events like a heart attack or stroke.

    Treating high testosterone levels in men

    The doctor usually carries out blood tests and physical examinations to determine whether your testosterone levels are high or not.

    They will prescribe the most effective treatment method based on the diagnosis, the underlying cause, and your symptoms.

    Quitting the use of steroids, treating tumors, adjusting the TRT dose, and lifestyle changes can aid in restoring your testosterone levels back to normal. 

    Quitting steroids

    Stopping the intake of anabolic steroids can help lower down your testosterone levels.

    However, always consult your doctor before discontinuing these supplements.

    A study carried out on athletes concluded that former abusers of anabolic steroids showed a decline in their testosterone levels after quitting steroids.

    Treatment of tumors

    A doctor can advise surgery to remove the tumor if it is raising your testosterone levels. 

    A doctor will discuss the subsequent procedure with you to decide the best course of therapy if the tumor is cancerous.

    If the tumor is cancer-causing, the doctor may prescribe chemotherapy and radiation therapy along with surgery to treat the condition effectively.

    Adjusting TRT

    If you’re currently on  TRT, your doctor can lower the dosage to ensure your testosterone levels remain normal.

    The doctor may also change the TRT supplement if your current TRT is causing a rise in your testosterone level. 

    Lifestyle changes

    a plate of foodSource: oleksandranaumenko
    Nutritious food

    Lifestyle changes can also help you to restore your testosterone levels.

    You may increase your body’s natural production of testosterone by exercising frequently and consuming a nutritious diet. 

    This can also help you shed excess weight caused by testosterone imbalances and get more of the nutrients you need to support testosterone production in your body.

    This, in turn, aids in reducing excess weight you had put on due to hormonal imbalances.

    Additionally, this can help you receive more nutrients your body needs to keep the testosterone balance.


    Although high testosterone in men is rare, it can lead to several side effects, including acne, increased hair growth, mood swings, and infertility.

    Wondering what causes high testosterone in men? 

    In men, the use of anabolic steroids and Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can cause an elevation in testosterone levels.

    Also, some medical issues like adrenal and testis tumors and genetic predisposition can lead to high testosterone levels in men.

    If you believe you have high testosterone, your doctor can perform blood tests and physical examinations and provide the best line of treatment.

    Treatment options may include TRT adjustments, stopping steroids usage, and treating tumors.

    Recommended Article
    Are you considering testosterone supplements for treating low testosterone levels? Read our article: Does Testosterone Increase Sex Drive: Understanding the Connection to know more.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What can cause high testosterone levels in males?

    Anabolic steroid usage, tumors in the adrenal gland or testis, and Testosterone Replacement Therapy all can cause a rise in testosterone levels in men.

    How high testosterone in men can be treated?

    Adjusting Testosterone Replacement Therapy dose, quitting the intake of steroids, and treating underlying medical issues like tumors in the adrenal gland can help get testosterone levels back to normal.

    What are the symptoms of high testosterone in men?

    High testosterone levels in men can cause excessive hair growth, acne, mood swings, aggressive behavior, and weight gain.
    In more severe cases, it could lead to infertility.

    Do bananas lower testosterone levels in men?

    No, bananas do not reduce testosterone in men.
    In fact, the bromelain enzyme present in bananas aids in boosting testosterone levels.

    Which foods decrease testosterone levels?

    The intake of alcohol, dairy products, vegetable oils, and trans fat has been shown to reduce testosterone levels.

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