You might think that high hormone levels in men are a good thing. The first thing that comes to mind is testosterone. Moreover, what man wouldn’t like to have a bit more testosterone? However, high levels of any hormone can have both positive and negative effects.
- High levels of testosterone – Higher levels of testosterone actually can have positive effects. It helps with improved concentration and mental acuity. It increases motivation, sense of well-being, and confidence. It increases the libido and ability to obtain and keep erections. However, it can also have negative effects. It causes men to undertake risky behavior. Men with high levels tend to have a higher chance of drinking too much and smoking. They have a higher risk of being injured in a given time period. This leads to a higher chance of death.
- High levels of estrogen – Estrogen is present in both males and females. In men, testosterone overrules estrogen in the younger years. That gradually changes with aging and the signs of andropause. Excessive estrogen in men can lead to problems. Men with high levels of estrogen have 2 times the risk of a stroke than men without those abnormal levels. Men with high levels of estrogen also have a greater chance of arteries thickening that those with normal levels. Other conditions associated with high levels of estrogen in men include higher rates of heart attack, coronary atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, abnormal blood clotting, and prostate cancer. It is important to pay attention to high hormone levels in men.
- High levels of cortisol – Cortisol is often a symptom of increased stress levels. Under stress, cortisol amounts shoot up. After the stress event, the levels go down, usually. However, when cortisol amounts shoot up and do not come down it can cause problems for men. The most observable is a loss of sex drive. It can also lead to increased deposits of fat around the abdominal area.
- High levels of DHEA – DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a precursor hormone to testosterone. When there are elevated levels of DHEA, there may be a corresponding increase in testosterone levels also. It shows the benefits of increased testosterone levels such as a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and increased muscle mass.
These are just a few of the positive and negative consequences of high hormone levels in men. Most doctors will take tests periodically to ensure your hormonal levels are in line. If you are dealing with andropause, that test may provide a diagnosis.