In adequate amounts, testosterone, an androgenic steroid hormone produced in the testes and the adrenals, promotes the development and functioning of masculine traits and secondary sex characteristics, including libido and reproduction, assists in the growth of muscle and bone mass, and helps regulate certain brain functions. High amounts of testosterone may produce some favorable characteristics, including increased energy and improved ability to learn and retain information. In very high amounts, it may induce exaggerated or extreme behavior and may cause harmful or undesirable physical side effects.
Researcher Alan Booth, a sociology and human development professor at Penn State, believes that men with high testosterone may smoke and drink more than men with lesser amounts of the hormone. Booth's findings also suggest that these men engage in fights and combative behavior and may participate in risky undertakings more often than men with lower testosterone. His research also reveals a tendency for men with increased testosterone to commit acts of unfaithfulness and to mistreat their partners or spouses.
Booth's study suggests that if you have high testosterone you may experience frequent episodes of unemployment and troubled relationships, broken marriages and strained relations with your children. You may find it difficult to remain faithful to one person and may suffer from sexually transmitted diseases. Your tendency to gamble and to take risks may result in financial and legal difficulties, and you may fall victim to frequent accidents due to your impulsive, boisterous nature.
In her book "The Well-Dressed Ape," Hannah Holmes contends that you may have high testosterone levels circulating in your body if your ring finger is longer than your index finger. Other factors which may signify high testosterone in your blood include a receding hair line, heavy growth of facial and body hair, acne, a lean physique and high cheekbones with a low brow ridge. In the September 2002 Men's Health, Laurence Gonzales notes that men with high testosterone levels tend to smile infrequently and talk less, suggesting they prefer action-oriented pursuits over those requiring verbalization.
High testosterone levels may occur naturally or as the result of supplementation using patches, gels or intramuscular injections. Since testosterone levels decline after 50 years of age, your physician might suggest you begin replacement therapy using synthetic testosterone. If, during replacement therapy, you notice decreased impulse control, extreme shifts in mood, or if you feel angrier and more argumentative than usual, you may have too much testosterone in your body.
Androstenedione ("andro") is a type of anabolic steroid used by athletes to increase muscle mass and strength and to build endurance. When you use an anabolic steroid in excessive doses on a daily basis, you will augment your testosterone levels, but you also run the risk of developing health complications. Symptoms of the prolonged administration of testosterone include shrinkage of the testicles, reduced sperm count and impotence, breast tissue enlargement, liver tumors, enlargement of the heart muscle, acne, hair loss and muscle aches.