3

votes

Is there any problem with high testosterone for women?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM

I have high Testosterone, and my doctor wants me to take saw palmetto to reduce it. I work in a male-dominated industry/field, I like being competitive, and my libido is on the low side. Is there any reason why having high Testosterone is a bad thing for women? Dr. Google hasn't been forthcoming on this issue.

Extra info: my estrogen, LH, and FSH are normal. DHEA is a little high, progesterone was low but that may be an artifact of when I took the test (day 21, but my cycles are longer than 28 days).

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on May 24, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Is this in reply to my original post, or to Joe's "answer"?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 09, 2012
at 11:42 PM

Joe, you might start a new question on behalf of your friend. Also, I recommend altering your email address in a way that spam-bots don't get it.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 08, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I'm talking about having much much higher than the reference range for testosterone. I have 96 pg/ml when the reference range for my age is 20 - 50 pg/ml.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:37 PM

Thanks, this is a great answer. I wondered if I could somehow be in the early stages of pre-menopause, but 30 years old seems to young for that, to me. I've been upping my carbs from an average of 70 g/day to about 150 g/day (with one or two refeeding days that are closer to 250 g/day) and while I feel much better with more carbs, I haven't had a reduction in acne. But that is a great point that since I've been eating more carbs, I should re-test the testosterone. As for cortisol, the day I did a 4-point cortisol test, my values were textbook perfect, so luckily cortisol isn't a problem.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:31 PM

My level was 96 pg/ml, with a range of 16 - 55 pg/ml for women my age.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 23, 2012
at 06:10 AM

I took saw palmetto for over a year, and didn't notice a damn thing.

3cdc762b2ae30b4ca3529f011ccac174

(186)

on August 23, 2012
at 04:49 AM

High T causes facial hair in women, some say. So I guess if you like to keep your local waxing salon in business. . .or maybe you're cool with being the "bearded lady?" :) Whatever works for you! However, results of saw palmetto do seem mixed - La Google seems to suggest most people don't see much result.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:52 AM

I feel that. I just got back a panel I ordered myself a few days ago, too. And yeah, it's good to get free and total testosterone, to see what's circulating (this is my very basic understanding). People typically suggest checking thyroid comprehensively, too. There can be a lot of crossover in symptoms. Hormones are too damn complicated.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:45 AM

My doctor didn't order the hormone panel, I did it myself because I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so bad (it turned out to be something else). I've been thinking about re-testing, to see if the Testosterone reading was even reliable. But it sounds like total Testosterone doesn't really matter anyway, so I don't know.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:43 AM

Oh, I love licorice root.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:42 AM

Yeah, lately I've been getting acne along my jawline, around my mouth, and on my forehead. I typically only get acne when I'm very stressed out, and I'm not stressed out lately. I've also been having to pluck dark hairs around my mouth. Eek!

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on August 23, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Unless you know what your free testosterone is (via a SHBG reading and calculation of free T) I wouldn't worry about it - high SHBG compensates for high total T. And in any event saw palmetto is not something to take for such a condition (its a DHT reducer with other potential side effects). One of my other recent posts here gives a link to the controversy over T measurements in women.

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10 Answers

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3
1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:09 AM

You sound a lot like my sister. She has higher T and borderline-high DHEAS with longer cycles. We are both highly competitive! It might be hormones; it might just be how we're wired.

If you know how long your cycles typically are, you can get a rough idea of what phase you were in, and then correlate that to the appropriate lab reference range.

Acne? More hair than most women? Irregular cycles, heavy/long periods, excessive cramping or PMS? Hair thinning? I think those are the big ones. Why did your doc run a hormone panel?

I took saw palmetto for awhile in an effort to lower my androgen levels, but I can't say it did much. From the n=1 experiences I've read about, it seems to vary wildly from person to person. Men often take it for BPH.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:52 AM

I feel that. I just got back a panel I ordered myself a few days ago, too. And yeah, it's good to get free and total testosterone, to see what's circulating (this is my very basic understanding). People typically suggest checking thyroid comprehensively, too. There can be a lot of crossover in symptoms. Hormones are too damn complicated.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:45 AM

My doctor didn't order the hormone panel, I did it myself because I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so bad (it turned out to be something else). I've been thinking about re-testing, to see if the Testosterone reading was even reliable. But it sounds like total Testosterone doesn't really matter anyway, so I don't know.

2
Db83c2c5ea492d6716c28a0b561ee174

(161)

on August 23, 2012
at 10:53 AM

Elevated T in women can be a symptom of aging, but also a number of serious conditions (albet those tend to cause more extreme imbalances in hormone levels). Could you be in pre-menopause? If so, it is an expected symptom. Other than birth control and saw palmetto you don't have many options to lower it through medicines, however i also wouldn't leave it to itself. If not close to menopause, acne and budding hirsutism shouldn't be the "normality". If you are relying on a low carb diet, i would recommend relaxing it for a few weeks, for example following the primal blueprint recommendations, which allow for a good amount of fruits, as excess cortisol could be triggering your symptoms (and exhausting your adrenals in the process). High cortisol is also known to cause low DHEAs and progesterone. Carb refeed days could also be effective.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:37 PM

Thanks, this is a great answer. I wondered if I could somehow be in the early stages of pre-menopause, but 30 years old seems to young for that, to me. I've been upping my carbs from an average of 70 g/day to about 150 g/day (with one or two refeeding days that are closer to 250 g/day) and while I feel much better with more carbs, I haven't had a reduction in acne. But that is a great point that since I've been eating more carbs, I should re-test the testosterone. As for cortisol, the day I did a 4-point cortisol test, my values were textbook perfect, so luckily cortisol isn't a problem.

2
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:44 AM

Do you get acne? I know that can be an issue with too much testosterone.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 23, 2012
at 06:10 AM

I took saw palmetto for over a year, and didn't notice a damn thing.

3cdc762b2ae30b4ca3529f011ccac174

(186)

on August 23, 2012
at 04:49 AM

High T causes facial hair in women, some say. So I guess if you like to keep your local waxing salon in business. . .or maybe you're cool with being the "bearded lady?" :) Whatever works for you! However, results of saw palmetto do seem mixed - La Google seems to suggest most people don't see much result.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:42 AM

Yeah, lately I've been getting acne along my jawline, around my mouth, and on my forehead. I typically only get acne when I'm very stressed out, and I'm not stressed out lately. I've also been having to pluck dark hairs around my mouth. Eek!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 23, 2012
at 06:20 AM

I suppose it depends on how high your T levels are, and how they are impacting your other hormones. I'm more familiar with PCOS, than just high testosterone itself, but there is supposedly and increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes heading into menopause.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:31 PM

My level was 96 pg/ml, with a range of 16 - 55 pg/ml for women my age.

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on August 23, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Not an answer to your question but licorice tea is also supposed to reduce testosterone. Doesn't taste like black licorice, tastes more like cinnamon. Yogi Teas makes a nice one.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 23, 2012
at 03:43 AM

Oh, I love licorice root.

1
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on August 23, 2012
at 12:52 AM

So long as you don't have hair on your chest and shoulders it's probably nothing to worry about.

1
43e9d0f324c2fc8b5f283786a1e3bf4f

(419)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:31 AM

That's weird. Testosterone correlates with sex drive. But at least in older men, saw palmetto doesn't appear to commonly cause any serious side effects: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22883375.

0
81e80088d9b87c807a645a870ed0bec1

on May 24, 2013
at 04:41 AM

Has she been checked for MS?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on May 24, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Is this in reply to my original post, or to Joe's "answer"?

0
D62e3b09387c8e06ce20c58d51a3270e

on November 09, 2012
at 11:04 PM

I have a friend that is a 52 year old female and she has a major problem, so I wanted to see if anyone has experienced the same and/or has a solution. My friend burns up with heat on the inside of her body (from head to toe). She says its like having a constant huge fire burning from within and continues 24/7. In addition, she has not been able to sweat at all for over a year. She started HRT a month ago and her levels are now where they should be, but because of the constant burning she cannot enjoy even a single day of her life. She tells me that she cannot live this way and doesn't understand why God won't help her or take her life from her. No, her problem is not caused by Menopause. If anyone has had the same problem or might have a suggestion, please write me at my email address of jotarallc@sbcglobal.net. Thanks so much.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 09, 2012
at 11:42 PM

Joe, you might start a new question on behalf of your friend. Also, I recommend altering your email address in a way that spam-bots don't get it.

0
A21d143f8c07b32b89c6c720552111d1

on November 08, 2012
at 09:17 AM

Most people believe that testosterone is only found in men. I always thought the same way too. We actually produce about one-seventh of the amount of testosterone that men produce in a day.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on November 08, 2012
at 01:50 PM

I'm talking about having much much higher than the reference range for testosterone. I have 96 pg/ml when the reference range for my age is 20 - 50 pg/ml.

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