Even though testosterone is widely known as the male sex hormone, both males and females have testosterone in their bodies. It is released by the testes in men and ovaries in women. The adrenal glands in both sexes release testosterone as well. The reason why this hormone is primarily associated with men is because it is naturally higher in males than females.
During the teenage years, boys especially have high levels of testosterone in their bodies. This leads to the development of various secondary sex characteristics such as: increased bone and muscle mass, deeper voice, enlarged Adam’s apple, wider shoulder and chest, increased amounts of facial and body hair, sperm production, and a larger penis. Among teenage girls, testosterone is linked to an increase in their libido.
The Problem with High Testosterone Levels
Aside from testosterone, there are so many other hormones in the human body. Having normal levels of hormones is very important. Otherwise, a staggering number of health problems might surface.
Abnormally high levels of testosterone among boys and girls in their teenage years usually signify certain problems. In adolescent males, this could be a sign of either early onset of puberty or tumors in the testicles. It could also be an indicator of hyperthyroidism — a condition wherein the thyroid gland is overactive, producing too much of the hormone thyroxin.
Even though it’s true that teenage girls have testosterone in their bodies as well, the amounts are considerably lower than those in boys. Needless to say, there could be a problem if girls have unnaturally high levels of testosterone in them, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or tumor in the adrenal gland or ovary.
Lowering Testosterone Levels Naturally
There are an assortment of ways to have high levels of testosterone in adolescent males and gemales trimmed down. Some of the most effective ones include:
- Cutting back on meat. It’s common knowledge that protein from animal sources increases the levels of testosterone in both men and women. Completely eliminating meat in the diet of teens with high levels of testosterone in them is not really recommendable because their developing bodies need protein. What needs to be done is to reduce the amounts of animal protein such as beef and pork in the diet, and introduce more protein from plants such as peas, soybeans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, potatoes and corn.
- Eating soy and soy-based food products. As mentioned above, reducing the intake of protein from animal sources is good for normalizing the levels of testosterone in teenage boys and girls. To make sure that they still get ample amounts of protein for proper muscle and bone development as well as healthy skin and hair, soy and soy-based products should be added into their diet. Other than being rich in protein, they help reduce excessive amounts of testosterone effectively, say the experts.
- Adding more fruits and vegetables in the diet. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals needed by the developing bodies of teenage boys and girls. Having a healthy body promotes the normal production of the various hormones, including testosterone. However, adolescent girls are advised to limit their consumption of cruciferous vegetables because they are known to considerably decrease estrogen levels in the body. Some examples of cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, horseradish, kale, mustard, radish, turnips and watercress.
- Reducing hours spent sleeping. Experts say that having more than 8 hours of sleep at night is bad for the health. It also helps promote high levels of testosterone in the body. To help teenage boys and girls attain appropriate amounts of testosterone, it’s a good idea to reduce their sleep times to 8 hours or less.
- Exercising to lose unwanted body weight. Being overweight is one of the reasons why hormonal imbalances take place. Naturally, shedding off unwanted pounds can be very beneficial for adolescents with high levels of testosterone in them. Besides, being fit can save teenage boys and girls from having low self-confidence as well as self-esteem, which is very common in their age group.
- Cutting back on consuming essential fatty acids. Although essential fatty acids are undeniably good for the health, it’s a good idea to have their consumption reduced to trim down excessive levels of testosterone in adolescents. Oily fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables oils such as sunflower, corn, safflower, canola, flaxseed and soybean oils should be limited.
- Eliminating daily stress. Adults are not the only one faced with a lot of stress, but today’s teenagers too. When excessively stressed, the body produces lots of the hormone cortisol and this could lead to spikes in testosterone levels. Stress-busting activities such as listening to music, writing in a journal, painting, engaging in sports or playing a musical instrument can help teens relax.