High Testosterone in Children
Children with elevated testosterone levels may be afflicted with a deadly disease. There are many reasons that a child might have high testosterone levels, and finding the reason for the hormone rise is the first step to treatment. Recognizing signs of elevated testosterone in children and knowing how to check for high testosterone levels could save your child's life 1.
Testosterone, a sex hormone that is produced in a man's testes, plays a vital role in puberty. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland regulate the amount of testosterone that the testes produce. Females' bodies also have small amounts of testosterone, which is produced in their ovaries.
High Testosterone in Adolescence
A child who has a high testosterone level may experience precocious puberty, which is an early onset of puberty. This excessive amount of testosterone may stem from a brain tumor, head trauma, an infection in the brain or ovary abnormalities, or it may come with no explanation. Endocrine and neurological changes that occur during adolescence, such as testosterone increase, may be brought on by substance abuse. Adolescent children with high levels of testosterone are likely to experience an increase in impulsive behavior and aggression 13.
High Testosterone in Womb
Cambridge University's autism research center launched a study in 2002, which links high levels of testosterone in fetuses to autistic traits exhibited in early childhood 1. The research involved studying the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus and monitoring social behavior as the child grows. The research shows that higher testosterone levels in the womb correlate with children who exhibited a lack of social and verbal skills.
A blood test may be ordered by a doctor to check testosterone levels if a child looks like he is entering into puberty earlier or later than expected 2. A girl may need a testosterone test performed if she is exhibiting masculine characteristics, such as facial hair 2. Other reasons a doctor may want to check the testosterone levels in a child include looking for disease of the testes, adrenal glands, ovaries or pituitary gland.
Boys who are seen by their peers as being stronger socially tend to have higher levels of testosterone than their peers who are less dominant socially. Children who experience puberty early usually will not achieve their potential adult height.
- Reasons Why a Child Won't Gain Weight or Grow in Height
- An Absent Parent and Self-Esteem in Children
- What Are the Causes of Behavioral Problems in Very Intelligent Children?
- Excessive Thirst in Toddlers
- Barriers to Childhood Development
- Long-Term Side Effects of Mumps
- What Are Appropriate Weights & Heights for Children?
- Hypotonia In Teens
- Factors Affecting Fetus Development
- Height Growth in Teenagers
- What Are the Causes of No LH Surge?
- List of Pathological Diseases
- Is Weight Gain Normal During Puberty?
- Vitamins for Teenagers With Depression & Anger
- What to Do If Progesterone Is Low During Early Pregnancy?
- Guardian.Co.UK: Autistic Traits Linked To High Levels of Testosterone in Womb
- Kids Health: Blood Test: Testosterone
- Pub Med: Male Testosterone Linked to High Social Dominance but Low Physical Aggression in Early Adolescence
- University of Rochester Medical Center. Total testosterone. 2019.
- MedlinePlus. Testosterone injection. Updated March 15, 2019.
- MedlinePlus. Testosterone levels test. Reviewed June 27, 2018.
- Long N, Nguyen L, Stevermer J. PURLS: It's time to reconsider early-morning testosterone tests. J Fam Pract. 2015;64(7):418-9.
- Kaiser Permanente. Testosterone results. Updated November 6, 2018.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Testosterone use and male fertility. 2015.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Testosterone - what it does and doesn't do. Updated August 29, 2019.
- Franks S, Hardy K. Androgen action in the ovary. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018;9:452. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00452
- Test ID: TGRP; Testosterone, Total and Free, Serum. MayoClinic Medical Laboratories.
- Testosterone: Drug information. Lexicomp, Inc. UptoDate.com.
- Camacho EM, Huhtaniemi IT, O'Neill TW, et al. Age-associated changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular function in middle-aged and older men are modified by weight change and lifestyle factors: longitudinal results from the European Male Ageing Study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2013;168(3):445-55. doi:10.1530/EJE-12-0890
- Kolettis PN, Purcell ML, Parker W, Poston T, Nangia AK. Medical testosterone: an iatrogenic cause of male infertility and a growing problem. Urology. May;85(5):1068-72. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2014.12.052
- Samplaski MK, Loai Y, Wong K, Lo KC, Grober ED, Jarvi KA. Testosterone use in the male infertility population: prescribing patterns and effects on semen and hormonal parameters. Fertil Steril. 2014;101(1):64-9. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.09.003
- Spritzer MD, Daviau ED, Coneeny MK, Engelman SM, Prince WT, Rodriguez-Wisdom KN. Effects of testosterone on spatial learning and memory in adult male rats. Horm Behav. 2011;59(4):484-96. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2011.01.009
- van Honk J, Schutter DJ, Bos PA, Kruijt AW, Lentjes EG, Baron-Cohen S. Testosterone administration impairs cognitive empathy in women depending on second-to-fourth digit ratio. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(8):3448-52. doi:10.1073/pnas.1011891108
- MarKord/iStock/Getty Images