Testosterone is a hormone produced in the male testes. During a boy's pubescent years (ages 9 to 14), there is an increase in production that leads to male secondary sexual characteristics such as a deeper voice, more muscle mass, facial hair growth and enlargement of the Adam's apple (among others). Some teenage boys experience these puberty changes at later ages than others. The timing of puberty is often genetically determined (through heredity), but other factors can play a role in delaying it, such as poor nutrition, physical trauma and certain diseases. Stimulating testosterone production naturally is possible in teen boys, although in rare cases hormone therapy may be needed to trigger and complete puberty.
So, how does one ensure that testosterone levels remain in balance? Some doctors suggest that monitoring testosterone levels every five years, starting at age 35, is a reasonable strategy to follow. If the testosterone level falls too low or if the individual has the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels described above, testosterone therapy can be considered. However, once testosterone therapy is initiated, testosterone levels should be closely monitored to make sure that the testosterone level does not become too high, as this may cause stress on the individual, and high testosterone levels may result in some of the negative problems (described previously) seen.
Clinical research still hasn’t determined a hard threshold level for when symptoms of low T begin appearing . Some recent research suggests that symptoms of low T might begin appearing in men when their total testosterone level dips below 320 ng/dl . According to anecdotal evidence from the owner of Peak Testosterone, many men start noticing low T symptoms when their total testosterone dips into the 400s . Of course, it’s anecdotal, so take it for what it’s worth, but it’s probably a good idea to stay above 500 ng/dl if you don’t want to experience symptoms of low T.