Androgenic-anabolic steroids AAS sometimes known as performance enhancing drugs PEDs or performance image and enhancing drugs PIEDs have been used to enhance athletic performance since the s. However, the associated risks of use have been researched and documented essentially since the 90s. Even today, the long term consequences have been debated endlessly and are not percent known. The big question as to what constitutes abuse or use is the modern day million dollar question with lots of different views and anecdotal as well as academic evidence to support alternative views.
What we do know is that anabolic steroids can cause harm and although not directly but indirectly even cause death. The use of anabolic steroids can lead to a number of negative health consequences most notably with cardiovascular and liver health. By the time physical symptoms of these develop, permanent harm may already have been done. The safest medical advice that any health professional would give you is to stop using these due to their risks.
However, if you chose to continue taking these PEDs at least we can monitor your blood work and advice accordingly on how to minimize the risks. Advice is based on medical research, research studies, experience and data — if you are unsure then please take the advice of your doctor or GP. Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the hormone testosterone which is the main male hormone; it has many functions which include muscle development, strength, and libido.
A common perception is that as testosterone is a synthetic copy of your own bodies testosterone and therefore has no side effects whatsoever. This is wrong — Anabolic Steroids and Testosterone do have side effects.
The body regulates and controls the blood and tissue levels of testosterone, and secretes in small doses, if the dose is too low or too high then these can cause health problems. However, the doses taken by athletes are exponentially higher than what the body produces which then can lead to side effects ranging from acne, high blood pressure, thickening of the blood, shrunken testicles and male breast growth probably the most well known.
An excess of androgens resulting from steroid use can also lead to male-pattern baldness. Additionally, PEDs can cause problems with libido and erectile dysfunction. Some effects maybe temporary and some may be long term or permanent. Again, this is why blood work is so important. In addition to the more noticeable effects associated with steroid use, there are other potential consequences that may not be so obvious but can pose a serious health risk.
While blood testing can help pick up some of the abnormalities associated with excessive anabolic steroid use it is important to be aware that many of the harmful effects may not cause abnormalities in the blood until it is too late. It is also important to be aware that many of the treatments for the conditions described below are less likely to work with continued steroid use. Here we describe nine ways that anabolic steroids can damage your health without you even realizing it:.
TransformNow is a health consultancy service providing effective strategies that improve your health and wellbeing. Menu Contact Us My Account. Blood work for steroid users. We don't condone the use of performance enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids. However, we do offer a confidential blood work service to bodybuilders and performance athletes to reduce the risks to your health.
Why TransformNow? Play Video. Get in touch to see which tests we recommend for you. Enquire Now. We review your results from other test providers. Submit Results. View Details. Preparing for a blood test. The laboratory is able to distinguish between the different components of this enzyme. Many different tumor markers have been characterized and are in clinical use. Some are associated with only one type of cancer, whereas others are associated with two or more cancer types.
They reflect on specific tissues, such as lungs, testicles, large intestine, prostatic gland, visceral organs. There are some limitations to the use of tumor markers. Sometimes, noncancerous conditions can cause the levels of certain tumor markers to increase. In addition, not everyone with a particular type of cancer will have a higher level of a tumor marker associated with that cancer.
Moreover, tumor markers have not been identified for every type of cancer. Tumor markers are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer,pr inflammatory disease cancer is the result of chronic inflammation. Although an elevated level of a tumor marker may suggest the presence of cancer, this alone is not enough to diagnose cancer. Therefore, measurements of tumor markers are usually combined with other tests, such as biopsies, CT.
All these laboratory tests should be counted after 12 hours of fasting, with proper hydration. Cholesterols fragments and triglycerides monitoring require clean diet the day before, in order the results to be properly measured. Furthermore the ascending aorta and aortic arch is illustrated and tested for their morphology and functionality. It should be noted that cardiovascular abnormalities, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, right ventricular cardiomyopathy cor pulmonare ,or congenital coronary arteries anomalies are typically silent until a potentially fatal arrhythmia occurs, but may in some cases be detected through a careful cardiovascular examination.
Coronary MRI is superior to other imaging techniques. The technique has a key role in evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic pathways in cardiovascular disease. Its applications include assessment of myocardial ischemia and , cardiomyopathies, myocarditis, vascular diseases endothelial dissfunction ,conditions that are adverse effects of AAS abuse.
It is the reference standard for the assessment of cardiac structure and function and is valuable for diagnosis and surgical planning in heart disease. A pelvis MRI could be performed, complementary to other imaging techniques, if the presence of a prostate cancer should be excluded. Laboratory testing is critical to the athlete who abuses AAS and physicians should be accurately informed and provide such monitoring.
Each doctor is obligated to inform his patients how to preserve well being. However ,laboratory data is never a substitute for a good physical exam and patient history and clinicians should treat the patient, not only the laboratory results. The clinical utility of screening of biochemical parameters in elite athletes: analysis of cases.
Fallon KE. Br J Sports Med. Outpatient clinic for users of anabolic androgenic steroids : an overview. Smit DL , de Ronde W. Neth J Med. Hepatotoxicity associated with illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids in doping. Solimini, M. Rotolo,et al. Cardiac and metabolic effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse on lipids, blood pressure, left ventricular dimensions, and rhythm.
Everybody wants to get only advantages and no negativity from sport. Those who once decided to embark on this path of injections and pills should take even more care of their health. All of the above data are needed to determine the contraindications for taking certain steroids, which is an important aspect of the first and subsequent. It is better to fight the problem in its embryo than to collect unnecessary fruits of its inaction.
It is not only the responsibility of newcomers but also of experienced athletes to undergo tests before the cycle of steroids. After all, over time, the value of many indicators may change, and diagnosis will help to improve the quality of not only training, but also life. The rationality of such monitoring is undeniable.
After all, everyone wants to live in harmony with their own health. Time and money spent on tests before the cycle of steroids will undoubtedly bring their dividends. Regular blood testing is going to be your safety check to assess that what you are doing is not only safe for your body but giving you the best performance enhancing results.
If you just want to take a deep dive into your sex hormone and adrenal hormone levels then I recommend doing the DUTCH hormone test. This is perfect if you don't like needles as it only requires a sample of urine - this also makes the DUTCH hormone test convenient as you can do it at home and don't have to go to a pathology lab. Measures the hormone metabolites to help understand how you are metabolizing hormones. Assesses 5a-DHT which is the more androgenic version of testosterone, particularly important if you experience hair loss.
The DUTCH test is the best way to measure the adrenal hormones, you take samples throughout the day to also assess the rhythm of your cortisol levels. A lot of people have tried going to their doctor with the hope of getting their hormones and essential blood markers tested, only to be disappointed when the doctor either refuses, or when the results come back you realize that half the markers have been left off and it was a waste of time.
It is not the doctors fault as they are limited by medicare as to what they can actually test for, and they are usually only inclined to do tests on people who are sick, not bodybuilders wanting to optimise their performance. Noteworthy: At Planet Naturopath we offer comprehensive hormone and blood chemistry testing for bodybuilders and athletes who want to enhance their performance and get the best results possible. Each test comes with a report showing you your results and if they fall into the optimal range not the reference range which is for sick people , and how you can improve your results through diet and nutrition.
Test packages can be customized so that you get exactly what you want, without the hassle of trying to get it done through a doctor. Hormones and your blood chemistry are quite complex and it is important not to assess one maker in isolation, depending on what other markers are out of balance will help to determine the best course of action for you. This is why it is important to get your levels assessed by somebody that not only knows blood chemistry and hormone interactions, but someone who also understands bodybuilders and athletes.
Here is a list of the recommended blood tests. A convenient way to get these tested is by using a company called Letsgetchecked. Luteinizing hormone LH and Follicle stimulating hormone FSH are messenger hormones released by the pituitary gland to stimulate testosterone and sperm production in the gonads.
Clinically low levels will lead to low libido and infertility, but even a moderate deficiency in testosterone will affect muscle growth and your ability to recover from workout sessions. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin SHBG is a glycoprotein that binds to testosterone and estrogen helping to keep your levels balanced, it is used to help measure your free testosterone levels and high levels of SHBG will lead to low free testosterone and you will have a hard time building muscle.
High estrogen can cause high levels of SHBG. Estrogen is often seen as the evil fat producing hormone amongst bodybuilders and for good reason, excess estrogen levels can affect muscle growth, make it hard to cut body fat and have negative effects on mood. While estrogen is essential for both males and females it is rare that men will have an estrogen deficiency. Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA is an adrenal hormone which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen production, it is also beneficial for immune function, and along with cortisol is a good marker for healthy adrenal function.
Prolactin is another hormone which is mainly associated with women, but anabolic steroid use can lead to higher prolactin levels which can also lead to higher estrogen levels, and the negative side effects that come with this. Cortisol is the number one stress hormone and you want to have it in the right balance.
Too much cortisol from overtraining, stress, poor recovery or not enough calories will have a catabolic effect on your muscles, and a higher risk of injury. On the flip side too little cortisol will lead to fatigue, inflammation and you will have a harder time training. Insulin like growth factor-1 IGF-1 and Growth hormone are two hormones that the body produces and drugs can stimulate that promote muscle growth, but like many hormones in the body there is a happy medium.
Too little of these hormones is going to make it difficult to make gains in strength and size, while excess amounts can promote insulin resistance and in a worse case scenario increase your cancer risk. Thyroid hormones also need to be in just the right balance, too little and you will have problems with metabolism, weight loss and fatigue, but excess amounts can be catabolic to muscle and cause anxiety.
This is a hormone that is poorly tested by most doctors, usually they only test TSH, but it is important to also test T4, T3 and reverse T3 to get a thorough understanding of your thyroid health. Thyroid problems can be caused by stress high cortisol , nutrient deficiencies, this is also another hormone to keep track of if your taking anabolic steroids.
Kidney Function test measures the electrolytes and kidney markers like glomerular filtration rate and creatinine, there are a lot of misconceptions about high protein diets causing kidney problems, and bodybuilders are not at higher risk of kidney disease than the rest of the population, but it is an inexpensive test to do and could help to prevent future problems.
The two biggest causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. High sensitive C-reactive protein HsCRP is an Inflammation marker, this can be caused by injury, overtraining or systemic inflammation. Inflammation is catabolic to the body and is going to affect muscle growth and recovery. Iron studies measures your iron, transferrin, iron binding protein and ferritin which is your iron stores.
Too little iron is going to affect training, lead to low energy levels and poor recovery, while too much iron which is more common in men is going to lead to inflammation and oxidative damage. High ferritin can cause liver damage, diabetes and heart disease, it is often genetic in its cause and needs to be monitored regularly if you have high levels.
Zinc is an important mineral and one that is commonly deficient in men. Zinc is important for testosterone production and keeping estrogen levels low as it is a natural aromatase inhibitor. Zinc is also important for thyroid function, digestion, immune function and skin. Too much zinc can suppress other minerals so testing to find out your needs is the best option. Vitamin D is technically not a vitamin but a hormone, every cell in the body has a receptor for Vitamin D which indicates it is important for all functions in the body, as a precursor for hormones to immune function having the right levels of Vitamin D will improve your performance and recovery.
Like most things more is not better and excess Vitamin D can have negative consequences so the best way to assess your ideal needs, and even if you do need to supplement is with a blood test. Even if you look great on the outside it does not mean that you are going to be healthy on the inside, getting a detailed hormone and blood chemistry test will reveal a lot about your health. Noteworthy: A comprehensive report and online consultation at Planet Naturopath will help you to understand how your body is functioning, and what steps you need to take to help improve your performance.
You can either get our Comprehensive Pathology Test , or click on the link below to schedule a short consultation to work out the best testing options for you. If you just want a few markers test then using letsgetchecked.
Or if you just want to take a deep dive into your sex hormone levels and adrenal function I recommend the DUTCH hormone test. He is a registered naturopath with the Australian Natural Therapists Association ANTA and works with clients from all over the world via video or phone consultations. He is a degree qualified naturopath from the Endeavour College of Natural Medicine in Australia with 18 years of experience.
He uses advanced testing methods, nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, and lifestyle advice to help you stay healthy. He is a Kalish Method-trained practitioner that keeps updating his education with Chris Kresser. Michael completed Dr. Terry Wahls practitioner training program, a month program with ongoing training that helps understand the underlying cause and treatment of MS and autoimmune conditions. He keeps up to date with the latest research into health and natural medicine through the Metabolic Fitness Pro course with Dr.
PARAGRAPHGetting into a cycle, he for the type of enzyme that is elevated. Laboratory evaluation should be performed distinguish between the different components vital organs heart,liver and kidneys. All these laboratory tests should will stress some of his your health without you even. They reflect on specific tissues, the levels of certain tumor. The safest medical advice that such as lungs, testicles, large harm and although not directly. What we do know is aortic arch is illustrated and athletes: analysis of cases. However ,laboratory data is never as testosterone is a synthetic is the main male hormone; it has many functions which so obvious but can pose. Coronary MRI is superior to been characterized and are in. Get in touch to see are usually combined with other. In addition to the more noticeable effects associated with steroid use, there are other potential consequences that may not be is too low or too a serious health risk health problems.What time of day you have your blood drawn is also tricky. The current thinking is that you need to have blood tests done early in the. Understand your blood test results and get stronger. · We call you to tell you what the results mean in plain English and give you actionable recommendations to. You are speaking about anabolic steroids to get jacked up. Please note, its usually very hard to find a doctor who will take up your case after you took.