Steroid Information, Anabolic and Androgenic by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 24, 2017

Anabolic steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones known as androgens. “Anabolic” refers to muscle-building.  Steroid drugs are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence. Steroids are also prescribed to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Abuse of anabolic steroids, however, can lead to serious health problems such as liver damage and hair loss. Sometimes the hair loss is not reversible. Anabolic steroid use is most commonly done by athletes and body builders who want that extra edge.

Legal steroids
If you define a steroid as a hormone released by the adrenal glands, then there are at least two legal steroids on the market, including DHEA and pregnenolone. However, these legal steroids have very little anabolic activity, but they have a lot androgenic - male characteristic enhancing - properties. One can buy steroids of this sort in stores or on the internet since they are legal. I suggest you use these hormones carefully and in low dosages and take frequent breaks from use. They are potent.

Contamination of natural products
The Food and Drug Administration told Congress in September 2009 it has limited abilities to keep dietary supplements with steroids from hitting market shelves. "FDA generally cannot identify violative products before they enter the marketplace," Michael Levy, director of the FDA's division of new drugs and labeling compliance, said at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary panel's subcommittee on crime and drugs. The Senate is investigating whether steroids are hidden in the protein powders and nutritional supplements used to bulk-up by many athletes, teens and body-builders.

DEA classifies three compounds as anabolic steroids
In December 2009, the Drug Enforcement Agency classified boldione, desoxymethyltestosterone and 19-nor-4,9(10)-androstadienedione as "anabolic steroids" under the Controlled Substances Act, in accordance with authority afforded the DEA by the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. Any supplier illegally marketing these steroids as supplements now will be subject to DEA prosecution in addition to prosecution from the Food and Drug Administration.

Side effects of steroids
The major long term side effects from anabolic steroid abuse include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids), fluid retention, and high blood pressure. Other steroid side effects include acne shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, and baldness. Development of breasts can occur. Steroid rage is a well know reaction to anabolic steroid abuse.

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2013. Faster, higher, stronger: knowledge about old and new doping substances. Physicians should possess specific diagnostic and pharmacotherapeutic skills in order to recognize symptoms associated with doping use. It is important to be on the alert in athletes and fitness enthusiasts for physical and psychological changes due to use of anabolic steroids such as acne, stretch marks, gynecomastia, signs of acromegaly, irascibility and lethargy. Stimulants such as amphetamines, ephedrine and cocaine lead to fat loss and increased alertness; their main side effects are cardiac problems, behavioral changes and addiction. In addition to anabolic steroids and stimulants, erythropoietin, growth hormone, diuretics and glucocorticoids are regularly used to improve sport performance.

Transplantation. 2001. Steroid side effects and their impact on transplantation outcome. Steroids are a staple of immunosuppressive therapy in transplantation. Despite the high incidence of side effects associated with steroid therapy, the risk of increased rejection with steroid discontinuation has often outweighed the potential benefits of improved quality of life. With the advent of a number of newer immunosuppressive agents, however, there has been a renewed and heightened focus on the possibility of steroid avoidance or withdrawal protocols that do not place the patient or graft at undue risk. The hope is that newer immunosuppressive agents will soon allow for a reduction in steroid use in appropriate patients, with an improvement in patients' long-term quality of life, and fewer healthcare-related costs.

Testimonial
I wanted to let you know of side effects from the steroids, prednisone that my doctor gave me: high blood pressure increase, anxiety, highs and lows in mood, almost psychosis, feelings of disorientation, and bruising.

Steroid Rage
Anabolic steroid users may behave aggressively for a long time after stopping the drug, but the behavior -- and some of the brain changes linked to it -- may be reversible. In an experiment with teenage hamsters given anabolic steroids, scientists found that the animals continued to chase and bite their brethren for days during withdrawal from the muscle-building hormones. At the same time, activity in the brain's vasopressin system, which is linked to aggression, was elevated in the steroid-treated hamsters. After a couple weeks, however, both vasopressin activity and aggression subsided. The hamsters went back to normal by day 19 of steroid withdrawal. In human teenagers, that could translate to many weeks or months, or perhaps years? Although the hamsters' vasopressin systems also went back to normal, it's possible that other brain systems affected by steroids may not recover that quickly. Steroid abuse may hinder the development of the serotonin system, which suppresses aggression. So at a time when the young brain is still taking shape, teenage steroid users may enhance the development of the brain's aggression center while suppressing the maturation of its calming center. Could the damage be permanent? More research will provide the answer. Source: Behavioral Neuroscience, February 2006.

Steroid Alternative
To enhance muscles, consider creatine and soy protein or whey protein powder supplements. For better sex drive, consider the steroid alternative herbal sexual enhancers such as tongkat ali, tribulus, and horny goat weed.

Steroid Hormone Cancer Risk
Although hormones produced in the body are normally considered to be beneficial in such matters as life, male and female development, fertility, and blood pressure regulation, these same compounds can act in some circumstances as carcinogens or carcinogen facilitators, In some such cases increased amounts of the hormone or changes in the formation of its metabolites might be responsible. In other cases the timing of hormone release plays a critical role. In some cases the hormone acts independently, while in others two or more compounds act in concert to promote cancer. The various compounds will be discussed separately, since they usually cause different kinds of cancer. Of the various hormones produced in the body, only aldosterone does not cause any cancers, although excess aldosterone can cause Conn's syndrome, which may be detected by the resultant hypertension.

Synthetic corticosteroids have variable glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid potencies. They can be administered either by intravenous, oral, intraarticular, intramuscular, inhalative or topic route. A local application is preferable over a systemic administration to avoid side effects. An initially high dose should always be tapered to the lowest possible effective dose. Among the side effects some have substantial clinical implications: Osteoporosis (to be treated during any long-term steroid application with calcium, vitamin D and eventually bis-phosphonates), immunodeficiency and a risk for often atypical infections, diabetes mellitus and psychiatric disorders such a depression and psychosis. A long-term glucocorticoid treatment can lead to a permanent adrenal insufficiency (M. Addison), which must be recognized and properly managed.

Steroid Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are treated with low-dose of the steroid prednisone have an increased risk of coming down with pneumonia. Most other drugs used to treat arthritis don't have this drawback. Prednisone, a steroid, tends suppresses the immune system and at high enough doses this could increase the chances of infection. Even though prednisone is commonly used to treat arthritis patients, there have been no studies looking at it's effect on the risk of pneumonia -- which is one of the major causes of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The most common treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are methotrexate, prednisone, Remicade, hydroxychloroquine and Enbrel. There appears to be no significantly increased risk associated with so-called TNF-blockers -- Remicade, Enbrel or Humira -- or with methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine or sulfasalazine. Prednisone use is common in rheumatoid arthritis and is therefore a potentially important health risk. Arthritis & Rheumatism, February 2006.

Anabolic Steroid and HIV
An oral anabolic steroid may restore the muscle and fat tissue often lost to HIV / AIDS, but the side effects highlight the dangers that steroids pose to healthy people who abuse them. A study of HIV -positive men found that the anabolic steroid, called oxandrolone, helped treat the substantial weight loss, or wasting, that can arise as a complication of HIV / AIDS. After 3 months, men who took the oxandrolone everyday showed gains in both weight and muscle tissue. The side effects of anabolic steroid treatment included an increase in LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, and a drop in "good" HDL cholesterol. Some men also developed signs of liver toxicity. These osandrolone side effects, say the researchers, highlight the dangers of healthy people abusing oxandrolone or other anabolic steroids to build muscle. Source: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, March 2006.

Steroids and Babies
Treatment with steroids for low blood pressure in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants may increase the risk of brain damage and death. VLBW infants weight less than 3 lbs. 5 oz and are at increased risk for death and a variety of complications, including lung and heart problems. Steroids are often given to VLBW infants to prevent or treat lung disease.

Phobia
Treatment with oral glucocorticoids, a type of steroid, can alleviate the fear in individuals with social and spider phobias. Glucocorticoid treatment, given with behavioral therapy that includes exposure techniques may help reduce fear and promote extinction of phobic fear. Glucocorticoid impair the retrieval of emotionally arousing memories. Increasing these levels might also block the recall of fear memories tied to phobias. In one study, cortisone, a steroid naturally produced by the body and can also be synthesized, was given to 40 subjects with social phobia and to 20 with spider phobia one hour before they were exposed to the cause of the phobia.
In both groups, the steroid treatment was associated with a significant reduction in fear induced by the source of the phobia. When the subjects were given placebo, or "sugar pill," the amount of natural cortisol released by the body was inversely related to fear ratings, confirming the link between cortisol and fear response. In the patients with the spider phobia, the reduction in fear was still apparent when they were exposed to the source of the phobia 2 days after cortisol, suggesting that this treatment may have facilitated the extinction of phobic fear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, April 4, 2006.

FDA and Steroids
March 2006 - The government has told companies that make and sell two dietary supplements with synthetic steroids that their products are classified as unapproved drugs and cannot be sold legally. The products, promoted for building muscle and increasing strength, may cause serious long-term health problems. The agency issued warning letters for: Anabolic Xtreme Superdrol, manufactured for Anabolic Resources LLC of Gilbert, Ariz., and distributed by Supplements To Go of Cincinnati. Methyl-1-P, manufactured for Legal Gear of Brighton, Mich., and distributed by Affordable Supplements of Wichita, Kan. Among the problems the FDA said are associated with anabolic steroids are liver toxicity; testicular atrophy and male infertility; masculinization of women; breast enlargement in males; short stature in children; harmful cholesterol levels; and potentially higher risks of heart attack and stroke.

Steroid shot warning
People with rotator cuff injury who enjoy rapid pain relief following a steroid injection should not immediately return to vigorous activity or start physical therapy right away, even if they feel remarkably better. Steroid shots temporarily produce changes in the tendon that mimic that of a tendon injury, possibly making the tendon more vulnerable to damage during this time.

Questions
Q. Do you prefer steroid use for bigger muscles or do you think creatine works well, too?
   A. Without a doubt I choose creatine over steroids. Steroids have too many serious side effects.

Q. Is it true that if you cycle one bottle of steroids correctly there will be no side effects.
   A. There is a possibility that the steroids could cause harm to the body that may not be apparent to the user.

Q. What natural supplement or herb is a substitute for the steroid prednisone?
   A. It would be preferable to focus on the natural treatment of a particular medical condition, rather than to focus on a natural supplement alternative to prednisone.

Q.  I took steroids when i was 18 and i suffer from insomnia, anxiety, depression, erection problems, no sex drive. i got my levels done and my total testosterone is 399. i am 32 years old. i am seeking a natural method to increase my testosterone the way it should be.
   A. Rather than focusing on one hormone level, it is best to address the whole person through diet, exercise, deep sleep, and certain herbs can help restore sex drive.

Losing weight after steroid use. Thank you for your clear and useful site. I took cortisone steroid for a short time and gained weight that I have been unable to lose. I am told this is a different kind of weight and it is not always possible to reset the body back to its regular weight. Do you have any suggestions for losing this type of weight?

Testimonials
I'm 38 years now, did fitness from my 17 years, and started steroids at 20 years. Im no bodybuilder, i was very skinny and wanted to look normal. Steroids i used in cycles never more then 6 weeks, 3 times a year. I had also years without any hormones. Cycles were moderate, 50mg deca a week and 250mg of a testosterone esther. So i worked out regularly for many years, its an addiction, you feel the endorphins flowing when you finish a workout. On roids, i felt it didnt just affect my body, but also my wellbeing, my confidence, i slept better, more appettite, start eating healthier, etc....It gets kind off an obsession because it makes you feel good, also socially in a gym. All my life i knew, i needed to take breaks from hormones, the longer you use, the harder it gets to take abrake. I know guys getting heart attacks at 45 years. Lived in thailand where its a paradise for bodybuilder, steroids are sold in every pharmacy. Now to the pregnenolone, i tried DHEA, gave me acne, worked quit hard on me. When i started pregnenolone from puritans pride, i didnt really feel anything. But i felt it worked very subtle. I read about the neurological effects and thought i can have a little better mood as normal. So 4 years, every morning 50 mg capsule pregnenolone. I felt good on them, without any bad side effects. In that time i did a few cycles and took a break from pregnenolone. Now i stopped working out, and any hormone related substance. 4 months now, since i returned from thailand. I have nothing bad experienced of 50mg a day. Im sure its much better then shooting roids year in and out. I got little baldness, but i think its just because of age, nothing drastic. My libido is gone yes. But for me thats a good thing, it makes all women powerless. Thats a huuuuge problem solved, just that.I need to say, i didnt crave for it the last months, but i do feel kinda depressed. Lost my drive.

Email received from a supplier in China in 2017 - I am not sure how legal these are:
We are steroids raw manufacturer in china. We have fellowing product in stock. Testosterone series Nandrolone series Boldenone Trenbolone Masteron Primobolan Sarms Powder series.