Newbs and Steroids (M1T) Ok so recently we have been getting around 4 posts a day asking horribly dumb questions regarding the use of M1T and other steroids. The idea behind THIS post is to end all the lame posts. Everyone wants to take 1test since it is clear that it works and it is legal. People are jumping on the bandwagon simply because they want results and they want them NOW. Naturally everyone here will tell you to NOT take them until you are ready. But how do you know when you are ready? I think this post explains it best... So now you've read that .. and you KNOW you should not take steroids.. so are you? Of course you are. Why? because it is the American way. No matter how many times we tell you NOT to take steroids until you are ready, you arnt going to listen anyway. Don't get me wrong I am NOT suggesting you stray away from this advice.. but I know you will. Lets talk about sides. People tend to dismiss the side effects of M1T and other forms of 1-test simply because it is still legal. But the fact of the matter is that M1T is as strong or stronger then quite a few illegal steroids on the market today. SO lets look at some common steroid side effects A. External Effects a) Changes in the skin The skin is the largest organ on the human body and is the most sensitive area for side effects, especially for women. The most apparent side effects are the pores in the skin becoming larger making the skin rough. This is more prominent in woman when they use androgenic steroids because they typically have smoother skin to begin with. This process is called virilization and once this has occurred, it is irreversible! Another large problem is acne. Acne that is already apparent will become worse and if there is no acne already, it most likely be evoked. This side effect will differ from person to person as all side effects do, depending on the person’s composition and the type and amount of steroid used. There are a number of over the counter agents that may help, but nothing can prevent it from occuring. Above: Severe Steroid Back Acne b) Baldness One of the most noted side effects with steroid use is baldness. Most Anabolic Steroids convert into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that has been directly linked to hair loss in men. Steroids that are derivatives of DHT are even more likely to lead to baldness. And even though there are numerous hair growth products available, it might as well be considered irreversible as well. The truth is 99% of the time when you loose your hair it is gone for good. Above: Balding Bodybuilders B. Internal Effects a) Psychological When athletes are using steroids they are experiencing huge and inconsistent spikes in their testosterone levels. Over a very short period of time, users will develop extreme mood swings. Mood swings occur as a result of the flocculation of the hormones in your system. When you have a headache for example, you take an aspirin. But the aspirin may only last for an hour or two before your headache comes back… then you take more aspirin. Well in the same manner, your testosterone will spike for a few hours after you take Anabolic Steroids, giving you a “Testosterone Rush” which results in increased energy and aggression. But when this spike wears off, other emotions can dramatically take over. 1) Rage: Most notably, aggressive behavior or “roid rage” is the most destructive. Some athletes consider this an advantage because of their increased ability to train harder and more intensely. On the contrary, over aggression has been proven to do more harm than good. Most of the time this “rage” results in loss of friendships, over destructiveness, and the inability to control your behavior. 2) Depression: And although it’s not as well publicized, Anabolic Steroids usually provoke other devastating mood problems as well. Sadness, depression, anxiety, withdrawal and over excitement are all normal feelings to deal with, but when multiplied by over-stimulated hormones, the actions associated with them can get out of control and they can be very destructive! To add insult to injury, increases in testosterone result in increases in estrogen (the female hormone) as well. Elevating estrogen levels can enhance these destructive feelings even more. It’s not a pleasant subject but sadness, depression, and anxiety can often lead to murder, suicide, or other horrible events. 3) Addictive Behavior: Unlike other drugs in the same legal classification (morphine, heroine, cocaine, etc…), Anabolic Steroids are not considered to be “addictive” drugs. But all that this means is that, when abused, your body does not become physically dependant on them. But, Anabolic Steroids can and will evoke very addictive behavior! As explained above, when you take steroids you will get a testosterone “spike”. This increased energy and aggression tells the user that it is working and it is a very pleasurable feeling. So when it wears off and you start feeling depressed and withdrawn, you will begin to desire that initial feeling. This has a cascading effect leading a person to desire more steroids more often. b) Feminization Feminization occurs in males only. Excessive levels of testosterone are often converted into the female sex hormone estrogen resulting in some female characteristics such as the formation of breasts (gynecomastia), increased tendency toward fatty deposits, and extremely soft muscles. This usually happens after a steroid cycle had just been discontinued when the males’ androgen level is low and is easily over shadowed by estrogen. Estradiol, an estrogen, also has an inhibiting effect on the male gonad cycle, resulting in lowered natural production of testosterone and thus affecting the male sperm count. Many steroid users believe that by supplementing their steroid use with anti-estrogens (nolvadex, Proviron, Fludestrin, Teslac, etc…), or estrogen blockers, that they will prevent any feminization side effects. And they may, if used correctly, prevent some of them if they’ve taken very low doses of steroids. However, because ‘preventing steroid side effects’ is not what these drugs are designed for, it is likely that they will not work effectively if at all in all cases. Furthermore, just like the steroids themselves, these drugs must be obtained over the highly unpredictable black market! And as stated before, fakes and counterfeits are a huge problem with all black market drugs. c) Masculinization Primarily in females, virilization will result in the assumption of masculine (man like) characteristics. Some of the irreversible side effects include increased facial and body hair (hirsutism), deepening of the voice, enlarged clitoris, menstrual irregularities, increased acne, increased libido, thinning of the hair, baldness, anxiety, depression, increased aggression, and changes in the texture of the skin. This process is very common when using Anabolic Steroids with highly androgenic characteristics. Acromegaly or Giantism is a disease that is marked by enlarged bones and bodily organs. Most notably hands and the lower jaw line are affected. This is not exactly a side effect of Anabolic Steroids, but it is related to another widely abused steroid-like drug, Growth Hormone (GH). Acromegaly is irreversible and can be severely disfiguring to a persons’ face. Other health risks related to Acromegaly are enlarged organs which is a life threatening side effect. d) Heart Problems The risk of heart disease increases dramatically while using anabolic/androgenic steroids. Steroids will also raise your cholesterol levels causing thickening of arterial walls, which could be life threatening. If you are seriously considering Anabolic Steroids, we highly recommend that you consult a qualified physician before beginning to be sure they are not already at a high risk of cholesterol levels. It is also recommended that regular visits be made in order to monitor your cholesterol levels. With this particular side effect, you can assume that older male steroid users are at the highest risk, however, younger users are still at risk. Some other undesirable factors that could promote heart disease are stress, high blood pressure, and a rapid weight increase. Enlargement of the heart is a well known side effect of Anabolic Steroids and can be fatal. As you may know, the heart is a muscle and is greatly affected by steroid use. e) Gynecomastia As explained earlier, gynecomastia (gyno, bitch tits) is the abnormal enlargement of one or both breasts in a man. This is usually brought on by a hormonal imbalance, which can be achieved by the use of steroids. This condition can occur naturally, without the use of steroids as well. This is definitely one of the least favorable of side effects because it looks terrible, especially if you are planning to be in a bodybuilding competition. Some steroid users believe they can avoid these types of side effects by using anti-estrogenic preparations along side their steroids, but this is a very risky proposition that does not usually work out. Picture by: Dr. Makhlouf Picture from: Muscle Mag International www.drnadler.com f) Growth Deficits When young athletes who have not reached their predicted height use steroids, it is likely that they will not grow to their full potential. Almost all steroid compounds promote the closure of the epiphyseal plates, which in turn discontinues bone growth. Aside from their already unpredictable hormone spurts, this is one of the biggest reasons why it is not recommended that teenagers use any type of anabolic steroid. g) Headaches Anabolic Steroids can trigger a hormonal imbalance, which will alter the users’ endocrine system. This is probably why many athletes have had this problem. Headaches are also a symptom of possible high blood pressure, which is another side effect associated with steroid use. Many bodybuilders report head splitting pain that is almost intolerable and very unpredictable. h) Kidney Problems Some Anabolic Steroids can have an adverse effect on kidney function. The kidneys main purpose is to filter toxic byproducts, and excrete them through urine. Whenever a person is on any type of drug, their kidneys are under more stress than ordinary. An electrolyte imbalance and high blood pressure can both lead to improper kidney function. Kidney disorders are often reflected in edema, lower back pain, renal colic, fever, kidney enlargement, and swelling in the lower back. Some steroid users report urinating or ejaculating blood. This is a tale tell sign of kidney problems. i) Liver Problems Anabolic Steroids can cause sever liver damage. There is more than one reason for this but the most common problem is with oral steroids that are 17alpha-alkalizated. This is especially important in recreational Anabolic Steroid users because they are typically using more than just Anabolic Steroids. Alcohol and other drugs can also be very liver-damaging. A condition called Peliosis Hepatis is rare but is certainly life threatening, because it not usually found until the liver is completely shut down or until an intra-abdominal hemorrhage develops. Products like Milk Thistle or other liver support supplements are believed to be of some benefit to people with liver toxicity issues, however Anabolic Steroids typically present more toxicity than these supplements can help. Injectable steroids aren’t immune from presenting Liver Problems either. Hepatitis C is a severe liver disease that might as well be considered a terminal illness. It can easily be acquired from a contaminated needle. j) Immune System Some Anabolic Steroids can provide a temporarily improved immune system state, making it easier to recover and ward off viral illnesses. The problem is that body then becomes dependent on the steroid use rendering the immune system less effective once the steroid has been discontinued. Your body will eventually rejuvenate, but it takes time for the immune system to become self-reliant again. Usually at the end of a steroid cycle, users allow themselves to become tired and rundown leading to a tendency to become infected with a viral illness, colds, and sometimes pneumonia. k) Impotence This side effect is one of the most disturbing to hear about. It’s one of the side effects that turns most steroid users into ex-steroid users if you know what I mean. Basically, what happens is when first a person first takes Anabolic Steroids, they typically feel a slight increase in sexual function. But this is only temporary until your body becomes accustomed to (and dependant on) the steroid in its system. Once the body adjusts to make up for the additional hormones, users feel less sexual desire, and men may not even be capable of maintaining an erection. Some bodybuilders say that this is a temporary issue. When you cycle off of the steroid, your body should eventually begin producing testosterone at its normal rate. But, this is not always the case. In fact, your body may never recover from this! Many ex-steroid users are condemned to a life of testosterone therapy for them to even feel normal again. l) High Blood Pressure The only way to monitor your blood pressure is to have it regularly checked by a qualified medical authority. There are no real “symptoms” that will let you know that you have high blood pressure until it is already too high. Then the symptoms are headaches, vision problems, insomnia, and difficulty breathing. Anabolic Steroid use leads to high blood pressure. Other things like stress, over eating, and over exertion, especially during very heavy lifts can also promote high blood pressure. m) Stomachaches Oral steroids can sometime bring about stomachaches and even ulcers in some users, the most common being Anapolon, Stenox, Primabolan, Winstrol, and Dianabol. This is something that can be said about all oral drugs so it’s probably not that big common of an occurrence. If you have any issues taking aspirin, then you will probably have issues with steroids as well, especially at the doses used by most bodybuilders. The symptoms can be anything from a slight discomfort to nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. n) Water/Salt Retention Most steroids will cause a water and electrolyte storage in the muscles resulting in a swelling of the tissue. This isn’t really the problem though. You see, steroids are not Muscle Specific! They work on every body organ. So when steroids do something to one organ, they do the same (or similar) things to all the others. In this circumstance, the problem is the increase water retention in the skin and blood. This usually causes a persons’ skin to look puffy and swollen and puts a huge strain on the heart muscle. o) Lower Testosterone Production It may seem crazy but steroid use will result in lower natural production of testosterone. First, you need to know that steroids are just synthetic versions of natural male sex hormone, testosterone. When they are used over a any period of time, the body will become somewhat dependant on the steroid. The longer you supplement your body with testosterone, the less your body will produce. This is what leads to many of the above side effects. To combat this, many bodybuilders feel they should cycle steroids. The theory is that you should take breaks between your steroid use in order to give your body time to recover its own testosterone production. However this is not an exact science! Any steroid use will result in lower natural testosterone production! There is no way to tell how long it will take before serious repercussions set in. Sometimes the natural cycle never completely recovers. And because testosterone is produced in the testicles, testicle shrinkage often occurs.