To Use Steroids or Not to Use Steroids

Steroids before and after

To Use or Not to Use

Although the non-therapeutic use of steroids is illegal, I guess it’s up to each individual to decide whether he wants to use them or not; and whether he wants to go through life as a bodybuilder, a natural bodybuilder or a true natural bodybuilder.

However, before making the big step, please consider the following disadvantages of being a drug user:

* Non-therapeutic use of these drugs is illegal in most countries.

* If you are a competitive athlete you are cheating and may test positive.

* You will experience side effects and may be taking serious health risks. You need to be taking additional drugs to prevent or treat the side effects of the drugs you already took.

* Drug use may be addictive. You may lose your motivation to train without them.

* You may have to spend lots of money. Some drugs are very expensive.

* You give the sport a bad image. Bodybuilding is already very strongly associated with drug use.

* You will have to lie to everybody about your drug use. Will you tell it to your girlfriend or wife? What if she finds out?

* Most women don’t like doped bodybuilders. They find a Mr.Olympia type of physique, or anything close to that, very unattractive. But homosexuals tend to love this look and find it attractive.

* You might have to buy your drugs on the black market or the internet, and end up with fake or even dangerous stuff.

* You cannot really be proud of your results as most of them exist because of the drugs, not because of good genetics, proper diet, and hard training.

* How far will you go? Which and how much drugs will you use? How much money will you spend on them? Will you stop when you get female breasts, lose your hair, get severe acne and become impotent, or will
you continue till you get serious heart disease, diabetes or even cancer?

* When you stop using the drugs, you will lose a big part of all your muscle gains.

* End of the day is it really worth all the trouble??

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Steroid User Jokes, Fears & Guide Lists

A woman walked up to a bald little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. “I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said. “What’s your secret for a long happy life?” “I take huge amounts of testosterone every week, as well as growth hormone, DNP, winstrol, deca, T3 and diuretics. Besides that I party hard every weekend, take ecstasy, cocaine and drink like hell” “That’s amazing,” the woman said. “How old are you?” “Twenty-six,” he said.


Roiders Top Fears list:

1. Cardio.
2. Carbs.
3. Body Weighted exercises.
4. Not enough protein.
5. Track suit pants are in the wash.
6. Not using a split routine.
7. Ran out of Rogaine.
8. Losing Cellucor contract.
9. Inspirations count is not high enough.
10. NickEdge is not my friend.
11. Someone replaced steroids with estrogen.
12. Bitch tits look like they are starting to lactate.
13. Oldsterobolins passed away from a steroid induced heart attack.
14. No more top inspirations list.
15. No more body space models competitions.
16. Camera not working.
17. Mirror making roider look smaller.
18. No more Isolation exercises.
19. No more keto diet.
20. Getting banned from

Roiders fear natural achievement, and they also fear missing a cycle.

Roiders main fear is education!

Only 1 per cent of bodybuilders get their nutritional information from registered dietitians. The same percentage of builders derive their dietary information from family members and friends – or from television! In contrast, about 50 per cent of all bodybuilders receive their primary nutritional advice from other bodybuilders, and 17 per cent rely on bodybuilding magazines.

Overall, ’someone who has recently won a contest is viewed as a far more credible source of nutritional information than a nutritionist or an exercise scientist.

How to spot a juicer guide:

They wear extra small t-shirts, usually there little 8 year old brothers shirts.
They get jobs working as bouncers or security guards.
They are usually slamming weights to the floor at the gym.
They sometimes wear extra large shirts, to cover there roid growth.
They have zits and pimples all over there arms and back.
They have bad breath, balding hair, bad attitude, arrogant.
They never do cardio, wow they walk, 90 year old women can do that!
They hate doing body weighted exercises.
They say its the supplements.
They start getting bitch tits.
They have sets of pictures all ripped, then pictures of them fat.
They say they are natural because they compete in natural comps.
They have a profile on with only 8-10 pictures or 1-2 years worth of progression!


Why do Roiders always Deny being on Steroids?

-They spend enough money on it, why not tell everyone?

-Or is it because when people find out or better yet see that they are on it. They automatically will lose respect for there weak ability to do it naturally?

-Or is it simple because people will know that they are just cheaters!?

-Or are they embarrassed they have no balls down there?

-Or they are afraid of losing there bodyspace fan base?

-Why are some of them not against steroid use, but are to afraid to admit taking?

-Is it because they compete in natural bodybuilding events?……….lol


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How to Recognize a Steroid User


Whenever I see a big muscular guy in the gym, I always ask myself the question whether he would be a true natural bodybuilder or not. Unfortunately you often cannot answer that question with 100% certainty. It is especially difficult to say, if they haven’t been using drugs for a longer period of time. However, if they are in the middle of a heavy steroid cycle, a trained eye can often clearly see it from their appearance. Usually they gain lots of muscle mass in only a few weeks. They look like if all their muscles are permanently pumped up, even when they are not lifting weights. Their muscles really jump out, look hard, full, and often vascular. Their metabolism is up to twice as high as normal (often above 5,000 calories per day).

Unfortunately there exists no test that can determine a bodybuilder’s detailed drug use in the far past, and doping test results are very easy to manipulate. Therefore, if you really want to know whether a bodybuilder is true natural, or which drugs he has been using to build his physique, you will have to ask him. The standard answer to this question is, however, always “No, I have never used any drugs”. However, if you get to know the guy better, develop some friendship, give him some complements on his physique, and especially if he thinks that you are a drug user yourself or interested in becoming one, he might well loosen up and start telling you at least part of his true story.

There are, however, two simple and quite innocent questions that can help you in many cases figure out whether a guy has ever been on steroids or not:

* Did you ever compete in bodybuilding contests or do you have plans to do so?
* What is your highest daily calorie intake when you are in good shape?

Remember, about 99% of all competitive bodybuilders use anabolic steroids, certainly the heavy guys. Also remember that a heavy anabolic steroid cycle can double the daily amount of calories burned. If you are still not sure, grab the guy’s balls. If they are the size of a peanut, you can be sure that he is on steroids. If there are no balls at all, you’re dealing with a female bodybuilder. 😉

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The truth about Bodybuilding Competitions


I don’t think that there are any true natural bodybuilders taking part in any bodybuilding contests or natural bodybuilding contests these days, at least not in the contests at any significant level. The reason is very simple, they would be blown away from the stage by their doped fellow competitors. Yes, anabolic steroids and other drugs are that effective. Most so-called natural bodybuilders are using hormonal drugs such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone, insulin or prohormones during contest preparation, or have been doing so in the past to build their physique, especially the heavy weight competitors.

I think it is fair to state that since the 50’s, when testosterone and anabolic steroids became available to athletes, competitive bodybuilders have been using them consistently, especially the professionals. Most of nowadays professional bodybuilders started using hormonal doping products already as a teenager, and sometimes even as early as the age of 15. I seriously doubt whether competitive bodybuilding would ever have come off the ground if this hormonal doping would not have been available.

So far, there exist no contests for true natural bodybuilders, mainly because of 2 reasons: it is impossible to test whether a bodybuilder is TRUE (life-time) natural, and true natural bodybuilders simply don’t look impressive enough (not enough muscle mass and too much body fat compared to doped bodybuilders). And to be honest, I hope there will never be contests for true natural bodybuilders as there will always be cheaters showing up.

I believe that true natural bodybuilding is and should stay simply a healthy, sporty lifestyle. I approach it as a competition against myself, in which I try day after day to push my personal limits one step farther. I don’t believe there is any honor or money to win by true natural bodybuilders in terms of competing or becoming an idol.

Also note:
HGH! Insulin, thyroid meds, and HGH will all combine to produce a pretty damned effective fat-burning and muscle building cycle! You know what else? HGH is virtually undetectable on any sort of currently used drug-screening tests. HGH, Insulin, Thyroid meds, and IGF may also be used pretty safely by those who may be subject to drug screening tests.

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What are The Health Consequences of Steroid Abuse?

Steroid Abuse

Anabolic steroid abuse has been associated with a wide range of adverse side effects ranging from some that are physically unattractive, such as acne and breast development in men, to others that are life threatening, such as heart attacks and liver cancer. Most are reversible if the abuser stops taking the drugs, but some are permanent, such as voice deepening in females.

Most data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids in humans come from case reports rather than formal epidemiological studies. From the case reports, the incidence of lifethreatening effects appears to be low, but serious adverse effects may be underrecognized or underreported, especially since they may occur many years later. Data from animal studies seem to support this possibility. One study found that exposing male mice for one-fifth of their lifespan to steroid doses comparable to those taken by human athletes caused a high frequency of early deaths.

Hormonal system

Steroid abuse disrupts the normal production of hormones in the body, causing both reversible and irreversible changes. Changes that can be reversed include reduced sperm production and shrinking of the testicles (testicular atrophy). Irreversible changes include male-pattern baldness and breast development (gynecomastia) in men. In one study of male bodybuilders, more than half had testicular atrophy and/or gynecomastia.

In the female body, anabolic steroids cause masculinization. Breast size and body fat decrease, the skin becomes coarse, the clitoris enlarges, and the voice deepens. Women may experience excessive growth of body hair but lose scalp hair. With continued administration of steroids, some of these effects become irreversible.
Possible Health Consequences of Anabolic Steroid Abuse
Hormonal system


* infertility

* breast development

* shrinking of the testicles

* male-pattern baldness


* enlargement of the clitoris

* excessive growth of body hair

* male-pattern baldness

Musculoskeletal system

* short stature (if taken by adolescents)

* tendon rupture

Cardiovascular system

* increases in LDL

* decreases in HDL

* high blood pressure

* heart attacks

* enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle


* cancer

* peliosis hepatis

* tumors


* severe acne and cysts

* oily scalp

* jaundice

* fluid retention



* hepatitis

Psychiatric effects

* rage, aggression

* mania

* delusions

Musculoskeletal system

Rising levels of testosterone and other sex hormones normally trigger the growth spurt that occurs during puberty and adolescence and provide the signals to stop growth as well. When a child or adolescent takes anabolic steroids, the resulting artificially high sex hormone levels can prematurely signal the bones to stop growing.

Cardiovascular system

Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes, even in athletes younger than 30. Steroids contribute to the development of CVD, partly by changing the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. Steroids, particularly oral steroids, increase the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). High LDL and low HDL levels increase the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty substances are deposited inside arteries and disrupt blood flow. If blood is prevented from reaching the heart, the result can be a heart attack. If blood is prevented from reaching the brain, the result can be a stroke.

Steroids also increase the risk that blood clots will form in blood vessels, potentially disrupting blood flow and damaging the heart muscle so that it does not pump blood effectively.


Steroid abuse has been associated with liver tumors and a rare condition called peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Both the tumors and the cysts can rupture, causing internal bleeding.


Steroid abuse can cause acne, cysts, and oily hair and skin.


Many abusers who inject anabolic steroids may use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers. In addition, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally under nonsterile conditions. These factors put abusers at risk for acquiring lifethreatening viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Abusers also can develop endocarditis, a bacterial infection that causes a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections also can cause pain and abscess formation at injection sites.

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Side Effects of Taking Steroids


1. Inhibition of Natural Hormones

The inhibition of natural hormones is probably the most common and probable side effect experienced from the use of anabolic steroids. In almost all cases, adding a hormone into your body will send a message to your endocrine system to stop producing it.

2. Steroid Effects and Liver Damage

Liver damage is probably the most sensationalized of all side effects possible from steroid use. The media often focuses on this particular problem as if it occurs with every steroid, and in every person who takes them.

3. Steroid Effects on Cholesterol (Blood Lipid Profile)

Steroids can, in fact lower HDL cholesterol and raise LDL cholesterol. HDL (high density lipoprotein, commonly referred to as “good cholesterol”) helps to protect the arteries by bringing unused cholesterol to the liver where it is broken down. LDL on the other hand has the opposite effect. Some steroids can therefore cause high cholesterol levels with low HDL and high LDL.

4. Gynocomastia (Development of breast tissue in males)

The development of gynecomastia or feminization of the breast tissue in males is possible with anabolic steroids. This is due to an excess of estrogen being present in the body, through a process known as “aromatization” whereby androgens like testosterone are converted to estrogen. This excess estrogen then finds its way to the receptors in breast tissue and binds to them. This results in the possibility of female-like breast tissue, which must sometimes be removed by surgery.

5. Acne and Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids can cause the Development of acne and the extent to which it is experienced can be due to a number of varying factors, with the particular steroids and exact dosages used being the two primary factors.

6.  Roid Rage

Increased aggressiveness is often claimed to occur with anabolic steroid use. Although it´s highly rare (less than 5%), significant psychiatric symptoms have been found in some steroid users, including aggression and increased violence, mania, and even psychosis. However, it must be noted that in the studies done without a control group, it can safely be assumed that naturally aggressive people simply just be more inclined to use steroids (type-A personalities, if you will).

7. Steroids and Baldness

Steroids can possibly cause men to start balding if they have a genetic predisposition towards Male Pattern Baldness. The gene for baldness is thought to reside in the X chromosome exclusively, so a good general indication of whether someone is genetically predisposed towards being bald is to look at the men on their mothers side.

8. Cardiovascular Problems from Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids have been linked with cardiovascular issues. Part of this may be due to their effects on Blood Lipids (see above). But some of it is due to the fact that many steroid users have been found to have enlarged ventricles. This is actually very common in bodybuilders as well as powerlifters and other types of athletes, and is more indicative of the effect of weight training on the heart, rather than solely steroid use.

9. Virilization (Development of male characteristics in women)

This term refers masculinization, or development of male sexual characteristics that females could potentially suffer from steroid use. This side effect on women is often reversible after the cycle has ended. Some typical signs of virilization are the development of a deeper voice, hirsuitism (growth of excess body hair), enlargement of external genitalia (clitoral enlargement), and possible male pattern baldness, or acne on the face or body.

10. Stunted Growth (height)

The use of some steroids can possibly stunt the growth potential of people who have not finished growing. This is only possible with certain steroids, and not with others. In fact, certain steroids have been used in clinical settings to improve growth rates in children. It is probable that the premature closure of the epiphysial cartilage, which is most likely caused by aromatizable steroids, will lead to a possible growth inhibiting effect, and could ultimately result in a shorter adult height. This most likely an irreversible side effect, as the growth plates would have sealed and can not “re-open”.

11. Prostate Enlargement

Once again, this is only a possibility that steroids could cause enlargement of the prostate. The media-perpetuated claim of possible prostate cancer seems to be wholly unfounded, according to most research. In many cases, this enlargement is quickly remedied upon cessation of anabolic steroid use. The first period of prostate Prostate growth, occurs first during puberty and is as a result of the testicular secretion of androgens. During adolescence to adulthood, the prostate stays at this stage, despite the relatively high levels of androgens found in the body.

12. High Blood Pressure

This problem is possibly the most easily remedied of all steroid side effects. It is very common for steroid using athletes attempting to gain maximum bulk to abstain from all aerobic activity. This causes the body to work much harder to circulate blood. Also, the typical water and sodium retention induced by certain steroids can contribute to this.

13. Kidney Problems

The kidneys can undergo more possible strain during anabolic steroid intake. Kidneys are involved in some of the filtration and excretion systems of the body, and as such, when a foreign substance is administered, they necessarily work harder.

14. Immune System Changes

There is a large amount of data indicating that anabolic steroids may have some effects on modulating the immune system. As with most potential side effects, this is largely dose and compound dependant. There is strong evidence that different analogues produce vastly different effects on the immune system.

15. Sterility in Males and Females

It´s a common side effect of steroids to cause temporary sterility in both males as well as females. In fact, anabolic steroids are so proficient at this that they have actually been studied and approved by the World Health Organization as a male contraceptive possibility. Steroids do this by disrupting the various hormones in women which potentate the ability to have regular menstrual cycles. In men, steroids lower Follicle Stimulating Hormone to the point where normal production of sperm is not possible. This isn´t to say that nobody on a cycle has every conceived; quite the opposite, actually. They have been legions of “happy accidents” reported to me by athletes who were on cycles and thought they could n´t possibly conceive.

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Women and Steroids


Although there is some overlap, research has shown that women use androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) for reasons that are often quite different from those of men. Even more dissimilar are the risks and consequences associated with female steroid abuse. It is clear that AAS use is not equally as dangerous for everyone. For example, AAS are: less dangerous for adult male elite athletes, than their non-athletic counterparts; still more dangerous for teenage boys whose bodies are not yet fully developed; and by far the most dangerous for both women and girls, as the female body is simply not equipped for exogenous (external in origin) male hormones.

Steroids have a major impact on womenSteroids are synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone. They not only possess an anabolic (muscle and strength building) effect, but are androgenic (affecting sexual characteristics) as well. To put it bluntly, steroids are used to make men, manlier. For this single reason steroids are far more potentially harmful to females than they are to males. When introduced to the female endocrine system, AAS create a serious jolt. For example, in sex reassignment treatment (a.k.a. sex changes) the goal is to provide the patient with the opposite gender’s sexual characteristics to fullest extent possible. With the exception of the internal and external genitalia, these characteristics are contingent upon the biological effects of the respective sex steroids. Therefore, (semi)synthetic sex steroids are indispensable tools in sex reassignment treatment, and the use of cross-gender hormone treatment is necessary to achieve the desired outcome (Hamburger, 1969; Leavitt et al., 1980). Thus, women who abuse AAS will necessarily experience significant changes in their secondary-sexual characteristics including clitoral enlargement, a deepening of the voice, increased facial hair and so forth.

Ironically, steroid abuse by women is not only dangerous, it’s unnecessary. Many women erroneously believe that since men already possess greater testosterone levels, and are made bigger and stronger with AAS, that they require considerably more of these drugs to achieve similar results. However, since muscle size and strength does not increase in a manner directly proportionate to the amount of male hormone within the body, this theory is categorically false. In fact, studies have shown that women get considerable anabolic benefit out of dosages that are only a fraction of those needed by men. Thus, even those women who detrimentally decide to risk their health by using male hormones have no business taking them in large quantities.


There are many reasons women begin using anabolic steroids. Several female AAS users have muscle dysmorphia, a disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with the idea that he or she is not muscular enough. Those who suffer from this condition tend to hold delusions that they are “skinny”, “fat” or “too small” when they are often above average in musculature. Dysmorphia is sometimes referred to as bigorexia or reverse anorexia nervosa, and is a very specific type of body dysmorphic disorder. Muscle dysmorphia is NOT a simple obsession with working out or bodybuilding. To be clinically diagnosed as muscle dysmorphic, a person must exhibit symptoms of the ‘type’ and ‘degree’ outlined within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), and not merely be overly interested in their physique or engaging in fitness behaviors that other people would consider excessive. Some of the inclusion criterion for the disorder are:

* Constantly examining themselves in a mirror
* Becoming distressed if they miss a workout session or one of six meals a day
* Becoming distressed if they do not receive enough protein per day in their diet
* Taking potentially dangerous anabolic steroids
* Neglecting jobs, relationships, or family because of excessive exercising
* Having delusions of being underweight or below average in musculature
* Other Reasons

Of course AAS provide tremendous performance enhancement benefits, and though men garner the bulk of such scandals, professional and amateur women athletes also administer them for this purpose. Although such abuse has gone largely unnoticed in mainstream society, this issue is becoming so prevalent that some organizations have taken overtly preventative measures. For example, markets a “Without Steroids Women’s” t-shirt to those who remain and support drug free athletics.

Side effects for women include increased body hairSurprisingly, many women use steroids because the feel like a need to protect themselves, and victims of rape often begin abusing AAS. In a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study of women weightlifters, twice as many of those who had been raped reported using anabolic steroids and/or another purported muscle-building drug, as compared to those who had not been raped. Moreover, almost all of those who had been raped reported a marked increase their bodybuilding activities after the attack, in belief that being bigger and stronger would discourage further attacks by making them intimidating or unattractive. In another study involving 75 female subjects, 10 reported being raped as their reason for using AAS to increase muscle strength and size (Gruber, Pope; 1999). The rape victims in most cases believed they would never be able to trust a man again and consequently replaced these relationships with bodybuilding activities. Of the 10 admitted rape victims, 5 said that prior to the experience they had no intention of ever using steroids and believed they were a sign of weakness and unwillingness to achieve goals through hard work.


As stated earlier the female body is simply not equipped for the administration of AAS. Steroids are very powerful messengers that signal cells to behave in specific ways, many of which never become outwardly visible making the exact extent of the harm unknown to the user. Although type, dosage and duration play significant roles in the severity of negative effects, even a one-time cycle (use over a specific time period) at very low doses can cause irreversible damage even well after the cycle is completed (SEE: “Excerpt from a true story”).


Adverse physical conditions can and do occur in women using anabolic steroids. In biology and medicine, ‘virilization’ refers to the development of secondary changes, or the set of anatomical structures and features unique to males and females that are not directly related (and therefore secondary) to the production of sex cells. Most virilization is produced by androgens, any natural or synthetic compound (including steroids) that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics. Some negative side effects are permanent and others go away, at least partially, when the drug is discontinued. Some of these side effects can include, but are not limited to, deepening of the voice, increased body hair (including the growth of dark facial hair), loss of scalp hair, liver or kidney damage, oily skin, acne, facial pore enlargement, clitoral enlargement, decreased breast size, and increased levels of LDL cholesterol.


While very few studies have assessed the relationship of androgens to aggression or violent behavior, those that have done so note a correlation between testosterone levels and observed aggression (Grimes, J. 2003). Scientists have attempted to test the strength of this association by administering high steroid doses and placebos to human volunteers. The subjects were then asking to report on their behavioral symptoms over periods of days and weeks. Three out of four of the high dose studies produced greater feelings of irritability and aggression in relation to the placebo group, but the effects appear to be highly variable across individuals. The fourth study did not have a significant effect. One possible explanation, according to the researchers, is that some but not all anabolic steroids increase irritability and aggression.



* enlargement of the clitoris
* excessive growth of body hair


* infertility
* breast development
* shrinking of the testicles


* male-pattern baldness
* scalp hair thinning


* short stature
* tendon rupture


* heart attacks
* enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle


* cancer
* peliosis hepatis


* acne and cysts
* oily scalp


* hepatitis


* rage
* delusions
* mania
* paranoia
* confusion

A woman on AAS can experience mild to moderate mental instability. A recent study suggests that the mood and behavioral effects seen during AAS abuse may result from secondary hormonal changes. Aggressive singular or situational instances are often labeled ‘Roid Rage’, which is typified by overly irritable reactions (sometimes violently) toward what would otherwise be deemed small life stressors. It is sometimes accompanied by severe mood swings, and clinically related to hypomania (part of the manic-depressive cycle), bipolar disorder and paranoia.

Additionally, women tend to suffer from withdrawal symptoms including psychosis, depression, listlessness, apathy, loss of appetite, feelings of anxiety. A woman can become forgetful, distracted, and sometimes even confused about what she’s doing or how she is acting. Most of all she won’t understand why such things are happening to her.


Besides having mean serum testosterone levels around 30 times greater than normal, a woman will have a decrease in sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG- a protein produced in the liver) (Malarkey, Strauss, Leizman, Liggett, Demers; 1991), a decrease in follicle-stimulating hormones, a decrease in circulating HDL-cholesterol, and a decrease in thyroid binding proteins. These ever changing hormone levels weaken and endanger a woman’s immune system making her far more susceptible not only to infectious disease but even the common cold.

One study cited the possibility that AAS might inhibit the immunomodulatory and antiviral activities of androgens like DHEA (acts on adrenal glands to induce the production of corticosteroids and dehydroepiandrosterone) (Hughes, Rady, Smith; 1998). This study also indicated that steroids significantly inhibited the production of corticotrophin in blood lymphocytes immediately following a viral infection. Simply stated, they can cause the prevention of antibodies during sickness, and lead to altered immune reactions.

Cardiovascular risk factors include the alteration or diminishing of her glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinism (become resistant to insulin), a change in lipoproteins (carry cholesterol in blood) fraction which can cause cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis (deposition of fatty substances onto inner walls of arteries causing blockage), increased triglyceride levels, hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure), changes in her myocardium (middle muscular layer of heart wall), and increased concentration levels of several different clotting factors. Cardiomyopathy (a typically chronic disorder of heart muscle that may involve hypertrophy and obstructive damage to the heart), myocardial infarction (localized death of the myocardium tissue usually leading to heart failure), heart attack, stroke, and cerebro-vascular accidents have all been causes in deaths where AAS abuse was implicated. Of course the liver, the body’s primary filtration system will come under attack as it has to accommodate the increased toxicity. Among the liver problems promoted are holestatic jaundice (failure of bile flow that causes yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids), peliosis hepatis (blood-filled cysts develop on liver), hepatocellular hyperplasia (unusual increase of an epithelial parenchymatous cell called hepatocytes in the liver), and cancer. Secondary filters such as the kidneys and gallbladder also become more susceptible to disease.

Musculoskeletal system threats exist within teens (female and male). One such threat is the fusing of growth plates between bones, which effectively reduces one’s potential height resulting in shortened stature. Frequently, since muscle strength is increasing too rapidly for tendons and ligaments to keep up, both are weakened to the point of rupture, and experience increased healing times. Another skeletal threat of particular interest to women is that of osteoporosis which can result due to a steroid’s exhaustion of a woman’s blood circulating calcium (as well as other minerals) levels. When this occurs the body begins to leech stored calcium deposits directly from the bones leaving them brittle.

Reproductive system trouble is a given as the delicate balance of her hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis becomes skewed due to increases in circulating testosterone and diminished estrogen activity. Additionally, the stark decline in estrogen and progesterone can result in the inhibition of follicle formation, ovulation, and an irregular menstrual cycle which can lead to amenorrhea (absence or suppression of the menstrual cycle). A study conducted with 9 female weightlifters showed all but 2 had menstrual abnormalities (Malarkey et al.; 1991). A woman also runs a very high risk of developing cervical and/or endometrical cancer and uterine atrophy, and she risks infertility with extended AAS use. A pregnant woman using steroids can literally damage her unborn child by retarding fetus growth, or increasing the chances of pseudohermanphroditism (both male and female physical body and character traits).

Infection is experienced by many abusers who inject AAS. Most are unaware of the dangers of surrounding unsanitary injection techniques such as failing to swab the site, or sharing and reusing needles. Furthermore, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally under less than sterile conditions. The combination of these factors put abusers at risk for acquiring life threatening viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B & C. Abusers can also develop infective endocarditis, a bacterial illness which causes a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections often manifest themselves as abscess formations near or at injection sites, causing pain which is sometimes unbearable.


In January of 2000 McLean Hospital released a landmark study. Hospital researchers from the tiny town of Belmont, MA eight miles west of Boston, cited widespread AAS abuse and other performance-enhancing drugs in many women bodybuilders. Although this may not exactly seem like groundbreaking news, the study further uncovered evidence that many female bodybuilders suffer from eating disorders, as well as several other body image and psychiatric disorders.

The study, believed to be the first in-depth look at AAS use in female bodybuilders, was published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. It involved 75 female athletes who had competed in at least one bodybuilding or fitness contest, or who had lifted weights in the gym five days or more per week for at least two years. As part of the investigation study participants, mostly from the Boston area, received psychiatric and medical evaluations. Of the 75 subjects, 25 reported current or past steroid use. Women in both the steroid using and no-steroid using groups reported use of other performance enhancing drugs such as ephedrine, which were used by 20 of the 25 steroid users and 21 of the 50 non-users.

Study author Amanda Gruber, MD, and researcher at McLean Hospital’s Biological Psychiatry Laboratory exclaimed, “Bodybuilding can be a dangerous activity for women who have or are at risk of developing eating or body image disorders because the bodybuilding community accepts as normal the compulsive dieting, self-preoccupation and concomitant substance abuse that are associated with these disorders.” According to Gruber and Harrison Pope, MD, PhD, chief of McLean’s Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, the paper’s second author, “One of the most interesting findings of the study was the high prevalence of eating disorders and other psychiatric disorders in women bodybuilders in general. The first syndrome, dubbed by the researchers as “eating disorder, bodybuilder type (ED, BT),” is characterized by rigid adherence to a high-calorie, high-protein, low-fat diet eaten at regularly scheduled intervals. ED, BT was found in 55 of the 75 study subjects. Nontraditional gender role, the second syndrome identified in 55 of 75 study subjects, is characterized by a strong preference for stereotypical masculine clothing, occupations and games or pastimes, and a strong preference for male friends.” Sixty-five out of the 75 study subjects reported extreme dissatisfaction with their bodies in accord with the early described syndrome called “muscle dysmorphia” in which even bodybuilders in top physical condition feel small and weak. Gruber states, “These patterns of eating behavior, gender role behavior and body image disorder caused profound effects on the social and occupational functioning of women bodybuilders. We encountered women who held degrees in law, medicine or business, yet had abandoned these careers to pursue an all-consuming lifestyle of rigorous dieting and spending many hours at the gym,” said Gruber.

When it comes to bodybuilding, if a woman doesn’t train hard following a regular program, using proper technique and doing so consistently over time, the use of anabolic drugs will only make a difference in her sexuality, not her figure or competitive potential.

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