is testosterone a steroid

Testosterone.  When you come across this word, the first thoughts would be the following: male hormone, sex drive, and masculinity.  While this is  mostly true, for many fitness enthusiasts, especially bodybuilders, testosterone means strength, endurance, agility, and better overall performance.  All of which leads to having their most coveted results – a leaner, fitter and more ripped body. 

In this blog post, we will have a thorough discussion about the testosterone.  Sure, you’ll have to sit for a little while to read intently.  But you’ll have a much better understanding on what the testosterone is – as a hormone and steroid, and how it helps the body function better. 

Let’s get straight to answering the most intriguing question about the testosterone.

Is testosterone a steroid?

Yes and no.  While we all learned from school that testosterone is to men and estrogen is to women, it is also a steroid.  Here’s the catch.  Testosterone is not just a hormone that our bodies produce to promote a healthy sex drive, it has many other functions in the body.  Mood stability, better bone density, regulated blood cell counts, better sleep, good skin, and controlling body fat are just a few of the main functions of the testosterone in the male physique. 

Remember, doctors still know what’s best for the body.

know what’s best for the body
Close up of a muscular man injecting himself with steroids.

Chemically speaking, testosterone is both a hormone and a steroid.  There are different classifications of steroids.  Testosterone is technically called an anabolic steroid. In the next paragraph, you’ll understand anabolic steroids better.  For now, always remember that testosterone is naturally produced by both males and females.  Most aspiring bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts haphazardly take synthetic testosterone.  The intense desire to achieve the results that they envision faster usually leads to a drug abuse.  As cliche as it might sound, getting a full physical examination before taking any chemically produced testosterone is still the best recourse. 

Testosterone as an anabolic steroid

Testosterone as an anabolic steroid
strong back of young body building sportsman using steroids for increasing sport athletic performance and hand holding syringe in sport cheat doping and illegal use of hormones concept

Anabolic essentially means muscle building.  However, in the fitness community, it is usually associated with the synthetic testosterone injection used to have more muscle mass and heightened agility.  Tablets, injectable liquids and capsules are the most common forms of testosterone as an anabolic steroid. 

As a steroid hormone in the body, testosterone mainly helps the skeletal muscles have a balanced protein synthesis.  It also aids the proper growth and repair of our muscle tissues.  Most doctors use synthetically produced testosterone to treat hormonal problems for adult males.  For teenagers, it is often used to treat delayed puberty.  For older adults, it is used to treat hair loss, speed up a recovery from injuries, and even treating sleep problems.

Why should women read this too?

Women reading this will also understand on how testosterone as a hormone works in their body and how having an imbalance of this hormone will affect their overall health.  Furthermore, you’ll learn more about testosterone therapy – have a clear definition on the different ways to have this therapy, along with the benefits and risks of supervised and unsupervised T therapy.

How does synthetic testosterone help athletes and bodybuilders?

testosterone help athletes and bodybuilders
Muscular male torso and testosterone formula. Concept of hormone increasing methods.

When taken ethically with the close supervision of a medical professional, testosterone promotes better and stronger muscle building.  It won’t happen in a few months, but the results won’t come with unwanted effects. 

Not only that, but you’ll sleep better, be more emotionally balanced, and be more mentally alert.  Yes, it might be surprising, but the cognitive parts of your brain function better with the adequate and recommended testosterone intake. 

For younger men, the voice becomes deeper, and other more manly physical features will eventually become obvious such as more body hair and a more chiseled jaw. 

Testosterone steroids for less exhaustion

When we workout longer, we feel more exhausted.  But, when we take testosterone steroids, that will eventually become a thing of the past.  There’s that extra energy boost that will keep us going.  For those who have had some injuries, expect your body to heal faster naturally.  Who doesn’t wish to go back to their normal exercise and sport routine in the best shape?

What happens to men with low testosterone levels?

Just like other natural physical occurrences, testosterone levels slowly drop.  It doesn’t happen drastically for healthy men though.  Men in the 30s and 40s begin losing it while men in their 50s and up lose it more rapidly.  The most common symptoms of having a low testosterone level for men are the following:

               – hot flashes

               – decreased sex drive

               – lower sperm count

               – erectile dysfunction

               – weight gain

               – mood swings and depression

               – irregular sleep

               – breast swelling

               – change in penis size

If you have at least 3 of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is high time for you to have a proper medical assessment.  These symptoms should not be taken lightly.  Remember, all of our internal organs are closely related. 

It will be great if you inform your doctor that you are open to having a testosterone therapy mainly for bodybuilding reasons.  This will help your doctor assess you properly.  Not only will your testosterone levels be measured, but expect other  standard medical checking.  It’s all worth it.  After all, we only have one body.  We might as well go the extra mile to care for it.

What happens to women with low testosterone levels?

Obviously, women with lower testosterone levels won’t have to be as concerned as men, but having adequate testosterone also help all of the female hormones function better.  Testosterone, along with the estrogen, progesterone and other androgens play a vital role in the bone, vaginal, breast and fertility health of women.  The normal testosterone levels in women range from 15 to 70 nanogram per deciliter (ng/dL) of blood. 

How women’s reproductive health affects the testosterone levels

Removal of the ovary and other reproductive health problems not only cause a rapid drop of testosterone, but estrogen and progesterone as well.  It can also be an indicator of a thyroid problem, hypothyroidism, to be more specific.  Women with very low testosterone levels may experience vaginal dryness, irregular periods, breast tissue problems and fertility problems.  While testosterone therapy is an option for women, this is an uncommon choice for physicians.  More scientific research has to be done before they consider this therapy a viable option. 

How to produce more testosterone naturally

Having testosterone deficiency for men doesn’t equate to getting signed up for a therapy.  It isn’t usually a cause for alarm.  Just like other medical maladies, there are natural means to boost the body’s testosterone levels. 

Below are some effective ways to raise the testosterone naturally:

  1. Having a better diet with more lean proteins

Time for you to cut back on all processed food, and more whole-grain carbs, healthy omega-3 (usually from deep sea fish), lean meat, more vegetables, fruits and nuts into your entire system.  This also means having less salt and sugar in your meal plan.  Sure, this will be a little pricey, but much healthier in the log run.

2. Address other possible medical conditions

This is especially true for those who don’t have a regular exercise routine.  Those with diabetes, sleep apnea, bone and muscle problems need to address these conditions before focusing on their testosterone problems.  Getting your body treated properly for these medical conditions mean that you’ll raise the T levels naturally. 

3. Getting adequate Vitamin D

While the most obvious source of vitamin D is sunlight, this does not necessarily mean that you need more sun and UV ray exposure.  There are many vitamin D supplements available in the market.  You can also eat more fish like tuna, and salmon to have enough vitamin D.

4. Reduce your stress levels

Cortisol is another hormone, the unpleasant kind though, and stress elevates our body’s cortisol count.  Not only work-related stress, but emotional anxiety also contributes to more cortisol.  Though it may be occasionally be helpful, especially when we need to finish important tasks under a strict deadline, it really has a negative impact on the testosterone level.  Having more cortisol leads to lack of sleep and emotional eating.  These activities can have a drastic pull to the T levels for both men and women.

5. Sleep better

We often read that getting good sleep helps our bodies function better.  For adults, at least 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep is advisable.  Those who only get 4-5 hours of sleep will have a lower T count.  Testosterone production happens when you are sleeping.  So getting quality Zzzzz directly equates to a healthy T level. 

What is testosterone replacement therapy and how does it work?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a program that is usually prescribed to raise the testosterone levels.  It may come in the form of an injection, pellet implant, gel patch, or capsule.  The aim of this therapy is to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms for those who have  significantly lower T levels and to normalize the testosterone level to anywhere in between 350 and 1000 nanogram per deciliter (ng/dL) 

Though this might seem like a quick fix, this is not a permanent cure.  It is best to accompany this treatment with the lifestyle changes stated above.  The treatment could last for years and could even be lifelong for extreme cases. 

What’s the main difference between TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) and Testosterone for Steroid Use?

TRT is a procedure that requires medical assistance while testosterone for steroid use can be done unsupervised.  The latter is obviously risky and could lead to addiction and possible cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory damages.  TRT is also legal and totally beneficial. 

The ethical dosage for TRT is usually smaller than what any synthetic testosterone dealer will tell you.  Not only that, your physician will keep you correctly informed on all lifestyle changes for you to still function normally while you undergo the changed that comes along with the treatment. 

Why DIY synthetic testosterone intake is dangerous

Usually, those who take testosterone as an anabolic steroid feel and see the benefits faster.  The downside though are the risks.  Unsupervised synthetic testosterone intake is often 10 times higher than what doctors prescribe.  Not only is the testosterone levels heightened when you do DIY T therapies, but most other important hormones go way beyond the recommended levels.  The initial high might seem amazing and addictive, but the negative consequences will hit you severely in the long run.  These damages could be irreversible. 

Benefits of TRT (Testosterone Therapy)

Though having TRT might be more expensive than the unsupervised testosterone steroid intake, you’ll eventually experience the following health benefits:

               – better sex drive

               – improvements in cognitive functions

               – better mood

               – lesser anxiety

               – longer and deeper sleep

               – increased lean muscle mass

               – less exhaustion

               – weight regulation

               – better appetite

               – improved cellular activity

               – stronger bones

               – stronger muscles

Is it possible to take steroids safely?

Opinions often vary over the use of steroids for bodybuilding and fitness purposes. However, it’s a fact that steroids have been used for medical reasons for many years, since it has been scientifically proven to have lesser risks for the human body.   Many athletes and bodybuilders tend to vouch for these supplements, claiming they have never encountered any damaging effects.  However, the ban of steroids prove these claim to be the complete opposite. 

Taking synthetic testosterone steroid unsupervised essentially means that you are ready to become a guinea pig.  These products that can be easily bought have been tested on animals.  There’s tons of faulty claims on these labels too.  Mindfulness is the key to staying truly fit in the long run.  Your body, your choice. 

Other health risks associated with unsupervised testosterone steroid intake aside from the ones mentioned earlier the other adverse effects are:

               – possible transmission of blood-borne diseases like hepatitis or HIV from shared needles

               – severe mood swings and paranoia

               – severe clinical depression and anxiety

               – damaged bones and muscles

               – damaged liver

               – poor eyesight

               – palpitations and possible heart attack

These side-effects and health risks may be curable, but oftentimes, it becomes a permanent condition.

What are anabolic or synthetic steroids generally used for?

When used with a licensed medical professional’s supervision, synthetic steroids will have the following health benefits:

               – better body mass

               – reduced fat percentage

               – better stamina, even when you have a rigorous daily workout routine

               – heightened mental alertness

               – better sleep

               – regulated red and white blood cell production

               – stronger and leaner muscles and tissues

               – improved liver and bladder functions

Have realistic expectations when taking synthetic steroids

The best bodybuilders sacrificed and it all paid off.  Their sharp stamina is a result of patience, perseverance, and endurance.  There is no fountain of youth.  So always set realistic expectations by consulting a medical professional.  Resisting the temptation to achieve your bodybuilding choices faster will be the best decision you’ll make.  Seeking professional assistance will not only help you steer clear of the potential adverse health effects, but also keep your mind, body and soul alert and sharp. 

Conclusion

Understanding how to chisel your body, be it for weight loss or gain purposes is often tricky. While the initial consultation is crucial before beginning any extensive workout regimen, having a regular monthly consultation with your physician as you go along with your normal exercise routine and testosterone intake is just as vital.  Always have an open discussion on the potential side effects and never shy away from asking any questions on why your progress might be too fast or slow.  Write down a list regarding all of your concerns.  By doing so, you won’t miss out on anything. 

Take the high road, make the braver choices for your welfare.

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