Usually, when people ask if testosterone is a steroid, they have a picture in their minds of pumped-up weightlifters with veins popping around their necks. Strictly speaking, testosterone is a steroid, but not in the way many people think. Testosterone is a steroid hormone naturally produced in your body. It is not the same as the steroid abuse commonly associated with some bodybuilders who use illegal steroids.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and steroid abuse are entirely different. As many wrongly believe, TRT won’t make you develop gynecomastia (man boobs) and turn you into a raging monster. However, TRT will help you maintain healthy body composition, bone density, and mental wellbeing.
Sadly, many do not understand TRT, and the press often criticizes it. The truth is hidden by myth and confusion, meaning many are unaware of the potential benefits TRT can offer and how this form of treatment can completely transform your life and help avoid age-related disease.
Illegal Steroid Abuse is Not the Same as TRT
Many people still put TRT and steroid abuse in the same boat. However, testosterone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones restores your natural hormone balance. Optimal hormone levels will not cause the extreme side effects many people associate with steroid abuse. In fact, restoring hormone levels to the same as when you were at your prime will do nothing other than make you feel great again.
Many fear TRT will cause liver damage, prostate cancer, and aggressive behavior. This confusion could not be further from the truth. Steroid abuse often involves illegally obtained steroids, guys taking 50-100 times the safe dosage, and even steroids intended for livestock. A typical example is Trenbolone, a steroid used on livestock to increase muscle growth and appetite. In comparison, TRT is a safe and completely legal prescription medication given under the guidance of an expert doctor to prevent many age-related diseases and improve quality of life (QOL).
Why Would You Need Testosterone?
Testosterone plays many crucial roles in the body, particularly helping increase muscle size and increasing metabolism, meaning you will find it easier to build muscles and burn fat. This muscle-building potential is the main reason some bodybuilders and athletes take things to the extreme to maximize performance.
However, the benefits of TRT are far more comprehensive in their reach, and by optimizing your hormones safely, you will see a whole host of benefits.
- Improved Mood
- Increased Lean Muscle
- Decreased Visceral Fat
- Increased Energy
- Less Stress
- Better Memory
- Improved Focus
- Better Sleep
- Increased Libido
One of the most crucial points to take away is that TRT increases muscle size and strength. The improved muscle v’s fat ratio enables your body to burn through calories faster and, along with exercise and a good diet, stops extra calories from being stored as fat.
TRT and Steroid Abuse, The Main Differences
In their 40s, many men start to see and feel the effects of falling testosterone levels, a natural part of what is now widely known as andropause. TRT is simply the process of supplementing those lost hormones to protect you from age-related disease and maintain optimal body function for as long as possible.
On the other hand, steroid abuse has nothing to do with health; it is simply a way of gaining muscle and performance advantage. Illegally obtained steroids may increase muscle size and improve performance, but the risks far outweigh the benefits. Not only is it illegal, but without knowing where your medication is from, and often not even knowing what it is, carries substantial health risks. The side effects can be far-reaching and cause life-long permanent damage. Try and think of it as with all medication; if you take too many, it can be harmful. Take too many painkillers, and you can cause kidney damage, liver damage, and even death, take too many steroids, and you risk all sorts of health problems occurring.
Steroid Abuse and the Risks
As mentioned above, steroid abuse has absolutely nothing to do with health; it is purely for athletic and cosmetic reasons. Whereas TRT is all about your health, the cosmetic benefits are merely a bonus and an incredibly beneficial one too!
Many bodybuilders do not need more testosterone and may not lack endogenous (naturally produced) testosterone at all. They supplement testosterone to cheat their body into a highly heightened ‘testosterone’ level that is in no way healthy or natural.
Many steroid abusers add other hormones to their routines in a process called stacking. With commonly misused steroids as follows:
- Anadrol (oxymetholone)
- Anavar (oxandrolone)
- Dianabol (methandienone )
- Winstrol (stanozolol)
- Restandol (testosterone undecanoate)
- Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)
- Durabolin (nandrolone phenpropionate)
- Agovirin (testosterone propionate)
- Retandrol (testosterone phenylpropionate)
- Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate)
Steroid abuse is illegal and, without proper medical guidance, carries enormous health risks.
The Risks of steroid abuse:
- A doctor should only ever prescribe steroids for the benefits of health
- Street steroids are illegal
- Street steroids are often from untrustworthy sources. You never know what you get!
- Street steroids are usually administered at incredibly high doses
- Without proper medical guidance, you risk extreme side effects and long-term damage
- The FDA does not approve this treatment.
Many steroid abusers become addicted to the chase of the perfect body, whereas others use steroids in phases called cycling, where they use for a while and take a break, then start again to avoid reaching a plateau or tolerance level. However, TRT is a life-long treatment to maintain optimal testosterone levels to slow the aging process, protect against illness, and maintain long-term health.
With Male Excel, our physicians work closely with patients optimizing testosterone levels and thyroid, vitamin D, and DHEA. We evaluate your hormone levels to create an HRT program that fits your symptoms and where you want to be with your health goals.
If you feel less interested in life, tired all the time, lacking in sex drive, and struggle to maintain a healthy weight, our personalized HRT program could be the answer.