Steroid intake is known to cause mild to severe side effects.If you don’t do anything about it, the consequences could be long-term. Some of the worrying problems include cardiovascular issues, impaired mental health, and liver damage.
And yes, it’s okay to feel a bit intimidated. Steroids are super-powerful performance-enhancing drugs, after all. However, if you do things the right way and know how to protect your body, there’s little to worry about.
Here, you’ll find tips and tricks to minimize steroid side effects.
Note:This article assumes you’re in perfect health, to begin with.
Do a Thorough Medical Checkup
Before you start the steroid cycle it’s crucial to determine that your body is in tip-top shape, medically speaking. Needless to say, consultation with your physician is necessary as well and he or she may order a series of tests to gauge your overall health.
The exact tests may differ from one person to another, but there are some general rules. Usually, you need a full blood test which includes, but may not be limited to, checking cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and liver enzymes. And this goes double for those on a special diet.
Certain foods and diets affect the metabolic processes in your body.You might, therefore, need to adjust accordingly before taking steroids. In some cases, a rigorous gym routine may put the cardiovascular system into overdrive. Add steroids to this, and side effects are bound to take a toll on your body.
According to the statistics, between 0.5% and 0.7% of UK residents suffer from BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). People who suffer from this mental condition obsess about physical defects on their body.
The perceived defects are subjective and may cause the person to resort to steroids to beef up the body part he or she feels isn’t up to par. Given the already disturbed mental condition of such a person, using steroids may only heighten the problem.
There’s not much available data regarding how many gym-goers and bodybuilders suffer from BDD. But on the bright side, there are tests to accurately diagnose the condition.
As you may already know, there are different types of steroids and each one is designed to target a specific pain point. Should you pitch these steroids against each other, it’s nearly impossible to gauge if one has fewer side effects than the other.
That said, some are touted as the best thing to avoid physical problems, but they may make you more aggressive. On the other hand, there are steroids without any psychological side effects, if they do affect the way your liver works.
All in all, this is another reason you need to pay a visit to a doctor and share your gym goals with him or her. The physician might steer you in the right direction and suggest or even prescribe the steroids that are best for your metabolism, cardiovascular system, and mental health.
The same applies for doses and it’s a misconception to think that more means better. Quite the contrary. Ramping up the doses may trigger steroid tolerance – the final results of which won’t be satisfactory. Worst case scenario, some may develop a substance use disorder.
This disorder is followed by an array of both mental and physical side effects that grow worse over time. Therefore, it’s crucial not to exceed the recommended or prescribed dose.
There are four common steroid intake patterns – cycling, pyramiding, stacking, and plateauing. It’s tricky to state that one has fewer side effects than the other as there’s little medical/scientific evidence to support the claim.
However, pyramiding could be the best option for a few reasons. First of all, this pattern starts with minimal doses as you slowly build up the intake until you reach the maximum dose. Then, aspiring bodybuilders don’t usually mix various steroids during this method.
In fact, sticking to one type of steroids can be one of the most important ways to minimize side effects. Of course, some gym-goers may swear by their steroid combo. But there’s a wall of silence when you ask them about their sex life, for example.
Back to pyramiding, this pattern also involves the reduction of the dose until you finally go cold turkey. This gives your body a chance to better cope with all the steroid-induced hormonal and metabolic changes.
Lastly, most people on a pyramiding pattern take a few weeks off steroids before they start a new cycle. This is also a good time to do another medical check-up and make adjustments if need be.
Important Note: Body’s response to steroid intake is individual, so you need to take all tips with a pinch of salt. And don’t hesitate to seek help at first sign of a problem.
Go for the Legal Steroids
This might sound like stating the obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people resort to contraband substances, even steroids for animals. The legal anabolic-androgenic steroids contain synthetic testosterone and can be obtained with a prescription.
Some of the common options include creatinine and MMP (matrix metalloproteinase). The latter is a blend of dendrobium, betaine, creatinine and it’s pretty safe to use. That is, there are little or no side effects as long as you stick to what’s prescribed.
These are just two examples – and there are many more. Whichever you choose, it’s also important to find the one that doesn’t feature any substances that could cause an allergic reaction.
All Gain No Pain
Anabolic steroids have attracted a lot of notoriety due to the people who abuse them. But if you take things slowly and closely monitor your body’s response and health, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Okay, you might experience some irritability, sweating and shortness of breath at the start. And should the condition take a turn for the worse, don’t think twice about consulting a physician.