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The Issues

Medical supervision is recommended for anyone receiving hormone therapy. Only your doctor can prescribe a safe hormone regimen that will make things better for you, not worse! Many bodybuilders think that their doctors do not care or do not know much about the prescribing of hormones, and that is why they don’t ask them. They therefore rationalize their own self-medication, but any doctor knows more than a gym coach or a steroid abuser. Regular blood tests and monitoring prevent any unusual problems and reduce risks of hormonal chaos.

It has been estimated that 1 to 3 million male and female athletes in the United States have tried injectable steroids. While their use has been associated with liver dysfunction, altered blood lipids, infertility, muscle and tendon injury, as well as psychological abnormalities, there is some evidence to show that their use will cause long-term damage. Fortunately, the use of moderate doses of androgen results in side effects that are largely benign and reversible. The incidence of serious health problems associated with the short-term use of androgens by athletes has been exaggerated.

The cycling and off-on use of anabolic steroids does create the potential for abuse and rage. Injectable hormones or “roids” are not the answer for hormone replacement because the fluctuating levels of hormones caused by this method are both dangerous and counter-productive. Despite known adverse effects, unknown long-term risks, and possible potential for causing abuse or dependence, men and women continue to abuse these hormones.

Unfortunately, almost any drug can be purchased over the internet without medical supervision, or without guidelines for men who are self-prescribing hormones. Watch out! Many of these products are counterfeit and dangerous! Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse using oral and injectable veternary medications has been associated with liver dysfunction, altered blood fat levels, infertility, muscular-tendon injury and psychological abnormalities, including irreversible personality changes.

Men who use hormones need regular testing until hormone levels have stabilized and every six months thereafter, depending on their hormone dose. Doctors have no way of knowing what is happening with your hormones without testing. It will be helpful if you provide information for your medical records as to the frequency of morning erections, number of ejaculations per week, and any changes in sexual drive.

Under AACE prescirbing guidelines the following studies should be performed at a minimum of every six months: Free and Total Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding globulin (SHBG), CBC (complete blood count), PSA and Liver function studies. Your own doctor must perform a digital rectal exam once a year. The results of all tests should be included in your medical records.

Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes:
An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline
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