Signs of Anabolic Steroid Use

The signs of anabolic steroids use, there are possible signs, but they're not as cut and dry as some tend to believe. There are certain touted signs of anabolic steroid use that are truly poor indicators, yet some deem them to be primary signs of anabolic steroid use. The problem with the often touted signs of steroid use is that they fail to take numerous things into consideration. By the anti-steroid based argument, if this is what we rely on, any increase in muscle size and strength would be a sign of anabolic steroid use. Obviously this cannot be the gauge, and neither can bad breath. Bad breath is one of the commonly reported signs, but let's face it, some people just have bad breath. All of us do if we eat something a little funky. With this in mind, we want to take a look at the signs of anabolic steroid use. We want to start by discussing the inaccurate claims, and from there dive into the truth.

Inaccurate Signs of Anabolic Steroid Use:

There are several reported signs of anabolic steroid use that while possible indicators cannot be deemed outright signs. There are also reported signs of anabolic steroid use that are nothing more than outright lies due to their impossibility. Let's take a look at these claims and discover the truth:

· Acne: This is a possible side effect of anabolic steroid use, this no one can deny. Normally it will appear on the back, chest or shoulders if it appears at all. Not all anabolic steroids are going to cause acne. The androgenic activity of a steroid will be a primary determining factor. Further, and perhaps more important is the individuals sensitivity to acne to begin with. Those who are not generally sensitive will rarely have a problem. In fact, most will find they have no issue if they keep their skin clean and dry. For the individual who is truly genetically sensitive, this can change the game; however, it cannot be deemed a prime indicator. Some people are just prone to acne with or without anabolic steroids.


· Jaundice or Yellowing of the Skin: Some anabolic steroids are hepatotoxic; however, most are not. The only way an anabolic steroid can lead to such reactions is if it has been C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa), and this is the case with most oral steroids. Very few injectable steroids are C17-aa. If you are using a C17-aa anabolic steroid, liver toxicity is possible; however, any liver damage will normally take a large dose for an extended period of time. The hepatic nature of a C17-aa steroid will vary greatly from one to the next, but with proper supplementation practices and an already healthy liver very few individuals will experience any related issues. If such issues do occur, we further cannot automatically say these are signs of anabolic steroid use, not without taking all other things into consideration. Was the individual consuming excess amounts of alcohol? This can be extremely damaging to the liver. Was the individual using over the counter medications on a regular basis or any other prescription based drugs? Even over the counter drugs can be quite hepatotoxic, and in some cases, just as much if not more than many anabolic steroids.

· Bloating: Bloating can occur due to the use of anabolic steroids that promote estrogenic activity. However, not all anabolic steroids promote estrogenic activity. Overeating can also cause bloating or water retention, especially carbohydrates making this a poor indicator.

· Progressive Weight Gain: Of all the possible signs of anabolic steroid use reported, this one is probably one of the most off base. First and foremost, not all anabolic steroids will promote weight gain. Of those that do, they will not do so to any significant degree without excess calories. Moreover, progressive weight gain can occur without anabolic steroids. Is the individual eating more and lifting weights on a regular basis? If so, his weight will increase. This will hold very true for a small, young individual, as they will have an easier time gaining weight with diet and training than anyone else.

· Overly Aggressive Behavior: Commonly referred to as “Roid Rage” of all the signs of anabolic steroid use this one holds the least amount of truth. It is true, some anabolic steroids can increase aggression, but the discussion cannot end there. Most men will not notice any significant increase in aggression. Further, aggression cannot automatically be deemed a bad thing. What we do with aggression is what makes it right or wrong. This can actually be a very positive attribute when it is used for the right purpose, such as on the field or in the gym. More importantly, anabolic steroids do not have the ability to alter your thought process, mutate your personality or take away your ability to discern between right and wrong, and they most certainly cannot take away your ability to control your actions. Every medical study performed on the psychological effects of anabolic steroids has shown such effects to be so small that they cannot be measured if they even exist at all. The New England Journal of Medicine has even gone as far to say there was no measurable changes in mood or behavior in the 20 men they tested using supraphysiological doses of testosterone.

· Hallucinations: This one is simply outright ridiculous; we'd even call it idiotic. This has become a popular claim by some strong anti-steroid individuals, but it lacks any credible evidence. Steroids would have to possess some type of mental altering characteristics for this to occur, which even the AMA testified as impossible during their testimony given to congress.

Accurate Signs of Anabolic Steroid Use:

When it comes to the accurate signs of anabolic steroid use, these can at times be a little difficult to spot. Remember, just because someone gains a little muscle mass or strength cannot be deemed an indicator. Anyone can do this with a proper diet and exercise plan. However, an increase in muscularity, not merely weight, can be an indicator if it is rapid and pronounced, but there are things to consider. For the individual who has never worked out before, in most cases he'll experience a pretty dramatic shift in muscularity simply because his body is in a sensitive state. Further, a young man will be producing massive amounts of anabolic steroidal hormones naturally, and as a result, significant growth and strength can easily occur with diet and exercise. If the individual goes from pressing 150lbs to 300lbs in a few weeks, sure, this could be a sign of anabolic steroid use. However, such an increase in strength of that magnitude is virtually impossible. These hormones are not as magical as some so desperately want to believe. This all brings us to an important question, what are true indicators, absolute red flags that point to signs of anabolic steroid use?

· Abscess: An abscess is an infection that occurs at the injected area. It will appear swollen and normally be very sore. This can occur for a few reasons and can be quite dangerous if it is a full-blown abscess; however, a sterile abscess can also occur, and while not dangerous is painful. Dirty or contaminated injections are the number one cause. This could be due to steroids that were manufactured in an unsterile environment and are now infected with bacteria. It could also be due to an improper injection, the oil settling under the skin and never absorbing into the muscle tissue. If it is a full-blown abscess, it will normally be hot to the touch and the individual will often run a fever. Regardless, if this ever occurs the individual will want to see his doctor and remedy the situation as fast as possible.

· Improved Well-Being: Most steroid users experience the opposite of depression. Most are generally happier than they were before, and that's not surprising. There are few people who do not enjoy having a better looking physique.

· Gynecomastia: Also known as male breast enlargement can be one of the best signs of anabolic steroid use. However, just because someone grows a set of man boobs is not an indicator, excess body fat will also cause this look. However, if very lean and muscular overall yet displays this characteristic, this could be a sign. Keep in mind, not all anabolic steroids can cause gynecomastia, and it can be avoided quite easily when using steroids that do.

These are some decent indicators as it pertains to the signs of anabolic steroid use, but as you can see from what we've discussed overall use can be hard to spot. Just because you use anabolic steroids does not mean you'll turn into a muscle monster. There are actually many athletes who use anabolic steroids; in fact, many track athletes use them and no one would call such individuals large mountains of muscle. The only true way to know is to test someone. We cannot simply base our assumptions on someone's performance. Some of us naturally produce more hormones than others, and as a result, we will be bigger and stronger even if both individuals are following the same diet and training program.