The difference between testosterone replacement therapy and steroid abuse

Pay no heed to the popular image of the ‘roid head, that biceps-flexing, almost champion with competing needs for hair replacement and anger management class. 

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a valid medical treatment, conducted only under the supervision of a licensed professional. And its legitimate therapeutic purposes and safe application vouchsafe its place among the modern medical profession, far from the specter of drug abuse that haunts athletic sports.

Steroid Abuse:
Why You Should Avoid It

What’s the difference between steroids and testosterone, though? Steroids and testosterone both contain androgens, the hormone that makes some men look like Michaelangelo’s David. But that’s where the resemblance ends because steroid abuse is an illegal, almost always unsupervised, use of androgenic hormones. 

People often use steroids to:

  • Build muscle mass faster.
  • Boost athletic performance (giving themselves an unfair advantage over non-steroid users).
  • Intensify their self-image and confidence.
  • Bounce back faster from injuries (giving them an unfair competitive edge).

Steroid abuse typically involves large doses, much larger than what any doctor would prescribe under normal circumstances. It’s unregulated, both in the sense of illegality and because there’s no way for users to guarantee their safety while using it. They risk serious short- and long-term health consequences for relatively modest performance enhancements, which they could achieve without steroids if they put forth the effort.

Because steroid abusers aren’t medical professionals and don’t know what they’re doing, they’re forced to experiment on their bodies to get the desired results. That leads to many unfortunate outcomes: liver damage, infertility, aggression, and more. Sometimes they even receive counterfeit drugs that cause their own sets of health problems.

Steroid abuse can hurt you, your loved ones, and your professional career. If you’re a competitive athlete, you can get banned from your sport entirely. That’s why it’s not worth it at all, and you should stay far away.

Recognizing the Signs of Steroid Abuse

People almost always hide their use of illegal steroids, making detection a challenge. Industries like professional sports implement mandatory testing to root them out. But there are ways for chronic users to get around that.

There are classic warning signs you can watch out for, such as:

  • Unusually fast muscle growth.
  • An uncharacteristically unpleasant attitude (aggression out of nowhere, more irritable than usual)
  • Mood swings, especially in someone not previously known for having them.

Regrettably, many who use steroids this way go undetected for long periods of time. They may start suffering from a range of male fertility problems, particularly those involving testicle size or sperm count. Unusual cardiovascular issues like heart palpitations and chest pain can also make a sudden appearance. This can gradually lead to serious consequences for their health.

Without medical supervision, the effects of these issues may cause serious harm before diagnosis. And since people are often afraid or embarrassed to disclose their own steroid use, they might not see a doctor until it’s too late to reverse the effects. 

Educating the public — especially young people and athletes — is crucial for avoiding these kinds of outcomes.

About Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone is one of the major hormones in the body, responsible for muscle growth, facial hair, deep voices, and all the other qualities associated with masculinity. Its presence can even determine one’s mood, especially during puberty when it turns into a raging hormone.

But men can only produce so much testosterone on their own. As their bodies age, they make less and less of it. Some unfortunate modern habits can also make things worse. We mean things like:

  • Living a very inactive lifestyle.
  • Eating a diet too high in sugar.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Living with elevated stress levels all the time.
  • Uneasy, awkward, or erratic sleep quality.

Worse, decreasing testosterone levels can create a negative feedback loop for the beleaguered, aging male. That same low testosterone also makes them tired, which causes anxiety, which damages their diet, which demotivates and disempowers them. And all of this drains their dwindling testosterone even more. 

Without breaking that cycle, low testosterone could seriously degrade someone’s quality of life, filling them with self-doubt, weakness, and depression. At Men’s Revival, we look at TRT as a way of giving the body back what it has lost.

The Uses and Benefits of TRT

Unfortunately, many men live with low testosterone, harming their health, well-being, and day-to-day performance. Doctors prescribe TRT in moderation to reverse these effects, as well as to restore hormonal balance in the body. It’s safe and legal to use testosterone under the guidance of a medical professional in this way.

Doctors usually administer TRT as either an injection delivered straight to muscle tissue or a soft patch worn on the skin. Either can reinforce someone’s testosterone levels, but injection is the most common of the two. It’s often easier and may even work a little faster.

At Men’s Revival, for example, we do injections twice a week to keep up a steady flow of testosterone into your body. We use microneedles to reduce any pain or discomfort you might feel. And we keep a close eye on your testosterone levels throughout the treatment process.

Other Uses of TRT

That said, TRT also works as a treatment option for other serious conditions, such as weakened bones caused by osteoporosis. Increased testosterone may enhance bone strength, helping that person get back on their feet (sometimes literally) and live a healthier life. Testosterone is essentially a hormone supplement that can help sustain bodily functions that rely on it.

Medical practitioners using TRT conduct regular check-ups to ensure the treatment proceeds normally and adjust dosages as needed. They avoid overprescribing testosterone, preferring moderation to excess, and make a point of monitoring vital signs for anything out of the ordinary.

You Can Make an Informed Choice

As you can see, the differences between steroid abuse and TRT are night and day. It’s important to consult with a licensed practitioner whenever you’re deciding about your healthcare decisions. You want expert guidance whenever something as sensitive as your physical health is on the line.

That’s why Men’s Revival only conducts TRT services in Scottsdale under the direction of qualified professionals. We provide specialized concierge services where we analyze the overall endocrine and metabolic functions so that TRT is effective, safe, and tailor-made for your body.. Contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss your options. 

Ready to take the next step?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of low T, reach out to our team to find out how we can help you. 

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