Hop into Health – Male hormones and Steroid Use and Abuse

Today On Hop Into Health, I interviewed Jack Hammond, compounding pharmacist from Broadbeach Amcal Compounding Pharmacy and the HOT topic today was men’s hormones and steroid use and abuse!

Podcast from the show. (The tick sound stops after 2 minutes).

TEMPTED? I do get some of it.. Feel dweebie and want to feel like Arnie – just take some steroids. BUT…

Steroid use before and afters

Tracks: Macho tracks – shared on Health Queen Face Book Page

Q: What hormones do guys have

Both: Guys make lots of hormones, but in the context of ageing, muscle mass and increasing performance the main ones are Growth Hormone, DHEA and Testosterone. Men can make adequate levels of all given rest, a good diet, exercise and low stress. Change these or don’t do these things and hormone changes occur.

Typically guys increase their testosterone production as teen agers hence all the changes associated with testosterone: hair develops, voice changes, muscle develop, long bones grow, erections, libido and sperm production increase as well as feelings of anger and competitiveness.

As men age and typically around 40 they can decrease their testosterone. This is known as andropause, or manopause.

Men can gain weight, become indecisive, have erection issues and develop moons (male breasts).

Q: How can men find out what their testosterone levels are?

Both: Men can see the doctor for a blood test, or a naturopath (like me) for a saliva hormone  test. I normally use saliva testing and measure testosterone, DHEA, cortisol and oestrogen. People can order this on-line and it includes a 30 minute consultation explaining their results with me.

Q: What options do guys have to increase their testosterone levels if found to be low?

Sam: Naturally I support the normal glands that make testosterone (adrenal glands) and help with lifestyle balancing. Often guys with  low testosterone have high oestrogen so that needs to be addressed as well. I use broccoli extracts and liver herbs to help with high oestrogen (and diet and lifestyle).

Jack: If guys go through a doctor they may be recommended to have a troche (pastel for the mouth) or a depo injection. An oral tablet has just been approved by the Australian TGA

Q: Let’s talk about steroid abuse.

A: Obviously if someone has low testosterone and is symptomatic with it, help them make more (or give them an approved testosterone formulae). But if guys are producing ok amounts, and wish to boost their muscle mass I think it is deemed “abusive”. And in Australia steroid use for sports gain, or enhancement is illegal.

The drugs are available very easily to anyone who wants to risk the gauntlet run. You can buy them on line

And just because you can buy injectable steroids on-line does not mean it is LEGAL!

So if you order in any peptide for “research use” which all claim is what they are for not their sites and “not for human consumption” you are truly going to have to defend a lot of questions if you get caught with the stuff.

Arnie is infamous for his life story but in particular how he wanted to prove himself in Austria and moving to the USA and subsequent steroid use. I am sure he started the idea of big is BETTER…. somewhere we ALL started linking big blokes = nice guys, protective guys. Those who drive in on a bike, boom boom, and zip off Hasta La Vista Baby!

I have heard of guys injected insulin simultaneously as their testosterone booster. This is playing with your life. Insulin has the capacity to kill someone very quickly!

Q: What are common side effects of steroid abuse?

A: These range from symptoms of too much oestrogen (as the body can only excrete a certain amount without help) so high oestrogen in men will give them breasts, shrunk testes, moobs, depression, anxiety, impotence and tummy fat.

High testosterone can cause aggression (roid rage), pimples, skin problems and muscle splitting.

Some guys (and girls) go so far as to put silicon fillers (as you would buy from a ware house) into their muscle layers so they can inject into it for slow release.

Something like Growth Hormone (which costs from $80-$120 according to my research on-line) would need to be used 2-3 daily and injected.

This is a picture of what can happen when your muscles split.

I found this while looking for pictures

Wrap up: Using hormone replacements under ethical supervision is fine. DYI or back yard lab use of steroids can lead to all sorts of issues and needs to be really thought out.

If you want to get off juice but don’t know how see a doctor or professional health provider. I am happy to assist as are many other naturopaths/nutritionist. This website might help too. 

I will have my new book for guys “Keeping up” available for purchase next week. In it I discuss natural ways to keep your testosterone up.

Tune in next Wednesday when we discuss Sports Enhancing products with dietician Mark Robinson.