Antibody test & AAS
Will covid blood test show that I used steroids?
Most people these days would probably have a test for covid-19. However, it is essential to understand that not all coronavirus tests are blood tests. Most diagnostic tests for covid are done by taking a nasal swab.
Three most commonly used covid tests
- Molecular test like RT-PCR is the most dependable tests of all. It looks for genetic materials of the coronavirus. It means that it can even help identify covid in asymptomatic carriers. This test is commonly demanded in various situations, like before boarding a flight. This particular test is done by taking a nasal or throat swab. It uses particular kinds of machines to amplify genetic materials. This test is very specific for covid. It means that it shows active coronavirus infection in a person. The only downside of this test is that it takes a couple of days to carry out. Since it looks for genetic materials of coronavirus only, there is no possible way in which it can interact with steroids or show steroid use.
- Antigen test is another common test done for covid. This test also uses materials taken via nasal swabs. However, instead of coronavirus's genetic materials, it looks for its antigen. An antigen can be called the fingerprint of a particular virus or microbe. It is generally a very fast test, and the result may come in minutes or just a few hours. Since it only looks for microbes' fingerprints (covid infection in this case), there is no way it can show steroid use.
- Antibody test is the third type of commonly used test that may generally help confirm if a person has been infected by a coronavirus in the past. Unlike the above two tests, this test is done using blood. Blood is usually drawn through a finger prick. The result of this test may become available in a day or two. Since this test searches for antibodies towards covid infection, there is no way it may come positive for steroid use.
Modern tests used to diagnose present or past covid infection are highly specific. They look for either viral materials, their fingerprints, or antibodies towards them. These tests do not react with steroids, and thus by no means can they show if someone is using steroids or not – it is technically impossible.
Apart from the tests mentioned above, many other tests are also fast becoming available, like rapid tests, saliva tests, and so on. However, none of these tests will show steroid use, as these tests mostly look for viral antigen (that is, viral fingerprint).
It is worth understanding that doctor may ask a person about steroids use. Those using anabolic steroids must not panic in a situation. They must understand that doctors are not interested in anabolic steroid use, rather in corticosteroid use. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory and lifesaving drugs prescribed in several disease conditions.
Although corticosteroids share some structural elements with anabolic steroids, they are not anabolic. Corticosteroids are rather catabolic, causing muscle and bone loss, and suppress immunity – that is why doctors are interested in knowing if a person is taking such steroidal medications or not.