Medical Test-up Before AAS
Medical Test-up Before Starting Steroids
When someone visits a clinic, a doctor will, almost in all the cases, refer a person to a lab for various tests. It is necessary for the diagnosis of the condition, and the doctor also wants to make sure that it is safe to prescribe specific drugs to the patient.
Anabolic steroids are quite like medical drugs, although sports people use them not to treat disease but to boost their physical ability, gain mass, strength, and endurance.
It is a good idea to have specific tests to ensure if it is safe for a person to use steroids (anabolic steroids). These tests will also help identify the side effects of steroids. Therefore, one should try to know and understand some of the vital signs of health before starting steroids and then monitor them at specific intervals like annually (in the absence of any side effects).
Since the use of anabolic steroids in sports is illegal, there are no official guidelines for what kind of tests to go through before starting the steroids cycle.
Below are some of the most informative tests for those who want to use anabolic steroid safely (assuming that a seemingly healthy adult is planning to use steroids):
- Testosterone levels: Most adults rarely go through this test. However, before starting steroids, knowing a natural hormonal status may help. It will help understand how prolonged use of steroids reduces intrinsic testosterone level, helps prevent testicular dystrophy, and improves the efficacy of post-cycle therapy. Usually, most adults have testosterone in the range of 300 to 1,000 ng/dL.
- Thyroid function tests: Thyroid hormones play a vital role in the regulation of metabolism. Those with low levels may feel exhausted, retain more water on steroid use. In contrast, those with an overactive thyroid may fail to make gains due to a high metabolic rate. Testing TSH and thyroxine (T4) levels in the blood may help know about thyroid health.
- Blood glucose levels: Diabetes is a common disease, and in most cases, it is discovered accidentally. Steroids may make diabetes worse. Therefore, it is a good idea to test blood glucose levels before starting the steroid cycle.
- Blood pressure: It is vital to monitor this parameter regularly, especially for those who are either living with borderline hypertension or already established disease. Even those who do not have high blood pressure must monitor it as steroids may sometimes elevate blood pressure.
- Liver function test: The liver is the body's chemical factor, and anabolic steroids boost its function. Without a healthy liver, one cannot gain muscle mass, even with the help of steroids. Moreover, overstressing the damaged factory (the liver) may cause more harm than good. ALT and AST are two enzymes that are often elevated in those with liver damage or inflammation. If these enzymes are on the higher side, one must first get treated for the liver condition and only then consider using steroids. The albumin-level test is another important test to evaluate, as it will tell how much of the protein the liver is producing. It may also help understand how things have changed by using steroids.
- Kidney tests: It may be essential for those living with high blood pressure or chronic ailments like diabetes. Kidneys are responsible for maintaining water and electrolyte balance, removing toxins from the body. Tests like "albumin-to-creatine ratio," estimate of GFR (glomerular filtration rate), will help understand a lot about kidney health.
- Heart tests: Unlike the first three tests, this may be not for all individuals planning to use steroids but only for middle-aged or older adults—those with known cardiovascular issues like hypertension, family history of heart disorders, some pre-existing cardiac condition. Many tests are used to understand heart health, and these tests are best done under medical supervision. Only a medical specialist can interpret the results of various tests used to monitor heart health.
The above tests are most important for young and healthy adults considering starting using steroids. They will help use steroids safely and provide information about how regular use of steroids influences their health.