Although uncommon, the side effects that come with cycling anabolic steroids suck. Steroids can give you big pumps and boost performance, but they also do something else. They increase your estrogen levels, and you know that means…breasts.
Not a problem for women but a definite problem for male bodybuilders and weekend warriors. There’s also a bunch of other side effects that affect men who use anabolic steroids:
- Decreased muscle mass
- Difficulty focusing
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fluid retention
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
- Osteoporosis (reduced bone density)
- Reduced sex drive and sperm count
- Slowed growth and short stature
Why? It’s All About Estrogen
Here’s What Happens
When you take steroids, your hormone levels can go crazy. Your body doesn’t like crazy. It wants to keep things in balance. When you introduce a dose of steroids into your body, you create a testosterone spike.
Think about it. Most steroids are basically testosterone. Your body’s average natural production of testosterone is 7mg. If you inject 100mg at one time, your body is like, WTF??? Then it reacts by aromatizing the steroids and turning them into estrogen, which can cause estrogen spikes.
Aromatization is the process your body uses to keep your hormone levels balanced. It uses a naturally occurring enzyme called aromatase to convert testosterone into estrogen. The amount of estrogen produced by this process depends on how much aromatase you have in your body. That’s why some men who use anabolic steroids get the desired effects while others get unwanted side effects.
Men have two types of estrogen, estradiol, and estrone. Although estradiol ranges are between 10 to 40 picogram/mL, bodybuilders want theirs to be between 20 and 30 picogram/mL.
If estrogen levels spike above the normal ranges, you may lose muscle, have problems focusing, suffer from erectile dysfunction, or experience gynecomastia symptoms. Even if you don’t grow full-on breasts, your nipples may get puffy and tender, and you may end up with fatty tissue on one side and not the other leaving you with uneven breasts.
The Solution? Aromatase Inhibitors
The best way to stop your body from turning testosterone to estrogen is to block the aromatase enzyme. To do that, you need an aromatase inhibitor. The first generation of these drugs has come and gone. Bodybuilders have now moved on to a new class of AI’s developed during the 1990s to aid in the fight against breast cancer.
One of these is Arimidex (Anastrozole). Arimidex is capable of suppressing estrogen in women so much that it is nearly undetectable. In some women, estrogen levels decreased by 80%. That’s why Arimidex is so effective at reducing the estrogen-related side effects associated with taking anabolic steroids.
Benefits of Using Arimidex
If you are a man who is experiencing estrogen-related side effects associated with taking anabolic steroids, keep reading. The benefits of using Arimidex are pretty straightforward, but we’ll spell them out for you:
Testosterone remains testosterone. You are using testosterone for a reason. What’s the point if it’s going to turn into estrogen?
No estrogen equals massive muscle gain.
You won’t get soft around the waist.
You won’t grow man-boobs.
You’ll keep your hair.
You won’t bloat up.
Your sex life won’t suffer.
You won’t feel like a menopausal woman.
A 1mg dose of Arimidex may even increase testosterone!
Arimidex Side Effects: Here’s Where it Gets Complicated
The use and benefits of aromatase inhibitors to decrease estrogen levels are pretty straightforward, but the side effects of aromatase inhibitors are not.
The reason for this is that researchers got hyper-focused on doing estrogen studies on women because it was a “female hormone” and didn’t pay much attention to how low estrogen levels can affect men. Add that to the fact that there is no approved clinical indication for prescribing the aromatase inhibitors for men, and you’ve got a grey area that you have to consider before injecting it into your own body.
Artificially knocking your estrogen levels below what they are supposed to be will probably have some consequences.
There have been a few limited clinical trials done on aromatase inhibition in males. More data is available from research done on female breast cancer patients. The following side effects come from both data sets. They may or may not all happen to men.
- Joint pain (although this may lessen with exercise)
- Fracture or bone loss (most likely if your bones are already compromised)
- Decreased libido and sexual function
- Cardiovascular issues
- Kidney Disease
- Retinal bleeding
- Liver problems
- May affect memory, emotions, personality, mood, math, and verbal skills
This Is Not for Women
You may have already figured this out, but unless you’ve got breast cancer cells, you shouldn’t take Arimidex if you are a woman. Men, yes. Women, no. Women’s bodies rely on estrogen to support way too many functions for you to try to suppress it below normal levels.
This Is Not for Competition Athletes
When deciding whether or not to use an aromatase inhibitor like Ameridex, it’s also crucial that you know this: it is on the list of drugs banned for athletes. If you are competing, aromatase inhibitors are a no-no. If you’re not competing, then it’s no holds barred.
Using Arimidex Safely
Don’t mess around with dosing. Working with a reputable healthcare provider that understands the drug and what you are using it for is extremely important. Typically, bodybuilders take Arimidex the day they start their cycle and run it throughout the duration of steroid administration. Most of the time, you want to keep it to a two-week cycle.
Don’t Fall for Fakes
Unfortunately, there are a lot of online pharmacies and other people out there that are selling fake aromatase inhibitors. These can really mess you up. Not only will you not get the results you are looking for, but they can also be harmful.
We’ve got the real stuff. Choose a protocol today!