Are steroids safe? Of course not.

I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on T.V. So how could I proclaim that steroids are not safe? Well that’s easy. I did the research, and this is what I came up with. Here’s my story:

Way back in the early 2000s, my brother and I were doing a pretty good amount of weightlifting. At that time, I was in my mid-thirties and my older brother was in his early forties. We hadn’t weightlifted all our lives, but had lifted a lot when we were younger and were now back into it. When you are in your thirties, getting bigger and stronger doesn’t come as easy as it used to so that was kind of discouraging.

My brother and I, of course, knew about steroids from way back but neither of us had ever taken any because they were considered dangerous. A guy at my brother’s work mentioned to him that new research had been done and some of it determined that steroids, in certain lower doses, were safe to use if you were over the age of about thirty-five.

The research claimed that steroid use was only dangerous to younger people whose hormones are still in growth mode and that lower dose steroid use in those older had very little or no negative effects on the body. The claims also stated that the dosage of steroids had to be only moderate and that using too high a dosage of the drug is bad at any age. My brother and I got really excited about the prospect of taking steroids with no harmful effects, so I got on the internet and started researching.

I RESEARCHED SAFE STEROID USE

Most of my initial findings on steroid use being safe for older men was very promising. I found sites with doctors and other health care and sports authorities that had studies showing that, when used moderately and correctly, the drug increased testosterone and energy levels and increased sex drive while having no negative effect on big important things like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This was great news for me. I wanted the same things all guys want, and the steroids could give those to me. I wanted to be bigger and stronger, but I also wanted to have that flat washboard stomach along with that “thin skin” look which makes muscles look more defined. Steroids could help me get all of that.

With my initial research suggesting that steroids may be safe, I was in la la land. The possibility of looking great and being strong and wanting to have sex all the time was intoxicating. But I’m a pretty smart guy and I knew I’d have to do some deeper research before I would really be comfortable with putting something into my body that may hurt it in potentially big ways. So I decided to research what steroids actually do in the body and also see what the pure medical field thought of them.The findings from my deeper research left me less optimistic.

Learning what steroids did to the body and its hormones was downright scary. The problems they could cause were varied and many. Their usage could harm you in ways ranging from having a bad attitude all the way to a massive heart attack. Now I’m not a big worrier so I tried to take all things into consideration. I had to consider that the really scary stories about steroids were mainly examples of younger men using dangerously high doses of the drug over long periods of time. As far as risk assessing goes, being young and taking a lot of steroids is clearly not recommended. But what about taking them in low doses at older ages? At the time of my research, data on low usage for this age group was almost non-existent. And at that point, my new understanding of what steroids are and what they do to you led me to think that maybe they were somewhat safe if taken properly.

I’m a pretty sensible guy and my findings on steroid use for older men left me undecided. I knew I was undecided not just from what I read and observed. I was also influenced by a strong desire to want to take them. I really, really wanted steroids to be safe for me. Had I not wanted to take them so badly, I’m sure I would have just labeled them as not worth it and moved on, but at the time, I was honestly not sure.

MY BROTHER FELT DIFFERENTLY

Generally, my brother Mike was a less cautious and more adventurous person than me. He did his own research and when we met up to talk about whether we should do some steroids or not, he was more of a go than I was. Mike and I were more than brothers. We were close friends. We talked on the phone almost every day and communicated with each other well. We went round and round on this decision. I kinda wanted to do some cycles and he really wanted to. I did have one more resource to go to: friend David who was a general practitioner doctor, and a good one. I had an appointment to go see Dr. David coming up, so my brother and I decided to wait and see what David said about steroids. If he says it’s ok, then it’s a go. But if he says no, then it’s a no. I trusted David. He diagnosed a condition that my wife had when no other doctors did. Plus he was humble, confident, and sarcastic which is a combination that I trust.

WHAT DID DR DAVID SAY?

David is a pretty cool guy. He can be a little focused, short with conversation and not a good time waster but what do you expect? He’s a doctor. Those guys are busy. After our initial “hey buddy” and standard check-up stuff, I asked him about the steroids. I asked him if it was ok if my brother and I took them. He looked at me, said a quick no and moved on to other talk. I trust the hell out of David’s medical opinion and normally just a “no” is good enough for me but after all my rollercoaster research on the subject, I had to press further. “So back to the steroid question. I read about it being safe for older guys using small amounts. Did you hear about this?” I asked him cautiously.

“No!” was David’s quick answer. He suddenly became angry. Not irritated. Angry. I hadn’t seen David angry before.

I was a little stunned at his anger but managed to still return with a “why”.

David gave a pause, slightly calmed his anger and said “Because they mess with your hormones. And it’s never a good idea to mess with your hormone levels.”

“OK copy that.” I answered, and we left the topic as quickly as we entered it. That was all I needed. I had never made David mad at me so this was obviously a passionate topic for him. I trust that guy so there was now no way I was gonna do any roids. Five minutes away from David’s office, my phone rang. It was Mike. He knew of my appointment and was eager to find out what David said. “Hey Mike. It’s a no go. David said no, and he said it in no uncertain terms”.

“Really”?

“Yep, there’s no way I’m doing them. He said it’s not good to fuck with your hormones”.

“Oh well. Well I’m gonna try them anyway,” my brother returned. I knew Mike would probably start doing steroids regardless. I wasn’t going to try to talk him out of it. He was a grown man very capable of making his own decisions. A week later I was giving him a shot in ass.

Despite my own apprehension about taking them, I was excited to see what steroids would do to my weightlifting buddy. We knew our rep and weight maxes on all the main exercises and we knew our body measurements so with just one of us taking steroids, how was Mike going to progress differently to me? We never really found out because within six months, my brother almost completely stopped working out. His work and social life increased and he wasn’t able to lift weights much. I can’t verify Mike getting any bigger or stronger but he would tell me how good he felt. He would say he felt like he was nineteen again and it was amazing to him. Also, his body appearance or his attitude didn’t at all change. I’m sure he would have started looking better had he continued to lift but within a year of taking the drug, he quit weight training completely.

SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENED

At this point after about year and a couple of cycles of steroid use, Mike was now not working out at all. So when it came time to start another cycle, he called me and asked if I was home and that he wanted to stop by for a shot. I used to give him the shots in secret because he didn’t want his wife to know about him taking juice. She wouldn’t have approved. I told him to come on over and when he got to my place, we talked.

“Mike, you’re not working out, why do you want a shot? I mean, isn’t it a waste when you’re not lifting?”

“Shit man. I don’t care about that right now. It just makes me feel better. It gives me energy and makes me want to fuck all the time. I love it.”

“OK but I don’t know about this. This doesn’t seem right. You’re not even exercising. Are you sure you want to do this?” I had to have at least a little more dialog because it really didn’t make sense to me. At the time, I really didn’t understand how strong the other benefits of steroids were beyond helping you to build a better-looking body.

“Yeah man I’m good. It’s fine. Let’s do this”. He answered with no hesitation.

“Alright then. Here. Set it up.” I took out the needles and the drug and he set up for the shot. “You want the b-12 shot too”.

“Yep”. I gave him the shots, we talked for a few minutes and he was on his way.

After Mike left, I remember being a little sad. This steroid experiment had officially turned from something you take to enhance your workouts and make a better looking, stronger body to something that just makes you feel good. I wasn’t very concerned about what harm the drug was doing to Mike’s body as he seemed fine. I was sad because he seemed to want that shot just a little too much.

ABOUT A YEAR LATER, HE DIED.

At the young age of forty-six and after a martial arts workout, my bother Mike’s heart exploded, and he died before his body hit the ground. Now I’m not going to say I think the steroid use was the direct cause of his severe heart attack. Mike lived a hell of a life and there were certainly a few other things he did that could have been the culprit. Still though, it is a fact that he took steroids and he died young of a heart attack, so I cannot say that it didn’t at least contribute to his end.

It’s been many years since my brother’s death and I have learned a lot. My conclusion is that steroid use is unsafe. It’s an obvious thing and anyone in the health business that doesn’t benefit in some way from the sale of them will agree. There is no safe amount and there is no safe age to do it. Period.

You may choose to do steroids though and that’s your business. And odds are they won’t kill you. Just don’t think that it is safe or good for you. They may make you feel great and help you look great. What they do to you negatively though is unknown.

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