For the anabolic steroid user there is always one prevailing concern, side effects and as testosterone is often the primary steroid used, the foundation of most cycles the most common concern is necessarily the side effects of testosterone. Lets be clear and get right to the point; when we supplement with an exogenous hormone there is a potential for a negative reaction; how great is the potential, outright this is impossible to say as it is dependent on many factors as we will shortly see but there is a potential risk as it pertains to the side effects of testosterone.
The testosterone hormone is a hormone we all produce and it is a hormone of essential and high importance. It is not something our body is unfamiliar with, it is not a foreign chemical nor something we need to be afraid of but it is something worthy of respect. The majority of men who supplement with an exogenous form will find the side effects of testosterone to be of very little concern when supplemental practices are followed in a responsible manner; however, while the odds are in your favor there is no absolute guarantee. The same can be said for anything else you put into your body; walk into your local drug store, nearly every item carries with it potential side effects. The probability of side effects with each item varies and some will tolerate certain items more so than others but in the end, most men will find with responsible use, again, the side effects of testosterone to be of little concern.
By-and-large the side effects of testosterone are due to estrogen buildup. As testosterone enters the body it converts into estrogen via the aromatase process. The more testosterone in your system the more there is to convert into estrogen and the higher your estrogen levels go the higher your probability of negative reactions. One must understand, while this is what causes the adverse side effects of testosterone its not as cut and dry as you might think; individual response, your own genetics play a massive and we do mean massive role. For example, there are men who will be able to supplement with massive amounts of testosterone, take no precaution and never fall prey to a single nasty side effect and there are others who will look at an ampule of testosterone and immediately have a negative reaction. Theres no outright way to predict but there are steps we can take to ensure the odds are in our favor.
As estrogen buildup increases due to exogenous testosterone use certain side effects may occur. In most all cases such side effects are easily avoidable or reversed if they do occur with the exception of one we will discuss later on. The common side effects of testosterone and each one is preventable and avoidable, include:
Testosterone is manufactured in the testicles of men and when exogenous testosterone enters the body this natural production is suppressed. Once exogenous testosterone is in the body we no longer have any need to produce our own; the body is now receiving all it needs and in many cases more than it needs in exogenous fashion. As this occurs, as testosterone is produced in the testicles, as such production is suppressed the testicles shrink; if you supplement with testosterone you will experience testicular atrophy. No, your testicles will not vanish, they will simply lose some of their fullness; it truly is nothing of great concern. Further, once use is discontinued and your natural testosterone production begins again; after all, youre no longer introducing the hormone exogenously and the body must produce, the testicles will return to their normal size. Testicular atrophy is as assured side effect of testosterone use but as you can see its really not that great of a concern.
When it comes to preventing the side effects of testosterone use we have many things to consider but there is one thing we can do that will improve our odds more so than all other things combined; supplemental use of a quality Aromatase Inhibitor (AI.) How it works; an Ai effectively inhibits the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. As estrogen cannot exist due to the conversion process it cannot increase thereby our total estrogen levels are lower than they otherwise would be. Is an AI an absolute guarantee, no but it improves ones odds greatly and as the odds are in your favor with responsible use to begin with, with the presence of an AI they are only that much better. There are several AIs in-which you may choose from with Arimidex and Letrozole being the most popular and generally the most effective. Of the two primary AIs Letrozole is the most powerful; in-fact, Letro as it is commonly known is so powerful that it can reverse Gynecomastia symptoms if they begin to show; there is no other AI that can boast such a claim.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) can also be a useful tool in preventing the side effects of testosterone, most notably the SERM Nolvadex and it will largely be used for the prevention of Gynecomastia. A SERM such as Nolvadex does not prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen nor does it lower the amount of estrogen in your body; Nolvadex simply binds to the receptors in the pectoral region, thereby preventing estrogen itself from binding thereby causing Gynecomastia. Many testosterone users find a low dose of Nolva as it is commonly known to be effective while many more will find they need something a little stronger. Generally, if 10mg-20mg per day of Nolvadex does not keep Gynecomastia at bay you will need to supplement with an AI. It is important to note, if Gynecomastia symptoms begin to show, if you let them sit in they will become permanent and only a surgical procedure will cure you. If you let the symptoms set in there is no SERM or AI on earth that will reverse the condition; if this occurs you will have to have the glands cut out in-order to remove it.
There is no doubt about it, in the world of anabolic androgenic steroids testosterone is king and in the human body itself it is an imperative hormone. Yes, there are side effects of testosterone use but they are manageable, largely preventable and often of no concern if were responsible. There is a very real risk to reward ratio that exist around exogenous testosterone use; the more we use the greater the reward but the more we use the greater the potential for negative or adverse side effects. Further and often overlooked, a healthy diet can greatly improve our odds; as cholesterol and blood pressure can be a concern we should consume diets that promote healthy levels of both.