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Steroids vs. TRT: What Are the Differences?

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Did you know scientists have already discovered over 50 human hormones so far? One of these is testosterone, also called T for short. It’s the primary androgen or male sex hormone, but both men and women have it.

As an androgen, the T hormone regulates the male sex drive. It also spurs the growth of muscle mass.

While testosterone is naturally occurring, it’s also available in various drug forms. These include steroids and TRT products.

In this steroids vs. TRT guide, we’ll explain the two in more detail, how they differ, and why one may be a safer option.

Steroids vs. TRT: The Critical Difference

Steroids are drugs that classify either as corticosteroids or anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are medicines used to combat inflammation caused by diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Anabolic steroids are synthetic (laboratory-made) versions of testosterone.

On the other hand, TRT is a medically-supervised, FDA-approved treatment. It stands for testosterone replacement therapy. This effective low T treatment aims to replenish dwindling testosterone levels.

While anabolic steroids can also treat low T levels, many users don’t have such problems. Instead, they misuse these drugs for the sole purpose of increasing muscle mass. According to estimates, about 3 to 4 million Americans take these drugs for this reason alone.

What Are Steroids’ Adverse Side Effects?

Short-term corticosteroid use can lead to weight gain, nausea, and mood swings. It may also impair sleep, thin down the skin, and cause spikes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Anabolic steroid misuse in men can lead to sexual dysfunctions. For example, it can reduce sperm count, cause infertility, and shrink the testicles. It can also contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED).

Other common side effects of anabolic steroid use are hair loss, stomach pain, and severe acne. Some men may also develop gynecomastia, characterized by excess breast tissue growth. It may also increase prostate cancer risk.

Most professional sports also ban anabolic steroids. Athletes who test positive for its use often become banned from competitions.

What Is TRT For, And Is It Safe?

TRT specifically treats hypogonadism, which affects 4 to 5 million U.S. men.

Hypogonadism is when a person’s testosterone levels drop so much it causes ED and libido loss. It can also result in lethargy, decreased cognitive abilities, and even depression. In the long run, it can lead to muscle mass and strength loss and impaired testicular function.

TRT aims to boost T levels enough to return them to normal. That can then help relieve the unpleasant symptoms of hypogonadism.

TRT uses the following to administer testosterone:

  • Gel
  • Patch
  • Injection
  • Nasal
  • Pellets

Compared to anabolic steroids, TRT may be safer, as it uses much lower doses of testosterone. So while its side effects are similar to steroids, they’re often less severe. In addition, the drugs used for TRT are only available with a valid prescription.

Consider TRT Over Steroids

And there you have it, your steroids vs. TRT comparison guide. Now you know that anabolic steroids mimic the T hormone and are widely misused. By contrast, TRT is a doctor-supervised treatment that aims to boost low T levels.

Thus, if you suffer from low testosterone, consider TRT as one of your treatment options.

For more educational guides like this, check out the rest of our blog now!

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