It appears that the self-administration of testosterone and anabolic steroids is increasingly practiced by women in sports where strength and endurance are important. We recently evaluated endocrine parameters in nine female weight lifters using steroids and seven not using these agents. Of the nine anabolic steroid users, seven took multiple anabolic steroids simultaneously. Thirty-fold elevations of serum testosterone were noted in the women injecting testosterone. In three of these women serum testosterone levels exceeded the upper limits for normal male testosterone concentrations. A significant compensatory decrease in sex hormone-binding globulin and a decrease in thyroid-binding proteins were noted in the women steroid users. Also, a 39% decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was noted in the steroid-using weight lifters. Most of the subjects in this study used anabolic steroids continuously, which raises concern about premature atherosclerosis and other disease processes developing in these women.
Who likes “dieting”? Nobody. “Dieting” in the sense of “starving yourself thin” is stressful and painful. Those feelings of stress and general craziness are the results of a hormone called cortisol, which is the “fight-or-flight” master of the hormonal system. If you need a sudden burst of strength and speed (you get attacked, your kid falls into a river, you’re trapped in a burning building), cortisol is great, but when it’s constantly elevated, cortisol becomes a problem. And unfortunately for the dieters of the world, producing more cortisol is a great way to lower testosterone levels.