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Using steroids for bodybuilding can alter your blood sugar levels, suggesting a potential connection between anabolic steroids and diabetes.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s essential that you understand how bodybuilding steroids can affect your health.
If you’re considering using steroids to support your bodybuilding routine, you need to know about the potential they hold to cause steroid induced diabetes and hyperglycemia.
Anabolic Steroids & Diabetes
A hindered ability to process insulin can be one outcome in the cascade of effects precipitated by anabolic steroids.
This makes contracting diabetes a distinct possibility.
Diabetes is a broad term for different kinds of metabolic diseases that result in high blood sugar levels.
These levels typically stem from low production of insulin (a peptide hormone that creates glucose from glycogen), a failure of the body to respond to insulin, or a combination of both.
The most common types of diabetes are:
Type 1: When you have Type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks cells that produce insulin and eventually leads to an insulin deficiency. Without insulin, your body cannot absorb sugar and create energy.
Type 2: This form of diabetes stems from either the body resisting insulin—preventing it from using it the right way—or not creating enough of it. Regardless, the end result is an increase in blood sugar.
Other Types: Diabetes can develop in other ways too, including gestational diabetes, which is temporary and occurs during pregnancy, and steroid induced diabetes, which stems from prolonged steroid use.
Steroid Induced Diabetes
A wealth of research supports the notion that glucocorticoids, a class of steroid hormones used in many facets of the medicinal world, can lead to high blood sugar levels that develop into diabetes.
However, recent research has also discovered a possible link between anabolic steroids and blood sugar.
One study found that anabolic androgenic steroids can decrease levels of cardiac natriuretic peptides, which in turn leads to an impairment of the body’s response to insulin.
This suppressed ability to respond to insulin is a characteristic of Type 2 diabetes, but can steroids cause Type 1 diabetes?
There is no definitive research linking steroids and Diabetes Type 1. Since the cause of Type 1 diabetes is usually attributed to environmental factors and genetics, it is unclear what role, if any, steroids can have in the development of this disease.
Steroid Induced Hyperglycemia
As impaired insulin sensitivity is one of the primary causes of Type 2 diabetes, the study referenced earlier suggests that anabolic steroid use could lead to steroid induced hyperglycemia and diabetes.
Why does this happen? If your body is resisting insulin, it’s a sign that it’s having a hard time breaking down glucose. With no insulin to break down glucose, your cells cannot absorb glucose and your blood sugar levels can rise and lead to hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels).
Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes and a sign that the body is not producing enough insulin or failing to respond properly to it.
Diabetics Taking Steroids
At this point, the question needs to be asked:can diabetics take steroids for bodybuilding?
As mentioned above, androgenic steroids can make it more difficult for the body to respond to insulin.
Although diabetes can be caused by many factors, decreased insulin sensitivity is a common cause.
This means that if you are a diabetic taking steroids, it is very likely you will be further interfering with this sensitivity and increasing your risk of hyperglycemia.
The risk of losing control over your body’s blood sugar means that an ideal steroid cycle for diabetes unfortunately does not exist.
Anavar & Type 2 Diabetes
Anavar, also known as oxandrolone, is a popular oral steroid that is very well tolerated among all kinds of people. It does not come with as many side effects as other anabolic steroids and can be used relatively (compared to other steroids) safely by both men and women.
Its well-tolerated nature makes it a go-to for those with diabetes looking for anabolic steroids with fewer side effects and negative effects on their condition.
Despite its mild nature, if you have diabetes you should still be careful when using Anavar for bodybuilding. While no studies have directly examined Anavar and its connection to Type 2 Diabetes, it still holds the potential to alter your blood sugar levels.
If you plan on using drugs like Anavar for bodybuilding with diabetes, be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels very closely and adjust your doses according to how these levels are responding to the medication.
Human Growth Hormone & Diabetes
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a peptide hormone that is created by the pituitary gland in the brain and subsequently released into the liver, where it promotes the repair and growth of muscle and bones.
It also stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), an anabolic hormone. This has caused some researchers to draw a link between HGH and Diabetes Type 2.
Although some research suggests that HGH might have the ability to bolster insulin production, which could have positive effects on diabetes, it has also been suggested to cause diabetes.
These results make the safety of exogenous HGH (Somatropin) like Serovital for bodybuilders with diabetes uncertain.
If you want to avoid the stress of worrying about these sorts of complications, natural alternatives such as CrazyBulk’s Anvarol help you get results without these risks.
Anvarol works to increase your body’s phosphocreatine levels. Through this boost, your body can create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), considered by biologists to be the “energy currency of life,” at a faster rate.
With more energy coming into your body, you can work longer and expend more energy during your routines, leading to increases in strength and decreases in fat.
Ultimately, using a high dose of testosterone or any anabolic steroids with diabetes to gain muscle mass or lean body mass can be a risky decision, and with the research suggesting that these bodybuilding supplements can lead to steroid induced hyperglycemia and diabetes, your best bet is to stick with natural alternatives.