Not only is testosterone not the great savior, estrogen is not the bad guy. Most people, even women, shun estrogen as the evil hormone that makes you bloated and does all sorts of negative things. Although it’s rarely described what exactly the negative effects of estrogen are, most people agree nonetheless that’s it’s bad for your body composition. This is complete nonsense. In my article on hormones and fat loss I explained the positive effects estrogen has on abdominal fat storage, but estrogen does many more awesome things.
IGF-1 is a growth factor that is closely related to insulin. It carries the same amount of amino acids as insulin and as stated above, it is responsible for the anabolic reactions to GH. When IGF-1 is released by the liver, it then binds to IGF growth factors inside the cells, and causes the stimulation of cell growth. It has many positive effects as it increases nitrogen retention, protein synthesis, and it promotes the growth of new muscle cells, when enough protein is present. The addition of muscle cells is a benefit that IGF-1 brings to the table that anabolic steroids don’t. Anabolic steroids help to increase muscle cell growth, but play no part in cell duplication. This is where anabolic steroids can work very synergistically with IGF-1. While new muscle cells are added from IGF-1, these cells can expect to grow larger from anabolic steroids.
Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.