Steroids are powerful medicines used to treat diseases. They are used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance their performance. People who are addicted to steroids may face withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drugs. This is because of the hormonal imbalance caused due to the use of steroids. Steroids are similar to male testosterone. The bodies of users start receiving high levels of testosterone thereby reducing its own level of testosterone production. The withdrawal symptoms from steroid use occur because of low natural testosterone levels in the body. These symptoms last till the time your body brings back the normal level of testosterone production.
Physical signs of steroid withdrawal are dangerous as many have suicidal thoughts. Normal withdrawal symptoms are depression, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, lack of appetite, nausea and less sex drive. However, the side effects vary from individual to individual. How long your steroid withdrawal will last depends on the drugs used; mild or heavy? If you use mild steroids then you will have lesser side effects compared to hard ones. It is also dependent on the duration of the drugs taken. People with higher cycles will face hardships to get over their withdrawal symptoms than someone with fewer cycles. Your body has to adjust more to come into normalcy.
Diagnosis of steroid withdrawal symptoms
As the symptoms of steroid withdrawal are not specific, medical professionals face a tough time in diagnosing the problem. The best way to diagnose is through physical examination and knowing the history of the patient. The doctors want to know whether the patient has been on medication recently or has stopped any medication. Tests that help in diagnosis include cortisol level, CBC, electrolyte levels, serum calcium level and creatine level. Internal medicine doctors, general physicians, endocrinologists, addiction specialists and hospital-based pharmacists participate in treating the patients. It is good if diagnosed quickly and treated properly.
Usually, steroid withdrawal treatment is done by administering steroids to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. Slowly the steroids are given at low doses so that your body can adjust to steroids naturally. Every patient is different so the patient’s symptoms, steroid type are taken into account by the physician. The recovery time is between a few weeks and a year depending on the steroid given and the patient’s basic medical issues. Some may need to increase the dose of steroids during withdrawal for a short-time while some may need an emergency surgery. Short-term use of steroids does not result in much trouble.
Dealing with Steroid withdrawal
Dealing with steroid withdrawal phase is difficult. It is utmost important to take care emotionally. More than the effect on muscles it affects the mind. You must find a way to adjust to a new life in a healthy manner. The psychological effects to deal with withdrawal are the toughest. When you intend to quit heavy dose of drugs, you should disclose it to a trustworthy person. Having the support of someone can help in getting through safely. How long your steroid withdrawal will last is also based on factors such as correct diagnosis, proper medication, an individual’s desire to overcome the situation and the support of his family and friends.