There are many people who do not have a clarified idea about steroids. This is why when they hear the term “Steroid” they might imagine someone with bulging muscles, over-aggressive, angry, lifting the heaviest weights, or even angry.
Therefore, a common question often arises in their mind, is testosterone a steroid hormone? Although it’s not a surprising question when you don’t have the proper knowledge.
However, we have come up to make the fact clear to you. Here we’re going to present an in-depth discussion about testosterone and steroids that might give you the answer to your question, is testosterone a steroid hormone? So, let’s start.
What are testosterone and steroids?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that works for the sexual and reproductive growth in the male’s body. According to the National Institute of Health, testosterone is the most important male hormone. Although it’s a male growth hormone, it is also produced in women’s bodies in lower amounts.
The steroid is a class of man-made versions of synthetic organic compounds. Steroids are made naturally in the human body and are known as hormones. Steroids are structured in such a way that they act like anti-inflammation hormones in the body.
How do they produce in the human body?
Let’s have a closer look at how testosterone and steroid production in the human body.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone with 19 carbons in it. Chemically it is made from good cholesterol. On average, a man produces about 7 mg of testosterone in his body per day. However, all of our Testo floating in our bloodstream can’t be used.
About 95% of the total testosterone is produced in our testicles and the rest is produced in the adrenal glands which are located on top of our kidneys. The whole mechanism of testosterone production is triggered by our brain.
Our brain contains the hypothalamus which detects whether our body requires more testosterone. A hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone secreted by the hypothalamus makes it reach the pituitary gland.
In our pituitary glands, two specific hormones start being produced which are FSH and LH. These two hormones reach the testicles and play two different roles, the FSL triggers sperm production while the LH stimulates testosterone production.
The steroid is not a single chemical compound. This is a class under which there are several hormones that are classified depending on the organs they are synthesized by. For instance, adrenal steroids are named according to the adrenal cortex by which they are produced in the human body.
According to their receptors, steroid hormones are divided into five groups. They are androgens, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, progestogens, and estrogens.
The adrenal cortex produces adrenocortical hormones that are glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Cortisol is a major glucocorticoid that regulates many metabolic processes including glucose formation and deposition of glycogen in the liver. While mineralocorticoids help to maintain the balance between salts and water.
Androgens are the male sex hormones. Major androgens such as androgen, testosterone are produced mainly in the testes. Estrogens are one of the two sex hormones produced in women. They’re mainly secreted by the ovaries and by the adrenal glands in a lesser amount. Progestogens are also female sex hormones secreted during mensuration.
Which organ is related to producing testosterone?
Testosterone production is regulated by the male reproductive system. However, male’s reproductive organs are classified into two categories
- External reproductive organs
- Internal reproductive organs
External reproductive organs include:
Internal reproductive organs include:
- Vas deferens
- Ejaculatory ducts
- Seminal vesicles
However, among all the reproductive organs, the Testicles is the main organ that produces 95% of the total testosterone in our body. A small portion is produced in the adrenal glands.
Different Types of Steroid
Are you still hesitant about whether testosterone is a steroid hormone or not? Steroid hormones are mainly produced by the adrenal glands and gonads. Adrenal glands are situated on the top of the kidneys that consist of the inner medulla and outer cortex layer. The outer cortex layer is the place where adrenal hormones are produced.
Steroid hormones are classified into three major types including:
- Adrenal Gland Hormones
- Gonadal Hormones
- Anabolic Steroid Hormones
Adrenal Gland Hormones
There are three major adrenal hormones produced in the human body.
Aldosterone- This is a type of mineralocorticoid that promotes the absorption of sodium and water in the kidneys. This hormone also helps to control blood pressure by raising blood volume and blood pressure.
Cortisol- This is one of the most important steroid hormones, which is mainly a glucocorticoid and helps to regulate body metabolism by stimulating the glucose synthesis from non-carbohydrates in the liver. It has important anti-inflammatory properties and aids in dealing with stress.
Sex Hormones- Small amounts of sex hormones are also produced in the adrenal glands including testosterone and estrogen.
Gonadal hormones consist of three major steroids that are:
Estrogens- These are female sex hormones that are produced in the ovaries. Estrogens are responsible for the development of sexual characteristics of females and promote skeletal growth.
Progesterone- This is another type of female sex hormone mostly produced in the ovaries. During pregnancy, progesterone hormone plays a vital role in the production and maintenance of the uterine lining.
Testosterone- This is a male sex hormone that’s produced by the testes. A small amount of testosterone is produced in the female body by the ovaries. This hormone promotes the development of the male reproductive organs and helps to express male secondary sex characteristics.
Anabolic Steroid Hormones
Anabolic Steroid Hormones are synthetic organic chemicals that are related to male sex hormones. Anabolic steroid hormones stimulate protein production in the body that promotes muscle growth. These hormones are also responsible for increased testosterone production.
In addition, it works for the development of the reproductive system and sexual characteristics. These hormones have various therapeutic uses and are often prescribed to treat several health conditions including muscle degeneration, hormonal issues, late puberty, and so on.
The normal value of testosterone and steroids in the human body
The normal value of testosterone
The normal or standard value of testosterone can vary from person to person depending on protein status, thyroid function, and other factors. However, according to a recent guideline published by American Urological Association (AUA), the normal value of testosterone in a male’s body is 300 nanograms per deciliter.
According to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, the normal value of testosterone for women who are above 19 years old, this value ranges from 8 to 60 ng/dL.
The normal value of steroids
Generally, steroid hormones are synthesized in the placenta, adrenal cortex, and gonads. All of them are derived from cholesterol and provide many clinical benefits. This is why maintaining the normal value of steroids is very important.
Since there are many steroids produced in the human body, we can’t measure the exact value of steroids in the human body. Rather, many clinical studies have revealed the average amount of particular steroid hormones produced in the body.
- Approximately 25 mg of Cortisol is produced in the body per day.
- The adrenal produces about 100μg of Aldosterone a day.
What are high testosterone and steroids?
When the level of testosterone and steroid increases abnormally, it is considered high testosterone and steroid levels in the body.
High testosterone signs and causes:
No doubt, testosterone is the most crucial sex hormone for men. A small amount of testosterone is also found in female bodies. However, high testosterone levels can cause issues for both males and females.
Many clinical studies have revealed shocking effects of high testosterone levels in the body that include fertility problems and increased risk of certain types of cancer.
Signs and causes of high testosterone in males
- aggressive or risk-taking behaviors
- excessive body hair
- increased appetite
- high blood pressure
- heart or liver problems
- high sex drive
- low sperm count
- mood swings
- swelling of the legs and feet
- unexplained weight gain
Except for some rare cases, increasing testosterone levels abnormally high is not a natural fact. High testosterone levels are often caused by taking anabolic steroids. There are many supplements with testosterone that are taken by prescription or illegally can result in high testosterone levels. Sometimes tumors in the adrenal glands or testicles can also result in high testosterone levels.
Signs and causes of high testosterone in females
- loss of libido
- irregular periods
- reduction in breast size
- weight gain
- enlarged clitoris
- darkened, thickened skin
- anxiety or depression
- increased muscle mass
- excess facial and body hair
Like males, high testosterone levels can be caused by consumption of anabolic steroids and the adrenal glands or ovaries cancer.
High steroid levels
When the amount of steroid hormones exceeds the standard value, it is known as high steroid levels. High steroid levels in the body is not a good thing at all; it can result in various health conditions including high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, risk of liver, kidney, and prostate cancer, and many more.
What are low testosterone and steroids?
Same as high testosterone and steroid levels, when the levels of testosterone and steroid lower down in the human body it becomes harmful.
Low testosterone, also known as Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome is the physical state when the body can’t produce a sufficient amount of testosterone. In many cases, the body can’t retain the amount of testosterone produced, it also results in testosterone deficiency. When the testosterone levels fall below 3oo ng/dl, it is considered low testosterone.
- Low sex drive
- Difficulty with erection
- Low semen volume
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Decreased bone mass
- Mood changes
- Affected memory
When the body fails to produce enough steroid hormones it is considered low steroid or adrenal deficiency. It is also called Addison’s disease. When a person suffers from Addison’s disease the adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and aldosterone, which are common steroid hormones in the human body.
- Extreme fatigue
- Weight loss and decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Salt craving
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle or joint pains
- Low blood sugar
- Depression or other behavioral symptoms
- Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
Side Effects of testosterone and steroid in the human body
Side effects of testosterone
As we mentioned before, testosterone is one of the most crucial sex hormones in the human body. Sometimes people who are suffering from testosterone deficiency take testosterone therapy as a treatment. Although it looks beneficial to many people, still this testosterone can cause potential side effects including:
- Abnormal dreams
- Hair loss
- Aggressive behavior
- Bladder irritability
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Excessive frequency and duration of erection
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Growth acceleration
- Excessive hair growth
- Liver function alterations
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Hot flashes
- Blood clot
Side effects of steroid
Steroids may not cause significant side effects in the body unless a person takes them for a short time or maintains a low dose. However, taking a higher dose of steroids can cause several unhealthy and damaging effects that lead to both emotional and physical problems.
- paranoid jealousy
- extreme irritability and aggression
- false beliefs or ideas
- impaired judgment
- mood swings
- sleep disruption
- Lack of sexual drive
- kidney problems or failure
- liver damage and tumors
- enlarged heart
- changes in blood cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- increased the possibility of stroke and heart attack
Specific side effects:
- decreased sperm count
- shrinking testicles
- increased risk for prostate cancer
- development of breasts
- decreased breast size
- deepened voice
- irregular menstruation
- male-pattern baldness
- enlarged clitoris
- stunted growth
- stunted height
Why is testosterone not a steroid?
Thinking about is testosterone a steroid hormone or not? Here is the answer. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is vital for the development of male reproductive and sexual organs. Many people interchange the terms testosterone and steroid. Although these two are different. If we talk about steroid hormones that are produced in our bodies, there we can make testosterone a part of steroid hormones. Testosterone is the part of androgens, which are one of several steroid hormones produced in the human body.
However, we’re not talking about steroid hormones. There is a certain type of steroid that’s a man-made version called Anabolic Steroid. This steroid is often prescribed or taken illegally by athletes and weightlifters because it can incredibly boost muscle mass and inner strength. While we see legal testosterone therapy to raise testosterone levels, using anabolic steroids is completely abusive.
When do I need to take testosterone therapy and pills?
When a man has symptoms of low testosterone and it is identified by tests that he has abnormally low testosterone level, a doctor may suggest treatment. Testosterone therapy or pills have become popular in recent years. However, if you don’t have any symptoms of low testosterone taking testosterone therapy and pills is not recommended for you. in addition. lowering testosterone levels due to aging shouldn’t be treated with this type of treatment.
Is it legal to buy testosterone?
Due to associated risks and side effects, buying testosterone without medical prescription or supervision is completely illegal.
When do I need to take Steroid therapy and pills?
Steroid therapy and pills are often prescribed to increase muscle mass and promote athletic performance. Many people believe that taking steroids can help them to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, it is not true at all. Taking steroid therapy or pills can result in dangerous drug habits along with various dangerous side effects. However, you can take steroid therapy or pills only if you have a prescription.
Is it legal to buy steroids?
Man-made steroids are class C drugs. It can only be sold by pharmacists when a patient has a proper prescription. Taking anabolic steroids for personal use is legal. However, importing or exporting anabolic steroids for supply or selling is illegal.
Which hormones are steroid hormones?
There are several steroid hormones produced in the human body that include:
- Mineralocorticoids- aldosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, 18-oxocortisol, corticosterone, and cortisol.
- Glucocorticoids- Corticosterone.
- Androgens- Testosterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone
- Estrogens and progestins- Estrone, Estriol, progesterone, androstenediol
Why do athletes take steroids?
Steroids taken by athletes are mainly anabolic androgenic steroids that help to increase muscle incredibly and provide immense strength. Taking steroids enhances athletic performance, this is why athletes take steroids.
Do they use it in the treatment of erectile dysfunction?
Usually, testosterone treatment isn’t helpful to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). If a person has normal testosterone levels, testosterone treatment can’t promote erections. Besides, several studies show that testosterone treatment is not helpful to raise testosterone levels for men who have erectile dysfunction as their only symptom.
On the other hand, there’s no solid evidence of the effectiveness of taking steroids to treat erectile dysfunction. Using steroid pills may show short-term results such as improved libido and sexual function, but it is not effective in the long run. rather it can be harmful to the body.
Effects of testosterone on our Sex power, Libido, Muscle strength
Testosterone levels have a strong correlation with our sex power, libido, and muscle strength. Here we’re going to discuss the effect of testosterone on these facts.
Testosterone helps to stimulate our sexual drive and feel powerful inside. Low testosterone levels may turn to result in erectile dysfunction. Testosterone levels can hugely affect our sexual desire and functioning.
A man with low testosterone levels may find it hard to be sexually aroused. Use it or lose it, the term is a bit true in the case of testosterone levels in a male’s body. If you notice a constant decrease in sexual desire, you might have low testosterone.
During physical exercise, testosterone stimulates protein synthesis and tissue growth in our bodies. Testosterone also regulates the red cell production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and helps to maintain healthy bone density. Higher testosterone production boosts our muscle growth and lowers down additional fat, which means you can generate more muscle strength.
Is testosterone a steroid hormone? Hopefully, you might have got your answer. We have tried to explain every single fact regarding testosterone and steroids that you need to understand these two terms. Don’t be confused about anabolic steroids and steroid hormones.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the 3 types of steroids?
The major three types of steroids are Oral steroids, Topical steroids, Steroid nasal sprays.
- What steroids do bodybuilders use?
The most common steroids used by bodybuilders are Oxymetholone, Deca Durabolin, Equipoise, Winstrol, Dianabol.
- Will steroids help with low testosterone?
Sometimes steroids are prescribed by doctors to help certain kinds of anemia and men with lower testosterone production in the body. However, it’s not very reliable at all.