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Understanding Steroid Hormone Testing and its Various Types

Urine Sample

Steroid hormone testing is a diagnostic tool to measure levels of steroidal compounds in the body, using a variety of possible testing methods. You can test yourself at a doctor’s office, or take a more direct approach to a third party testing lab like TestoChecker and others.

What are Steroids?

As a group of drugs, steroids are basically synthetic hormones. They come in two varieties: anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. More specifically, anabolic steroids are artificial testosterone that is used to bulk up and improve sports performance. Corticosteroids are different, and they reduce inflammation and are part of treatments for allergies, asthma, and arthritis.

Types of Tests

Steroid tests are of different types, carried out by using blood, urine or saliva to monitor levels of these compounds. They aren’t all equally effective, and each type of testing has its own pros and cons.

Ironically, people tend to feel that blood tests are the “best” but in this case, they are neither convenient nor accurate for hormone testing.  Hormone compounds are often “bound” to other proteins, making them present in the bloodstream but otherwise unusable in the body. A blood test will still reflect their presence even though they are not truly functioning in your system. Depending on the situation, this can be slightly or greatly inaccurate.

On the other hand, both saliva and urine tests are much easier to apply and the sample collecting can be done by non-professionals. This means you can use remote labs for tests without having to bother with the hassle of working with doctors or other professionals. Urine tests are the most common type of steroid hormone test for sports-related steroids checking because it is quick to collect and that too, without medical intervention.

And going back to effectiveness, these two types of tests are more accurate than blood tests too. The hormones found in both saliva and urine are in a “free” form and a better indication of actual active hormonal activity in your body.

Why Test?

The biggest reason behind steroid testing is to make sure that athletes aren’t using illegal substances. In most cases, it’s usually coaches or team owners who are responsible for handling the testing rather than the players themselves. But there are other situations that apply as well.

There are many other forms of steroids besides those used to bulk up muscle or artificially improve performance in sports. Corticosteroids are common in a number of health treatments, and ongoing testing may be part of the procedure to see how well the body is handling the medication. Even anabolic steroids (the type used by athletes) do have proper medical applications, and testing can be part of those treatments too.

So for sports or for other medical procedures, you might find that saliva or urine testing options are the way to go.

Article Submitted by Community Writer.

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