Anabolic steroids and diabetes – a good idea?

Anabolic steroids and diabetes

The best place I could start a blog about anabolic steroids and diabetes would be via an anecdote. I met a young man once who was taking anabolic steroids. Through the use of steroids he had developed something called steroid induced diabetes. Once he finished taking the steroids he found out that his diabetes had become permanent type 1 diabetes. So we might start off here by saying that there is compelling and overwhelming evidence to suggest that there is a high correlation between anabolic steroids and diabetes.

Anabolic steroids and diabetes

Some people may need steroids to ward off diabetes…

It is important to note that people with type 2 diabetes may suffer the disease due to a lack of testosterone in the body. This can be treated with a course of steroids which would in affect prevent diabetes. Only a medical professional can provide this prognosis and treatment. You would need a comprehensive blood check by your health care professional to be prescribed testosterone.

Body building and anabolic steroids

Many body builders take Growth Hormone Hormone to try to artificially develop more size and strength in their body. Many inject themselves with insulin during the course of steroids. This is because insulin resistance is one of the negative side effects of taking steroids.

Body building, anabolic steroids and diabetesAnabolic steroids and diabetes - a good idea?

People with diabetes who are looking to bulk up at the gym by taking steroids would be advised against it even though there is not a lot of research in the medical world to site specific examples of damage. It is not my place to judge anyone for their choices in life. If you choose to take steroids while you are diabetic I would suggest telling a trusted healthcare professional and I would make a point of continuously monitoring your blood sugar levels whilst you are on the steroids. It would be well advised to take very controlled doses of the steroids as well. Remember that one of the side effects is that they do interfere with insulin/ make your body insulin resistant so you will most likely see signs of becoming hyperglycemic at times and you will need to adjust your medicine accordingly.

More on steroid induced diabetes

Steroid induced diabetes can reverse after the steroids have ended, in other cases like the man I met, the person can have type 1 diabetes permanently.Factors that may increase the risk of developing steroid induced diabetes includes:

  • The dose and length of treatment time
  • Any family history of diabetes
  • Obesity
  • A history of high blood glucose
  • Old age
  • The method of administering the steroid eg injection or oral.

Negative effects of taking steroids while diabetic

The increase in both blood pressure and blood glucose levels are the worst two effects on the body for diabetics. This happens as the body attempts to prevent inflammation. Other impacts include –

  • The body blocking insulin or causing insulin resistance
  • Less glucose being able to move out of the bloodstream to be taken up by the muscles. This results in high blood glucose levels.
  • Steroids cause the liver to release extra glucose into the bloodstream thereby raising your blood sugar levels.


Overall I think that the negative effects far outweigh any positives that you may see from taking anabolic steroids. If you do take them monitor you blood sugar levels very, very closely and adjust your insulin dosage accordingly.

I have another article on drug use and diabetes which may interest you. There is also a blog post on what is the best alcohol for diabetics.

Please reach out by leaving a comment below. I would especially like to hear from you if you have taken anabolic steroids and have diabetes.

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