Anabolic steroid-induced hypogonadism – Towards a unified hypothesis of anabolic steroid action / R.S. Tan, M.C. Scally. - (Medical Hypotheses 72 (2009) 6 (June); p. 723-728)
Anabolic steroid-induced hypogonadism (ASIH) is the functional incompetence of the testes with subnormal or impaired production of testosterone and/or spermatozoa due to administration of androgens or anabolic steroids. Anabolic–androgenic steroid (AAS), both prescription and nonprescription, use is a cause of ASIH. Current AAS use includes prescribing for wasting associated conditions. Nonprescription AAS use is also believed to lead to AAS dependency or addiction. Together these two uses account for more than four million males taking AAS in one form or another for a limited duration. While both of these uses deal with the effects of AAS administration they do not account for the period after AAS cessation. The signs and symptoms of ASIH directly impact the observation of an increase in muscle mass and muscle strength from AAS administration and also reflect what is believed to demonstrate AAS dependency. More significantly, AAS prescribing after cessation adds the comorbid condition of hypogonadism to their already existing chronic illness. ASIH is critical towards any future planned use of AAS or similar compound to effect positive changes in muscle mass and muscle strength as well as an understanding for what has been termed anabolic steroid dependency. The further understanding and treatments that mitigate or prevent ASIH could contribute to androgen therapies for wasting associated diseases and stopping nonprescription AAS use. This paper proposes a unified hypothesis that the net effects for anabolic steroid administration must necessarily include the period after their cessation or ASIH.