The question of product integrity is always central in the minds of BM customers, “Can I purchase safe products from this source?” The virtually anonymity of internet sites coupled with traditionally high provider turnover rates has made answering this question even harder in today’s society. The BM is filled with “scammers”, individuals who simply set up shop to dupe customers out of money with no plan or intention of delivering on the promised AAS. These are actually the good guys, those who promote the once bitten syndrome and scare many would-be buyers/users away from further attempts at steroids. At least they have the decency (used lightly) to take your money and run. Numerous dealers run repackaging scams in which very cheap steroids are placed in expensive product labeling and sold at a premium. These less expensive forms of AAS produce greater side effects, which can be particularly dangerous to women who think they are buying a very mild steroid only to receive a significantly harsher product. Still others produce imposter or fake steroids, which are often bottles of vegetable oils labeled to look like AAS. Along the same lines are those manufactured under conditions that are far less sanitary than required by the FDA. All of the above hazards can lead to health problems ranging from minor such as abscesses and infections, to major like severe illness and death.
Variability in cortisol assays creates an additional problem with setting criteria for a normal response to ACTH that apply to all centers. Two studies comparing cortisol results obtained with different assays showed a positive bias of radioimmunoassays and immunofluorometric enzyme assays of 10 to 50 percent compared with a reference value obtained using isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. As a result, in one study, depending on the combination of assay and criterion used, between 0 and 100 percent of healthy volunteers would be considered to have a normal response to ACTH. This illustrates the difficulty of interpreting cortisol responses that are close to the cutoff point. (3)
--- Stress is often mentioned by CSS patients around the time of their diagnosis, and in a way this seems related to the adrenal glands as well. A patient in another support group reported reading in "The Stress of Life" by Dr. H. Seyle:.... "the adrenal glands are the processors of stress in our bodies. A person's stress resistance will vary with the competence of his adrenals. Continually stressing them, finally depletes them. When we become exhausted by life, on a mental or physical level, our adrenal glands often fail to keep up, and illness ensues".