What are Steroids?
Steroids are chemicals, often hormones, that your body makes naturally. They help your organs, tissues, and cells do their jobs. “Steroids” can also refer to man-made versions of chemicals known as hormones.
The two main types are corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids.
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat a range of conditions such as neurofibromatosis, asthma, lupus and allergies. They are similar to hormones that your adrenal glands make to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries- it reduces inflammation and affects the immune system.
Anabolic Steroids are synthetic, man-made variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic steroids refer to muscle building and androgens to an increase in male sexual characteristics.
Why are steroids abused?
The anabolic group of steroids increases protein production in the cells and promotes the growth of skeletal muscles. The growth-promoting properties of these drugs make them highly addictive and have led to steroid overdoses in athletes and bodybuilders.
Steroids are believed to increase lean body mass, strength and aggressiveness. They are also believed to reduce recovery time between workouts, which makes it possible to train harder and thereby further improve strength and endurance. Some people who are not athletes also take steroids to increase their endurance, muscle size and strength, and reduce body fat which they believe improves personal appearance.
These are the very reasons why Anabolic steroids can be addictive and difficult to stop.
Why shouldn’t you use anabolic steroids?
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetic forms of testosterone supplements. They’re never a good choice for building muscles or strength because of their numerous negative side effects such as weakening your immune system.
Steroids misuse might lead to serious, even permanent, health problems such as kidney problems, diabetes, liver damage and tumors, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol, all of which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, even in young people.
Anabolic Steroid Side Effects
Misuse of anabolic steroids can lead to harmful side effects, ranging from mild side effects to serious injury and even death. Most are reversible if the user discontinues taking it.
For men, in addition to stunting height in adolescents, misused or abused anabolic may decrease sperm production, enlarged breasts, shrinking of the testicles, male-pattern baldness and testicular cancer to name some.
On the other hand, signs of anabolic steroid abuse in women includes acne, hirsutism, deepening of voice, male baldness, clitoromegaly, breast atrophies, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, significant muscle growth, depression and mood swings.
Moreover, if an athlete takes anabolic steroids over a longer period of time, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases. It is even worse for athletes with underlying cardiovascular abnormalities who start using an anabolic steroid as they have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
How are steroids taken?
Anabolic steroids can be taken in the form of tablets, capsules, gels or patches, syringes or liquids, depending on the brand.
Are anabolic steroids legal in the US?
In the United States, you need a prescription to get any anabolic steroid. The possession or sale of anabolic steroids without a valid prescription is illegal.
It is still best to have healthy ways to build muscles and stay fit. Get a proper diet and have a proper good workout routine.
Steroids, legal or not, are never the best solution for your fitness goals as they can cause many side effects that may threaten your health- whether short term or long-term.