Steroids are drugs that are artificially derived from the main male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is very important for promoting and maintaining muscle growth and the development of secondary male sex characteristics, such as the deepening of a man’s voice and facial hair. Anabolic steroids, also referred to as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs), can build, improve and enhance a man’s appearance. However, it is important to note that they also have very significant adverse effects that vary in individuals, especially when used incorrectly.
AASs are synthetic versions of the primary male hormone, testosterone that are formulated in the laboratory. Their effects are visible in many body parts, including the muscles, bones, hair follicles, liver, kidneys, blood, immune system, reproductive system, and central nervous system. For example, during puberty, there is a surge in testosterone levels which enables the development of characteristics such as facial and body hair growth, increased height and muscle mass, a deepening voice, and the sex drive.
Testosterone has also been proven to be a key contributor in competitiveness, self-esteem, and aggressiveness. Hence, the reason why a lot of people take steroids.
What Do I Need To Know About Steroids?
There are at least 30 types of anabolic steroids in the market, and it is important to note that they all have their functions. Some of them have medicinal uses, such as Nebido. Anadrol on the other hand is an example of a steroid with both medicinal and performance uses. Others, like anadur, have no therapeutic or medical use, but athletes use them for the benefits that can be derived from them. People opt for different types of steroids for different purposes and benefits and they include
- Building and development of muscle
- To gain strength and boost endurance
- Healing and recovery
- Enhancement of metabolism
With the reasons stated, it is easy to point out why people consume steroids.
How Do People Consume Steroids?
Steroids can be consumed in different ways, and each individual has the most preferred method. They include:
- Orally: steroids can be swallowed through the mouth like every other conventional drug and ingested
- Implants under the skin: a couple of people will rather have steroids implanted underneath their skin
- Injection: steroids can be injected into the body through the muscles.
The type of steroid determines the method of consumption. Some steroids are illegal, while some can be legally consumed; for information on the legality of steroids and their use, read more here. The continuous and non-stop use of AASs can lead to great problems such as tolerance. They even can prevent the body from producing its testosterone. Therefore, a couple of people use AASs continuously. Still, others try to minimize their consumption to drastically reduce the possible adverse effects through different patterns of use.
Who Uses Steroids The Most?
It will be wrong and unprofessional to generalize, point fingers, and lay accusations at different people because of steroids. However, the use of these steroids is much more prominent amongst people in certain sports and others for medical reasons. For those in sports, it is gathered that athletes often consume steroids that come from solid places on a trial-and-error basis.
These medications are highly recommended since they use the information provided by websites, other athletes, coaches, or gym instructors. As a result, they lack access to medical information and support to save them from harm while taking these drugs. For those who consume it for medical reasons, it is because these steroids are potent and can be used to treat a wide range of conditions which include:
- Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Hay fever
- Hives and eczema
- Painful muscles or joints such as tennis elbow, arthritis, and frozen shoulder
- Pain caused by an irritated or trapped nerve such as sciatica
- Inflammatory bowel disease – such as Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
This is a very potent drug capable of calming their conditions and restoring them to normal when an attack or episode arises.
For everything with an advantage, there is a disadvantage. The adverse effects of AAS use usually depend on the product, the age, and sex of the user, how much they use, how often they use, and how consistent they are. Even the legally prescribed normal-dose anabolic steroids also have side effects that can be terrible and critical. These include:
- Fluid retention
- Difficulty or pain when urinating
- Enlarged male breasts, known as gynecomastia
- Increased red cell count
- Reduced levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and increased levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Hair growth or loss
- Low sperm count and infertility
- changes in libido
The fact that steroids are good and have great use and functions for individuals can’t be ignored. However, it is important to know and duly take notes of what you are consuming, the reasons you are consuming them, and the possible side effects of their use. That way, you are on the safer side.