Steroids! A word that many fear, and many use it daily, the choice differs from person to person. People in many professions use anabolic steroids daily to enhance their appearance and performance in their athletic ventures. Usually, people in a bodybuilding career choose this medication to increase their muscle mass and get bigger, which is not possible naturally.
Here, in this article, you are going to learn all the details you need to know about anabolic androgenic steroids, including their effects, benefits, and side effects on your body. So keep reading further:
What Are Anabolic Androgenic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthesized medications that usually mimic male sex hormones called testosterone and improve the athletic capabilities of people. When you take a shot of anabolic steroid, it will increase testosterone levels significantly in your body, giving you more energy and recovery.
Usually, these medications are prescribed to people with terminal diseases like cancer and tumors; they help them recover from other treatments and get better faster. Now, people also use anabolic steroids to get immense muscle mass for their bodybuilding career. And the most important part to know about these steroids is that people misuse them illegally, which is a crime as well.
What are anabolic steroids used for?
- Medical Conditions: Anabolic steroids are prescribed by healthcare professionals to treat various medical conditions, including hormonal deficiencies, delayed puberty, and muscle-wasting diseases such as AIDS.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): In cases where the body is unable to produce sufficient amounts of testosterone, anabolic steroids may be prescribed as part of hormone replacement therapy to address hormonal imbalances.
- Muscle Growth and Tissue Repair: Anabolic steroids can promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase protein synthesis, which can be beneficial for individuals recovering from surgery, injuries, or illnesses that result in muscle loss.
- Performance Enhancement: Athletes and bodybuilders use anabolic steroids to enhance performance, increase muscle mass, and improve strength and endurance. However, the use of these substances for performance enhancement is often associated with serious health risks and is considered unethical in many sports.
How Do Steroids Work On Humans?
People who use anabolic androgenic steroids can get high amounts of lean muscle mass in a very short amount of time. This is due to the enhanced function of adrenal glands in your body, which are responsible for secreting growth hormones in your body. Usually, when you start taking these steroids, they mimic the testosterone hormones in your body and improve your recovery time, increase your muscle mass significantly, and increase strength.
So, if you are taking steroids for the first time, it surely will give you significant results in a very short amount of time. And usually, people call these drugs ‘gear,’ ‘roids,’ or ‘juice,’ which depends on the type of steroid you are taking. In countries like Brazil, people can freely buy anabolic steroids, but in most of the other countries, it is completely banned for legal usage, considering its side effects on health.
Why Do People Misuse Anabolic Steroids?
People misuse anabolic steroids for various reasons, and the motivations can vary from individual to individual. Some of the common reasons why people may misuse these substances include:
1. Improving Athletic Performance: Athletes, especially those involved in competitive sports, may misuse anabolic steroids to enhance their physical performance. These substances are believed to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance, potentially providing a competitive advantage.
2. Bodybuilding and Aesthetic Purposes: Many individuals use anabolic steroids to achieve a more muscular and defined physique. These substances are thought to promote muscle growth and reduce body fat, contributing to a more “aesthetic” appearance.
3. Social and Peer Pressure: In some cases, individuals may be influenced by societal or peer expectations, especially in environments where a particular body image is highly valued. Pressure to conform to certain standards of attractiveness or strength can drive some individuals to misuse anabolic steroids.
4. Psychological Factors: Some people may misuse anabolic steroids due to psychological factors, such as a desire to boost self-esteem, body image issues, or a need to feel more confident. The perceived physical benefits of these substances can contribute to a sense of empowerment and control.
5. Recovery and Rehabilitation: Athletes or individuals undergoing rehabilitation after injuries may misuse anabolic steroids to accelerate the recovery process and regain lost muscle mass.
6. Ignorance of Risks: Lack of awareness or misinformation about the potential risks and side effects of anabolic steroids can lead some individuals to misuse these substances without a full understanding of the health implications.
Anabolic Steroid Types
Anabolic steroids come in various types, and they can be classified based on their chemical structure, method of administration, and their intended medical uses. Here are some common types of anabolic steroids:
👉 Oral Steroids
- Dianabol (Methandrostenolone): It is an oral steroid known for promoting rapid muscle gain and strength.
- Anadrol (Oxymetholone): This oral steroid is used for increasing muscle mass and improving strength.
👉 Injectable Steroids
- Testosterone: Various forms of injectable testosterone are available, such as testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate, and testosterone propionate.
- Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca-Durabolin): Used for promoting muscle growth and enhancing recovery.
👉 Synthetic Steroids
- Stanozolol (Winstrol): It is a synthetic steroid often used to enhance athletic performance and reduce body fat.
- Oxandrolone (Anavar): This synthetic steroid is known for promoting muscle growth and improving strength.
👉 Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Although not a traditional anabolic steroid, HGH is sometimes used for its muscle-building and anti-aging properties.
👉 Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)
SARMs are a class of compounds that are not technically steroids but have similar effects. Examples include Ostarine and Ligandrol.
It’s important to note that the use of anabolic steroids, especially for non-medical purposes like performance enhancement or aesthetic goals, can lead to serious health risks. The misuse of these substances is associated with side effects such as cardiovascular issues, liver damage, hormonal imbalances, and psychological effects. Additionally, the non-medical use of anabolic steroids is often illegal and against the rules in many sports organizations.
If someone is considering using anabolic steroids for any reason, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide accurate information about the potential risks and guide them toward safe and responsible use if deemed medically necessary.
Possible Side Effects
When the medication changes your body structure function and mimics testosterone, it has side effects as well. When it comes to the adverse effects of taking anabolic steroids, it’s essential to know that it has already caused thousands of deaths worldwide, and the count is still on.
However, people also take this medication in small amounts and live their lives happily without any side effects. So, any side effect from anabolic steroids will depend on your usage cycle and overall health. The usual side effects of taking anabolic steroids are insomnia, mood swings, aggression, and nerve damage. All these side effects are temporary, and you can get better after some time after stopping your medication.
In worse cases, taking steroids can lead to cardiovascular issues like strokes and heart attacks, leading to death. So make sure you are taking these steroids optimally and keep your nutrition on point to prevent hose issues.
Precautions And Regulations For Taking Steroids
There are certain precautions and regulations you should follow if you are taking anabolic steroids or have just stopped taking them. When you are under medication, make sure you are getting regular checkups for possible side effects on your body, and not abusing the usage of these steroids at all.
When you are taking anabolic steroids, make sure you are using sanitary syringes and keeping your hygiene all the time. When a person uses anabolic steroids, their acne starts to burst out, leading to pain as well. So, make sure you are keeping your diet clean and paying attention to your cleanliness at the same time while taking anabolic steroids.
Does Anabolic Steroids Make You Addicted To Them?
Bodybuilders all over the world use anabolic steroids in cycles and get off them after their shows or competitions. And there haven’t been cases related to addiction to these anabolic steroids, which is a good sign. People don’t get addicted to these steroids if they are taking them in optimal amounts.
However, those who abuse it and continue with their medication year around it can lead them to develop addictions to the physical effects of these medications. And even when they get off their medications, it can cause a significant decrease in their testosterone levels and can even lead to erectile dysfunction.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Steroids?
When you stop taking anabolic steroids after continuous usage, it can induce withdrawal effects in your body. This can lead to fatigue, stress, loss of appetite, and cravings; keeping these feelings in control and not starting the medication again is the best choice for you.
In some of the worst cases, where people have been using these steroids continuously for a long time, it can cause symptoms like depression and anxiety at the same time. These effects can lead to serious health issues, mentally as well as physically, so administering help from professionals would be a great option for you. This step is important for everyone who’s been abusing steroids for a long time, as there have been cases where people have committed self-harm after they stopped taking their doses.
Anabolic androgenic steroids are mainly used among bodybuilders and heavyweight athletes, which enhances their performance and appearance significantly. These medications are illegal to use and not everyone accepts that they are taking steroids as well. So, make sure you are taking these medications in prescribed and optimal amounts only to stay safe.
When you are taking steroids for a continuous period, make sure you are getting checkups, as during the medication cycle, your physical health starts to deteriorate. Even when you are taking anabolic steroids, keep in mind that it can cause hair loss, and can even cause erectile dysfunction in the future. Anyway, using any type of medication is completely a matter of individuality, so make wise decisions considering the risks and possible side effects of taking anabolic steroids.
- AlShareef S, Gokarakonda SB, Marwaha R. Anabolic Steroid Use Disorder (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538174/). [Updated 2022 Jun 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Accessed 2/7/2023.
- National Library of Medicine. Anabolic Steroids (https://medlineplus.gov/anabolicsteroids.html). Accessed 2/7/2023.