You’ve probably heard the name like a million times — steroids! Without getting all technical with the definition, we all know steroids are used to boost performance in activities such as athletics and build up muscle. Steroids can also be used for various medical conditions e.g. inflammatory conditions such as myositis, systemic vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Anabolic Steroids as Drugs
Doctors can prescribe anabolic steroids in order to; stimulate bone growth, promote appetite, reduce effects of cancer, and in some cases induce male puberty. Anabolic steroids can be taken as skin patches, injectable steroids and oral pills.
How they Work
The human body naturally produces hormone testosterone which is the primary male sex hormone. Hormone testosterone is responsible for the development of prostate and testis which are male reproductive tissues. This leads to the growth of body hair, increased muscles and other secondary sexual characteristics. Anabolic steroids are referred to as the synthetically created hormone testosterone and can be used to produce almost the same effect as the naturally produced ones.
When someone consumes steroids either orally or through an injection, it travels through the body to various cells which host androgen receptors. The connection will then signal the person’s DNA to produce various proteins. This leads to creation of growth/anabolic responses. While anabolism is the primary function of steroids, it’s important to note there maybe other effects – some desirable and others undesirable.
Risks Involved with Anabolic Steroids Consumption
Just like with any other medication, there are various side effects involved with steroid consumption. These may include oily hair and skin, severe acne, kidney disease, altered mood, liver disease and irritability, suicidal tendencies, and depression. In women, steroids can lead to side effects such as enlarged clitoris, voice changes, increased body hair, breast reduction and roughening of skin. In both the men and women, they can lead to skin infection, high blood pressure, mental disturbances, and increased levels of cholesterols.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Steroids
Do Consult your Doctor — Steroids are referred to by the medical community as medicinal drugs and are used to treat illnesses and maladies and shouldn’t be used as fad of the moment. Improper use of steroids can put your health at jeopardy and you are therefore advised to consult a doctor before you begin consumption.
Do Take the Prescribed Dosage — It is important to stick to the prescription if you are to see desirable results. In some cases, people end up taking more medication, especially when there is no significant improvement to report. It is important to consult your doctor for advice if you notice little improvement or experience problems during use. From this point on, your doctor will either adjust the dosage or recommend a different product.
Do Buy from Legitimate and Licensed Stores — There are endless places you can buy steroids. For instance, the internet is home to a plethora of online drug stores selling steroid from different manufacturers. This basically means that you will have plenty of options to choose from. However, it is important to note that not all products are legal or even safe for use. You should therefore take your time researching on store you intend to make your purchase from. Only work with registered stores which sell legal products.
Do stick to the Doctors Method of Intake – In an effort to maximize the effects, some people end up switching to different methods of intake. For instance, a person who has been advised to take oral pills may feel the need to switch to injectables in order to hasten the process. This usually leads to complications as these drugs are meant to be taken as the doctor prescribed.
Don’t Miss Your Medication — Just like it is the case with other kinds of medication, you are supposed to stick to the schedule when taking steroids. This is the only way to ensure you reap maximum results and avoid problems.
Don’t Buy Steroid from your Friends — In some cases, your friends will offer to sell you their unused medication at a discount and this can be tempting to most people. Whether they are selling you the product or giving it to you for free, you should stick to products prescribed by a professional.