Introduction to Anabolic Steroids.
Anabolic steroids are an artificial form of testosterone, which are used for the growth of muscle and bones. They have the potential to enhance the growth of cells, division as well as the growth of various other tissues in our body, improve appetite and also help in puberty issues.
They are also a very effective treatment for serious cancer and AIDS patients. Although Anabolic steroids work by increasing protein synthesis, muscle mass, and strength, they have certain side effects. They can affect health by increasing LDL cholesterol and decreasing HDL cholesterol. Moreover, they may also cause high blood pressure and liver damage.
Anabolic steroids have numerous medical uses and at the same time, they are very beneficial for athletes' training purposes by increasing their performance (also known as performance-enhancing drugs) and efficiency.
This is the reason steroids have an important impact on sports as well, mainly Bodybuilding, and are also quite popular among amateurs that buy steroids to improve their physique. As they also have certain serious side effects, their use has been controlled worldwide.
Anabolic and Androgenic Effects of Steroids.
Anabolic steroids possess anabolic as well as androgenic effects. Generally, anabolic effects are the development of metabolism and tissues while androgenic effects imply the development of masculine effects. Preferably, anabolic steroids should possess more anabolic effects than androgenic effects.
Anabolic focuses on the rebuild or development of body tissues and the function of these steroids varies according to particular formation. Mostly, steroids bind to the androgen receptor; however, they do it at different levels.
This level of binding on the androgen receptors ensures the effect on the protein synthesis, glycogenolysis (conversion of glycogen polymers to glucose monomers), or transcription of the receptors. In turn, this affects the kind of growth of a particular tissue.
Moreover, anabolic steroids also lessen catabolism by dropping recovery time in the course of the blocking of cortisol (hydrocortisone, steroid hormone).
A few particular anabolic effects are the prominent increase in muscles, strength, development of appetite, and bones. It can also enhance the stimulus of bone marrow and help in the production of more red blood cells.
On the other hand, the androgenic effects work in a very different way. They work by enhancing clitoral growth in females and penis enlargement in young men. They also increase body hair like pubic, facial, chest, and limb hair.
In addition, these steroids may also enhance the size of the vocal cord resulting in deepening of the voice. In other words, they will promote the development of male characteristics. Some other androgenic effects include the rise of the libido and the control of sex hormones.
Administration of Anabolic Steroids.
Anabolic steroids can be taken orally, in the form of injections, or in transdermal (administering medication in a form for absorption through the skin into the bloodstream). Taking this steroid orally is very easy; however, it usually needs to be chemically altered to ensure that it gets to the bloodstream before the liver starts its work of breaking it down.
Oral anabolic steroids often prove to be very strong on the liver and they may cause hepatotoxicity if taken in high doses or for an extended period. The injectable steroids are normally injected into the muscle tissue while the transdermal forms imply creams, gels, or patches that are used through the skin.
Medical Uses of Anabolic Steroids.
The most known medical function of these steroids is their ability to oppose the effects of chronic wasting by enhancing appetite and developing muscles. Other than this, there are also many others uses of anabolic steroids. Some of them include:
- Stimulation of Bone Marrow: These steroids are now being substituted with artificial proteins.
- Growth Stimulation: The use of anabolic steroids has been replaced with growth hormones instead.
- Hormone Replacement Treatment: This is useful for males who have low natural testosterone levels.
- Puberty Induction: Although testosterone is mostly used for this purpose, anabolic steroids are also useful for boys with too much delay in puberty.
Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids.
No matter if you use steroids for medical or other reasons; they do have certain side effects. The common side effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Enhanced cholesterol levels
- Hair loss
- Prostate cancer
- Liver problems
- Problems related to gums
In males, particularly, there are some specific side effects of steroids. It includes Gynecomastia that is, the emergence of female characteristics like breast development, sexual issues, infertility, and contraction of testicles.
Some side effects amongst females include an increase in body hair growth, deepening of the voice, enlargement of the clitoris, and smaller menstrual cycles. Adolescents may undergo stunted growth, fast development of bones, hypergonadism, and increased hair on the body as well as more sexual development.
Other negative effects of this type of drugs include:
- Reduction in testicle size
- Low sperm count
- Prostate cancer risk
- Painful urination
- Breast development (irreversible except through plastic surgery)
- Anabolic Steroid Use in Women
- Facial hair
- Change in voice (deeper)
- Enlarged clitoris
- Menstrual dysfunction
Minimizing the Effects of Anabolic Steroids.
The negative side effects of steroids can be controlled in several ways. Athletes and bodybuilders normally try to minimize them as much as they can since they have to use them extensively. As some anabolic steroids convert to estrogens, most users take estrogens inhibitors along with steroids, like Anastrozole or Exemestane.
To lessen the effects of the repression of natural testosterone production in the body, people also take a post-cycle treatment to decrease the effects of a temporary decline of testosterone. Drugs for post-cycle therapy include estrogen inhibitors along with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) like Clomiphene and Tamoxifen. It is also imperative to have frequent blood work to keep a check on potential liver damage, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Misconceptions about Anabolic Steroids.
General misinformation regarding the use of anabolic steroids is that they will affect the penis by shrinking it. This is not true. However, it may affect testicles and shrink them, but they generally return to normal after the discontinuation of steroids.
Another common misunderstanding of anabolic steroids is that they are deadly substances. The fact is that if one uses them too much or misuses them, they may prove fatal in this context. In fact, that is true for all drugs. At the same time, it is a wrong impression that people are certainly prone to death if they make use of these drugs. Although steroids can cause depression and when the user quits them, it may lower his testosterone levels, but it is an exaggeration to associate death with the use of steroids.
Positive Effects of Anabolic Steroids on the human body.
Steroids are part of a large group of fat-soluble organic compounds, most of which have specific physiological actions. They are externally administered into the body either by the use of nasal sprays or in the form of solid tablets and injections.
They have various types but the most important one is the class of anabolic steroids. As the name implies, these are the steroids that increase the rate of synthesis of various parts of the body. Over the years the usage of steroids has shown an upward, continuously increasing trend.
Many people, across the globe, are looking to buy anabolic steroids largely because of their affirmative effects on the human body. Primarily, steroids increase protein synthesis from amino acids which results in the build-up of cellular tissues, especially in the muscles. This enhances the size of the skeletal muscles leading to increased strength.
This is the main reason why it is popular among bodybuilders. Bone marrow in the human body is vital for the production of red blood cells. The anabolic steroids stimulate the bone marrow and ultimately cause an increase in the production of red blood cells. According to some researchers and their studies, it has been revealed that steroids also increase the blood volume but there is no direct evidence of this as it differs from person to person and the dosage of the steroids.
In modern days, steroids are also being used therapeutically for treating various "chronic wasting conditions" such as cancer and AIDS. They are also widely administered in the body for stimulating bone growth along with the already mentioned muscular growth. Anabolic steroids are also widely believed to be quite successful in stimulating appetite which is a major constructive influence of these steroids on the human body.
Anabolic steroids are also responsible for increasing the lean mass in the body and side by side decreasing the fat content of the body. The Androgen receptors in the body are excited by these steroids which widely boost the stamina of the person. Some steroids are used in the form of nasal sprays to treat seasonal allergies and improvising the body against these diseases.
From all the different types of steroids, the most used anabolics in the bodybuilding world are the injectable and oral forms. The use of these products as muscle-enhancement drugs has started several decades ago with only a few products available, but the steroid market has evolved a lot since then and there is an overwhelming diversity of anabolic steroids for sale of different brands. The most popular types of steroids include orals and injectables like:
- Anavar - (Most common are the 10 mg and 50 mg pills)
- Winstrol - (Comes in both pills and injectable form)
- Anadrol - (Usually comes in 50 mg pills)
- Deca-Durabolin - (One of the most popular injectable)
- Dianabol - (Most common are the 10 mg and 50 mg pills)
- Equipoise - (Injectable steroid )
While Testosterone is a Hormone that is responsible more for strength increase – Growth Hormone is mostly important for sculpting an optimal body composition. HGH works by redirecting the protein molecules directly into muscle cells and makes the human body to use the it’s fat as energy resource.
To understand the mechanism of action of Anabolic Steroids in general and in bodybuilding in particular, we need to know what the hormone testosterone is and how it acts inside the human body. Pretty much any anabolic steroid is a derivative of the male sex hormone and it exerts its effect by imitating the properties of the naturally occurring testosterone.
They have the potential to enhance the growth of cells, division as well as the growth of various other tissues in our body, improve appetite and also help in puberty issues. This is the reason steroids have an important impact on sports as well, mainly Bodybuilding, and are also quite popular among amateurs that buy steroids to improve their physique. As they also have certain serious side effects, their use has been controlled worldwide.
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