Information about steroids is readily available from various sources, such as print media and the Internet. In fact, there is so much information about steroids that it can become overwhelming and hard to understand, leaving more questions than answers in the minds of those interested. It is thus pertinent to decipher what steroids and their uses really are, the dangers they may pose when abused, and the role they play among bodybuilders. (Bodybuilders consume some useful and wonderful steroids, such as sustanon 250, to supplement their exercise in enhancing muscle development.)
The following are some relevant facts about steroids:
Steroids are a large group of organic compounds whose building blocks are composed of hormones and vitamins, and whose structure comprises four carbon rings. Steroids are classified into two categories:
- Anabolic steroids: used to build muscle (hence their widespread use among bodybuilders)
- Corticosteroids: used to treat ailments and allergies
The chemistry behind anabolic steroids
Some common anabolic steroids include: trenbolone, stanozolol, androstenedione, and methandrostenolone. There are many other forms of testosterone or products containing this hormone, but the steroids’ major function is to raise testosterone levels in the body for building muscle and increasing strength.
Anabolic steroids are consumed through various methods, such as orally, by injection, or by applying them topically in the form of a cream (often done by aged men experiencing reduced testosterone levels or andropause).
Anabolic steroids vs. human growth hormones
The two differ drastically in their functions. Human growth hormones are naturally generated in the body and are important for the reproduction of cells, the proper function of somebody hormones and enzymes, the replacement of cells, and the proper function of the brain. Anabolic steroids, which are essentially man-made testosterone, are responsible for accentuating male characteristics, growing muscle, and increasing strength.
Side effects of steroids
People with normal testosterone levels who take anabolic steroids may experience some side effects, both short-term and long-term, that include:
For Men: impotency, breast development etc.
For women: irregular menses, enlarged clitoris, the emergence of male characteristics (hairy face, muscular body), etc.
Adolescents: retarded growth and the emergence of male features
Everyone: hair loss, acne, increased risk of heart attack and cancers that affect the liver, and mood swings
Patients with conditions such as anaemia and decreased testosterone levels can be prescribed anabolic steroids. Some countries prohibit prescribing steroids for muscle development or for boosting athletic performance (for instance, this is prohibited by US federal law). Steroids can also be bought from vendors, especially those online who sell confidentially.
Indicators of low testosterone levels
- Shrinkage of muscle and body mass
- Mood swings
- Little to no energy
- Hair loss
- Chronic fatigue
Insufficient testosterone levels can be rectified by medical methods; those who suspect they are suffering from low levels should seek medical attention and treatment.
Measures to ensure optimal testosterone levels
- Manage your body fat to stay at or below 20%, as high-fat levels lead to low testosterone levels
- Regularly perform high-intensity interval training and strength training to help boost testosterone levels
- Ensure sufficient intake of zinc and Vitamin D, which are both essential in testosterone production
- Consume sufficient healthy fats in foods such as nuts, eggs, and avocados
- Consume enough leucine-rich proteins, which include whey protein, dairy products, and nuts
Steroids are beneficial, but if abused, can have disastrous effects on the human body. The user must exercise caution and conduct due diligence on the quality of the products by buying from trusted and reliable vendors. It is also very important to adhere to the recommended dosage and use of steroids so as to achieve the desired results.