Anabolic Steroids, Health Uses, Challenges and Benefits
Every human being has that innate desire to be better. This desire is manifested in different ways amongst different individuals in the society but the root remains the same.
The reason why this desire is manifested in different ways in individuals is simply a matter of different interests, areas of talent, and specializations. An example of this difference is a committed academician who would continue to study to get more certifications and qualifications. The same can be said of other walks of life or professions; there are always new heights to attain.
There are issues that affect us all as humans. Yes, some people might take it more seriously than others while some people are just more affected by it than others but the fact remains that these issues affect all humans.
A crucial example of issues that affect all humans are health issues.
Some people are born into this world with health challenges while others may develop one health challenge or the other at some point in life. Some might have life altering experiences that dramatically change the course of their lives while as a matter of fact, everyone falls sick at one point or the other in their lives.
On the other hand, there are those whose careers entail a level of physical fitness while others must be at the peak of physical health to excel in their chosen fields. For them, the aim is not just to stay healthy, but to be in the best physical shape possible so as to be able to achieve their dreams and goals.
From the above, therefore, we can deduce that every individual has one reason or the other to be concerned about their health or physical fitness. Some individuals even go as far as taking anabolic steroids to help them attain the peak of physical fitness.
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Basically, they are artificial or synthetic derivations of the male testosterone hormone. They are more properly known as anabolic-androgenic steroids or AASs for short. You can read more about them here.
To properly understand this medication, at least in the context of why it is quite popular in society today, there is need to explain a bit of what testosterone does in the body.
The Basic Functions of Testosterone In The Body
It is common knowledge among most people that testosterone regulates sex drive among males but, while that is a key function, it actually does so much more; some of these functions include the following:-
- It is responsible for the regulation of the body bone mass
- It also regulates the body’s fat distribution
- It helps increase greatly the body’s strength and general muscle mass
- It also helps the body produce sperms and red blood cells
From the above, it is obvious that it plays a key role in the general functioning of the body such that where there is a deficiency, the consequences could be quite severe in some cases. You can read more on this at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/understanding-how-testosterone-affects-men
It is also important to note that testosterone is not only found in the male gender. It is also there in females too though, in a lesser proportion.
Having explained summarily the basic functions of testosterone in the body, it is easier to understand what anabolic steroids are used for.
What Are The Medical Uses Of Anabolic Steroids?
Its medical uses can be classified into two namely:-
The anabolic process, (anabolism) is a process of building up or promoting the body’s metabolism to increase its strength and ability to carry out certain functions. Its anabolic uses include:-
- Bone marrow stimulations
- Bone loss prevention
- Stimulation of appetite
- Lean body mass stimulation
- Stimulating growth for children with growth challenges
- Treatment and the prevention of osteoporosis that is experienced by some women in their postmenopausal stage of life
- Helps with weight gain especially for those who have undergone some body debilitating sickness or procedure
And so much more as the doctor may advise or as a particular situation may warrant.
Androgenic (an adjective of the word androgen) basically refers to the male body hormones especially the androsterone and testosterone. Therefore, it can be guessed that androgenic uses here refer to its use to medically aid or boost the characteristics expected of a maleindividual.
Its androgenic uses include
- Androgen therapy (it is a replacement therapy used to medicate or boost testosterone and libido levels among males especially the elderly)
- It is also used to induce male puberty for young males that are very late in coming into puberty
- It is also used as a hormone therapy for masculinizing transgender men or intersex people.
Generally, they are many substances used to enhance performance in any activity be it sporting activities or brain functions. Thus, anabolic steroids are not the only known performance enhancers.
However, performance enhancement is probably the most popular use of steroids that people know of. Studies though have shown that athletes are not the highest consumers or users of AAS, rather it is the average nonathletic person in the street. The sad part is that they are used mostly for cosmetic purposes by these people.
Again, teenagers have been found to be another set of people who also use AAS. Teenagers are most likely to use these substances to boost the appearance and impress their schoolmates as it helps to make them look older and more mature than their mates.
On the flip side, however, it has helped a lot of people to improve their work rate, boosted their productivity rate and made them great income earners. Needless to say, this is a form of abuse and it is not advisable because it does have consequences.
That being said, however, we know that athletes, even those in professional sports do take performance enhancers. This is done to gain a competitive edge or on some occasions, to attain a speedy recovery if an injury is sustained. There are different ways to use performance enhancers; you can visit Anabolics Health website for proper guidance on how to go about this.
Note that this is generally frowned upon by the various sporting authorities and sports regulations and attracts great punishments upon discovery.However, you can use it for personal fitness purposes
Dangers of Abusing Anabolic steroids
There are various side effects that may occur as a result of the abuse of steroids. Some side effects may be mild while some may be life threatening. The good news though, is that most of its side effects can be reversed or handled with proper medical attention and with changes in some personal habits. However, and sadly so, some side effects can be irreversible.
Some of these side effects include:
Cardiovascular challenges mostly have to do with challenges that affect the heart. Thus, the abuse of AAS has been linked to the root cause of heart attacks, strokes and artery damage in many people. With its continuous use, there is the increased risk of blood clots occurring in the blood vessels, blocking the proper flow of blood which can potentially damage the heart muscle.
The result of these conditions can be fatal.
Disruption to the Hormonal System
Another of its side effects is the disruption of the normal system of hormone production in the human body. This disruption can occur both in males and females.
In males, it can result in low sperm production and low testes function (also known as hypogonadism) though these side effects can be reversible, it can however lead to baldness, testicular canceror even the development of breasts! In teenagers, there is also the risk of stunted growth.
In females, it can result in having more masculine features, deeper voice range, decreased body fat and breast size, plus a rough and hairy skin. Continued usage over a long period of time may make these conditions irreversible.
Increased Risk of Infections
For some anabolics, one of the ways that they use to take it is through injecting. Studies have shown that lots of times, the needles used are not sterile and this is because, the users share needles.
Asides being terribly unhygienic, it exposes them to the risk of getting infected with viral and life threatening infections like hepatitis B or C or even HIV. Also, some tests in animals show that the use of AAS could suppress people’s immune system by reducing their body’s ability to combat any illness that tries to attack it.
Damage to The Liver
Abuse of AAS can also lead to general damage to the liver, it can also lead to peliosis hepatis (this is what occurs when cysts filled with blood which can rupture at any time starts forming in the liver). It can also result in tumors growing in the liver.
Continuous use of these substances can result in psychological challenges like paranoia, severe mood swings, impaired judgment, mania, and rage. It should be noted though, that those usually prone to psychological challenges usually have a predisposition to this type of situation.
It can also become addictive or even lead to the consumption or abuse of other drugs. You can find out more from this article.
Tips for Proper Usage of Anabolic Steroids
It is understood that there are those who of necessity have to make use of these AAS, for various reasons which range from medical to fitness purposes. The best guidance for such a person would be advice from a doctor or medical personnel.
However, the following are tips for proper usage of these medications. Also, it will help you to get the best results after use.
- Follow The Instructions: There usually are instructions or dosage written on the labels that are meant to guide you on how to take the medication. It is in your best interest to follow that. Also, keep track of the time you should take each dose and if you are to take it with any other medication, ensure that you do it as at when due.
- Create The Habit Of Eating Right: It is very important that one develops the habit of eating the right healthy food. The right diet does a lot for the body system more than people may admit or know.
- Sleep Well: This is another basic but very important hormone booster that everyone needs to observe. With proper sleep, your body is at its best when it is time to work out.
- Do Not Over Train: Building your body or testosterone level is not something that happens in a day rather, it is something that happens over a period of time. Therefore, do not rush it, do not overwork yourself.Doing so would rather lead you into some complications as the hormones might be overtaken by muscles thus, lowering your free testosterone levels.
Benefits of Using Anabolic Steroids
Having done an extensive write up on its medical uses and on the possible health challenges that occur as a result of its abuse, it is time to talk about its benefits when used appropriately and legally. Some of these benefits include:-
- Reducing Recovery Time: Athletes are prone to sustaining injuries which keep them out of competition for a while. This is usually detrimental to their careers thus some might resort to taking these boosters which reduces the length of time it takes for them to recover from these injuries.
- Muscle Mass Increase: This is one of the more popularly known use of these medications. As a testosterone booster, it stimulates an increased testosterone production in the body which in turn boosts muscle growth. Thus with constant exercise, the results are usually drastic.
- Reduces Body Fat: This occurs mostly because, it is able to oxidize fat, a process called lipid oxidation. This is also possible because, it boosts the body’s metabolism.
- Improves Performance: This is another popular reason why it is used by various people in sports as it is able to boost stamina and endurance in the user. You can read more at https://www.mymed.com/health-wellness/fitness-and-exercise/the-facts-on-steroids-for-muscle-building/what-are-the-benefits-of-anabolic-steroids
It is human nature to engage in anything possible to stay healthy and competitive. Not just to be competitive in a chosen career, but in the general society as well.
However, going about this by using anabolic steroids in an unguided manner can be damaging to the body. Thus, this article is not just to warn about misuse, but to provide guidance for proper use.
Sarah Williams is a blogger and writer who expresses her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative contents on various niches over the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community.