The history of steroids goes decades back when they could be used when prescribed by a physician. These compounds were artificially produced to help body in its tissue growth as well as repair. They are mainly derived from testosterone and were employed to cure people suffering from serious ailments like breast cancer, anemia and muscle wasting caused due to conditions like cancer, AIDS and surgery. The fast yielding results produced by steroids have made them very popular today not only among those seeking their medical use but professionals such as bodybuilders who employ them to enhance their muscle growth and mass. Since steroids are primarily associated with the repair and growth of tissues in the body, they are widely used in the bodybuilding fraternity for the development of quality muscle mass and density. In fact the use of these drugs is also popular among people playing various sports particularly athletes, power lifters, cyclists and swimmers who need extra strength to perform better. Intake of steroids helps them boost their energy levels because of which they are able to perform better.
Apart from being used by people belonging to professional sports and activities, their popularity has taken them to people who simply intend to look better by building their muscle mass and hence acquire a decent shape. Earlier only young men were seen to use this drug but now even women have started employing these compounds to reduce extra fat from their bodies to look in perfect shape. Considering the rising demand of these drugs among people belonging to all age groups and gender around the globe, their production has also immensely increased. At one time, if one had to buy steroids, they had to either have them prescribed by the physician or pay too heavy a price to be bought from the black market. But today, they can be easily bought with as well as without a prescription from any online pharmacy. However, one must be aware that some countries have banned the use of certain substances so having a prior knowledge before ordering it from any source can save the person from any legal hassles that might develop as a result of its import.
Steroids are categories into two major types – the Corticosteroids and Anabolic Androgenic Steroids or AAS as they are commonly addressed. The corticosteroids are produced by the adrenal gland in the human body. They are placed just above the kidneys and release a hormone called aldosterone involved in the regulation of sodium content in the blood stream. Its prime function is to serve the stress response system of the body and as a result helps decrease its inflammation.
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids on the other hand are hormone like compounds which mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. Thus when they are induced in the body, they enhance the functions carried out by testosterone in the body such as development of male features. This mainly takes place due to the androgenic effects of these drugs. Anabolic properties of these compounds help in the growth of muscle tissues and density. Every steroid might be highly anabolic or androgenic. There are some which have higher ratio of anabolic properties where as some with more androgenic features. Some steroids might not be as strong and consists of mild androgenic and anabolic properties. These substances mainly function by increasing the rate of protein synthesis taking place inside the muscles. This leads to the rapid growth of cellular tissue in the body, a process called as anabolism.
Therapeutically, these substances have been entailed with many benefits which have been listed below:
They are known to cause bone marrow stimulation in patients suffering from hypoplastic anemia due to leukemia or kidney failure, particularly aplastic anemia.
Steroids have found vast usage in children suffering from growth failure. Thus pediatric endocrinologists often prescribe them for treating such children as they are highly potent and considered to produce effective results.
That steroids increase the appetite of its users is not an unknown fact. Along with muscle growth and strength, these substances also improve the appetite of the person and in some cases they are known to improve sleep as well. Like mentioned earlier, steroid use in curing people suffering from muscle wasting caused by conditions like cancer and AIDS is well known. They also form remedy for patients who have had severe surface area burns. In such patients, they aid in the regeneration of tissues lost due to excessive burning.
Delayed puberty has become a common phenomenon these days and so to battle the issue, steroids are taken by teenage boys confronting it. Adolescent boys often get distressed because of this condition and so are prescribed with androgenic steroids which boost height, weight and muscle mass in them.
Steroids are often associated with growth of muscle mass and strength but they also perform an important role in cutting down excess fat from the bodies. They are known to reduce the adipose tissue that often gets accumulated in the visceral region and fails to leave it despite rigorous exercise and dieting. Intake of steroids helps deal with the issue without any inconvenience.
Researches carried out on these substances have revealed that some of them such as testosterone enanthate can be used as a potent and a reliable male contraceptive. Although its commercial use is not much known but findings on the subject have been reported.
With use of steroids, one can increase his/her lean body mass and also prevents bone loss from taking place. Since it conveniently helps in the addition of lean tissue in the body, these substances have found vast usage among women.
In older men who suffer from low levels of testosterone, these steroids are induced through hormone replacement therapy which helps increase the level of testosterone in their bodies.
No matter how beneficial these drugs are, it is important to employ them in limited quantities only and under the supervision of an expert to avoid suffering from their side effects. Each steroid comes with a recommendation of being taken in a prescribed dosage cycle which should be strictly adhered to.