What are steroids?
Steroids usually refers to Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetic substances or man-made derivatives of testosterone, the male hormone.
How do steroids work?
Anabolic agents are potent promoters of protein synthesis and thus are muscle building. Anabolic steroids are usually androgenic, meaning that they enhance male characteristics—body hair, muscle, male genitalia, and deep voice.
List of Anabolic Steroids
These all lead to bigger and stronger muscles. Some names of popular steroids include
Route of Administration
Types of anabolic steroids include oral and intramuscular injection.
Steroids taken orally have a half-life of several hours, while injected steroids have a half-life of several days. Steroids taken orally usually come on the form of a pill. It takes these water-soluble pills three to four weeks to clear the body.
The oil-based injections take six to eight months to leave the body. After steroids are taken, the steroid molecule bonds to cell receptor sites. Now the steroid molecule can increase protein synthesis, increase nitrogen retention, make metabolic changes, and increase size and strength of skeletal muscle cells.
Side effects of anabolic steroids
Regularly taking anabolic steroids can lead to physical and psychological changes in both men and women, as well as potentially dangerous medical conditions.
Effects of anabolic steroids in men can include:
- Reduced sperm count
- Shrunken testicles
- Erectile dysfunction
- Breast development
- Sncreased risk of prostate cancer
- Severe acne
- Stomach pain
In women, anabolic steroids can cause:
- Facial hair growth and body hair
- Loss of breasts
- Swelling of the clitoris
- A deepened voice
- An increased sex drive
- Problems with periods
- Hair loss
- Severe acne
Misusing anabolic steroids can also cause the following psychological or emotional effects:
- Aggressive behaviour
- Mood swings
- Manic behaviour
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Damage to veins, leading to ulcers or gangrene
- Hepatitis B infection
- Hepatitis C infection
- HIV transmission
- Depression and apathy
- Feelings of anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased sex drive
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Muscle and joint pain
In addition, both men and women who take anabolic steroids can develop any of the following medical conditions:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Liver or kidney problems or failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Blood clots
- Fluid retention
- High cholesterol