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

  • Nelvar
  • Deca-Durabolin
  • Anavar
  • Winstrol
  • Stanozolol
  • Dianabol
  • Anadrol-50



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.

Physical effects

Effects of anabolic steroids in men can include:

  • Reduced sperm count
  • Infertility
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Baldness
  • 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

Psychological effects

Misusing anabolic steroids can also cause the following psychological or emotional effects:

  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Manic behaviour
  • Hallucinations and delusions



Stunted growth in adolescents
Anabolic steroids accelerate bone growth, so if they’re misused by adolescents who haven’t yet had the growth spurt associated with puberty, the drugs can cause premature ageing of the bones and restricted growth.
Sharing needles
As anabolic steroids are often injected, there are risks associated with sharing needles. These are the same risks associated with recreational drug use, and include:
  • Damage to veins, leading to ulcers or gangrene
  • Hepatitis B infection
  • Hepatitis C infection
  • HIV transmission
Like many other substances, anabolic steroids are addictive. This means you can crave the drug, require more to get the same effect, and have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them. A person who is addicted to anabolic steroids will want to keep using them despite experiencing unpleasant physical side effects. When doctors prescribe steroid medication, they always advise coming off the medication slowly by gradually reducing the dose. Coming off anabolic steroids suddenly can result in withdrawal symptoms that include:
  • Depression and apathy
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain


Long-Term Effects

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

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