Everyone looks for enhancing themselves in today’s modern world. Everyone wants to be at the helm and can go to any lengths to achieve it. Bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts are no exception. To be able to be at the top, these people resort to using these steroids. Anabolic steroids use has been reported in most athletic events. Infact, many sportspersons have been stripped off their medals after thesy have been found using some banned steroids.
One has to be very careful when it comes to using these. If used judiciously, these are helpful but misuse will result in lot of damage to the body.
These steroids also known as Anabolic-androgenic steroids are synthesized compounds that are related to the male sex hormone and have the similar effect as testosterones in the body. The term ‘anabolic’ refers to muscle or mass building.
Testosterones play a significant role as it affects the physiology of a person and has medical benefits too.
It is a primary steroid which is found in vertebrates, animals and birds.
The androgenic part of the hormone is responsible for development of primary male reproductive cells while the anabolic part enables development of secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle mass, body hair, development of vocal chords. This hormone is produced in very less quantities in women.
Testosterones and its derivatives are used as prescription drugs and hormone supplements.
They help in growth of skeleton muscles (anabolic effect) and development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effect) in both males and females.
These steroids can be taken in the form of injections, or taken orally. They can be applied as cream or gel too.
Do they work?
One study showed that men who used steroids for 10 weeks gained 2 to 5 kilograms of lean body mass i.e. muscles. They have also reported 15-20% increase in strength. They noticed more muscle mass in their chest, shoulders.
Use of these without prescription can cause unpleasant side effects. They result in faster aging, cardiovascular issues, increase cholesterol, increase risk of prostate cancer, and liver and kidney damage.
Besides physical issues, anabolic steroids affect the brain in ways such as; irritability, mood swings, depression.
Though taking these under medical guidance is safe to a certain limit. Problem arises when people use these to enhance athletic performance without any idea of the dosage and duration of use.
Many such people who do this also do stacking i.e. they combine several types of steroids in the hope of gaining maximum benefit from them.
These are Class C drugs which can be sold by pharmacists with a prescription. It is not illegal to possess these for personal use but these cannot be posted or delivered by courier or freight service.
It is illegal to possess, import or export these drugs if it is believed you are supplying them. The penalty is an unlimited fine or imprisonment.
In professional sports, the anabolic steroid use has been banned. The athletes found guilty have been asked to return their medals in case they test positive for use of these drugs.