An anabolic steroid is a synthetic or man-made substance that works pretty much like testosterone, the male hormone. Doctors usually prescribe anabolic steroids or recommend some patients to go on a steroid cycle to treat specific hormonal issues – for instance, delayed puberty. Other medical issues that result in the body making little quantities of testosterone can also be treated with the best steroid cycle. Steroids basically make the bones stronger and muscles bigger. Also, they could induce puberty and assist some boys suffering from a genetic problem to have a more normal growth.
Anabolic steroids are available in the form of a pill, a cream or gel to be rubbed onto the skin, or as an injection to be shot into the muscle. The fairly popular anabolic steroid drugs are fluoxymesterone (halotestin) and nandrolone (Durabolin). In America, an anabolic steroid cannot be legally purchased without a prescription.
Steroid hormones could be found in some over-the-counter (OTC) supplements too. For instance, some individuals administer dietary supplements that contain steroid hormones. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is one such supplement. The human body can convert DHEA into different steroid hormones such as testosterone, cortisol, and estrogen. People usually resort to DHEA for a bigger, muscular appearance. However, there’s no scientific material proving the efficacy of such supplements with regard to muscle growth and strength. The majority of evidence doing the rounds are anecdotal. Regardless, consuming these supplements in copious amounts could lead to side effects that are usually symbolic of anabolic steroids.
Why is the usage of anabolic steroids sans a prescription a common practice?
Some teens and adults use illegal steroids to decrease their body fat, increase physical strength, and acquire bigger muscles. They resort to such drugs to improve their physical appearance and to also become better athletes.
Illegal anabolic steroid dose is usually much higher than what a doctor would typically prescribe for medical issues. Often, people use multiple illegal drugs simultaneously for better and quicker gains. This approach to steroids is called stacking. There is another method of drug administration called pyramiding. In this method, people would go full throttle on the steroids for a particular time period, and resort to a zero drug usage policy for a brief period thereafter.
What are the issues associated with illegal use of anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids could lead to some serious side effects. And some of these negative effects could be permanent. The ill effects could differ between men and women.
In males, anabolic steroids could decrease sperm count, shrink testicles, snatch away the ability to father a child, enlarge the breasts or cause gynecomastia, etc. In ladies, these steroids could make the skin rough, increase body hair, enlarge the clitoris, decrease breast size, and deepen the voice.
The side effects that could show up in both men and women are heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, higher bad cholesterol levels (LDL), lower good cholesterol levels (HDL), liver cancer (possibly) and other liver diseases, acne, oily skin, hair loss, skin infections that could get worse if the supplement was bacteria-tainted, rage, irritability, violence, aggression, false beliefs or delusions, mania or uncontrolled high energy, and addiction. Liver disease is usually not a problem, but is likely when the steroid dosage is high.
Teens administering illegal steroids are subject to the same issues as adults. In addition, teens may experience a permanent halt in bone growth much earlier than normal. This means they won’t reach their potential height.