Anabolic Steroids: What They Are And Their Side-Effects

Bodybuilders use anabolic steroids to improve performance and endurance, and to build more muscle. Steroids can be taken by mouth or they can be injected into the muscle. Oral steroids include steroid tablets and steroid pills. Because most steroids are not available without a doctor’s prescription, athletes and bodybuilders usually buy steroids at gyms, through personal contacts or online.

What Are Anabolic Steroids?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that are similar to the hormones produced naturally in the body, such as testosterone, the male sex hormone. Steroids are made synthetically to cause testosterone-like effects in the body. The full name is anabolic-androgenic steroids; the word anabolic refers to the fact that steroids boost the growth of skeletal muscles, and the androgenic effects mean that the steroids will cause male sexual characteristics to develop in the user (whether they are male or female).

Originally anabolic steroids were create to treat health conditions in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. Lack of testosterone in the body can cause problems such as delayed puberty in teenagers as well as impotence and low sperm count in adults. Because steroids also promote muscle growth, they can be prescribed to treat illnesses that cause the body to lose muscle tissue, such as HIV or cancer. Steroids can also be used to promote muscle tissue growth after accidents, injuries and burns.

Bodybuilders use steroids to increase muscle size and strength, to improve endurance and to reduce recovery time. Steroids can help the muscles to recover quicker after workout sessions, so bodybuilders need less rest time between sessions and can do longer and more intense workouts.

Is It Possible to Buy Legal Steroids?

In many countries in the West, including the US and most of Europe, it is only possible to buy steroids with a doctor’s prescription. Many bodybuilders buy steroids online from countries where there are legal steroids that can be bought and sold without a prescription and that do not place limits on the amounts of steroids you can buy. Many weight lifters and athletes find steroids for sale at gyms. Steroids are also often made in laboratories in the West and sold on the black market without prescription.

In the past it was possible to buy “legal steroids”, which were steroidal supplements that the body turns into testosterone, such as androstenedione or tetrahydrogestrinone. These were usually available without prescription and were considered the only legal steroids for sale. These days most of these steroidal supplements are not available without a prescription, but dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is often still sold legally without a prescription. The body uses these supplements to produce more testosterone and they have similar effects on the body as anabolic steroids(for more info check out this website), although they are not as strong as anabolic steroids. They might cause similar side effects in the body, too.

How Steroids Are Used

Most people who use steroids use them to build up muscle, to burn fat and to improve performance in athletics or weight lifting. Steroids can be injected into the muscle, or they can be taken orally as steroid tablets or steroid pills. Steroids that are the most popular with bodybuilders, or that are considered the best steroids amongst bodybuilders and athletes, include oral steroids such as Oxandrin (oxandrolone), Anadrol (oxymetholone), one of the most popular oral steroids Winstrol (stanozolol) and Dianabol (methandrostenolone). Steroids that are injected into the muscles include Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate), Durabolin (nandrolone phenpropionate) and Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate).
When anabolic steroids are used by bodybuilders to build up muscles and to improve performance, the user takes much higher doses than a doctor would prescribe to treat illnesses. The doses can be ten or even 100 times larger than steroid doses for medical conditions. There are different methods for using steroids: most bodybuilders take steroids in patterns such as cycling, stacking and pyramiding.

“Cycling” means that steroids are taken over a certain period of time followed by a break, after which a new cycle begins. “Stacking” means combining different types of steroids, for example taking several different varieties at once or combining oral steroids with injections. Stacking is done to improve the effect of the steroids in boosting muscle growth.

“Pyramiding” is a system in which steroids are taken in doses that increase towards the middle of the cycle, reaching the highest doses mid-cycle. Then the doses are gradually reduced again towards the end of the cycle. A cycle can last between 6 to 12 weeks. Pyramiding is believed to help the body to adjust to the gradually growing doses of steroids. A cycle is followed by a break from steroid use to give the body’s natural hormone system time to recover.

Side Effects from Steroid Use

Steroid use can have many side-effects that range from physical to emotional. Because steroids act like testosterone, the body will start to act as if it is going through puberty again. Many steroid users suffer from skin problems such as oily skin and acne, when the sebaceous glands in the skin start to produce more oil as if in puberty. Men can experience impotence, a lower sperm count and shrinking of the testicles.

When women take anabolic steroids the consequences can include smaller breasts, reduction in body fat, a deeper voice, a coarse skin, the growth of body hair and other masculine effects. Steroid use can cause male pattern baldness in both men and women, but for women it can also cause loss of hair on the head but excessive growth of hair on other parts of the body.

Anabolic steroids can increase the amount bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, they can cause blood pressure to rise to unhealthy levels, and they can increase the risk of heart attacks. Other severe side effects include liver problems and the risk of liver cancer. Steroid use can also cause emotional problems such as increased irritability, rage and aggression. If steroid use is stopped, some side effects can eventually disappear.

Are Oral Steroids Addictive?

It is not certain whether all steroids are addictive. It is possible that some who use anabolic steroids become addicted. When regular steroid users, such as body builders, stop their steroid use, they can experience withdrawal symptoms that can include fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, cravings for steroids, restlessness, reduced sex drive and loss of appetite. Depression is another possible and serious side effect.

Most anabolic steroids show up in drug tests. There are also new drugs being developed all the time that promise to hide the steroids residue in tests. Many athletes use a combination of substances to hide their steroid use in blood or urine tests, but today many test samples are saved and re-tested later – which means that steroids that did not show in the first test can still show in a future repeat test.

Most injected and oral steroids are not available without a doctor’s prescription, and it is difficult to get a prescription for the kind of doses that bodybuilders use to build muscles and improve performance. Many bodybuilders buy steroid pills and steroid tables at the gym or from personal contacts, or they may buy steroids online. Many athletes and weight lifers find steroids for sale from suppliers in countries where laws allow steroids to be sold without prescription.

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