Anabolic steroids have been used for various purposes for the last few decades. It is the common term used to describe synthetic substances that assist androgens, the male sex hormone. This helps promote the growth of skeletal muscles, making men look larger and leaner. It is also used by people who are going through gender reassignment, as it aids in the development of male sexual characteristics.
Scientists discovered that anabolic steroids facilitated the development of skeletal muscle in the 1930s. This compound was then developed to treat conditions like hypogonadism. This is a disorder where the testes cannot produce sufficient amounts of testosterone to elicit normal sexual function, normal growth and development. Therefore, it has been used to treat delayed puberty, various types of impotence and even muscular wasting or atrophy caused by conditions like HIV and other diseases.
To this day, many athletes use these compounds. Bodybuilders and weightlifters were some of the first to use steroids to improve their performance. Later on, many professional athletes from different sports followed suit. Please note that professional athletes these days are not allowed to take this performance enhancing compound.
At present, there are more than 100 types of anabolic steroids available in the market. Please keep in mind that they require a prescription.
The Pros and Cons of Anabolic Steroid Use
Anabolic steroids come with various pros and cons. It is up to the user or potential user to decide if this will help his or her performance and if he or she is willing to take the risk.
Anabolic steroids increase muscle definition and leanness. The user will notice an increase in weight and muscle mass without looking fat and flabby, with the help of a proper meal plan. He or she will notice an increase in strength. Using steroids shortens the recovery rate as well. This means that a person can train harder and feel less fatigue.
Libido will increase but one has to note that aggressiveness will increase as well. It also induces a state of euphoria, which could also be due to the increased production of happy hormones or endorphins, which are released after long physical exertion.
The use of anabolic steroids over a long period of time poses risks as well. There are studies that show that long term us can cause mania and depression. Aggression is common as well, making the person a threat to others. Psychosis is also observed in many patients.
Taking this substance for a long period of time can put the user at risk for diseases like kidney problems, liver failure and even cancer. Muscle cramps will develop and baldness or alopecia is also noted. Infertility may develop as well.
It is important to choose steroids stringently, if one intends to take it. Proper care should be taken when choosing anabolic steroids to ensure that it is manufactured safely and will be less likely to cause negative side effects. Most physicians will also urge people not to take it unless completely necessary.