Anabolic steroids are basically testosterone derivatives, used either clinically or by athletes for their anabolic properties. So putting it into further simple words, these are synthetic forms of primary male hormone that affects muscles, bones, hair follicles, kidneys, blood, immune system and most importantly the nervous system.
Just to recapitulate the historic invention of anabolic steroids it’s certainly important to note that the testosterone steroid was first synthesized in Germany in 1935, with prime purpose of curing depression. It was the time when the term steroid was not particularly known itself. However, this drug got into athletic usage in 1954 Olympics and then in public misusage in 1980’s.
The common sport settings marking the squandering of these drugs are to boost muscle mass, performance, muscular endurance and to shorten recovery time between workouts. Although some amount of these steroids is used in medicines but its excessive use is illegal and hazardous.
Now you might be thinking how much is too much? And the answer is pretty simple. The very instant dosage is increased 10 to 100% from the normal medicinal amount, it’s an abuse and it needs to be halted well before this gets late.
Types of Anabolic Steroids:
Normally up to 32 types of anabolic steroids are listed on commercial websites and for comprehendible classification, we may develop following categories.
- Medicinal Use
- Athletic Use
- Oral Intake
Nebido is an example of such types of anabolic steroids.
Anadur, have no therapeutic use, but athletes use them. Anadrol is an example of a steroid being used for both medicinal and athletic uses.
Following are the examples that fall into this spectrum of anabolic steroids.
- Fluoxymesterone (Halotestin), or “Halo”
- Mesterolone (Proviron)
- Methandienone (Dianabol), or “Dbol”
- Methyltestosterone (Virilon)
- Mibolerone (Cheque)
- Oxandrolone (Anavar, Oxandrin), or “Var”
- Oxymetholone (Anadrol), or “Drol”
- Stanozolol (Winstrol), or “Winny”
The examples of anabolic steroids in this category are:
- Boldenone undecylenate (Equipoise), or “EQ”
- Methenolone enanthate (Primobolan), or “Primo”
- Nandrolone decanoate (Deca Durabolin), or “Deca”
- Nandrolone phenpropionate (Durabolin), or “NPP”
- Testosterone cypionate (Depotest)
- Testosterone enanthate (Andro-Estro)
- Testosterone propionate (Testex)
- Trenbolone acetate (Finajet), or “Tren”
Working of Anabolic Steroids
While lifting heavy weights tiny micro-tears in muscle fibers are formed. The body’s natural repair process repairs the tear and then overcompensates by adding bigger cells to build a stronger fiber. Over time, this repeated process of teardown and re-build will result in muscle growth.
Natural testosterone is the body’s main component for this process, but anabolic steroids can serve as a supplement. Once ingested, an anabolic steroid travels through the blood stream to the muscle tissue. It is drawn into the muscle cell’s receiving dock, called an androgen receptor. Once delivered to the muscle cell, the steroid can interact with the cell’s DNA and stimulate the protein synthesis process that promotes cell growth. Different variants and amounts of anabolic steroids can cause different reactions producing either massive body-building physiques or more toned athletic muscles.
Legal Usage of Anabolic Steroids
In legal prescriptions, these steroids are an option for those producing abnormally low levels of testosterone or for those suffering from diseases such as cancer or AIDS. When used by athletes, the goal is to speed up the body’s natural muscle-building process. Anabolic steroids are probably the most commonly known drug that aids performance and these are widely banned in most countries around the world and certainly in all major sports. D-Bal, Anadrole, DecaDuro, Testo Max are some of the legal anabolic steroids and are safe to use.
In Germany anabolic steroids are illegal to offer and sell, but legal to import, buy and possess.
However, if they’re to be used for sports (that includes amateur and hobby sports), it’s illegal to even possess them in larger quantities.
It’s important to note that the German parliament had agreed in principle a decade earlier to a landmark anti-doping law which among other things would permit lenient treatment for people who come forward to testify in legal cases concerning illegal drug use in sports.
Misusage patterns of Anabolic Steroids
- Cycling means taking multiple doses for a period of time, stopping for a time, and then restarting
- Stacking refers to combining two or more different steroids and mixing oral and/or injectable types
- Pyramiding is slowly increasing the dose or frequency of steroid misuse, reaching a peak amount, and then gradually tapering off to zero
- Plateauing is done by alternating, overlapping, or substituting with another steroid to avoid developing a tolerance.
Effects of Anabolic Steroids
There are multiple effects of anabolic steroids that can be put into following categories.
- Physical Effects
- Age and Gender specific Effects
- Psychological Effects
- Long Term Effects
- Short Term Effects
There are two major ways that steroids can affect a person’s body. Steroids can have androgenic effects, which include masculinizing effects like deepening of the voice, increased facial hair, and initial enlargement of some male sex glands. Steroids can also have anabolic effects that include increases in muscle mass, the size of some internal organs, and calcium in the bones
Age and Gender specific effects
In teens it causes stunted heat and growth. In women it causes growth of facial hair, decreased breast size, male pattern baldness, deepened voice and enlarged clitoris. In men the intake of these drugs gives way to testicular shrinking, decreased sperm count and increased risk of prostate cancer.
Mood disorders and withdrawal symptoms are observed. However restlessness and sleep problems have been reported too. Delusions, paranoia and mania are the negative mental effects of abuse of these drugs. Steroids have been reported to increase a person’s aggressiveness or lead them to become more violent. Depression is often seen when the drugs are stopped and may contribute to a dependence on anabolic steroids.
Short term effects of these steroids include acne, fluid retention, rapid weight gain, headaches, reduced sexual functioning, increase in muscle size, swelling of feet and ankles, improved healing and improved appetite
Long term effects include blood clotting difficulties, heart attacks, clotting disorders, cardiovascular, liver, and reproductive organ damage, premature heart attacks and strokes. Reduced sexual functioning, stunted growth in adolescents, increased chance of injuring ligaments, tendons and muscles and increase in muscle size have been observed.
How Anabolic Steroids are Additive
Although anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to a substance use disorder. This situation occurs when a person continues to misuse steroids. The most severe form of a substance use disorder is addiction. People might continue to misuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids’ addictive potential. Researchers have found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.