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Anabolic Steroids

What are anabolic steroids?

Testosterone was often referred to as the "male" hormone, because it is responsible for developing some of the male characteristics such as lowering of the voice and hair growth, and because the male body produces much more of it than the female.

However, it is responsible for stimulating quite a few other processes in both the male and female body, such as skin, muscle and bone. Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, they are steroid hormones that are claimed to have a greater anabolic effect than virile.
The testosterone molecule has in different ways been altered to lessen the androgenic effects and increase it's protein build-up abbility, and preferably eliminate it's masculine enhancing features.

Unfortunately this has not been completely successful, so there are a lot of different side effects with any anabolic steroid.

What is the history of steroids?

Steroids was developed in the 1940s in Germany and used experimentally on their troops during World War II, the drugs ability to stimulate tissue growth and protein synthesis lead them to believe that the drug might be beneficial to treat burn victims and towards other war accidents. The drug was never such a big success, because other drugs with fewer side effects were discovered, and the legal use of steroids still seems to be declining.

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What are anabolic steroids legally used for?

Steroids are used for treating anaemia, because of it's abbility to increase the production of red blood corpuscles (red blood cells). They are also used for treatment of leukemi, cancer mammae, and at times steroids are also used for general strengthening therapy. Steroids have also been tried in combination with other drugs as a means of helping AIDS pasients.

Who else uses anabolic steroids?

It's no secret that athletes often use steroids to stay at the top, unfortunately it seems as if it is not possible to dominate in some sports without the aid of drugs like steroids.

Steroids can without doubt increase muscular growth in women and children but there is still some dispute on whether steroids work for grown up men. Still, a vast number of athletes and trainers are convinced that steroids causes muscular growth and increases the body's ability to recuperate after hard training.

This might very well be true, but for these effects the doses need to be pretty high, causing greater side effects.

What are the side effects?

Side effects that might occur:
  • Sterility
  • Liver damage and pain
  • Kidney damage and pain
  • Heart damage/problems/disease/irregularities/strokes
  • Hypophysis supression
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Acne
  • Cancer
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Neanderthale-look, a big jaw-bone and spacing between teeth
  • Higher risk of injury because of strain on tendons and joints
  • Water retention
  • Baldness (male)
  • Prostrate enlargement
  • Aggressive behavior ('roid rage)
  • Depression
  • Gynecomastia (bitch tits)
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Temporarily raised sex drive when on steroids and almost eliminating it later.
  • Be aware that some side effects are not reversible

    Women should take even more caution using steroids since their normal levels are only 5% of the average male's testosterone level. Women may get most of the above mention side effects but might have more trouble with the following:

  • Lowering of the voice
  • Increased fascial and body hair growth
  • Reduced breast size
  • Acne
  • Genital enlargement
  • Menstrual cycles
  • What happens after you've stopped using steroids?

    Well, some of the side effects of using steroids are reversible, but far from all of them. However, once you get off steroids you might loose almost all the gains you made while being on them.

    This might be due to the fact that your body shuts down the production of it's own testosteron when supplied with large amounts of synthetic testosteron in the form of steroids. Some bodybuilders claim that it is possible to kickstart your body's production of testosterone by using certain drugs after getting off steroids.

    Depression is often experienced, self esteem drops and the desire to train as well. Sometimes people stop cycling steroids because they don't manage to get off the drugs for a month or two.

    What is the differance between oral and injectable steroids?

    Injectable steroids are longer lasting in the body, but therefore they can be detected in your body for a longer periode of time, so athletes that are likely to be doping tested have shifted from using injectables to orals.

    The problem with orals however, aside from the fact that they are not as long lasting, is that they put a lot of strain on the liver as they must be processed there. Larger quantities are also needed as a lot of it is broken down before it enters the bloodstream.

    How can I tell if someone is using steroids?

    If he has some of these symptoms he might be on steroids:
  • Rapid weight and muscle gain
  • Sudden mood changes and aggressive behavior
  • Acne, especially on the back
  • Trembling
  • Sudden increase of food consumption
  • What are the positive effects of steroids? Why do athletes use them?

  • Enhanced recuperation / Reduced recovery time
  • Strength increases
  • Reduced bodyfat
  • Enlarged muscle size Many of these effects are only temporary, which means that once you get off steroids most of the gains disappear. As mentioned before steroids causes water retention, so steroid users will gain mass very quickly, but most of it will be water not muscles.

    This will put the body through a lot of stress, loosing and gaining weight in cycles. The more positive sides of steroids are that they seem to be able to suppress the body's production of the stress hormone cortisol after exercise. Cortisol is actually a muscle tissue destroyer, so by keeping the levels of cortisol down reduces muscle damage and allows for faster recuperation. So the steroid user might be able to train more frequent.

    Another major effect of steroids is the increased stimulation of the protein synthesis by increasing the amount of nitrogen in the body, more protein available to the body means that the environment for muscle production is better.

    A lot of steroid users report that the steroids help them lower their body fat levels, the reason for this is not clear, but some feel it is because of an increased metabolic rate. Others claim that oxidation of fat is increased because the steroids promote mitochondria growth in the cells.

  • What if I don't exercise, but take steroids, will I experience muscle gains?

    Yes, in fact you might experience muscle growth, but this growth will be much less than what is achieved together with training.
    Steroids will mostly help your body to recuperate faster thus enabling you to train longer and harder. But will also build muscles by stimulating the protein synthesis and keeping the production of the stress hormone cortisol down.

    Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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