Steroids - what they do to your body

Whenever we hear the word steroid we either become worried or become sceptic, but before deciding whether its good or bad let's have a tour.

What is steroid?

Steroids are drugs that are anabolic in nature. The term anabolic means building up, so steroids are the category of drugs that help to build up the muscles. The drugs are artificially derived from hormone testosterone.

Naturally, testosterone found is the androgen present in the male body. Testosterone hormone is essential for promoting and maintaining muscle growth and development of secondary male sex characteristics, such as a deepening voice and facial hair. The anabolic steroids are also called as anabolic androgenic steroids, it can help build muscle and improve the athletic performance, but if they are used in the wrong dosage or different combination without a doctor’s prescriptions it can prove fatal. Long-term, non-medical uses can also cause heart-related problems like sudden increase or drop in blood pressure, unwanted physical changes, and aggression or depression. There is a growing concern worldwide about the unprescribed use of steroids and its effects. Anabolic steroids can affect many parts of the body, including the muscles, bones, hair follicles, liver, kidneys, blood, immune system, reproductive system and nervous system as well.


There are approximately  32 types of anabolic steroids found in the market. Some have only medicinal uses, such as Nebido. Some are used for both medical and non-medical purposes like Anadrol. Other types are used only for increasing performance but have no medical purpose, eg. Anadur.

Why use Steroids:

Different types of steroids can be used for different purposes, like:

  • Bulking steroids for muscle building
  • Performance-boosting steroids for endurance activity
  • Cutting type steroids typically used for fat burning and during the cutting phase
  • For healing and recovery purpose

How steroids can be taken?

Medically prescribed steroids for athletic use can be taken via different forms and roots, like:

  • Oral pop-up pills
  • By intramuscular injection
  • Through dermal cream or lotion

Steroids after being metabolised travel through the bloodstream to the muscle tissue and there they bind with the androgen receptors. The drug eventually interacts with the DNA and stimulates the process of protein synthesis which in turn promotes cell growth.

Steroids in sports:   

Non-medical steroid used in the sports field is well regulated by NADA (National Anti Doping Agency). They are well monitored and have a different list of drugs that are banned for all time or for a specific sport. It is illegal to use any of such drugs and can be a punishable offence.

Side effects of using steroids:

Legally prescribed anabolic steroids also have some side effects like:

  • Acne
  • Water retention
  • Enlargement of the breast in male and facial hair growth in female
  • Increased RBC count
  • Low sperm count and infertility
  • Change in libido
  • Incorrect use of steroids can lead to several medical problems like:
  • Cardiac-related issues like sudden cardiac arrest (myocardial infarction)
  • Liver-related issues like tumours and other types of damage
  • Tendon rupture due to collagen degeneration
  • Bone-related issues like osteoporosis, due to faulty absorption of calcium and vitamin D

So, before choosing any androgenic steroid based drug always consult your physician. Steroids are not always bad but uncontrolled uses can cause problems. To know more about the harmful effects of using steroids check the below link to get the insight. 


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