Steroids are the synthetic hormone drugs similar to the male sex hormone testosterone, which is primarily produced in the testes of males and the ovaries of females. It is also secreted in small amounts by the adrenal glands, and is also found in numerous animals. On average, an adult human male body produces about eight to ten times more testosterone than an adult female body. Testosterone plays very important role in health and growth in both males and females. It is responsible for libido, energy, immune function, and protection against osteoporosis.
Steroids have a number of legitimate medical uses. Often, physicians prescribe anabolic steroids to help people with certain kinds of anemia and men are incapable of produce enough testosterone on their own. Corticosteroids, one of kinds of steroids, are often used to reduce swelling. Corticosteroids are not anabolic steroids and do not have the same harmful effects. But, physicians do not prescribe anabolic steroids to young, healthy people to help them build muscles.
However, anabolic steroids are one of the most abused drugs nowadays. The abuse or overuse of anabolic steroids, however, can lead to serious health problems. Some of the health problems associated with abuse or overuse of anabolic steroids include – premature balding or hair loss, dizziness, mood swings (anger, depression and aggression), hallucinations, extreme feelings of mistrust or fear, sleeping problems, vomiting and nausea, trembling, high blood pressure, aching joints, jaundice, liver damage, urinary problems, shortening of the final adult height, increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke.
Anabolic steroids are controversial drugs because of their side effects and serious consequences. Thus, the possession/distribution/use of steroids without a prescription from a doctor is illegal. So, anabolic steroids are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence. They are also prescribed to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass.
Anabolic steroids are however widely abused and overused by athletes and others to enhance their power, performance, and to improve physical appearance. Anabolic steroids are widely used by bodybuilders to bulk up their bodies. Anabolic steroids are often slanged as roids, hype, juice, weight trainers, gym candy, stackers, arnolds, or pumpers, by athletes, jocks, and non therapeutic steroids users.
Anabolic steroids are usually taken orally or injected, typically in cycles of weeks or months, rather than continuously. This way of taking steroids is often referred to as "Cycling" that involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. Additionally, steroids users often combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects. It is often referred to as "stacking". There are a number of anabolic steroids available on the market. Some of the most commonly abused steroids include anadrol, oxandrin, dianabol, winstrol, deca-durabolin, and equipoise.