Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced substances related to testosterone, a male sex hormone. The proper name for the compounds is anabolic androgenic steroids. They promote muscle building i.e. anabolic effect and develop male sex hormones i.e. androgenic effect. Testosterone enhances the male sexual characteristics like the growth of facial hair, increased muscle mass and voice deepening. These steroids were developed during the 1930s for the treatment of hypogonadism, a condition of insufficient production of testosterone for growth and development. These compounds are primarily used in medical field to treat impotency, deferred puberty and muscle wasting caused due to HIV infection or cancer.
In the 1930s, it was discovered by the scientists that these anabolic compounds could promote the growth of muscles in laboratory animals. This led to the abuse of these steroids by weightlifters, bodybuilders and the athletes. Steroid abuse has become quite common in sports. Alistair Overeem, the holder of numerous heavyweight lifting titles faced steroid suspension in 2012. Alistar was on anabolic steroids and using them for bulking and cutting. Some of the steroids he might have used are testosterone, Dianabol or Anadrol. Testosterone enhances the athletic ability and works in the areas of improved protein synthesis, red blood cells count and reduced recovery time.
Abuse of Anabolic steroids
People abuse steroids for improving athletic performance. As per a survey, steroid abuse is estimated to be below 6 percent among athletes though anecdotal information says the widespread abuse is much more. Different testing procedures are adopted to determine steroid abuse among the professional athletes but the new designer drugs are continuously made available to escape the detection test. But the coming of new designer steroids and the development of technology can put the athletes in fear. People use these anabolic compounds to enhance their muscle size and also to reduce body fat. These people suffer from muscle dysmorphia, a syndrome that causes the distorted image of the bodies.
Many abuse steroids to promote their muscle size, mainly who have had experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Steroids are often abused in patterns, known as cycling. It means the users take multiple steroids over a definite period of time, pause for a period,and then start again. Users also combine different steroids in a cycle, called stacking. Stacking means taking different anabolic steroids; oral and injectable. Abusers believe that different steroids produce a bigger effect on muscle gain than taking individual steroids. Another way is known as pyramiding. In this process, users slowly enhance steroid abuse, reach the peak during mid-cycle and lower the dose towards the end.
Effects of anabolic steroids
The anabolic steroids can treat a number of medical conditions such as postponed puberty in males, muscle wasting diseases, osteoporosis etc. Besides this, these compounds can regulate metabolism, enhance reproduction and the immune system. They have the ability to improve muscle mass, cure inflammation issues and other medical complications. Many people turn to steroids to gain muscles. If used in proper dosages then use of steroids are extremely beneficial. Steroid abuse has become quite popular among the bodybuilders and athletes. Many individuals, even teenagers have been reported of steroid abuse. Famous weightlifter, Alistair was on anabolic steroids and failed a drug test in 2012. His testosterone levels were much higher than allowed by the UFC Rules.