Steroids 101

What are anabolic steroids? They are artificially created hormones.  They are similar to male-type sex hormones called androgens.  There are well over a 100 different types. Testosterone is the commonly discussed and known steroid by the public.

What other types of steroids are commonly used?  Steroidal supplements are another category of steroids.  They contain DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and ANDRO (androstenedione).  These were commonly found at stores like GNC , but have since become illegal.   They are a weaker form of androgens.

How do people legally take steroids?  Without a medical prescription you can not legally obtain steroids.  And if you choose the black market brands you are not securing quality steroids.  Furthermore,  it is the abusive use of steroids that make them extremely dangerous.  Most people taking steroids under a physician’s care (for a wide variety of reasons) cycle on and off.  Furthremore, responsible doctors have a concept of their previous base line hormonal levels and do not take prescribe doses that are unjustified.  The doses given help to bring a patient's hormonal levels to their personal 'normal' levels.

Do all steroids get injected?  Steroids come as both pills and injectables.  The injectable steroids are considered to be more androgenic (absorb more quickly too), providing more male like characteristics and are less dangerous on the liver than orals.  The oral steroids are more anabolic and possibly cause more side effects because they have to be processed by the liver.

Why do people over 50 who are non-athletes even consider steroids?  I am not supporting whether one should take steroids or not, but I know people over the age of 40 that safely take steroids for a wide variety of things.  They are all managed by a physician.  But I do know that one of the best ways to make a decision about taking steroids is to have blood work done now to provide you a baseline of your natural existing hormonal levels.  In a perfect world, you would have this done between the ages of 22 and 30.  Why this age, because it is considered to be our peak – a stage of optimal hormonal health. However, I found one stat that says testosterone levels can decline as much as 2% a year after the age of 30 in men.  However, it is still valuable to have these numbers even if you have already reached 40 or 50.  I predict steroids will be become more accepted by ‘society’ in the next 20 years and administered in a very responsible way.

Are there good medical reaons for steroid use, I beleive yes! How are steroids successfully used in medicine today? (keep in mind these steroids are not exactly  same as those used by athletes or body builders)

  • Adolescent men with pituitary malfunctions.
  • Post surgery when there is severe muscle tissue damage and loss.
  • Transsexual women who wish to permanently become  a man.
  • Children who need human growth assistance due to a wide variety of causes.
  • Cancer patients use them for a wide array of symptoms and side effects due to their disease.
  • They are used to treat Bell’s palsy, whetehr there is evidence that it helps in curing the initial stages of the disease.

Why do people use steroids like testosterone and androstenedione without medical causes like illness and disease?

  • Helps to retain dietary protein, which aids in the help and growth of muscle.
  • Basically they aid in protein synthesis. They act as a buffer when lactic acid forms causing fatigue or failure of the muscle.
  • Enhances recovery rate which allows workouts to become more effective and intense.
  • They increase leanness of muscle, improving the definition.
  • They improve mood and enhances confidence.
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