A steroid is an organic compound used by bodybuilders, athletes and weight-lifters as a means to increase their body mass and amplify their muscle growth. As far as categorization of steroids is concerned, there are legal steroids leveraged by the aforementioned groups of individuals to build their muscles and lower body fat. Termed as legal steroids, they belong to a class of anabolic steroids that do not require a prescription from a doctor. They can be handed over the counter in pharmacies and bodybuilding studios.
Anabolic steroids are typically used by athletes and bodybuilders to generate more muscle mass in the body. The steroids are also beneficial in treating medical conditions such as delayed puberty. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic variant of testosterone, a critical male sex hormone. They are also known as anabolic androgenic steroids which make reference to the muscle-building capabilities and sexual characteristics in men.
The use of some unregulated or illegal steroid or their possession may have legal implications in certain countries such as the United States. It is therefore important for those who are consuming these steroids to have a doctor’s prescription when buying the products in such jurisdictions. The laws surrounding the sale and purchase of legal steroids may be different in different countries. It is best to know facts surrounding this subject before using steroids.
Legal anabolic steroids are developed under controlled laboratory conditions. Comprehensive tests on animals are performed to determine the efficacy and right dosage of the product. As a lot of care and experimentation goes into the development of steroids marked for legal use, the general sentiment regarding these products is positive.
Who Uses Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are generally used by bodybuilders and athletes who believe that steroids give them an edge or competitive advantage that improves their physical appearance and performance. Many individuals around the world also take steroids to enhance their physical strength in relation to the requirements/expectations from their profession. These include body guards, law enforcement personnel and construction workers.
The purpose of steroids is to increase the lean body mass and strength in the muscles. It is also believed that steroids help reduce the time gap between workouts. This means that you can train a lot harder and for a longer duration without exerting your muscles or joints. Taking steroids is believed to improve endurance and strength, which has led to many people accepting this as a viable option to increase body mass.
Steroids are normally administered intermittently than continuously to avoid unwarranted side effects and keep the body’s hormonal system in check so that it can recuperate comfortably. The continuous use of anabolic steroids can reduce the body’s responsiveness to drug tolerance as well as prevent the body from producing its own testosterone. Many steroids users have been seen to combine different types of anabolic steroids to maximize the overall effectiveness. This practice of combining different steroids together is known as stacking.
Being Mindful of the Effects of Steroids on the Brain
Steroids have their own set of effects on the brain and mind. The biggest difference between taking steroids and any other drug is the fact that steroids do not set off rapid increases in neurotransmitter dopamine. This is a chemical that is responsible for the ‘high’ that you get when you abuse any other substance such as coke, heroin and MDMA.
Although the effects of steroids are not initially seen, it is highly possible that long-term steroid abuse can affect the brain’s internal functioning, producing chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals have an impact on the person’s behavior and mood. There is a high propensity for people who take steroids to be highly aggressive, which may lead to other psychiatric problems. This may lead to extreme mood swings such anger and rage which could spur more violence. Researchers of steroids have found that users of steroids have paranoid jealousy, delusions and extreme irritability, which stems from the feeling of invincibility they get when they take steroids.
Taking steroids on a regular basis is not advisable not only because any addictive behavior cannot be good for the body and mind, but also because there is a risk that users may become so concerned about looking better that they are caught in spiraling effect which leads to the above-mentioned problems. Administering steroids does not give that same high which you would normally get with other drugs. However, taking steroids for long periods of time creates withdrawal symptoms such as depression, which is not unlike what happens when in any case of addiction.
Studies have shown that steroid abuse also leads to people ruining the social relationships. Other effects are mood swings, restlessness, steroid cravings, loss of appetite and insomnia. The point of this section is to point out that steroids are not supposed to be abused but are supposed to be taken in moderation and for a genuine purpose. You should make sure that you contact a specialist or a doctor in order to get the correct benefits from the drug. If you use it in moderation, giving time for your body to recuperate, then steroids do not have that much of an effect on the body.
Legal steroids, when consumed in moderation and after proper consultation with a physician, can deliver the expected results in appearance, performance, athletic ability, or any other goal you are aiming for. However, long-term abuse of steroids can cause side-effects such as acne, feminization in males and masculinization in females.
Clinical Uses of Steroids
There area two categories of steroids that are used for medicinal purposes. Corticosteroids are the drugs that are derived from the adrenal hormones, corticosterone and cortisol. All these hormones have a significant effect on the body’s immune system as they are used for suppressing inflammation. Anabolic steroids also have clinical properties that allow bodybuilders and weight-lifters to accumulate mass in the muscles and helps in rebuilding tissues. These are also used after experiencing serious injuries such as a burn or a chronic illness.
The use of corticosteroids is generally seen in treating a plethora of inflammatory conditions, which include osteoarthritis and chronic asthma. In such conditions the inflammation that occurs generally leads to major tissue damage, increased sensitivity and deterioration. Those who are suffering from asthma have increased sensitivity which causes the airways in the body to be over-reactive to exercise, certain allergens and stimulants. This increased activity helps promote an increase in bronchoconstriction and serious asthma attacks. In the case of inflammation of arthritis, it causes damage to the lining of joints and increases the rate of deterioration. Studies that were conducted in the Imperial College of London have shown that asthma in its chronic stage unwinds various portions of a person’s DNA which signals inflammation. Steroids are then proven to help reverse this process by putting the unwound form of the DNA to the wound form.
Steroids are also successful in helping reduce the extent of pain during various treatments because of their anti-inflammatory properties. They are generally used to treat pain conditions when certain signs show heat, restricted movements, redness and pain in the body. When treating inflammation, steroids are used to decrease the amount of pain that will result. Using corticosteroids in lower does for short periods of time is generally prescribed by doctors for those who are suffering from pain. It is not advisable that these steroids are used for long periods as there is a natural tendency to develop side effects that are associated with them. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology has found that long term use of steroids can lead to a condition called avascular necrosis which can cause an increased risk for fractures and joint pain.
Steroids are also very useful for treating autoimmune conditions. Autoimmunity is a failure in the body’s recognition of its constituent parts as self and allows for an immune response that is targeted against its own tissues and cells. This condition includes many diseases such as bowel diseases, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. In order to remit this disease, doctors and specialists have recommended high doses of steroids for short periods of time to induce a remission or reduction in the progress of the disease in the body’s system. These steroids help create a temporary reduction in the white blood cells by killing them or interfering in the process in which they are recycled.
Anabolic steroids are used in increasing the productivity of protein building and maximizing skeletal muscle mass. Cachexia is an inflammatory event that leads to the deterioration of muscles and loss of weight in the body in conditions like HIV/AIDS and late-stage cancer. This leads to a loss in appetite even if the person does not want to lose weight, muscle atrophy, bone marrow suppression, altered conscious and fatigue. Even if there is an increase in the food consumption of the person, the body will lose its lean mass, which indicates a primary pathology. All these changes in the body were attributed as a hypoanabolic state in which anabolic steroids were successful in remediating the problems. Specialists believe that weight gain can be achieved through a high protein diet in combination with anabolic steroids.
Another condition in which steroids are considered to be very helpful is in preventing anemia. Anemia results from an inability of the red blood cells in bringing oxygen to the tissues. The areas in which red blood cells are produced are located in the bone marrow, and the process of red blood cell production is carefully regulated by the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for producing a hormone called erythropoietin, which signals the production of more red blood cells when there is a low level of oxygen in the blood. In this scenario, anabolic steroids are considered to be highly effective when used during kidney failure by stimulating the production of new red blood cells to prevent anemia.
Steroids have also been recommended by physicians for a variety of medical conditions, more importantly bone marrow stimulation. They even recommend that anabolic steroids be used by pediatric endocrinologist in order from them to treat children who have growth failure by stimulating their appetite and increasing their muscle mass. It is also highly effective in ensuring the increased muscle mass is preserved in the body after use which shows that anabolic steroids are a permanent solution. These anabolic steroids are highly effective when they are administered to those who are suffering from chronic wasting syndromes like AIDS and cancer.
In many cases, androgens have been used to help many boys in their teenage years to help them with extreme delays of puberty. The only androgen that is being used for such a purpose is Testosterone. Testosterone is highly effective in increasing the weight, height and fat-free mass for boys who are suffering from delayed puberty. Another substance that is frequently used is testosterone enanthate, which is commonly used as a male contraceptive, could be possibly used as a reliable, reversible contraceptive in the future. This is used a lot in hormone replacement therapy for those men who have a low level of testosterone and for improving libido for older men. It was primarily used as a way to treat gender dysmorphia as it produces secondary male attributes like increased bone mass, muscle mass, deep voice, increased red blood cells and facial hair.
Anabolic steroids are also used for various male therapies such as androgen replacement therapy for those who have a deficient of androgen (hypogonadal) and pharmacological androgen therapy in which testosterone is as a xenobiotic agent. Hypogonadism is a condition that is defined by an insufficiency in testosterone production that is required for regular growth, sexual functioning and development in the body. In order to treat such a condition, testosterone esters have to be injected in order to restore the levels of testosterone in the body to its normal state. Meta-analyses has shown that androgen replacement therapy in men that have hypogonadism gain, on average, 1.1kg of body mass and a 1.7kg increase in fat-free mass. Some studies have also reported that there are major improvements in the maximal voluntary strength and a reduction in fat mass.
Types of Legal Anabolic Steroids
There are different types of anabolic steroids that are available to the general public. All of these steroids offer various benefits, and are also associated with some side effects. Each benefit is directed towards improving different characteristics of the body such as stamina, strength, weight loss, muscle growth and healing. These steroids have to be prescribed by a licensed doctor for a specific purpose otherwise they cannot be issued.
Anadrol 50 or A50 is a very powerful steroid that produces weight gain in the body over a short period of time. It is considered to be toxic for the liver and it produces negative side effects which include bloating and headaches. The effect of Anadrol 50 is seen very quickly and it has to be stacked in the beginning of a cycle in order to kick-start the weight gain process. This is a brand name in the United States for oxymetholone which is a very potent androgen. The compound was initially made in the 60’s by an international drug company called Syntex. Studies have shown that oxmetholone is a reliable drug which is used to increase the amount red blood cell count in the body and is know for treating serious diseases such as anemia. Epogen, which is a non-steroidal hormone, is used for a more direct approach to increasing the red blood cell count in the body system and there are no side effects of this strong androgen.
Anadrol 50 was considered to be out for good in the early 90’s, but because there were new findings and because Syntex ceased to exist in 1993. The reason that many studies have been conducted on this topic is because the steroid is highly successful in curing HIV/AIDS which is a disease that nobody wants to have. They were conducted in order to find out what are the various benefits of taking Anadrol. It is likely that the user can put on weight of close to 20-30 pounds when taking Anadrol. One of the side effects is that you will have water retention which makes you look bigger than usual, and reduces the attractive quality in a person.
The steroid is successful in rounding the muscles, making it fuller and providing the joints with a good lubricant that helps ease out the joints. It is also shown that it will lower the chances of you injuring yourself. It is true that if there is a continuous use of Anadrol, it will lead to a rapid gain in mass which will place a lot stress on your connective tissues. This will lead to the tearing of the biceps and pectoral tissues which is generally seen in heavy-lifters when they are tanking up on androgens.
Anavar, which is an old brand name given for the oral steroid called oxandrolene, was designed to be a very mild anabolic steroid that could be used as stimulant for growth in children. Generally, steroids are associated with ‘stunted growth’ but that is not the case with Anavar. The anabolic effect of this compound is actually very effective in increasing linear growth. It is also helps promote strength and muscle growth but due to the mild nature of the drug, it is not ideal for those who are planning on bulking up muscles and mass. In order to get a full effect with retaining water in the body, this compound should be had with other anabolic substances such as Primobolan and Winstrol. There is a dramatic enhancement in the physique of a person with this combination, giving a harder and more defined appearance to the body.
This is commonly known as Clen which is a very powerful stimulant used by athletes to burn off unwanted fat. This compound works by increasing the heat production and temperature of the body. This stimulant, like most, is considered to be very addictive and leads to many unwarranted side effects that include excessive heart rate, insomnia and dry mouth. When combined with thyroid hormones such as Cytomel, the fat burning effect on clenbuterol is increased which means that athletes can shed more fat before they have their events or competitions.
Reasons for Legal Action Against Some Steroids
As stated in the previous sections above, there are many uses of legal steroids which have shown that it is a synthetic way of gaining weight and growing muscles. For many bodybuilders, weight-lifters and athletes, the temptation to increase muscles for extra performance has led to a lot of them over dosing or abusing theses steroids. In some of these cases, the abuse of steroids has led to the deaths of some athletes. It has reduced some of the body’s functioning in others, which has prompted the general public to place a ban on such substances. It is a known fact that steroids do increase the performance of athletes as most of these anabolic steroids are stimulants. This has led to many people objecting to the use of steroids as they give athletes an advantage over their competitors.
In the United States, anabolic steroids are classified under Schedule III of the Steroid Control Acts of 1990 and 2004. Many other countries have adopted similar laws but they are very lenient in comparison to the United States laws. In order to use these steroids, there must be a medical prescription by a doctor permitting the use of anabolic androgenic steroids. Another reason why legal action was called against steroids is to avoid any kind of drug trafficking and illegal distribution.
One of the main forms of distribution of steroids is over the internet. It is a very common activity that is used by many steroid abusers, which has prompter law enforcement personnel to monitor conversations that take place over the net. There is a lot of debate as to whether this act by the law enforcement personnel is a violation of a citizen’s right to privacy. This argument does not hold up very well as there is no mention of the right to privacy written anywhere in the US constitution. The monitoring of these message boards is for the benefit of the public and the partaking in the trafficking of drugs or illegal substances is still a federal crime where the right to privacy holds no value.
Signs of Steroid Abuse
To figure out what the actual signs of steroid abuse are, you must first know what steroid abuse means. It is the over-use of anabolic steroids that causes harm to the user and anyone around them. The best way you can detect a person who is abusing steroids does not lie in taking a drug test but from the side effects of steroids itself. There are many side effects that could be seen if there is a steroid abuse but they are all dependent on the what steroids are being used and the individual’s genetic response to the doses. Such side effects include liver damage, high cholesterol and high blood pressure which can only be tested medically. These side effects can be counteracted by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure with medical treatment. Therefore if a person is able to supplement responsibly and can control these side effects, there is a lesser possibility that there will be any adverse effects.
The most obvious sign of steroid abuse is external effects on the body. There are many external side effects which include gynecomastia, which is a male breast enlargement, acne and water retention. Water retention and Gynecomastia can be easily avoided with supraphysiological doses if the user is supplementing properly and responsibly. As for acne, body hair growth and hair loss, this is generally due to the genetic response of the body to the use of the steroids and high levels of androgenic activity. Hence, the main point that has to be drawn from this section is that all of these effects can easily be remediated if there is a responsible approach towards steroid administration. Those who do no use these anabolic steroids without proper precaution will invariably face the consequences of the side effects of the compound.
Many would think that steroids are being continuously used by older men and women in order to gain weight and increase their muscle strength. The truth of the matter is that even teenagers are getting into the habit of abusing steroids. In a survey that was conducted by the University of Minnesota of more than 2,700 teenagers with an average age of 14 years, shows that 5.9% of the boys and 4.6% of the girls were using steroids at some point in their lives. This research shows that there is a problem of steroid abuse among teenagers but also that there is a profound body image problem that is prevalent in the society. This body image problem generally stems from the media and from various peers.
The effects of steroids on children and teenagers are dangerous as their brains are still in their growth stage. Previous studies have proven that the use of certain anabolic steroids could possibly harm the brain cells which could lead to a condition called hyperexcitability. The common traits of the sufferer include aggressiveness, unpredictability and over excitement. There is need for parents to keep an eye for any sign of steroid usage by their children and that they should pay more attention to the body image issues that their children could face when they are growing up.
Side Effects of Steroids and their Remediation
In order to paint the complete picture of steroids, there has to be a mention of the negative side effects of its usage. Although, there are many advantages of steroids that would lead to an increase in body mass and muscle strength which are highly beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders, abusing them could potentially outweigh the benefits.
One of the main side effects of taking steroids is high blood pressure. The reasons for this harmful effect are two fold. As mention before, steroids are very successful in increasing the number of red blood cells in the blood stream. As a result, there is a natural increase in the blood pressure. The second reason is the water retention which is caused by the aromatization of the steroids to estrogen. It is a scientific fact that water retention is a factor of elevated blood pressure. In order to offset these effects, it is important for users to watch their sodium intake, perform cardiovascular exercises and take a low dose of aspirin therapy.
Another side effect of steroids is an increase in the cholesterol levels. Steroids have an adverse effect on the cholesterol level in the body and it mainly depends on the steroid that is being used, the dosage amount and the lifestyle that the user leads. The best way in which steroid users can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body is lead a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced nutritional diet.
One of the major side effects of steroids which are commonly known to many people is the atrophy of the testicles or testosterone suppression. The effect is caused due to the body stopping production of the endogenous testosterone when the exogenous steroids are being introduced. Depending on the degree of usage of the steroids, this is unavoidable and can only be helped. In order to reduce or minimize testicular atrophy, cycle human chorionic gonadotrophin should be taken in order to restore the natural testosterone production post cycle.
Acne is also a very common side effect of steroids. In some cases, acne is predominant over the user’s body due to the androgenic nature of the steroid. The only way a person can remediate this is to ensure that they keep themselves as clean as possible. The user has to wash the body with 2% salicylic acid as this is a very effective way of tackling the issue. Antibiotic treatments are also a great way of taking care of the problem.
There is no doubt that steroids will continue to be supplied in the market whether legally or illegally. There are several channels – online and offline – through which legal steroids can be purchased. The investment in legal steroids and their judicious use can deliver the outcomes users are keen to achieve. Bodybuilders can leverage them to develop impressive physiques for personal satisfaction or competitions. Athletes may supplement their training regimen with steroids to boost performance ability. Importantly, legal steroids may be used by the medical community to treat and alleviate a number of medical conditions.
Anyone who wishes to use legal steroids must examine the legal status of the products in their jurisdiction. They must also stick to the dosages of anabolic steroids prescribed to them, to experience positive effects and keep side-effects at bay. Only then can the real utility and dollar value of legal steroids be assured.
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