Anabolic steroids (also known as corticosteroids) are the most common of the steroid hormones. Anabolic steroids have a number of important health benefits that make them the preferred hormone replacement therapy today. By improving athletic performance, anabolic steroids can help a professional wrestler, basketball or football player, sprinter or other athlete to train and compete better. The primary anabolic hormone in steroids is cortisol. Others include testosterone, iodine and hydroxytestosterone.
Anabolic steroids have both primary and secondary effects on the body. A primary effect is increased muscle mass. Secondary effects are joint pain, decreased cholesterol levels, increased kidney function, reduced risk of cancer and enhancement of the immune system. In addition, anabolic steroids reduce fatigue, enhance sports performance, increase sexual drive and improve libido. A primary anabolic hormone that is released into the blood stream by the body’s production system is testosterone.
Anabolic steroids are administered in different ways. They can be ingested orally, by injection, spray or tablet form. Oral and injection forms are the preferred route of administration for the purposes of weight loss and muscle building. An exception to this would be mixing a topical steroid cream with an anabolic dose. This is only recommended when the person treating a patient has a history of allergies to steroid medication.
Intravenous steroids are administered by inserting a needle into a vein and then filling the vein with an anabolic dose. It is very easy to overdose on an anabolic dose of steroids if the body isn’t capable of regulating the dosage on its own. For this reason, an IV dose of steroids should never be started on a person who hasn’t had a history of allergic reactions to steroids in the past. Once a person does start an IV dose of steroids, this type of treatment must be continued for a long time in order to prevent serious side effects. Intravenous steroids are used less frequently than oral and vaginal steroids.
When steroids are taken orally, they are metabolized by the liver. Liver function is impaired when steroids are consumed in this manner. Because of this, steroids usually have more serious side-effects when they are taken in the oral form. These include the potential for allergic reactions to the ingredients in the tablet, the risk of hypoglycemia, bleeding and ulcers, liver failure and increase in the risk of developing cancer.
Nasal sprays are another form of taking steroids and because of the way they work, they can produce serious side effects as well. When steroids are injected into the muscles, they tend to stay in the muscles for a long time and are not metabolized. When this happens, there is an increased risk of bruising, pain and swelling. Because of these side effects, steroids are usually only prescribed to athletes and those who suffer from very serious health problems, including cancer.
Different steroids will react differently depending on the person taking them. For example, someone who is taking prednisone but taking a low dose, could get very sick if they do not take steroids. Someone with congestive heart disease, should avoid taking prednisone. Someone who has had radiation therapy to the chest or abdominal area, may need to avoid steroids. If you are pregnant, someone who is on prednisone should avoid taking them while you are pregnant.
As with all medications, steroids require a lot of planning and carefully monitored dosing. They can be very effective for some people, but increased risk of serious side effects can make them not worth the use of a doctor’s office. Before taking aas use, talk to your doctor to find out whether you are a good candidate for the medication and if there are any other options available that would work better.