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Anabolic steroids are used for some medical conditions, but people also use them illegally in some sports settings. They use them to boost muscle mass, performance, and endurance and to shorten recovery time between workouts.
The drugs are artificially derived from the main male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is important for promoting and maintaining muscle growth and developing secondary male sex characteristics, such as a deepening voice and facial hair. Anabolic steroids, also called anabolic-androgenic steroids AASscan build muscle and improve athletic performance, but they can also have ificant adverse effects, especially when used incorrectly.
Long-term, non-medical uses are linked to heart problems, unwanted physical changes, and aggression. There is growing concern worldwide about the non-medical use of steroids and its effects. AASs are synthetic versions of the primary male hormone, testosterone. They affect many parts of the body, including the muscles, bones, hair follicles, liver, kidneys, blood, immune system, reproductive system and the central nervous system.
During pubertyincreases in testosterone levels enable the development of characteristics such as facial and body hair growth, increased height and muscle mass, a deepening voice, and the sex drive.
Continuous use of AASs can lead to problems such as tolerance. They may even cause the body to stop producing its own testosterone. Some people use AASs continuously, but others try to minimize their possible adverse effects through different patterns of use. Stacking : Users combine several different types of steroids Illegal bodybuilding steroids incorporate other supplements in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of the steroids.
Pyramiding : Some users gradually increase the dose to a peak, then reduce the amount. Some have only medicinal uses, such as Nebido. Anadrol is an example of a steroid with both medicinal and performance uses. For both medical and illegal purposes, AASs can be taken :. AASs travel through the bloodstream to the muscle tissue, where they bind to an androgen receptor. Some types of steroid are commonly used for medical treatment. For example, corticosteroids can help people with asthma to breathe during an attack. Testosterone is also prescribed for a of hormone-related conditions, such as hypogonadism.
However, AASs are not commonly prescribed as a treatment. In the U. The use of these drugs is only legal when prescribed by a medical provider.
Testosterone and several of its esters, as well as methyltestosterone, nandrolone decanoate, and oxandrolone, are the main anabolic-androgenic steroids currently prescribed in the U. Illegal bodybuilding steroids use of steroids is not permitted in the U. Under the Controlled Substance Act, unlawful possession and distribution are subject to federal and state laws. As it is not legal for athletic purposes, there is no legal control over the quality or use of drugs sold for this purpose.
Illegal steroids are obtained through the internet and through informal dealers, like other illegal drugs. However, they may also be available through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, and veterinarians. Their composition and use are entirely unregulated, adding to the hazards they pose. The adverse effects of AAS use depend on the product, the age and sex of the user, how much they use, and for how long. Users will attend follow-up appointments and take periodic blood tests to monitor for unwanted effects.
Non-medical use of steroids can involve quantities from 10 to times the amount used for medical purposes. In adolescents, it can result in :. People who suddenly discontinue AAS after using them for a long time may experience withdrawal symptoms, including severe depression. Apart from these adverse effects, there are other health risks. These extreme and unwanted effects can affect those who are already prone to these types of behaviors.
Long-term, unregulated use of AASs can affect some of the same brain pathways and chemicals that are affected by other drugs, such as opiates. This can result in dependency and possibly addiction. The first step in treating anabolic steroid abuse is to discontinue use and to seek medical Illegal bodybuilding steroids in order to address any psychiatric or physical symptoms that might occur. Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that, to date, is not well-understood.
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