Are Steroids Worth the Risk?
Steroids for professional sports, bodybuilding, etc that aim at improving stamina and performance have been on the rounds for decades now. In fact, it is hard to imagine a time when these two were not together. Users have expressed the efficiency of these chemicals in helping them perform better on various occasions. Today science has evolved to show a clear explanation as to why steroids are so powerful.
But even after so many years of togetherness, these two have failed to convince scientists across the world their need to work together. The skepticism over this issue has, in fact, become deeper with increasing commercialization. They believe that health benefits of dark chocolate, lean meat and various other natural sources of protein, creatine, etc are safer and healthier options for such young enthusiasts. They fear this rage towards steroids by young users everywhere could turn to be harmful. Various scientific communities across the world often share detailed studies of long term and short term effects of steroid use which leads us to the question, are steroids worth the risk?
What are steroids?
Steroids are similar to hormones in the body that are naturally produced to fight stress, enhance growth or development. Artificial steroids which imitate the chemical composition of these hormones are available in the market. Consuming these helps enhance the functioning of the body and improve overall performance in sports, etc. The hormones used could be testosterone, estrogen, cortisol pregnenolone, aldosterone, etc. Each of these has a different effect on our body. For example, Anabolic steroids are chemically similar to male sex hormones or testosterone and are particularly useful for building muscles. These steroids are often consumed by athletes to deepen the effects of this hormone in the body. Asteroidal supplement is another category containing Dehydroepiandrosterone or androstenedione used by gym goers to increase the rate of muscle building.
What are the effects of using these steroids?
A chiseled physique with good stamina requires a lot of hard work. Fueling up your body every day with all the necessary nutrients in the right quantities is important to get to these results. A strict lifestyle change with absolutely no cheat days is the secret behind achieving natural transformation. But achieving all this in lesser time and higher efficiency using stimulants is possible with steroids.
Anabolic steroids are among the most common type of steroid often used by professionals. It aids you to get bigger and stronger much faster with your regular workout schedules. These synthetic chemicals have three distinct types of effects when consumed. It has an anabolic effect which means that it stimulates the growth of tissue in the body. It increases the rate of muscle growth and aids bone growth too among various other organs. It can also potentially increase your red blood cell count.
Next is the androgenic effect which brings the typical characteristics of a male associated with testosterone such as deep voice, facial hair, increased sebum in the skin, etc, to the table. The aromatization effect is the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Scientists have worked to increase the anabolic effects of the chemicals and reduce the other two to make these drugs more pleasing and effective along with less visible side effects. These steroids have become popular for improving strength, endurance, muscle mass, agility, and overall performance.
Therapeutic usage of Anabolic steroids
For long therapeutic usage of anabolic drugs to aid patients suffering from diseases such as AIDS, burn victims, cancer, etc have been in progress. These types of drugs can also be useful for building strength in case of people suffering from kidney or liver diseases. These streams have shown promising results for effective usage of steroids. Anabolic steroid can also be useful for men suffering from low testosterone count due to various factors such as aging. But again the usage and effectiveness, in this case, are yet again debatable without solid scientific proof to back up the same. Although such benefits seem to build a case in favor of steroid usage, the risks outweigh the benefits in many cases.
The evolution of USE to ABUSE
Certain steroids are legal in some places across the world such as anabolic steroids Canada. Steroids initially entered mainstream sports arena as a way of slowly improving athletic performance. Small doses helped increase energy in the subjects and the research behind the same proved this to be completely safe. Doses in these levels were acceptable by the body as the steroid sensing molecules in the body would get saturated even with small doses. This indicated that beyond these doses anything excess would simply be ineffective. In fact, many scientists believed that higher dosages seemed to work only because of a steroid-infused euphoria effect and had nothing to do with these chemicals.
But the interaction of steroids in higher quantities turned out to be very different from the expected way. Higher doses caused the production of more androgen or steroid sensing receptors which enhanced the body’s capacity to hold and act on more dosages. With this effect, even people performing hardly any effective physical workout can achieve drastic transformations as desired.
The problems caused due to abuse
Steroids impact more signals in the brain than intended which is responsible for the side effects associated with them. Prolonged and mega doses of steroids have a direct impact on brain chemistry. It influences the activity of the serotonin molecule in the brain that could cause aggression and mood swings in individuals.
Steroids also cause negative changes in the cardiovascular system of the body. They increase levels of bad cholesterol in the body thus increasing the risk of heart attack and strokes. They also increase the chances of blood clots, elevate blood pressure and weaken the heart muscles. These steroids also affect the kidney and liver health and could cause permanent damage in a few cases.
Artificial means of increasing testosterone in the body could lead to acne, baldness or even expanding breast muscles in men. Also, shutting down the natural testosterone secretion in the body could lead to low sperm count as well as mobility affecting sexual health.
The million dollar question?
The risk vs benefit analysis for anabolic steroids varies from person to person. For people suffering from deadly diseases such as cancer, the benefits obviously outweigh the risks. But for normal weight lifters and individuals looking to build muscle mass steroids may be a risk not worth committing. Take advice from a professional before you make the decision about using steroids.