Steroids are a group of cyclical organic compounds that stimulate the male hormone, testosterone. For over 50 years, steroids have been used in sporting activities. Essentially, steroids are synthetic testosterone. As steroid users noticed how the drug helped them achieve more muscle mass, steroids became a staple among bodybuilders.
Steroids also help enhance athletic performance, assist in protein synthesis, and promote masculinity. The drug is extremely controversial and has since been banned in most sporting events. Athletes are completely inhibited from taking steroids but sanctions for it are not enough to discourage other athletes from taking steroids.
Pros of Steroids
When steroids are taken under a doctor’s strict supervision, it could be good for you. It helps improve a person’s health and well-being. The drug could also help increase lean muscle mass and achieve a sculpted frame easily. You will pack on muscles fairly fast and improve your performance as well as cut the recovery time in half. In males experiencing a decline in sexual desire, taking steroids help increase libido.
Because of its effective muscle-building properties, steroids are also used to treat AIDS victims whose muscles have wasted away. Steroids are often prescribed to men with delayed puberty.
Cons of Steroids
Steroid use is controversial for a reason: it causes “roid rage” or feelings of intense aggression. Cases of roid rage are well documented. Most are pro wrestlers and body builders going berserk for no reason. In addition to roid rage, a long-term side effect of steroid use is smaller testicles, a condition called testicular shrinkage.
Breast development in men, painful erections, decreased sperm count, and infertility are other known side effects of the drug. Steroids could also cause liver damage and testicular atrophy, a condition that occurs when the gland that produces testosterone ceases to work because of the influx of artificial testosterone in the body.
In extreme instances, excessive steroid use may result in death. This is why steroid use has to be regulated and done under the instruction of a physician. Steroids have to be obtained legitimately from a doctor. Without a prescription, steroids are illegal. The maximum penalty for steroid trafficking under federal law is five years in prison and $250,000 fine. The drug is illegal to sell, possess, and distribute.
Unfortunately, there are some users who get steroids from smugglers or dealers. These products are often used in improper dosage leading to dangerous symptoms.
Should You Take Steroids?
Unless you got a prescription to treat a certain condition, no. You shouldn’t take steroids. Steroids are meant to treat specific types of health disorders. It’s not meant to be used recreationally. Doctors are not allowed to prescribe steroids to enhance performance or to improve muscle mass in bodybuilders. If you’re planning on using this drug to build your physique or to enhance your performance in any way, it’s likely that you will not get a prescription for it.
What makes steroids so dangerous is it affects the hormonal balance in the body. It doesn’t just build muscles; it also disrupts the normal balance of hormones resulting in undesirable—and often dangerous—side effects mentioned above.