Do you feel fascinated or frightened when you hear or read the word steroid? Or is it just another chemical for you? Most of us relate to steroid in a negative manner since we often come across in newspapers that athletes or sportsmen who used steroids prior to an event or match are prohibited to take part in the sport. So is it something bad? No, there is nothing bad or wrong with steroid. So what is a steroid? Steroid or steroid hormone is a class of naturally occurring organic compound or hormone found in our body. In the human body, there are two types of steroids produced, depending upon the area of their genesis; corticosteroids (produced in the cortex of the kidney) and sex steroids (produced in the gonads). There are two types of corticosteroids found in our body and they are glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoid (or corticosteroids). The sex steroids produced in our body are androgens, estrogens and progesterones. The precursor or parent molecule of all steroids is cholesterol. Hence, all steroids are derivatives of cholesterol. The primary functions of the steroids are:
- Raises blood pressure and fluid volume
- Increases sodium uptake
- Helps in stress adaptation
- Effects immune system
- Produces secondary male and female sexual characteristics
Like any other hormone imbalance, if there is excess or deficiency of steroids caused in the body then many complications arise due to the imbalance and proper medication is given to the patients. This was about the naturally produced steroid hormone in our body. Now, there are steroid capsules or steroid injections available which are generally misused or abused by many. Such steroids are anabolic steroids. Such steroids also exhibit androgenic nature. The anabolic part of the steroids helps in building up muscles while the androgenic part of the steroid is responsible for developing male sex characteristics. These steroids mimic the function of the sex steroids produced in the gonads. Some of the top steroids for men are Dianabol, Anadrol, Testosterone Max, etc. These steroids typically help in boost strength and energy and also to increase muscles as these steroids influence many biochemical processes like protein synthesis, production of red blood cells, etc in our body.
Corticosteroids vs. Anabolic steroids:
Corticosteroids are widely used as an anti-inflammatory drug and they are catabolic in nature or they have the ability to disintegrate molecules. Anabolic steroids are legally prescribed by doctors in cases where puberty is delayed or enough testosterone is not produced by the body. The latter kind of steroids is prone to abuse due to its anabolic nature or its ability to build up. Sports professional or body builders use such steroids beyond the prescribed level of dose in order to gain stamina and also to improve their appearance.
Side-effects of anabolic steroids:
Some of the common side-effects of overuse of anabolic steroids are liver damage, heart related issues, acne, psychiatric disorders, infertility, atrophy of testicles in men and menstrual changes in females.
The prolonged use of steroids leads to the mentioned adverse effects. Even though the top steroids for men claim that they do not have any negative impact on the body, but abuse of the steroids lead to things that are generally not normal.