Anabolic steroids are a pair of potent ingredients closely based on the male sex hormone testosterone. The full name is androgenic (promoting masculine characteristics) anabolic (building) steroids (the class of drugs).
Anabolic steroids were developed primarily to treat hypogonadism (a condition in which the testes do not produce sufficient testosterone for normal growth, development, and sexual functioning), delayed puberty, some types of impotence, to supplement normal hormone levels after injury or disease, and to treat wasting of the body caused by HIV infection or other diseases.
After that, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle, which leads to use (abuse) of these compounds by bodybuilders and weightlifters and then by athletes in other sports.
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Who uses Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are used medically to supplement normal hormone levels and rebuild tissues weakened by injury or disease, to assist in regaining or maintaining weight after illness, and to aid recovery from breast cancer and osteoporosis in women.
Bodybuilders and athletes often use steroids to boost their competitive advantage and improve their physical appearance.
Anabolic steroids may be useful as part of an effective diet and exercise regimen to build and maintain weight. (The doses used for maintenance of weight are not high enough to cause many of the side effects associated with their use among bodybuilders.)
Effects of Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids promote the growth of skeletal muscle, increases lean body mass and strength, reduce body fat, and enhance endurance and ability to train longer and harder.
Bodybuilders and athletes who use steroids often talk about feeling good about themselves and invincible while using steroids.
How to use Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are found in liquid or pill form and can be injected intramuscularly, swallowed, or rubbed on the skin when in the form of gels or creams.
Bodybuilders and athletes take steroids typically in cycles of weeks or months, rather than continuously. Patterns (called “cycling”) involves taking multiple steroid doses during a specific time period, stopping for a period of time, and starting again.
In addition, users frequently combine several different types of steroids – a process known as “stacking” – to improve their great gains and performance while reducing unwanted side effects. Different steroids may interact, thus produce an effect on muscle size that is greater than the impact of utilizing each steroid individually.
A different style of steroid usage is “pyramiding“. It is an activity where users slowly escalate steroid use, reaching a peak amount at mid-cycle and gradually tapering down toward the end of the cycle.
Pyramiding gives your body a chance to slowly adjust to more or fewer hormones, thus reducing side effects and withdrawal symptoms. This is done by increasing the number of different steroids used at one time and/or increasing the dose and frequency of one or more steroids and decreasing the dose toward the end.
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