Your relatives or friends may take them to cope with asthma symptoms. Someone of your surrounding can deny consuming them, but easily get crazy or even angry when doing something or without any reason. In addition, famous athletes try to keep secret the fact of taking them otherwise they risk to be caught with the help of blood test check and disqualified. It’s all about steroids. In this article, we will give answers to such questions as “what are steroids”, “what do steroids do”, etc.
What are steroids – knowledge from the beginning
Steroid is an organic compound with special molecular configuration, containing four rings. Its examples are the following: dietary cholesterol, the main male (testosterone) and female (estradiol) sex hormones and dexamethasone, which is used as an anti-inflammatory drug.
Steroids function in two main directions: some particular steroids, including cholesterol from cell membranes, that modify membrane fluidity; a lot of steroids are presented by signaling molecules aimed at activating receptors of steroid hormones.
What do steroids do – the next step
There are the following groups of steroid hormones distinguished on the basis of their functions:
1. Progestogens. These steroids control uterus endometrium cyclical changes as well as guarantee pregnancy maintaining.
2. Corticosteroids (corticoids). Among them are:
– aldosterone, whose aim is to provide your organism with blood pressure regulation;
– cortisol – this glucocorticoid suppresses the immune system;
3. Androgens. They include several male hormones. Testosterone is the main men sex hormone, whose production provides both developing and maintaining secondary sexual characters of men;
4. Estrogens. These are female sex hormones, which perform the same function in women’s bodies as testosterone in men’s ones.
Natural and synthetic steroids with a similar structure effect in different physiological ways, therefore they are widely used in medicine as anti-inflammatory, cardiac, contraceptive and other means. For example, Clomid for women is used for treating infertility.
How do steroids work – affect on your body
Very often steroids, as well as their metabolites, affect our body in a similar way with signaling molecules (the most famous is steroid hormone). Cell membranes contain both steroids and phospholipids. Membrane fluidity is significantly decreased as affected by one of the steroids called cholesterol. Steroids, like lipids, are considered natural stores, where much energy is concentrated. However, these energy sources are not typical. They normally tend to metabolize and excrete in mammals.
How do steroids work? Steroids can act in different ways. For instance, corticosteroids aim to decrease inflammation and reduce immune system activity. Anabolic steroids work by increasing muscle mass. Drugs, based on estradiol hormone (which belongs to steroids) affect the female reproductive system.
How to get steroids
Many people are interested in how to get steroids. You can buy steroids as medicines only if you have appropriate medical conditions (certain diseases).
In some cases, anabolic steroids are prescribed to patients, who suffer from particular types of anemia. It is also an appropriate remedy for men, who are not able to produce sufficient quantity of testosterone by themselves. Besides, doctors usually prescribe corticosteroids, which function as swelling reducers.
It is worth noting, that corticosteroids do not damage our health, unlike anabolic steroids.
You will never meet a qualified doctor, who advises young and healthy people to consume anabolic steroids, especially with the aim to build huge muscles. If a person needs to take them for other purposes, doctor’s prescription is compulsory. The absence of such prescription makes buying and consuming steroids illegal in most of the countries.
Where to get steroids
You can buy drugs, which contain steroids, in general chemist’s shops or using the online services on the Internet. With regards to anabolic steroids, if you want to buy them, you should be aware that in most countries you can get them only at the black market.
There are two sources of steroids, which appear on illegal black market. They can be smuggled on the border from those countries, which do not forbid using steroids and where they can be sold legally. The other source is underground labs, where imported hormones are secretly manufactured into steroids.
What are anabolic steroids – one of the types
The kind of steroids you definitely have heard most about is anabolic steroids. Their activity is almost identical to men’s sex hormones. That is why doctors tend to prescribe anabolic steroids if they need to cure late puberty and steep muscle mass downfall in people, who suffer from such dangerous diseases as cancer or AIDS. Unfortunately, many athletes, even famous ones, use these drugs illegally and in an uncontrolled way for the purpose of growing massive muscles and achieving a big strength to win.
So, what are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids are medicaments, which imitate testosterone (the male sex hormone) and dihydrotestosterone action. Anabolic steroids accelerate the synthesis of protein within cells, which results in hypertrophy of the muscle tissue (in science terms, it is called anabolism). That is why the use of them is widely spread in bodybuilding. The anabolic steroids action is conventionally divided into two directions: anabolic activity & androgenic one:
1. Anabolic activity is the ability of anabolic steroids and other substances to intensify protein synthesis and hypertrophy of muscle tissue.
2. Androgenic activity is the ability of steroid hormones to provoke the phenomenon of masculinization (the process of accumulation of male secondary sexual characteristics in a female) and virilization (the process of manifestation of male characteristics in men and in women on steroids). Many side effects of steroids are associated with the androgenic activity. They are acne, seborrhea, body hair growth, hair loss on the head, prostatic hypertrophy, testicular atrophy etc.
Why are steroids illegal?
When people ask a question why are steroids illegal, they mean anabolic steroids, since corticosteroids and some other drugs are completely available in almost all countries if a person has certain medical reasons.
Legislation in the sphere of steroid application differs significantly from one country to another. As a rule, most countries forbid steroid circulation without necessary prescription. For instance, the USA government classifies steroids into 3 types in the Controlled Substances Act of 2004. All the steroids are illegal, when used without doctor’s prescription. However, it is quite difficult to get a necessary prescription, because it can’t be given without any purposes. The valid medical argument, such as low testosterone disease (hypogonadism) or strict androgen suppression (andropause) should exist.
If you have managed to get a prescription, the steroid dosage, specified in it is less than the dosage, which is needed for growing muscle mass. Besides, in some cases, athletes have to use veterinary drugs, because a significant part of steroids, which people can consume, is still not produced.
Of course, very few countries (Mexico, Thailand, and Moldova) allow purchasing steroids without any prescription. Nevertheless, even the complete legality of these drugs here does not mean you can freely import them to your native country.
What do anabolic steroids do?
Let’s find the answer to the question what do anabolic steroids do. These drugs (such as stanozolol pills) are characterized by specific anabolic activity. Anabolism is the biosynthesis of various metabolic products (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), unlike catabolism, which is the other metabolism component that causes the decay (degradation) of the same products. Both processes in the body are carried out by enzymatic ways (in the vast majority of cases). The most distinctive quality of these substances is their ability to promote protein synthesis in the body and cause nitrogen excretion decrease (a positive nitrogen balance). The release of potassium, sulfur and phosphorus necessary for the synthesis of proteins is also reduced. Anabolic drugs help fix calcium in the bones. Clinically, the effect of anabolic steroids is manifested by augmenting appetite, enhancing performance, general condition, increasing weight of the body.
How do anabolic steroids work on muscles
After falling into the blood, the steroids molecules are spread throughout the whole body, where they start reacting with cells of skeletal muscle, sebaceous glands, hair pouches, some brain areas and certain endocrine glands. Anabolic substances decompose in fats, which allows them to enter the cell membrane, consisting of fats. Within the cell, anabolic steroids interact with the nucleus androgen receptors and the cytoplasm. Activated androgen receptors give a signal inside the cell nucleus, resulting in changes in gene expression or promotion of the processes that send signals to other areas of the cell. As a result, it leads to enhancing of all kinds of nucleic acid synthesis and creation of new molecules of protein. It is the answer to “how do anabolic steroids work” question.
Such meds as Cabergoline are often used to avoid side effects of anabolic drugs.
The anabolic meds’ effect on the fast muscle mass growth is provided by:
- boosting of protein synthesis;
- recovery time reducing;
- catabolic hormones’ (cortisol, etc.) effect decreasing;
- displacement of cell differentiation towards the muscle ones, reducing the formation of fat cells;
- enhancing of metabolic reactions, which leads to fat cells break down; strong muscular memory activation.