What are anabolic steroids?
“Anabolic steroids” is the name by which some synthetic substances are designated which have similar effects as that of male sex hormones (androgens). They have anabolic effects, in other words causing musculoskeletal growth, androgens (development of male sexual characteristics), and many other effects. In this report the term “anabolic steroid” is used because of its familiarity, although the proper term for these compounds is “anabolic-androgenic.” Anabolic steroids have been studied in the late thirties, initially to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce enough testosterone for normal growth, development and sexual functioning.
In the medical field, these compounds were initially used to treat delayed puberty, some types of impotence, and the deterioration of the muscle growth in the body caused by the AIDS syndrome or other diseases. During the thirties, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the musculoskeletal growth in mice, which led to the use of these compounds by bodybuilders and other athletes. The abuse of steroids in athletics has spread to such an extent that it affect the results of the competitive sports.
What are steroidal supplements?
In the US you can buy supplements like dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione and whose common name is “Andro”, but in UK the supplements are not available without a prescription, including from biological shops. Often they are called dietary supplements, although they are not food. Frequently users take them because they believe they have anabolic effects. Steroid supplements can turn into testosterone, an important male sex hormone, or a similar compound. It is not known if such conversion will yield sufficient amounts of testosterone to promote muscle growth or whether supplements itself helps to promote the growth. Little is known about the side effects of steroid supplements, but it is believed that if large amounts of these compounds substantially increase testosterone levels in the body, then it is also likely to produce the same side effects of anabolic steroids.
Many of those who use anabolic steroids use non-sterile techniques like inject or share unsterilized needles with other people. In addition, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally in non-hygienic conditions. These factors potentially puts user at a risk of acquiring life-threatening viral infections such as AIDS and hepatitis B and C. Furthermore, those who abuse it can develop infective endocarditis, a bacterial disease that can produce fatal inflammation of the heart’s inner surface. Bacterial infections can also produce pain and abscess formation.