Steroid Supplementation



Steroids refer to drugs that imitate certain hormones that arenaturally produced by the body. On the other hand, steroidsupplementation refers to the act of adding artificially-madehormones with the aim of regulating how the body works. There are twotypes of steroids: anabolic ones and corticosteroids. The anabolicones work by imitating the male hormone testosterone. On the otherhand, corticosteroids work by mimicking hormones that are naturallymanufactured by the adrenal glands. In America, steroidssupplements such as androstenedione and tetrahydrogestrinone, can bepurchased legally in most health food stores. This is possible evenwithout a doctor’s prescription. Additionally, they may be importedor exported although, this is done in person. This means that theycannot be sent via freight or courier services.

Anabolic steroids

Mostly, anabolic steroids are used without a doctor’s prescription.However, they may be prescribed by a physician although, in rarecases. An example of a situation that may result in a healthcarepractitioner prescribing anabolic steroids to his/her patient is whenthe latter has HIV/AIDS. Also, these drugs are used by doctors totreat certain hormonal problems in men such as infertility anddelayed puberty. Anabolic steroids are used by injecting them inone’s muscles. However, they also exist in tablet form and hence,ingested through the mouth. Also, there are anabolic steroids thatcome in the form of gels and creams and thus, applied on the skin.

The effects of anabolic steroids

Supplementation of anabolic steroids has both positive and negativeeffects. On the positive side, steroids boost a person`s enduranceand stimulate muscle growth. As such, a person may train harder andfor longer hours after using these drugs. When combined with astrenuous exercise program, they can result in faster recovery afterinjuries.

On the negative side, they have the ability to make their usersaggressive, paranoid, irritable, and even violent. Besides, they maytrigger mood swings resulting in their users becoming dramatic. Theuse of anabolic steroids has the impact of reducing sperm count,causing shrunken testicles, and erectile dysfunction and thus, theymay trigger infertility. Also, they increase a man’s likelihood ofdeveloping prostate cancer. In women, the use of anabolic steroidsmay result in the growth of body and facial hair as a consequence ofthe high testosterone content in these drugs (National Institute onDrug Abuse, 2016).

Sometimes one may experience hair loss. Additionally, they may resultin unwanted changed in one`s appearance. This mostly happens inwomen, who develop male-life features as a result of the hormonetestosterone found in these drugs. Examples of these male-likefeatures include loss of breasts and deepened voice. A woman who usesanabolic steroids may experience an increased sex urge, irregularperiods, and swelling of the clitoris. Research also shows thatindividuals who take these drugs are more likely to develop thefollowing conditions high cholesterol, blood clots, kidney and livertumors, heart attack, and hypertension (National Institute on DrugAbuse, 2016).

In adolescents, the use of anabolic steroids may result in stuntedgrowth. This is because these drugs have the ability to causepremature aging of one`s bones. According to an article published inthe U.S.A Today, teenagers who abuse steroids risk experiencing a 95%growth in their height. As such, an individual who could havereached 6 feet 2 inches tall end up growing to be 5 feet 4 inches(U.SA. Today, 2009). Though not widespread, the use of anabolicsteroids exposes a person to disease associated with sharing ofneedles. Examples of these conditions include HIV transmission,hepatitis B and C, and damaged veins. Premature deaths are the othercommon effects of anabolic steroids abuse (National Institute on DrugAbuse, 2016).

Why people use Anabolic steroids

Most users of steroids aim to lower their body fat, acquire biggermuscles, and boost their strength. As such, the most common reasonsfor the use of anabolic steroids are the desire to improve one`ssports performance as well as physical appearance. These drugs aremostly abused by their users and this is why they have severeimplications. Most of the anabolic steroids contain between 10 and100 times higher testosterone content compared to the corticosteroids(Hartgens and Kuipers, 2009). Sometimes people use more than one typeof the anabolic steroids, which result in a condition known asstacking. Peer pressure is the other factor associated with theconsumption of these drugs. Mainly, this happens among teenagers.Teenagers love copying what they see in the mass media. The desire tohave similar biceps and triceps as their icons drive many teenagersinto abusing anabolic steroids.

The use of steroids by Athletes

According to Hartgens and Kuipers (2009), the use of steroids resultsin an increase in body weights by about 10-15kgs within less than tenweeks. Besides, the use of these drugs triggers an increase in thebody dimensions mostly around the neck region, thorax, upper arm, andshoulders. However, the increase in body size depends on the type ofsteroids consumed.

Sometimes, individuals are locked out of certain sports because oftheir low weight. According to Hartgens and Kuipers, most collegestudents are pressured by their desire to play for their teams intoabusing anabolic steroids. It is common for teenagers to have pooreating habits and this triggers them to find an easy way out of theirlow weight condition. The other available option for college studentswho want to participate in certain games that have weight limits iseating junk foods. However, many of them do not like this approachbecause it takes time before one can gain the desired weight. On theother hand, taking steroids guarantees instant weight gain.

Additionally, for one to excel in certain sports such as wrestling,one is required to seek ways of artificially increasing theirstrength which is synonymous with an increase in the triceps and thequadriceps muscles. Hartgens and Kuipers (2009) report that theadministration of testosterone for ten weeks can trigger a 600g/weekincrease in triceps brachii and quadriceps muscles. Athletes arelikely to gain more muscles if they combine these drugs withexercises. According to Hartgens and Kuipers, it is possible for oneto experience a 15% increase in his/her quadriceps and tricepsbrachii if he/she combines strength training with testosteroneadministration. While many athletes voluntarily use steroids, thereare those who consume them as a result of being pressured by themanagement of their teams. Additionally, the desire to continuescoring drives many athletes into abusing these drugs.


These are the anti-inflammatory medicines or steroids used to treatcertain conditions. As opposed to anabolic steroids that aim atimitating testosterone, corticosteroids are the man-made version ofthe hormones naturally produced by the adrenal glands. They come indifferent forms which include tablets, injections, inhalers, lotions,creams, and gels. They are mostly used to suppress the immune systemor reduce inflammation. However, they are also employed in thetreatment of conditions such as atopic eczema, inflamed and painfultendons, muscles and joints, asthma, allergic rhinitis, lope, andurticarial. Corticosteroids are also effective in the management ofconditions such as multiple sclerosis, polymyalgia rheumatic, andinflammatory bowel disease (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).

According to Henderson(2014), patients suffering from Addison’s diseasealso known as primary adrenal insufficiency do not have endogenoussteroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone. As such, patients arerequired to undergo a daily steroid supplementation therapy to managethis condition. Additionally, patients suffering from this conditionfind it hard to adapt physiologically to stress (Henderson,2014).

Consequently, every time individuals suffering from Addison’sdisease are to be subjected to a medical procedure that is known totrigger stress they have to undergo a supplemental steroid therapy.For example, an Adisson’s patient planning to undergo any dentalprocedure has to be subjected to the treatment although the amountof steroids to be administered varies from one person to another.Additionally, the timing of the therapy also varies depending on manyfactors. Because steroids may have severe consequences, a patient’sconsent has to be sought before one is enrolled in a supplementationtherapy program (Henderson,2014).

Additionally, aesthetics steroids such as corticosteroids help inprotein-lipid metabolism and in triggering alterations incarbohydrates. Also, they play a crucial role in maintaining theproper functioning of the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and thenervous systems during operations. Besides, corticosteroids haveproved to be helpful in empowering organisms with the ability toresist stressful conditions such as environmental changes(Shaikh, et al., 2012).

Effects of the corticosteroid administration

Just like the anabolic steroids, corticosteroids also have sideeffects. As such, a medical doctor can prescribe these drugs to apatient only if the benefits outweigh the negative impacts.Additionally, doctors prescribe the lowest effective doses tominimize the risks. When corticosteroids tablets and inhalers areused for a short period and in their lowest effective doses, apatient does not experience any side effects. However, prolonged useof these steroids has potential side effects. These effects includethinned skin, mood changes, depression, high blood pressure,increased appetite, and diabetes (National Institute on Drug Abuse,2016).

In conclusion, steroids are classified into two groups:corticosteroids and the anabolic ones. The Anabolic ones are made insuch a way they can imitate the way the male sex hormonetestosterones works. On the other hand, the corticosteroids mimic theworking of the adrenal gland. The types of steroids have bothpositive and adverse effects. For instance, anabolic ones are used bydoctors to treat conditions that result in weight loss such asHIV/AIDS. Also, they are used to treat diseases where a man produceslow levels of testosterone. On the other hand, it is possible for thesame anabolic steroids to be used in a harmful ways when a medicaldoctor has not prescribed their consumption. Mostly, the anabolicsteroids are used by athletes to cause an increase in their bodyweight and strength. On the negative sides, the use of these drugsresults in many health complications that can lead to prematuredeaths. The other effect is that these drugs increases a man’schance of developing prostate cancer. Besides, these drugs can leadto women acquiring male-life features such as deepened voice and lossof breasts. Women who use anabolic steroids may also end upexperiencing heightened sexual drive, increased appetite, and growthof facial and body hairs. On the other hand, corticosteroids are usedto treat many ailments where they play roles such as that ofmaintaining the proper functioning of the endocrine, immune, andcardiovascular systems. Despite their many benefits, prescription ofcorticosteroids has adverse consequences on patients. As such,doctors prescribe these steroids only when there is no other option.Additionally, only the least most efficient dosage of corticosteroidsis prescribed to reduce the potential adverse effects of thesesteroids on patients.



Hartgens, F.,&amp Harm, K. (2009). &quotEffects of androgenic-anabolic steroidsin athletes.&quot&nbspSportsMedicine&nbsp34.8

Henderson, S.(2014). “What steroid supplementation is required for a patientwith primary adrenal insufficiency undergoing a dentalprocedure?”&nbspDentalUpdate,&nbsp41(4),342-344.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). “Drugs Facts: AnabolicSteroids.”

Shaikh, S.,Verma, H., Yadav, N., Jauhari, M., &amp Bullangowda, J. (2012).Applications of steroid in clinical practice: a review.&nbspISRNAnesthesiology

U.SA. Today. (2009). “Steroids Case Study.” Accessed on August6, 2016. www.usatodaycollege.coms