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What are steroids?

What are steroids?


Probably, there is no person who would never have heard of steroids, and many have even heard something that this is a special class of drugs taken by athletes, and at the same time, mercilessly criticized either as doping or as a substance with a large threat of side effects. We propose to clarify, once and for all, having understood for yourself what steroids are.


Instead of defining


It is quite difficult to give a clear and at the same time understandable for everyone definition of what steroids are, since they include a huge set of different substances with different functions. What unites them all is primarily animal or plant origin and the presence of a certain biological function. For example, athletes usually take steroids to help them gain muscle mass, improve endurance, and stimulate bone growth. The action of such a drug is very similar to the action of the male hormone testosterone (it turns out, also a steroid), and such a drug itself may well be a hormone, only, for example, not human.


Steroids should not be perceived as purely doping, even though they are best known for this very capacity. Their use, albeit in a limited quantity and range, is possible even in legal medicine - for example, if after a serious illness a person needs to restore muscle mass. Such a substance can accelerate puberty in a child who for some reason lagged behind peers, or more clearly show secondary sexual characteristics in an adult. Of course, doctors do not use steroids in such doses and concentrations as athletes, and they do it quite rarely. Today drugs of this type are practically not used anymore.


What's wrong with steroids?


Above, we gave a specific example of why steroids could be considered useful and even valuable, but we immediately made a reservation that today they are used less and less in medicine. In many countries, some of the steroids for sale are not allowed - moreover, they are even considered almost drugs. If individual steroid drugs are sold in pharmacies (strictly by prescription!), Then usually this applies only to relatively weak formulas that do not provide explosive muscle growth. Does the state really follow the Olympic principles and wants even ordinary citizens to "swing" only by honest methods?


In fact, hormonal medicine was abandoned because steroids have some side effects. This can be said about any medication, however, you are unlikely to drink extra aspirin if nothing hurts you, but the desire to "be beautiful" or win a competition forces some people to use uncontrolled and unreasonable amounts of drugs, which is why the likelihood of powerful the manifestation of side effects increases manifold. That is why steroids are prohibited in sports - an option in which steroids would simply be allowed to all athletes will lead to the fact that there will be no living and healthy athletes.


One of the dangers of using steroids is that they functionally replace some hormones in the human body. As a result, the body reduces its own production of hormones, and then, after the termination of the course, it cannot always return to normal functionality - without external recharge, you quickly turn from a pumped-up handsome man into a sexless mattress. If you sit on drugs constantly, this will create a huge burden on the liver and kidneys, and these organs can wear out much earlier than their owner gets old.