If you’re new to the subject, it may surprise you to know that steroids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in all humans and animals. They come in a wide range of different types and have a crucial impact on the body’s metabolism and the creation of vitamins and other essential elements.
Anabolic steroids, on the other hand, are synthetic drugs produced in a laboratory that are the same as, or similar to, the male hormone testosterone. Although a prescription-only drug, they are often popular among athletes, bodybuilders and sportspeople for the performance-enhancing and muscle-building benefits they can bestow. There is no penalty for personal possession of steroids, but they are an illegal Class C substance.
If you’re considering using anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass or improve athletic performance, it’s vital to understand that these drugs can cause significant side effects and addiction. The best way to stay safe is not to use anabolic steroids at all, but if you are wondering how to take steroids anyway, there are some steps you can take to reduce their negative impact on your health. Read on to learn more about anabolic steroids, their potential side effects and whether you can take them safely.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are drugs derived from testosterone. Testosterone is mainly a mature male hormone, but women’s bodies also produce small quantities. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that causes boys to develop male features during puberty, such as a deeper voice, body and facial hair and muscle strength. When ingested through anabolic steroids, the hormone can increase muscle mass, decrease fat and act as a performance-enhancing drug, but it can also cause several undesirable effects.
Some anabolic steroids come in tablet form, while others are injected directly into muscles. Some types of anabolic steroids are:
Are Anabolic Steroids Illegal?
Anabolic steroids are controlled as Class C substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This means they can only legally be sold by pharmacists with a prescription. It is legal to have anabolic steroids for personal use, but it’s illegal to possess, import or export anabolic steroids with the intent to supply. In competitive sport, most organisations ban anabolic steroid use and test competitors for these performance-enhancing drugs.
What Are Steroids Used For?
Anabolic steroids can be used in medicine to treat certain hormonal problems, as well as being used to treat some cancers, osteoporosis and other rare conditions. When used outside of medicine, it is most commonly for people to improve athletic performance or change the way they look by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. If you see bodybuilders who look unnaturally large and wonder how they got so big, this could be down to more than just a strict diet and training regime and may result from steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.
Potential Side Effects of Steroids
When abused, anabolic steroids can cause baldness, erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced sperm count, severe acne, shrunken testicles and excruciating stomach pain in men. In women, they can cause typically masculine symptoms such as a deepening of the voice, growth of facial and body hair and loss of breasts, as well as menstruation problems and swelling of the clitoris.
They can also bring about several psychological effects such as aggressive behaviour, delusions, hallucinations and mood swings. Perhaps most concerningly of all, they have been linked to blood clots, fluid retention, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and liver damage, including tumours of the liver. They are also associated with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and contracting prostate cancer.
When considering how to take steroids, you may have wondered if there’s a “safe” way to administer them, but whether you take them orally, as injections or through a cream or gel, anabolic steroids can cause serious side effects. They can stop your body from producing healthy testosterone levels on its own, and you may also experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them, such as headaches, loss of appetite, depression, nausea, anxiety, muscle aches, weight loss and more. Long term abuse of steroids may lead to more serious health conditions such as heart and liver disease, kidney problems and damage to the reproductive system. Anyone thinking about using anabolic steroids should first consider all the possible side effects.
Can Steroids Be Taken Safely?
The answer to this question may well depend upon who you talk to. It’s undeniable that steroids have been used in a medical capacity for decades and in a less official performance-enhancing one for almost as long. It’s likely that many athletes and bodybuilders will swear by them and profess not to have experienced any harmful side effects.
However, not all steroids are created equal, and they don’t affect everyone equally. There are over 100 different kinds of the drug, each with its own properties and potential side effects. Due to the illegality of purchasing steroids, it can often be difficult to know exactly what the substance is, leading to a whole host of health complications. Steroids obtained from a gym or dealer may be produced for use on animals, could be fake or may have been labelled incorrectly. If you take anabolic steroids, try to ensure you know exactly what you’re taking and that any drugs you’re using haven’t been tampered with.
Always Seek Professional Help When Taking Steroids
While the safest way to avoid the harmful side effects of anabolic steroids is to steer clear of them altogether, some incorporate them successfully into an exercise regimen. If you’re wondering about how to take steroids because you want to gain weight or muscle, it’s imperative that you seek professional help before beginning to make sure you know what you’re taking, how best to manage the process and whether or not your body is showing signs of unwanted side effects.
At Harley Street MD, we respect the individual’s choice and prioritise offering safe, effective and non-judgmental treatment for steroids. We are fully versed in the ramifications of taking anabolic steroids and offer a wide range of blood test profiles to suit every situation, providing you with comprehensive knowledge of your body’s reaction to the drugs and minimising any associated risks.
Consider Post Cycle Therapy to Regulate Hormone Production
As well as speaking to a medical professional about your use of steroids and monitoring your body’s reaction to them through blood tests, you should also consider post cycle therapy (PCT).
Taking anabolic steroids means putting synthetic testosterone into your body, which suppresses natural hormone production. When you complete a cycle of steroids, your body’s natural ability to produce testosterone is compromised, and PCT can help you get back on track. PCT is a protocol that’s started after completing a cycle of performance-enhancing drugs, designed to boost testosterone back to healthy levels. PCT isn’t something we suggest you attempt on your own and should be carried out under the care of a qualified physician.
Our men’s health experts offer professional advice and treatment for steroid users without judgement. If you’re using anabolic steroids, let us help you reduce the negative impact they can have on your health — contact us for a no-obligation consultation at our confidential clinic.
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