Quick Facts on Steroids: What You Must Know
The body produces minute quantities of substances called hormones. These hormones regulate growth and other vital functions. Nowadays, researchers isolate these naturally-occurring hormones and artificially mass-produce them in the laboratory. The resulting substances are similar to certain hormones in the body. These synthetic products are called steroids.
A. TYPES OF STEROIDS
1.) Anabolic Steroids
Derivatives from the human hormone testosterone, anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that promote cell growth, muscle tissue, and bone mass. It also enhances weight gain and increased muscle fiber for strength. Athletes oftentimes use anabolic steroids during their training period for optimized performance in order to win during game competitions.
In each natural state, corticosteroids are produced by the adrenal glands to regulate inflammation, body stress response, and carbohydrate metabolism, control blood electrolyte levels, immune response, among others. Corticosteroids reduce swelling, pain, and symptoms of inflammation. Also, these synthetic steroids are used to control respiratory problems and skin inflammation. Doctors prescribe corticosteroids for treatment of some complication of cancers. It is also used to treat severe cases of osteoarthritis.
3.) Sex Hormones
Men produce the hormone called testosterone from their testes and adrenal glands. This substance is responsible for male sexual development and maintenance of secondary male characteristics and structures. It helps in producing sperm among males. But before a hormone is converted to testosterone in men or estrogen in women, it is first produced as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). This steroid precursor is associated with increased energy, improved memory and elevated moods. On the other hand, women produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These two are responsible for normal menstruation of women and help them prepare for pregnancy. Synthetic versions of estrogen are used to cure breast and prostrate cancer as well as treat osteoporosis. In most cases, doctors prescribe estrogen to relieve discomforts of menopause in women. Oftentimes, these sex hormones are referred to as steroidal supplement.
These are substances produced by the body before being converted to a potent hormone. Among the most common types of synthetic prohormones are 1-androstenediol (1-AD), 4-androstenedione, 19-norandrostenediol, 4-androstenediol (4-AD), and 19-norandrostenedione. These synthetic versions are believed to give heightened sexual arousal, increased energy, and greater sense of well-being.
B. METHODS OF USE
Steroids are taken in tablet form, as a pill or injected.
C. MEDICAL USES OF STEROIDS
1.) Steroids Helps Premature Babies
One research has shown the benefits to premature babies by giving their mothers repeat dosage of steroids. The study, known as the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Repeat Doses of Steroids, or ACTORDS, is the largest in the world that performed the research.
2.) Steroids on Creams and Ointments
Creams and ointments are used to treat eczema, swelling, psoriasis, and other skin maladies.
3.) Steroids on Sprays
Medicine prescribed for those who suffer from hay fever.
4.) Steroids in Tablets and Pills
This is used for treating severe cases of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other respiratory-related problems. Also, steroids in pills and tablets are prescribed for patients undergoing surgery to prevent rejection in transplants.
5.) Injectable Steroids
These steroids are commonly used for joint and tendon problems.