Anabolic steroids are drugs that can advance a person’s performance by augmenting the muscle mass while lowering body fat. Anabolic steroids are also employed to modify body shape into a more muscular physique. These drugs were developed in the 1930s to encourage development of skeletal muscle and to enhance male sexual characteristics. The drugs were seen as providing potential for their protein-building capacity. But steroid use approved by physicians accounts for a small proportion of the total steroid use.
There’s a common perception that use of anabolic steroids is common in athletes engaged in bodybuilding and weightlifting. However, steroid used in sports is illegal. In most instances, international athletes are tested for the presence of steroids in their system in order to prevent them from gaining advantage over others who do not use this drug. There have been some famous athletes who have been banned from participating in their respective sports while others who were discovered as users after the competition were stripped of their awards and medals.
Use of anabolic steroids comes in different forms depending on the form of administration, dose and method of use.
Forms of administration
Anabolic steroids may be administered in three different ways: oral, injectable, and skin patches.
1. Oral. Intake through the mouth is the easiest form of receiving this drug. Testosterone introduced by mouth is easily absorbed by the body. The down side is that it is mostly transformed into idle metabolites, and only about 1/6 exists in dynamic form. To prevent this problem, testosterone derivatives are alkylated, which reduces the liver's capacity to divide these materials before entering the circulation.
2. Injectable. These forms of steroids are normally introduced into the muscle, not into the vein. The reason for this is to prevent abrupt alteration in the volume of the steroid in the bloodstream. Injection is the most prevalent technique used by persons giving anabolic steroids for non-medical uses.
3. Skin patches. Steroids may also be administered to the body through adhesive skin patches. These patches can provide a constant amount of steroid through the skin and into the bloodstream.
The dosage will depend on a number of factors such as the medical condition, gravity and age of the individual who is to take it. It is considered an illegal use of steroids when the volume used goes to 10 to 40 times or even as high as 100 times the recommended dosage.
Methods of use
Those who use steroids sometimes use two kinds of steroids such as a combination of oral and injectable steroids. This is commonly known as “stacking”. The idea behind this is that the interplay of two steroids produces an improved result. Another style of using steroids is the “pyramid” type of doses. In this method, the user will take steroids with smaller doses that gradually increase, reach a summit and then gradually lessen, and then will stop. This will go for a 6 to 12 weeks cycle.
There is a period when the user will abstain from the use of steroids and then go back to the start of the cycle again.
Some hold the idea that arranging the volume of steroid used in this fashion allows the body to adjust and avert the reported side effects, so the body can go back to the normal secretion of hormones. This idea, however, has not been scientifically tested.