That’s what most of us immediately think of when we hear the word “steroid”.
We think of bodybuilders and athletes with massive musculature and impressive strength.
However, it’s important to know that while steroid results week by week can fulfill a number of expectations in regard to physical endowment, they are also extremely beneficial in the treatment of a number of medical conditions.
When it comes to results however, always be aware that every time you have a benefit, there is often a downside.
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There is no doubt that steroids can provide a number of positive benefits.
This is especially true for those who are using it under a doctor’s guidance in the treatment of a medical condition.
For example, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergies, or a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis.
It is also obvious that steroid results are also prevalent in athletes and bodybuilders who are using the drug illegally, and often in much higher doses than medically recommended.
Are results always positive? No. A number of factors can determine the efficacy or the overall effect that any kind of steroid can have on a specific individual.
Age, present health status, any contributing medical conditions or factors, as well as dosage and frequency of dosage can have a huge impact on whether steroid results are positive or fraught with side effects or problems.
Steroids – anabolic and corticosteroid – are prescription-only for a reason. They’re extremely powerful and can have a huge impact not only on physical, but mental health.
These types of drugs also have a huge potential for misuse and abuse, which is why they are considered a scheduled and controlled substance by governmental agencies around the world.
How fast do steroids work to build muscle? What does the science have to say?
Anabolic steroids used properly in the treatment of a number of medical scenarios can produce positive and often impressive steroid results after 1 month, but when used illegally, also come with a risk.
Corticosteroids can also provide a wide range of benefits to individuals diagnosed with anything from lupus to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, allergies, and asthma, but side effects must always be considered alongside the benefits.
While the greatest number of individuals taking steroids legally are taking corticosteroids, and side effects are typically mild and temporary while dosages are adjusted.
The same is not said of anabolic steroids.
These are most commonly used illegally and in massive doses by bodybuilders that are often 10 to 100 times greater than that recommended by medical professionals in the treatment of any medical condition.
The lack of studies regarding the effect of anabolic steroids is not so surprising.
Given that a large number of athletes and bodybuilders using steroids are doing so illegally and are not exactly going to be willing to step forward to engage in a clinical study.
However, a couple studies stand out.
In 2010, the American Heart Association determined that long-term use of anabolic steroids can detrimentally affect long-term heart health including but not limited to left ventricular damage, contributing to decreased blood pumping volume and capacity, as well as decreased diastolic function.
The British Heart Foundation recently completed research that reports the link between high blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy (thickened heart muscle) to anabolic steroids.
There is still discussion, and frequent arguments, among bodybuilders and medical personnel whether anabolic steroids can actually cause heart damage or whether individuals have/had a pre-existing heart condition that is exacerbated by steroid use.
That discussion argument is heavily linked to the situation involving pro bodybuilder Mike Matarazzo, who died at 47 years of age from heart failure.
On a heart transplant list when he died, Matarazzo had endured triple bypass surgery at 30 years of age and a heart attack at 41. He blamed his use of steroids for his heart condition.
A 2009 study regarding abuse of anabolic steroids by Columbia University Medical Center determined that 9 out of the 10 bodybuilders in this study had developed a medical condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
This is associated with scar tissue inside the kidneys, that was similar to the damage in the kidneys of morbidly obese patients, but even more severe.
So, can steroid results be positive and beneficial? Yes they can, for many.
Effects may also be surprisingly unpleasant and have increasingly been linked to long-term damage to a number of internal organs.
Studies involving illicit and extreme use of steroids are becoming more common.
This is because of the increasing number of athletes and bodybuilders now being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (pre-existing or not) as well as increased aggression, potential kidney damage, or liver damage and/or failure.
Just be aware that steroid results are not always positive.