Do you know what they’re used for, how they affect the body, or which might be best to help you meet expectations regarding use?
When it comes to steroids, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of misuse. However, when used correctly, steroids can – and do – provide a number of health benefits.
Aren’t all steroids the same? No. Actually, steroids are often classified into two separate categories: anabolic steroids and corticosteroids.
Knowing when one is preferred over another is important, not only for patients being treated for medical conditions, but athletes and bodybuilders who often (and illegally) buy and use steroids for non-medical reasons.
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Corticosteroids are one of the two major types of steroids and are commonly prescribed to individuals for the treatment of immune system conditions as well as endocrine disorders.
For example, in the treatment of allergies, asthma, arthritis, and in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male hormone testosterone and may also be recommended in the treatment of hypogonadism, to reduce muscle-wasting as often observed with HIV, AIDS, or cancer patients, and other treatments.
Corticosteroids are known as immunosuppressive drugs or immunomodulators. In healthy individuals, some corticosteroids are manufactured in the adrenal cortex of the adrenal glands. Two of these types of steroids are known as aldosterone and cortisol.
Aldosterone is responsible for the regulation of salts or sodium in the body as well as a body fluid volumes. Cortisol is responsible for regulating quantities of fats, proteins, and sugars in the cells.
Corticosteroids are types of steroids that are synthetically designed to perform the same actions as cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the outside layer of the cortex of the adrenal glands.
It should be noted however that a number of corticosteroids are more potent/powerful than cortisol and have a longer mechanism of action.
Other hormones produced by the adrenal cortex are known to maintain secondary sex characteristics such as androgens, estrogens, and progestins.
Corticosteroids are strong drugs commonly used to reduce inflammation. They’re valuable treatments for any condition in which inflammation occurs.
Some of the most common include rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disorders, multiple sclerosis, and severe allergic reactions.
They’re also used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Common types of steroids in this category include but are not limited to:
In some cases, these types of steroids are used for intravenous use in emergency situations. They can also be used orally or topically.
One of the most common side effects of corticosteroids is their ability to reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. It does this by suppressing inflammation, so they are used very carefully.
Common side effects associated with these types of steroids include the potential of worsening high blood pressure, contributing to heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, and osteoporosis.
Testosterone is a naturally produced male hormone in the body that synthetic anabolic steroids seek to mimic.
Anabolic steroids are similar in structure to testosterone. They have a physical impact on the body that influences muscle growth, enhances strength, and improves energy levels.
Some of the most common and well known are those associated with testosterone.
Most types are created for their similarity to testosterone that, because of its behaviors, is often defined interchangeably as a steroid hormone or an anabolic steroid.
Among the most commonly used types of anabolic steroids (also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids), and known by bodybuilders and athletes who use steroids for nonmedical uses include but are not limited to:
Steroids can come in a variety of forms including oral, topical (transdermal), and injectable.
The above list is just a few of the dozens of types used for therapeutic and non-therapeutic reasons.
Therapeutic uses for different types of anabolic steroids include the treatment of anemia or cachexia (muscle-wasting disease), to promote weight gain, and it’s sometimes used in the treatment of osteoporosis.
It’s most commonly prescribed to boost low testosterone levels, and depending on situation, the treatment of renal insufficiency or as part of a hormone therapy treatment care plan.
Determine the difference between different names of steroids, not only according to category, but therapeutic and non-therapeutic use.
When used to treat a medical condition, different steroids – depending on dosage and recommendations – can provide a number of benefits.
Non-therapeutic use of any types of anabolic steroids are not recommended by the medical community at large due to the potential for misuse, abuse, and sometimes permanent steroids side effects and adverse reactions.