Steroid hormones are normally produced in the body by the adrenal gland. They are also available in a synthetic form as drugs and in such case they are often prescribed to people suffering from autoimmune illnesses and allergies. Certain artificial steroids are used (abused) by people who wish to build their muscles fast and increase their muscles mass. Since there are many side effects of steroid hormones it is essential to be familiar with all the effects as well as the side effects of steroids.
The Effects of Steroids in the Human Body
Human body produces corticosteroids, natural steroid hormones. They are synthesized in the adrenal gland and released into the blood.
Corticosteroids are also known as stress hormones because the body increases their production as a response to a state of stress. Human corticosteroids have many effects and increase of the blood pressure and blood sugar levels are only two of them. They act against inflammation and towards wound healing.
On the other hand, synthetic steroids are frequently used by people suffering from autoimmune illnesses and allergies. These drugs are highly effective against inflammation caused by the abnormal response of the body. Namely, in autoimmune diseases the body attacks its own cells not recognizing them. Artificial steroids in this way reduce extensive body's reaction and suppress inflammation. These drugs can be administered orally or they are injected. There are many side effects of synthetic steroids which usually occur if the dose of the drug is high or if they are used for a longer period of time.
Steroids and Building Muscle Mass
Some forms of artificial steroids are excessively and uncontrollably used by people who want to rapidly build muscle mass. Once these drugs are introduced into the body they bind specific receptors on certain cells. They cause changes in cell functioning and since majority of them are anabolic steroids (contain synthetic testosterone) they actually cause effects similar to natural testosterone. One of the effects is an increase in muscle mass and strength. The most prominent effect of these steroids is stimulation of body cells to build new proteins. They increase the rate of protein production. Therefore, such drugs aid in formation of muscle mass.
Side Effects of Steroids
There are many side effects of both, naturally produced steroids as well as the synthetic ones. In case steroids are used in treatment of diseases the doctor pays attention to all potential side affects by adjusting the dose or prescribes additional drugs that can prevent side effects of corticosteroids.
In case of steroid abuse there are many side effects and even though they are similar to both genders there is a slight difference.
Steroid abuse is commonly accompanied by acne, increase in blood pressure, increase in level of cholesterol in the blood, liver malfunction, balding and aggression. Men who abuse these drugs may develop gynecomastia and their testicles shrink while the prostate enlarges. Women who use too much of artificial steroids may start developing male characteristics such as excessive facial and body hair growth and coarse skin. Prolonged usage is associated with cardiovascular problems, liver failure and in case these drugs are taken by children who are still in the phase of growth and development the effects can be detrimental. Namely, such drugs cause stunted growth in children and young people who are still growing.