Anabolic-androgenic steroids, or anabolic steroids as they are commonly known, were developed in the 1930s to promote growth of skeletal muscle and to develop male sexual characteristics. The drugs were seen as offering great potential for their protein-building properties, but their use by doctors has, in fact, been quite limited. Anabolic steroid use is more commonly associated with bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other male and female athletes.
Anabolic steroids are associated with athletes involved in sports such as cycling, sprinters, bodybuilding & body shaping.
Anabolic steroids are used because of their ability to improve performance by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat, so their use depends on the type of sport undertaken.
Steroids also find usage in the medical fields. They are used for treating delayed puberty; some types of impotence; wasting of the body due to such conditions as HIV; some types of anemia; osteoporosis (brittle bones in menopausal women) and for itching caused by a liver condition called primary bilary obstruction.
Steroids come with a host of side effects. The side effects of anabolic steroids are serious and not uncommon. In general oral anabolic steroids have more side effects and those containing 17-alky have potentially more adverse side effects. Some side effects are reversible but some could cause permanent damage.
As anabolic steroids are so strongly associated with male traits such as strength and muscles it seems tragic that the side effects of the drug are:
Although no long term studies have been conducted into the effects of anabolic steroids on the heart and the vascular system there is evidence from studies and investigations that they can cause or are risk factors for cardiovascular system damage, problems with blood pressure and lipoproteins such as cholesterol. There is some evidence that anabolic steroids can cause structural changes to the heart and that heart disease and strokes are possible with anabolic steroids especially oral types of the drug