When many people hear the term “anabolic steroids”, their minds are immediately drawn to bodybuilders, athletes, and performance enhancement in general. However, anabolic steroids were originally created to treat a variety of medical conditions. Here are some excellent examples of steroids in medicine and why they play such an important role in the wellbeing of millions of people.
The following steroid medicine options are still prescribed in countries like the United States despite the Controlled Substances Act. Each one has its own inherent set of benefits, and some are more popular medicinal steroids than others.
|Prescribed Steroid||FDA Approved Use||Other Uses|
Of course, some doctors may prescribe other steroids not listed here. It is important to consider that doctors in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and many other countries do not prescribe anabolic steroids for performance enhancement. This would be considered off-label use, and prescribing it for these reasons could lead to penalties.
The most common use for steroids in medicine is for low testosterone, or Low-T as many physicians refer to it. This is a condition in which men’s bodies no longer produce enough testosterone to keep them feeling healthy and happy. Testosterone is, in fact, an anabolic steroid, and the hormone from which all other anabolic steroids are derived. Physicians prescribe a variety of testosterone esters to treat Low-T depending on the severity and the patient’s overall tolerance to the particular treatment. In these cases, the testosterone comes in a variety of forms including gels, creams, patches, pills, and even injections.
Certain diseases that affect the immune system also cause people to lose weight and muscle tone, which inhibits their ability to exercise and may even spread the progression of those diseases. HIV/AIDS is the prime example; there are numerous anabolic steroids on the market that can improve patients’ appetites and help build lean, healthy muscle tissue at the same time. The most commonly used steroid is Anavar, or oxandrolone. Numerous clinical studies have shown significant improvements in patients with HIV/AIDS who are treated with Anavar over the course of several weeks.
In some cases, physicians may work to prevent the muscle loss that comes as a result of certain conditions and their treatments. This involves prescribing steroids in medicine at low doses designed to help improve protein synthesis and thus maintain existing muscle mass. Patients who undergo this treatment are often advised to consume high-protein, nutrient-rich diets and may even supplement their diets with shakes or other meal replacement products, too. Often, this treatment can adequately prevent any major loss of muscle.
Many people experience loss of appetite for many reasons. Some may lack adequate amounts of certain hormones, such as ghrelin, which is responsible for creating the sensation of hunger. Others may experience loss of appetite as a side effect of a certain type of medication or treatment, including cancer treatments like chemotherapy. In some cases, medicinal steroids can improve these individuals’ appetites, allowing them to eat enough calories and nutrients to remain healthy. Often, steroids are a “last-ditch effort” for these patients, but they can provide a better quality of life.
Osteoporosis is a condition marked by the loss of bone density, which can result in brittle bones and increased risk of fractures. Some anabolic steroids, such as Deca Durabolin, have been shown to increase bone density significantly when used in low doses over time. What’s more, anabolic steroids are sometimes used as a treatment for advanced osteoarthritis as it can protect the bones in the joints and relieve a significant amount of pain. Again, it is quite rare for doctors to prescribe anabolic steroids for this reason.
Delayed-onset puberty is a common use of steroids in medicine, particularly among adolescent males. When puberty has not occurred by the age of 15 or 16, physicians will often intervene in hopes of helping these children achieve a normal height and muscle mass for their ages. Testosterone, including blends like Sustanon, are often quite successful in triggering puberty in these boys. In some very rare cases, stronger steroids may be used to achieve the same goals, especially if the patient is resistant to testosterone treatment.
Another common use for steroids in medicine is to treat hereditary angioedema, or a condition that causes swelling in the arms, legs, throat, face, windpipe, sexual organs, and/or bowels. The swelling typically happens in “episodes”, which means there are two different types of treatment – preventative treatment and treatment of acute episodes. Anabolic steroids like Anavar or even Andriol have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of acute hereditary angioedema attacks, thereby improving the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of patients around the world.
Steroids in medicine are also used to treat immune hemolytic anemia, or a condition in which the body creates antibodies that destroy red blood cells, rendering the patient anemic. Oftentimes, this form of anemia is the result of certain chemicals, toxins, or drugs, but it may also be caused by blood transfusions and certain types of cancers. Mild anabolic steroids can help provide the building blocks necessary for the body to create more red blood cells than the antibodies can destroy, thus reducing the patient’s anemia and improving their overall health and well-being.
There are plenty of steroids in medicine these days, even though FDA has cracked down on the number of anabolic steroids that are legal – even with a prescription. They treat conditions like Low-T, anemia, and a variety of other diseases and disorders, allowing people to live fuller, happier, and longer lives. This just goes to show that not all anabolic steroids are bad for you, and if you use them responsibly, they can actually improve your health in many cases.