What Steroids Treat

Steroids contain testosterone, a male sex hormone, which helps to rebuild tissue that is weak or impotent in growing. This medicine belongs to the group of medicines known as anabolic steroids. Weakness can occur for any reasons related to serious injury or illness. A diet high in proteins and calories is necessary with anabolic steroid treatment.

Anabolic steroids are used for several reasons:

  • When patients fail to gain or maintain normal weight because of unexplained medical reasons such as after a severe illness, injury or continuing infection
  • To treat certain types of anemia
  • To treat certain kinds of breast cancer in some women
  • To treat hereditary angioedema which causes swelling of the face, arms, legs, throat, windpipe, bowels or sexual organs

Although these uses are not included in product labeling, anabolic steroids may be used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Certain blood clotting diseases
  • Growth failure
  • Turner’s syndrome

Steroids and Depression

Steroids act as potent mood elevators thereby mimicking the effects that are experienced when using anti-depressant drugs. Consequently, when a steroid cycle is stopped, many male athletes experience a condition known as “estrogen rebound.” The “other hormone” that a male produces in smaller amounts than women is suppressed during the steroid cycle. Once the cycle has been stopped, estrogen production which had been suppressed during the steroid cycle is now released as if “a dam had broken.”
The greater the dosage of anabolic/ androgenic steroids used for longer periods of time the more severe the rebound effect of estrogen can be.

Steroids and Cancer

Steroids are really useful in the care of those with advanced cancer when short life expectancy from their condition means physicians are far more relaxed about long-term side effects.

Oddly enough, brain tumours often respond dramatically to steroids. Because the brain is contained in a bony box inside the skull, pressure can build up inside the head, resulting in headaches, sickness, drowsiness and other problems. Brain scans often show that a tumour the size of a walnut can be surrounded by a big immune reaction with brain swelling and inflammation. Steroids reduce the additional swelling, often reversing symptoms and buying time – maybe a few weeks. The underlying cancer continues to grow and if the person finally begins to deteriorate, death often follows rapidly as the steroid dose is reduced.

Steroids and Asthma

Inhaled steroids are the most effective asthma medications to reduce airway inflammation and mucus production. The use of inhaled steroids leads to:

  • Better asthma control
  • Fewer symptoms and flare-ups
  • Reduced need for hospitalization

Note that while inhaled steroids prevent asthma symptoms, they do not relieve asthma symptoms you already have. Dosages of inhaled steroids in asthma inhalers vary.

Steroid Abuse Help

Steroids are really powerful, with wide ranges of actions, producing dramatic effects ranging from pain relief to mood elevation. If it were not for the very serious side effects they would be used even more often.

If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction to steroids, please call the toll free number at the top of the screen. Someone is available 24 hours a day to help.