What steroids are and how they work. Not just the muscles gym kind, but also the medecine
They are molcules that are identical or mimic the hormones our own body creates.
Depending on the molecule it tells our body to do one or more things.
~~Adrenaline f.ex. Increases our heart rate, expands the airways to allow for more oxygen intake, makes our neurons work quicker, dulls pain and removes the mental limiter that protects us from the strength of our own muscles working at 100% capacity. It probably has even more effects but I’m not avare of then from the top of my head.~~
Anabloic steroids mimic the human growth hormone, somatotropin. And tells our body among other things to build more muscle cells. It too tells our body to do more things but I thought I’d do a short version about hormones that I know a little more about.
Most hormones can be used for medical purposes, far fewer are used for gym purposes.
Edit: **IMPORTANT,** I have been notified I had false information. I put stikethorugh over it to show it’s to be discarded, but I also don’t want the reply to my comment seem odd.
Corticosteroids are I’m guessing what you are referring to, and they, among other things, mimic or are just exogenous versions of what your body produces naturally. You may have heard of “cortisol” and how it is a stress hormone – it does more than just stress response but it is one of the core corticosteroids. In medicine, these are most commonly used because high levels of the decrease the activity of the immune system, and reduce inflammation.
The sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are also steroids are are important in developing sex characteristics. It happens that testosterone and its derivatives are also anabolic steroids, which means steroids that help build. Anabolic steroids are what people trying to build muscle use, though they usually use something stronger than just testosterone, as it helps build muscle faster, but also has negative side-effects. For trans people, testosterone, testosterone blockers and estrogens are used for medical, non-surgical transitioning, and progesterone is used in a lot of birth control pills as it regulates the period cycle.
Cholesterol is also a steroid. Steroid simply means it has 4 fused carbon rings in its structure. There are other steroids in eg. plants like the phytoestrogens of soy people like to bring up. Some have medical significants, others do not.
Vitamin D is also related to steroids, as the body creates a precursor to vitamin D from cholesterol that is itself a steroid, and UV light exposure on your skin is used to break apart the ring structure for it to be converted to active vitamin D.
Steroids and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) both stop inflammation in the body which in turn reduces pain.
The difference is steroids COMPLETELY block ALL inflammatory activity including immune system cells (WBCs) but NSAIDS like ibuprofen only block inflammation and pain without immune effect but are less powerful than steroids.
The ‘gym kind’ steroids are called anabolic steroids like testosterone which increases muscle size and growth and is produced within our body
They are fat like molecules, all fats have long chains of carbon, steroids have 4 carbon chain rings.
Hope this helps
Feel free to ask more questions 🙂
Steroids are a type of chemical compound that is based on 4 rings of carbon. These 4 rings have other things attached to them. Creating 4 rings of carbon is relatively easy, and is a great base for creating a large variety of compounds. This large variety means steroids can have a large variety of functions. Each of these will do different things, so it isn’t feasible to give an answer for how all steroids work.