In fitness and bodybuilding, legal steroids are steroids that do not require a prescription because of their technical classification as dietary supplements. They frequently are associated with the family of anabolic steroids that promote cell growth. The legality in the prescription-free dispensation of legal steroids varies from one territory to another. Users of this form of steroids, therefore, must check with local authorities on the availability of legal steroids as non-prescription drugs, including their substitutes, such as pro-hormones.
Anabolic steroids that are promoted by companies in their websites as legal steroids can serve many therapeutic purposes. They induce bone growth, increase appetite and accelerate the transition to physical maturity of boys who have retarded growth. They promote considerable muscle gain that dramatically improves athletic performance. Doctors also use legal steroids in treating chronic diseases such as cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). These steroids also function as effective male contraceptives.
Steroids, including legal steroids, must be used with extra care, because abusing them can lead to risky medical conditions. Males can have reduced sperm count, become impotent or have an enlarged prostate gland, which is the organ that combines fluid with sperm to form semen. The use of steroids by females, on the other hand, can result in a reduction in the size of their breasts, distorted menstrual cycle, hair growth on the body and the face and an oversize clitoris. For both sexes, the side effects include hypertension, baldness, dermatological problems such as acne, liver damage, sleeping disorders and heart disease, among other things. Emotional problems also might develop, such as being paranoid, hostile or suicidal, to name a few.
One of the main reasons behind the abuse of steroids is the obsession for athletic excellence. Scandals relating to steroid abuse in the international Olympic community have caused steroids to be banned among competing athletes. Others excessively use steroids to increase muscle size or keep their body fat low, which for some, consequently, result in muscle dysmorphia — a condition that causes the steroid users to feel that they are too small and are weaklings despite the fact that they have a muscular build and are in good shape. Those who suffer physical harassment and sexual abuse also have resorted to abusing steroids in the hope that they can build superior muscular bodies in order to scare off future assailants.
Steroids by themselves are good for people if used properly. Their abuse, however, can result in life-threatening health conditions. People must, therefore, exercise good judgment in taking steroids.