This question is answerable by both yes and no. Depending on your purpose, you may or may not use steroids.
Steroids are used as the main treatment for certain inflammatory conditions. As such, if steroids are prescribed by your doctor, then by all means you can use it. It is commonly prescribed to treat inflammation of blood vessels or systemic vasculitis and inflammation of muscles or myositis. Steroids prevent the damage caused by inflammation of body organs and provide relief from pain with certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. When used as a treatment, steroids are usually being injected to the specific area, which is less likely to produce more serious side effects than taking in oral steroids.
However, some have practiced the illegal use of steroids, especially in the area of bodybuilding. Steroids are known to mimic the effects of the male sex hormone testosterone, making it a useful drug to speed up muscle growth, but it also exposes the body to detrimental side effects.
Steroids are effective in building muscles as it peppers the muscle tissues with receptor sites specific to growth. This is so because its chemical composition is very much alike with testosterone. It stimulates the receptor sites in the muscle tissue, resulting in a cumulative effect of metabolic reactions as steroids teach the body to continuously increase muscle tissue production.
This results to a rapid increase in muscle strength; thus, a weightlifter increases his endurance to lift heavier weights, sustaining longer training periods because of an improved recovery rate. However, muscles produced by steroids are not as firm as those produced by proper training and natural supplements. There is usually fluid retention when building muscles by using steroids, making the muscle tissues soft and bloated.
Bodybuilding experts who are concerned with the health of their clients do not encourage the use of steroids. In addition to health damages it may bring, long-term use of steroids may also result to psychological dependence causing someone to have extreme anger or depression when prohibited to use steroids.
An easy to recognize side effect of steroids is skin damage. The abuse of this drug can cause acne, oily hair and skin. Illegal users of steroids are prone to infections as they may use non-sterile injection techniques or use contaminated/pre-used needles from other users. This poses the threat of acquiring viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis.
The illegal use of steroids causes harm to both male and female users. Male users will experience reduced sperm production and shrinking testicles. While it is possible to reverse this issue, the irreversible side effects of steroids are male-pattern baldness and breast development for men. For female users, it may cause decrease in body fat and breast size, enlargement of clitoris, development of masculine voice and loss of scalp hair but increased hair growth in other body parts.
The fatal side effects of steroids are damages to cardiovascular system and liver. Illegal users may suffer heart attacks and strokes, regardless of age. Liver tumors have been associated with the illegal use of steroids as well as the formation of blood-filled cysts in the liver, known as peliosis hepatic, which may cause internal bleeding. This may lead to death.
Now that you know what are steroids for and what these can do to your health, to answer the question whether you should use steroids or not will not be that difficult.