What Are Steroids & How Anabolic Steroids Vs CorticoSteroids Differ ?

People often relate Anabolic Steroids and Corticosteroids because they both contain the word Steroid in them but they do not relate to each other at all.

Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone are a kind of drug which can be used in treating various medical conditions such as Inflammation.

Very often, they are referred to as just “Steroids” which is one of the main reasons behind this confusion.

On the other hand, Anabolic Steroids are a class of drugs which are used by athletes and professional bodybuilders because they are known for their property of enhancing the performance of its users by boosting the overall strength and stamina of the users.

However, these two products are as different from each other as they can be instead of sharing the same molecular formula.

The steroid is a chemical word that is used to describe chemical compounds that contain 4 or more fused rings of 17 carbon atoms. Steroids serve a variety of functions, but among them, the most prominent function is to maintain and protect the integrity of the cell’s membrane or to activate the receptors present on the top surface of the cells to regulate their behavior. Some other kinds and varieties of Steroids are as follows:

  • Sex Steroids include the likes of Estrogen, Testosterone, and Progesterone.
  • Corticosteroids include the likes of Cortisol which helps in regulating the immune function of mineralocorticoids like aldosterone which helps in regulating the balance of electrolytes.
  • Secosteroids including the likes of Vitamin D help in regulating various biological functions of our body.
  • Neurosteroids such as DHEA help in regulating and synthesize various male and female hormones.
What are Steroids

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic are nothing more than chemically altered and synthesised version of natural sex hormones found in men such as Androgens.

They are used by athletes and professionals to boost the anabolic effects in our body i.e promoting the growth of skeletal muscles in humans and they are also consumed to boost our body’s androgenic effect which is boosting the development of natural men characteristics like growth of hair on face, deepening of voice and enlargement of male sex organs.

How Do People Use Anabolic Steroids ?

People who use anabolic steroids usually follow three different methods of consuming these anabolic steroids:

  1. Cycling

    No not cycling as in case of bicycles but consuming these Anabolic Steroids in cycles of about 6-12 weeks and then taking some time off, usually 4 weeks from the use of these steroids.

  2. Stacking

    Many a time bodybuilders want to maximize their gains in a relatively shorter period of time and this is when they stack their anabolic steroids with other supplements i.e take these steroids and other supplements simultaneously for maximizing their gains during the workouts.

  3. Pyramiding

    In this process, the intake amount of steroids follow the path of a pyramid i.e increasing the peak in the initial time to maximize the dosage and then gradually decreasing the intake amount.

Types of Anabolic Steroids

As of now, there are more than 30 (32 to be precise) anabolic steroids listed on various commercial websites.

Some of these steroids are used strictly for medical purposes, some others are used strictly for enhancing performance while the rest serve both the mentioned purposes.

The most common reasons why many people start using the use of steroids are:

Anabolic Steroids

Side Effects

There are multiple side effects associated with the use of Anabolic Steroids and this is one of the main reasons why many countries have banned the use of steroids and the use of such enhancing drugs are banned by many sports organizations like IOC, FIFA etc.

Some of the most common side effects associated with the use of steroids are:


Corticosteroids are a drug type which is used to treat problems related to inflammation but their use is limited because of the potential side effects related with the use of these corticosteroids.


Corticosteroids have a lot of different uses and this is the reason why it is used extensively in the medical industry for the treatment of various medical conditions.

They have the capabilities of reducing inflammation, suppressing the overactive responses of the immune system, and treating various hormonal imbalances.

Corticosteroids are known to have their effects very fast in our body which makes them a good choice for treatment of medical conditions which develop rapidly in no time and can also be used to treat various allergies.

Some medical conditions which can be treated with the Corticosteroids drugs are:

Types and Drug List

There are multiple generic forms in which Corticosteroids can exist and some of them are:

Some of the most common form in which these Corticosteroids drugs are available:


Side Effects

There are different side effects which can occur if you have been using Corticosteroid drugs for quite some time now and some of them are:

If you have been using Corticosteroids drug for some time now, the natural production of Cortisol by your body’s Adrenal Glands can be affected and you might need to stop using Corticosteroid drugs for some time if you want to restore the natural production.

When used for shorter periods of time, Corticosteroids are considered to be safe but still can have a few side effects like a reduction in appetite, changes in sleeping patterns and mood of its users.

A research study conducted in the year 2017 also proved that users who used Corticosteroid drugs for a period of 30 days were at a greater risk of suffering from issues and diseases such as clotting of blood, bone fractures and even sepsis.

How Does Corticosteroid Work ?

Corticosteroids try to replicate the effects of some hormones in our body like the Cortisol hormone. A doctor usually describes these drugs to increase the level of Cortisol hormone in your body if the level is low.

This increase in hormones suppresses the functionality of our body’s immune system and thus reduces inflammation because in our body, inflammation is activated by our immune system itself.

Risks Related To Corticosteroids Usage

There can be many substantial risks related with the use of Corticosteroids because it suppresses our body’s immune system. For doctors, Corticosteroids is usually the last option of treatment and is used only if other treatment options are not working because of its rapid effects on our body in quick periods of time.

However, people who suffer from Diabetes should be careful with the use of Corticosteroids because these drugs are known to rapidly increase the levels of sugar in our body’s bloodstream which might pose some issues for diabetic patients.

Pregnant women should also try to avoid the use of Corticosteroids because although there is no known evidence of side effects on pregnant women, risks are always there.

Corticosteroids can also interfere with medications as it might decrease the effects of some medicine you take while it might also make some of your medicines more potent when it comes to their use. Thus one must consult their doctor for issues related to the use of Corticosteroids if you are suffering from;

Some vaccines might have dangerous interactions with Corticosteroids and especially vaccines for Tuberculosis, Measles and mumps.

However, taking a limited dose or dose recommended by your doctor can help in reducing these risks and side effects associated with the use of Corticosteroids.

One should also try to minimize the interactions of Corticosteroids with other medications we have mentioned above and one should always tell their medical problems to the doctor while they are prescribing you these Corticosteroid Drugs.

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