Health and Fitness

The Basics of Steroids: What You Need to Know and the Alternative

Steroids are a class of drugs commonly used to treat various medical conditions and enhance physical performance. While steroids can offer many benefits, they come with potential risks too. In this article, we’ll look at the basics of steroids, their uses and potential side effects, plus an alternative to steroids that may be safer for you.

Steroids are synthetic hormones derived from testosterone, a naturally-occurring hormone. Doctors often prescribe them to people suffering from certain medical conditions such as asthma or other breathing difficulties, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or even cancer. But they’re also widely used illegally in sports and other activities to improve muscle size and strength or endurance levels.

Uses Of Steroids

Doctors often prescribe steroid drugs for several reasons including:

  • To reduce inflammation associated with certain illnesses like arthritis or asthma;
  • To treat certain skin conditions like eczema;
  • To help the immune system recover after trauma;
  • To help combat autoimmune diseases like lupus;
  • As a treatment for some cancers.

Side Effects Of Steroids

Though steroid use comes with potential benefits, there can be serious side effects too when taken without proper supervision or guidance from a doctor. Potential side effects include:

  • Acne breakouts;
  • Weight gain and fluid retention;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Decreased immunity which might make you prone to infections;
  • Mood swings, depression and aggressive behavior;
  • Increase risk of stroke and heart disease due to elevated cholesterol levels.

Alternative To Steroids — HMB Supplements     

For those looking for an alternative option that is safer than taking steroids but still offers similar results, HMB supplements may be worth considering. This supplement is made from leucine and has been studied extensively on its ability to increase muscle mass without any major adverse effect on health if taken correctly. It works by boosting protein synthesis within cells which helps them rebuild itself faster following exercise or strenuous activity thus aiding in muscle growth over time. Additionally, it’s also known to decrease cortisol levels which indirectly helps reduce fat storage in the body while improving recovery time after workouts so you can perform better during training sessions too!

Safety Considerations When Taking HMB Supplements   

Though generally safe when taken correctly according to label instructions or under doctor’s supervision, it’s important not to take more than what is recommended as it could lead to unpleasant side effects such as nausea or diarrhea amongst others depending on individual tolerance level towards supplementation products containing Leucine (HMB). Moreover, always consult your physician before starting any supplements especially if you have existing health issues that need monitoring so they can advise appropriately on how much dosage would suit your needs best!


Steroids are powerful drugs that should only be taken according to instruction from a doctor due its potentially harmful side-effects if abused improperly. For those looking for an alternative option that offers similar results without risking their health may want explore HMB supplements instead – just remember safety must always come first when taking any new supplement product!

James Norris’s editorial director. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from New York University and a BA in English Language and Literature from Rutgers.