Dear Nurse Dave,
What's the deal with Steroids? The ones I take for my asthma only make my blood sugar go up. I don't get any sweet muscles. What's going on here?
Devon, Knoxville, TN
Good question Devon. The first thing you need to understand is that steroid is kind of an umbrella term. There are many things that fit under that umbrella. You can think of it like cheese. There are many, many kinds of cheese and you would be foolish to expect the same flavor from a feta as you would from a cheddar. The steroids you're taking can affect the body in a number of ways but you are taking them primarily for the anti-inflammatory properties (so you can breath).
What you are wondering about is anabolic steroids. These steroids mimic male sex hormones and enable massive amounts of muscle to be gained. Just look at what happened to Barry Bonds following his use of steroids.
Pretty impressive right? Well Devon Steroids aren't all just huge muscles, home runs and chicks. There are some side effects that actually aren't pleasant. There is the psychiatric effect commonly called roid rage. Some say it was the mood disorders caused by steroids that caused Stallone to make this film. There are also sexual side effects including masculine side effects for women (facial hair) and feminine side effects for men (gynecomastia). The roid's can also be hard on your heart and liver. Some men report baldness and increase in head size.
So the question for you Devon would be are sweet muscles worth the side effects? Well they certainly made my favorite childhood TV show possible but my personal answer is sweet muscles are awesome but you don't need anabolic steroids. You just need Tony Horton.