When people talk about performance-enhancing drugs, most of us would probably think of human growth hormones (HGH) and anabolic steroids arising on top of the list.
While they are often discussed simultaneously, almost making it seem like they are a derivative of either or are the same in nature, some people are not aware of their major differences.
However, before discussing their differences, it is better to know and understand each of their characteristics, where they come from and how they affect our bodies – regardless if we’re athletes or not – in general.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONES
Human growth hormones or simply, HGH is naturally produced by the pituitary gland which is located at the base of the brain.
It generally stimulates growth in children and adolescents.
It is also known to help in regulating body composition, chemicals in the body, muscle and bone growth, density and mass, glucose and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function.
In children, HGH injections are approved for treating short stature or low levels of human growth hormones due to several medical causes.
In adults, some of the approved uses of HGH include: short bowel syndrome – a condition which is characterized by low nutrient-absorption due to either severe and/or chronic intestinal disease or the surgical removal of a large portion of the small intestine – HGH deficiency due to pituitary tumors or severe damage of the pituitary gland and muscle-wasting due to HIV/AIDS.
Somatropin, as it is known to many, is a synthetic form of human growth hormone made available in the market that is generally used to treat stunted growth in children and adults with lesser natural growth hormones in their bodies.
Read Also: Legal Somatropin Alternative
It is also used as a treatment for chronic illnesses like kidney failure, Noonan syndrome, Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and many others.
Some medical specialists also use this treatment to prevent sudden and severe weight loss in patients with HIV/AIDS.
It may also be used for other purposes such as anti-aging, development of muscle mass in bodybuilders and athletes and improvement of sexual urge and overall stamina.
Anabolic steroids are also naturally produced in the body and have several functions.
Some of these functions include the promotion of the growth of skeletal muscles (anabolic effects) and the development of secondary sex characteristics of male (androgenic effects) in both males and females.
Steroids are used primarily to treat hypogonadism – a condition characterized by the inability of the testes to produce enough testosterone that can stimulate normal growth, development, and sexual functioning.
The basic medical uses of anabolic steroids are to treat delayed puberty, impotence, and muscle wasting either associated with HIV/AIDS or other diseases.
It was in the early 1930s when studies have uncovered the ability of anabolic steroids to facilitate skeletal muscle growth, thus leading to the use and abuse of bodybuilders, weightlifters, and even athletes of this compound.
Although it is prohibited, many athletes often choose to use this because of its effects on the muscle mass and strength, as well as agility and overall performance.
Decabolin is one of the most famous types of synthetically-made anabolic steroid available and widely used by many athletes and bodybuilders.
For those who are not familiar with this genuinely enhancing steroid, here are some basic facts that you need to know and to add, some risks in overdosing or not taking as prescribed.
- It is often compared with the effects of testosterone
- It initiates the development of muscle tissues, increases our energy levels and endurance
- It helps fight infections and boosts our immune system
- It aids in curing mild depression
Some of the most common risks in taking Decabolin are nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, increase or decrease in sexual urge, increased blood pressure, and gynecomastia in men (development of breast mass).
HGH or STEROIDS: WHICH IS MORE BENEFICIAL AND LESS HARMFUL?
As many of us generally know, growth hormone and steroids are both beneficial for muscle formation and development.
These are two chemicals used by athletes, bodybuilders, and even people who are conscious of their body image.
They may have almost the same benefits, but they surely have side effects that are poles apart.
For one, steroids are known to have addictive properties that even as you have reached your goal and its desired effect on your body, you would find it difficult to quit using steroids.
Unlike growth hormones which have no such effect due to the fact that it is made from natural sources.
Furthermore, the general undesirable effects of steroids cannot surpass its good effects, especially if we are speaking long-term.
Using steroids can lead to male impotence and/or genital infections, while growth hormones do not have such side effects.
In general, using growth hormone versus steroids is better because you’ll not need to worry about filling your body with harmful chemicals.