What is the difference between anabolics and corticosteroids?

Steroids are man-made drugs that will not cure you of various illnesses but will reduce inflammation and help reduce pain. There are mainly two types of steroids:

  1. Corticosteroids
  2. Anabolic and androgenic steroids (ASA or anabolic steroids).

Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids are human-made variants that are naturally produced by the adrenal glands and gonads. Both are used for different purposes and uses. Corticosteroids are used to reduce pain and swelling in musculoskeletal problems caused by inflammation. Anabolic steroids are used to build muscle mass and improve physical appearance. In this article, we are going to look at the multiple differences between anabolic steroids and corticosteroids.


An example of corticosteroid cream to treat allergy

What are corticosteroids?

The corticosteroids are versatile drugs that are used to treat a variety of conditions. They are used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as bowel disease, respiratory problems, and arthritis. Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to treat autoimmune diseases like myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis.

They usually come as an oral medication, cream, gel, inhaler, or droplet. This medicine spreads into your blood and relieves you of this pain.

1. How do corticosteroids work?

Corticosteroids work by mimicking cortisol (a natural stress hormone). This effect reduces inflammation in the body and also suppresses your body’s immune system. Corticosteroids are prescribed in doses that match your body level.

For example, if your doctor gives you high doses, they will reduce your inflammation and help relieve your pain. Higher doses of corticosteroids can be used to treat autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disease occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Using high doses of corticosteroids reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. Also, when it decreases your inflammation, it prevents your immune system from damaging healthy cells.

2. Side effects of corticosteroids

All drugs have various Side effects due to their high doses and frequent long-term use. However, all of these many side effects depend on different factors such as general health, age, and organ function. If you frequently use high doses of corticosteroids, this can cause various side effects, as listed below:

  • Mood swings
  • Hypertension (increased blood pressure)
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Muscular weakness
  • Acne
  • Memory problems
  • Stomach irritation
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Insomnia
  • High blood sugar
  • Eye problems

You should always avoid using high-dose, long-term corticosteroids. Here is the self-care tips for the different side effects that can be caused by high doses of corticosteroids.

What are anabolic steroids?

The steroids are also called anabolic-androgenic steroids or anabolic steroids. The term anabolic steroids refer to the growth of muscle mass, and the term androgen refers to changes in male sex characteristics. Anabolic steroids come in two different forms: Oral steroids and injectable steroids.

You can buy anabolic steroids online here. Initially, anabolic steroids were used for medical treatment. Today, they are used to build muscle mass, increase energy, strength, and endurance. It also improves the overall performance level and improves the recovery rate.

1. How do anabolic steroids work?

Anabolic steroids are taken orally, or you can inject various steroids into your body. When you take steroids, they travel through your bloodstream and end up in your muscle tissue. These drugs interact with the DNA of the muscle cell to stimulate cell growth. Adequate diet and proper training are necessary to achieve effective results. Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) block the hormone cortisol from binding to muscle cells, resulting in muscle breakdown, and the end result is less fatigue after training.

AAS was originally developed to treat several medical conditions such as anemia, breast cancer, delayed puberty, and many more. ASA stimulates the development of various male characteristics and lowers the sex hormone estrogen in women. It helps you slow down the growth of cancer.

It’s not just cancer; bodybuilders and professional athletes use anabolic steroids to improve their physical appearance and increase their overall performance. Many famous bodybuilders have also admitted and believe that anabolic steroids help them win the medal.

2. Side effects of anabolic steroids

High dose anabolic steroids and their long term use negatively impact your health and can cause various side effects which are mentioned below:

  • Toxic to the liver
  • Increased number of red blood cells
  • Low HDL (good cholesterol) and high LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Mood swings
  • Acne
  • Water retention and hot flashes
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Osteoporosis

The use of anabolic steroids has different effects in men and women. So let’s check them out.

3. Possible side effects of anabolic steroids in men

  • Low sperm count and infertility
  • Gynecomastia (enlargement of the male breast)
  • Changes in libido
  • Shrinkage of the testicles
  • Sterility
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease


4. Possible side effects of anabolic steroids in women.

  • Deepening of the voice
  • Breast shrinkage
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Growth of body and facial hair
  • Clitoral lengthening

Long-term use of anabolic steroids can impact your physical and psychological health. You should therefore avoid large doses and long-term use. However, it is not necessary for you to face all the side effects as it depends on various factors like age, gender, steroid doses, and length of steroid cycles.

The good news for steroid users is that if you follow the recommended steroid cycles with the correct dosage and take anti-estrogen protections during the cycle. It is also important to perform post-cycle therapy at the end of the steroid cycle; you will experience very few or no side effects.


The anabolic steroids play a predominant role in muscle growth and improve body strength. In comparison, corticosteroids help you reduce inflammation and ease pain.

Bodybuilders, powerlifters widely use steroids, as well as professional athletes to improve their physical appearance and overall performance. Steroids are also used for medical treatments, as we discussed in the section above. Corticosteroids are used to treat patients suffering from various conditions such as asthma, chronic diseases, inflamed joints, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic rhinitis, and many more.

These two drugs can cause various side effects if you use their high doses or use them frequently for a long time.

The doses of steroids depend on your goal and the purpose for which you are using them for the mass gain or weight loss phase. The doses of corticosteroids depend on your level of health.

Steroids are taken orally, or you can use injections. Corticosteroids are taken by mouth, injection, cream, gel, inhaler, or nasal spray.

Anabolic steroids are recommended for users over the age of 21. Patients who have any of the above conditions can use corticosteroids.

It is necessary to consult your doctor or seek advice from training experts before taking AAS. Your doctor will provide you with the best prescribed doses of Corticosteroids for your level of health.

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