Corticosteroids, commonly known as steroids, are anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat several conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Immune system disorders
- Asthma and allergies
- Skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema
- Inflammatory bowel disease
The adrenal gland in our body naturally produces a hormone called cortisol. Steroids are the manufactured version of this hormone. Steroids imitate the function of these hormones in our bodies. Although they do not cure your body, they are extremely helpful in alleviating symptoms, for example, pain, stiffness, and swelling.
People consume steroids in several ways, which include:
- Oral steroids: These include tablets, liquids and syrups
- Injections: Commonly used for joint problems and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Nasal sprays: Commonly used in the treatment of nose allergies.
- Creams, lotions and gels: Used to treat various skin problems.
- Inhalers: You inhale these in your lungs. They are commonly used for asthma.
In most cases, you will need a prescription to buy steroids, especially if you are taking prednisone regularly. [more on it later]
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Corticosteroids are steroids which help in the treatment of diseases. Apart from these, there are other types of steroids that bodybuilders and athletes use to improve muscle gain. Young people also use steroids to look muscular.
Anabolic steroids are the kind of steroids that function like the male sex hormone, testosterone. These are the synthetic versions of testosterone. Anabolic steroids affect many body parts and systems, including muscles, bones, liver, kidneys, blood pressure, blood sugar, immune system, reproductive system, and central nervous system.
Testosterone is responsible for deepening voice, facial and body hair growth, increased muscle mass and sex drive in males during puberty. Anabolic steroids can help you gain muscle mass and decrease the recovery time between workouts. However, these can have several adverse effects, mainly when misused. If used in the long term, they can cause heart problems such as an enlarged heart and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, kidney problems and failure, high blood pressure, changes in blood cholesterol levels, liver damage and tumors, aggression, skin problems, irritability, mood swings, depression, damage to nerves, difficulty in sleeping, fluid retention, and, an increased sex drive.
A recent study explained the sudden deaths of previously healthy athletes because of heart failures and cardiac arrest. These athletes used anabolic androgenic steroids. Doctors never prescribe anabolic steroids for muscle gain. People use them illegally to increase their body weight and gain muscle mass.
How Do Steroids Work to Fight Infections and Inflammation?
Adrenal glands are two small glands which are present above our kidneys. They are responsible for producing hormones in the human body. Steroids are the synthetic version of these hormones, which the adrenal glands in your body naturally produce.
The steroid treatment in lower doses is a medical strategy to fight infections where it reduces swelling (inflammation). Steroids can also help to treat inflammatory conditions such as asthma and eczema.
Steroids can also help treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. Steroids can help reduce the immune system’s activity, consequently helping treat rheumatoid arthritis. Steroids help to minimize tissue damage.
Anabolic steroids can help to gain muscle mass very quickly. They can also cause fluid retention, which gives muscles a soft-looking and bloated look which can help bodybuilders in training. They can work more often and for long periods. Once entered into your system, they enhance muscle growth by travelling to the muscles’ androgen receptors and stimulating the protein synthesis process.
I am Taking Prednisone – How Long Do Steroids Take to Work?
Steroids are extremely fast in their performance. Depending on the cause and the prescribed dose, you may be able to see the changes within a few days after starting your dose.
A typical steroid, prednisone, used in treating several diseases, can take a few hours to days to start working. Its working time also depends on the cause of its use. If you are taking prednisone, talk to your doctor.
Regarding the use of anabolic steroids for muscle growth and how long anabolic steroids take to work depends on the type of steroid and dosage used. Also, there is no specific time for them to work. Some users noticed the difference within ten days. Others took longer than that. On average, it takes a few weeks for anabolic steroids to work and provide the desired results.
Is There a Way to Make Steroids Work Faster?
Steroids are extremely fast in producing results. Health care professionals suggest taking prednisone for immediate relief for many ailments.
However, in bodybuilding, steroids alone cannot help you to promote muscle growth. They are undoubtedly known as performance-enhancing drugs, but only using these and neglecting a healthy sleep and proper diet will not give you your results quickly.
An average person needs almost eight hours of sleep to function correctly, and a nutritional diet helps to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to face challenges. So it is often said that you will also need proper nutrition, sleep, and training to get results quickly. A proper diet and healthy sleep will aid you in getting your desired results sooner.
In Conclusion on How long it Takes Steroids to Work
The duration in which steroids start to work depends on the cause of using them and also the dose of steroids used. They can provide instant relief in many medical conditions.
For bodybuilding and maintaining a high body muscle gain, steroids’ fast results and effectiveness depend on a healthy diet and proper and healthy sleep, as poor sleep can result in muscle loss. An average person and bodybuilders require approximately eight hours of sleep to maintain their health.
Also, one needs to lift weights and train oneself properly for bodybuilding to gain the required muscle mass quickly. Anabolic steroids can help improve strength and stamina and aid in faster recovery from muscle injuries during workouts.
But these should not be used in excessive quantities without the prescription of a medical practitioner as they can be dangerous for your body and its hormonal regulation system. Medical professionals should prescribe the duration of its use and dosage.
- Barnes, P.J. (2006). How corticosteroids control inflammation: Quintiles Prize Lecture 2005. Br J Pharmacol. 148(3): 245-54. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706736. PMID: 16604091; PMCID: PMC1751559. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16604091/
- Massimo, M., Rafi, M., Giovanni, C., Claudio, T., Santo, D., Gaetano, T., et al (2012). Anabolic androgenic steroids abuse and cardiac death in athletes: Morphological and toxicological findings in four fatal cases, Forensic Science International, 217, 1–3, e13-e18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.10.032.