Rich Piana - Use Of Anabolic Steroids

Steroids Before And After – An Analysis

Bodybuilder Rich Piana Placed In Medically Induced Coma After Emergency

Pro bodybuilder Rich Piana was placed into a medically induced coma this week (TMZ Sports, August 10 2017)

You’ve typed the phrase Steroids Before And After into your Google search bar. One of the first things you’re likely to see come up in your search results is a series of photos of seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY, over muscled people. Just look at Rich Piana (left) and read further below what just happened (August 10, 2017)

Complete with comparison shots showing what happens after they come off steroids!  And not to put too fine a point on it but in most cases neither photo presents a particularly attractive picture of the individual concerned.

What Exactly Are Steroids?

Steroids are artificial hormones that were originally ‘invented’ for the medical profession to use in treating hormone related medical conditions.  Most steroids ‘mimic’ the actions of hormones produced naturally by the body.  At some stage though one group of steroids began to be used for purposes unintended by their original creators….


Steroids fall into 2 groups.  Corticosteroids are used predominantly as anti-inflammatory drugs to assist with some autoimmune diseases and allergic responses.   Conditions like arthritis, asthma, lupus, some skin allergies, insect bites and various other types of conditions may be treated via the administration of corticosteroids.  Corticosteroids are prescribed by doctors, are not related to anabolic steroids in any way and do not have the adverse side effects of anabolic steroids.  Common corticosteroids are cortisone, prednisolone, prednisone and dexamethasone.

The Rich Piana Story below was first published in TMZ Sports on August 10, 2017

Pro bodybuilder Rich Piana was placed into a medically induced coma this week after suffering a medical emergency at his Florida home, law enforcement sources tell TMZ Sports. 46-year-old Piana has competed and won several bodybuilding competitions over the years — including Mr. California — and has become an Instagram sensation, racking up more than 1 million followers.

Law enforcement sources tell us … emergency personnel responded to a possible overdose call at Piana’s home on Monday afternoon. When they arrived, Piana was unresponsive and was transported to a nearby hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma.  Unclear how he’s doing now.

Anabolic-Androgen Steroids

Rich Piana - Use Of Anabolic Steroids 2Anabolic-androgen steroids or anabolic steroids as they’re commonly referred to, are synthetic substances that mimic the actions of the male sex hormones testosterone, nandrolone and dihydrotestosterone.  Anabolic refers to their ability to promote muscle development and androgenic refers to the development of male characteristics.

Testosterone plays an important role in many body functions including helping to regulate bone density and efficiently burn fat.  It’s a highly effective anabolic AND androgenic hormone, which is why it’s the one most commonly used outside medicine.

Nandrolone is produced in tiny amounts by the body and is a hormone that has high muscle building capabilities but relatively low androgenic effects.  For this reason it’s a popular steroid choice for people who want muscle bulk without the enhanced male characteristics that are a side effect of the other 2 anabolic steroids.

Dihydrotestosterone is almost the opposite of nandrolone because it is a very powerful androgenic hormone.  It’s the male hormone believed to be largely responsible for the development of adult male characteristics during puberty.  Dihydrotestosterone is created naturally by the body from testosterone – around one-tenth of the testosterone produced daily by adults (male and female) is converted to dihydrotestosterone.

Legitimate Use Of Anabolic Steroids – Before And After Benefits

Rich Piana - Use Of Anabolic Steroids 3Despite their notoriety, anabolic steroids do still have a legitimate role to play in medicine when used appropriately and administered by medical professionals.  They’re prescribed to help some types of anaemia and to men who aren’t producing enough testosterone naturally, a medical condition referred to as hypogonadism.  A man suffering from hypogonadism may have an increased risk of broken bones and fractures due to inadequate bone density.  He may also stack on unhealthy body fat and lack muscle.  In these instances, doctors may prescribe testosterone therapy.

Anabolic steroids have also been used to treat medical problems like late onset puberty and to help restore muscle mass in patients suffering from AIDS and cancer.   Nandrolone for example has been used effectively by doctors to treat muscle wastage, anaemia, some types of breast cancer, ulcers, burns, childhood developmental retardation, HIV and osteoporosis.

Legitimate anabolic steroids come as topical creams and ointments, pills or injections and, needless to say, are ALWAYS prescribed by a doctor.

Non-Medical Use, And Abuse, Of Anabolic Steroids

Unfortunately anabolic steroids have also been sidelined into illegal (in most countries) activities totally unrelated to the uses for which they were originally intended.  The most common non-medical use of anabolic-androgen steroids is for artificially increasing strength and muscle mass.  Testosterone, with its ability to encourage both anabolic and androgenic characteristics, is the anabolic steroid most commonly used, and abused, by athletes to help improve performance.

Anabolic Steroids Before And After – Are They Really Worth The Risk?

The illegal and inappropriate use of steroids is serious stuff, both from a legal perspective in most countries, and from a health perspective.  The reality in many countries now is that, if anabolic steroids haven’t been prescribed by a doctor, then they’re being used illegally.  In many cases they’re also being taken in quantities that far exceed what a doctor would prescribe.  It’s that age-old theory at work – if a little bit is good then a lot must be better.

However, what the steroids before and after photos that come up when you do a Google search don’t always fully show, are the serious health consequences that often happen through steroid abuse.  And when you consider the comprehensive list of grim side effects you have to wonder if the benefits really are worth the risks.

Regrettably the most common stories about steroid abuse, the ones that hit the headlines, are generally about athletes.  Despite the fact that their use in sports, even weightlifting and bodybuilding, is strictly prohibited and that athletes who do take them risk not just severe penalties if they’re caught but also severe health problems. It’s also invariably athletes, and celebrities, who are the subject of those steroids before and after type photos and articles.

The Not So Healthy Picture Of Steroids – Before And After

So just why do some athletes in particular consider using steroids is worth the risk to their health and their sporting career?

First of all, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the anabolic part of the name refers to its muscle building capacity.  Steroids allow users to stack on muscle and increase body strength.  Steroids also assist with muscle recovery; this is one of the natural functions of these hormones when produced naturally by the body.  This allows users to exercise harder for longer.  Steroids also often induce aggressiveness and some athletes obviously feel this gives them an edge in competition as well.

So those are the desirable after effects of steroids– enhanced capacity for training, more muscle bulk and more competitive behavior.  Now we come to the less desirable after effects and they are many…!

Bluntly put, people who abuse steroids run the risk of developing any, or many, of the following serious health problems:

Cancer (liver, kidney, breast, prostate etc), high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, jaundice, acne, cholesterol problems, genital abnormalities, infertility, male pattern baldness, breast development in men, breast reduction in women, atherosclerosis, oedemas, sleep apnoea, facial hair and deepened voice in women and so on.  Many of these are irreversible if the steroid use has been long term and aggressive.

So if you’re thinking about trying out steroids for whatever reason you would be wise to carefully review some of the available authoritative literature that goes into scientific details about the effects of steroids – before and after their use!

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