Frequently in my life thus far I have heard stories about athletes using steroids to bulk up, to create an unnatural burst of speed, and an exaggeration of their strengths in sports. This usage covers the entirety of sports.
I have needed to take Prednisone (an oral steroid) many times in my life due to my asthma. For me they are just barely better than not breathing. I take them as the absolute last resort. The side effects are miserable, mood swings, heart palpitations, weight gain, (Even when I'm barely eating food), and inability to sleep.
On the other hand they give me a very real burst of energy that usually lasts for a day or two after I quit taking them. My daughter once told me, "Mama you're lots of fun when you take steroids." She was very young and had seen much of me being very, very quiet as I battled the medical conditions that I have. It was a time when I actually had enough energy to do all the things that I wished to.
What about the medications that we take today? Most of the people I know are taking some sort of medication for a medical condition. We know more about the human body, and that means we have better diagnosis of most medical conditions. Many like me take a large quantity of medications, like Prednisone (steroid) for asthma (it can also help with the inflammation of joints and arthritis), or thyroid meds, or anti-depressants, anti-histamines....etc., etc.
I remember as a child when I would see my doc he gave me ideas to try that went beyond taking yet another pill with its possible side effects. For example, because I had chronic streph throat and bronchitis I also had the thrill of yeast infections....did you hear the sarcasm in that statement? My dear doc prescribed yogurt and buttermilk (not sugared yogurt but good old plain yogurt with no sugar). If you have ever used the western medicine version of an anti-fungal you know the misery of it's side effects. The condition is better than the cure!
The other thing that the good doc would say was, "You need to get out and exercise to bring down that blood pressure." Or, "Change your diet to more of complex carbohydrates and less of refined sugars, and flours." The one size fits all mentality of medical doctors now is very frustrating to me.
A couple of times I visited my doctor for a medical condition. The doc prescribed a medication. A few days later I started having a pretty serious side effect. I didn't know it was a side effect because my clinician had not pre-warned me about the possibility. Grateful for Google I found out myself that this medication while helping one condition was exacerbating another.
In this era we MUST be our own advocates. We MUST be wise enough to research our medical conditions and find ways to treat them. Sometimes that involves Western medicine. Sometimes it involves more exercise, getting enough rest, and eating better. Sometimes alternative medicine is the answer. Massage, and acupuncture have been life savers in my world, literally they have saved my life.
So...I'm tired, I think I'll step down from my soapbox now. To summarize...take good care of yourself. Do not see taking lots, and lots of pills as the only possible solution to a physical problem.
Use exercise, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals, western medication as needed, acupuncture, chiropodists, podiatrists, Rake, and sleep. Choose carefully the elements of this wonderful planet that can best serve you in your quest for health.