Steroids and HGH, both are commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes but many people consider both the same, but it is not true. There is a significant difference between HGH and Steroids and how they work for our body.
To understand the difference between steroids and HGH (human growth hormone), one must first know what exactly these names mean. So let’s discuss what these substances are before we talk about how they differ from each other.
The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is the body’s natural hormone which is produced by the adenohypophysis. In simpler words, HGH is composed of mostly protein and is produced by the anterior part of the pituitary gland. It is a complex protein structure that is released into the blood by the cells of the anterior pituitary gland. It is a vital hormone of the body because it has various functions.
Natural Functions of HGH
The natural functions of HGH are:
- Development and growth of children and teenagers
- Sustenance of muscle bulk
- Maintenance of weight
- Increased stamina
- Reduced speed of the aging process
- Management of the reproduction of cells
- Repair of tissues
- Control of different hormones and enzymes of the body
- Control of specific brain activities
What are Steroids?
There are two types of steroids. One is corticosteroid which is like the hormone named cortisol naturally produced by the adrenal gland of the body. The other one is called anabolic androgenic steroids. They are derived from the naturally produced male hormones called testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. These two types of steroids are as important as the HGH is for the natural body functions.
Natural Functions of Steroids
The natural and most vital function of corticosteroid (cortisol) is that it reduces inflammation in the body, hence the swelling of those body parts. The natural functions of anabolic steroids are to boost stamina, increase strength, boost physical performance, increase lean muscles and encourage the growth of bones.
HGH Vs Steroids
It is a common perception that these two substances are assumed to be quite similar. But this is not true. Apart from the fact that both are produced and released by the body and both enhance growth, nothing else is similar. It is a huge mistake to consider these two the same. Here is a list of the comparison of these substances:
Different Side Effects
For starters, when used as supplements, anabolic steroids have many harmful side effects. They increase the blood pressure, cause liver damage and increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. (This fat substance is bad for the heart and blood vessels.) Other side effects of steroids for males, if used for longer time periods, are gynecomastia, reduced sperms, hair loss, swelling of the testicles and pain during urination.
For females, the effects are voice deepening, reduction of breast size, excessive facial hair growth, irregularities in menstruation, heart attacks, vomiting, acne, blood clotting issues and the list just goes on.
However, HGH has fewer side effects which are not that harmful. These side effects exist only if the substance is taken in the injectable form. If it is taken in the pill form, there are actually no side effects at all.
Difference in Absorption
When HGH is used for supplementation, it is easily absorbed by the body. Therefore, it can be easily used in the pill form, so injections of HGH are not necessary. Being more convenient and reducing the risk of HIV infection by needle sharing, it is the more popular substance.
In contrast, Steroids do not get absorbed so easily and hence require the use of injectable forms more. This increases the exposure to HIV and other infections.
Different General Benefits
HGH is commonly used by the elder population because it provides many benefits to increase health. It improves the heart’s functions, cholesterol levels and blood pressure gets normalized, sexual performance gets enhanced, individuals get younger skin and there are numerous other advantages.
Whereas the general benefits of steroids are body enhancement, energy boosts, and better libido.
HGH is not addictive in any way. In fact, it is very unlikely that a person can ever get addicted to HGH. Steroids, on the other hand, are extremely addictive. It is a common problem with steroids that they are used as a form of substance abuse. Abusers have bad withdrawal symptoms when they decide to give up the drug.
Steroids supplements are quite expensive, whereas HGH is easily affordable.
Steroids have a vast range of benefits for diseases in the medical world. For example, asthma or autoimmune disorders. Conversely, HGH is only used for growth hormone deficiency or pathological weight loss issues.
Hence, it is proved by the above comparison that HGH and steroids are two separate entities, as they have many differences.