Overview of Steroids
Anabolic-Steroids were first developed in the 1930s and were designed to treat males who suffered from low testosterone. Steroids were found to have other effects, including the expediting of muscle growth. This effect has since been exploited by athletes and bodybuilders who seek to gain an unfair advantage over their competition. However, this abuse does not come without harsh consequences.
Throughout history, steroid use has been a quick fix for problems that should have been handled with more concern. For example, the German government gave steroids to their troops during the Second World War to improve their performance. Steroids were also given to prisoners of the Germans as they starved the prisoners and fed them steroids to keep them alive. At the same time, the Germans used this practice as a way to study the effects of steroids on the human body. Animals have not been free from mistreatment due to steroid abuse as many laboratory experiments have been conducted in order study the effects of steroids on the body.
After it was discovered that steroids could improve athletic performance, many individuals turned to the drug to help them gain a competitive edge. As a result, many athletic records are tainted. The Olympic games have been subject to numerous controversies throughout the years concerning athletes and steroid use. Due to the harmful long-term effects of steroids and the unfair advantage it gives to one individual over another, the Olympic Committee has banned performance-enhancing steroids from competition and tests regularly for the presence of steroid use in the athletes that compete. The United States government has also taken regulatory measures to ensure that steroids are not abused. The Federal Anabolic Control Act, enacted on March 1, 1991, makes it illegal to possess or distribute steroids without a prescription or proper authority to do so.
Because steroids are classified as a Schedule III drug, only authorized doctors can prescribe steroids. Steroids have addictive qualities similar to many other drugs and must be used with caution. While there are steroids available on the black market, there is no guarantee of exactly what ingredients are in the drugs since they are not subject to government regulation. Not only this, but the buying and selling of these steroids via underground networks are illegal.
Negative Impact of Steroids
Steroids help to build muscle tissue and can be used by medical professionals to treat many problems. Steroids have a variety of positive uses. However, steroid abuse causes the drug to have side effects that are damaging to the human body.
Androgens found in steroids cause the skin to develop larger pores which lead to the skin feeling rough. This side effect is more pronounced in females due to the contrast in expected skin texture because as a general rule, women have softer skin. Acne is another side effect of steroids. Again, females seem to have more trouble with this side effect than males. Because of the rapid muscle growth that accompanies the taking of steroids, stretch marks can appear. Hair loss is not uncommon among steroid users, either. This stems from the fact that the body metabolized steroids into DHT which is known to cause hair loss. Hair loss is usually permanent.
Steroids can cause an individual to become more aggressive, often affecting relationships. Males might experience feminization while females might experience masculinization as a result of steroid use. In both cases, the male or female experiences pronounced traits that are usually associated with the opposite sex. For males, this can mean that breasts begin to develop along with fatty deposits. For females, this can mean a deeper voice, increase in hair growth such as facial hair, an enlarging of the clitoris, as well as changes in menstrual cycle.
Heart and Bones
The circulatory system is subject to the dangerous side effects of steroids as they serve to increase an individual’s cholesterol. This cholesterol increase can clog arteries and lead to heart problems in the long term. Although steroids increase muscle growth, they do not help bone growth. In fact, the opposite is true. Almost all steroids cause the closing of epiphyseal plates which causes bone growth to cease. This is an especially dangerous side effect for younger users of the drug as most have not developed their skeletal system fully. This can result in bones becoming weaker and more susceptible to injury as well as stunted growth, especially in young users.
Possible Health Consequences of Anabolic Steroid Abuse
Knowing the Adverse Effects of Anabolic Steroids
Bodybuilders and athletes work hard to develop their muscles. After all, they need their muscles to be in top condition. To enhance muscle development, they take supplements aside from their usual diet and exercise. However, some are still not satisfied with the slow-but-sure effects of traditional fitness. They resort to anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids (Steroids), which are drugs used to simulate the effects of specific male hormones. These steroids increase the synthesis of proteins with the body’s cells, resulting in an increase of cellular and muscular tissues.
While steroids can develop muscles faster, they can have unpleasant consequences. In fact, sports commissions all over the world have banned steroid use in competitions.
First of all, the drugs can upset the body’s normal workings. The most common adverse effects of anabolic steroids are high blood pressure and dangerous changes in cholesterol level. Steroid abuse can lead to liver and heart damage. It can also cause jaundice, swelling of the ankles and feet, joint pains, bad breath, and trembling. In fact, some steroid-using athletes have succumbed to heart ailments at a young age.
Additionally, Steroids can drastically change one’s appearance. The increase of testosterone causes acne, cysts, and oily skin and hair in many cases. They can also cause premature baldness, development of breasts, and impotence in the case of guys. With the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, females also suffer baldness, reduction in breast size, deepened voice, abnormal menstrual cycles, and growth of facial hair.
Steroids can have psychological effects, as well. Users are known to have frequent violent outbursts, becoming irritable or hostile for no reason at all. In fact, multiple murder and suicide cases are due to extreme anger that results from steroid use.
What is more dangerous is that Steroids are addictive. They take willpower and, sometimes, rehabilitation to cure the addiction. When a user stops using steroids, he suffers mood swings, suicidal thoughts, appetite loss, insomnia, restlessness, and fatigue.
Clearly, anabolic steroids are detrimental to the body. If you are an athlete and wish to be the best of what you do, focus on safer and traditional practices, such as eating a proper diet, getting rest, and having excellent mental and physical health.