Anabolic Steroids: The Truth About It

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of male sex hormones known as androgens. The name “anabolic” refers to the hormone’s ability to stimulate growth of cells, flesh, and bone. Anabolic steroids are also called “roid” juice or “pumpers” because they have been historically used by bodybuilders and other athletes to increase muscle size, strength and response to training.

Anabolic steroids carry a high risk for negative side effects when taken long-term. They can lead to an accelerated onset of puberty in young users and result in a shortened final adult height if usage begins before the adolescent growth spurt ends. In men, prolonged usage can cause shrinking of testicles, decreased sperm count, impotence and baldness.

Anabolic Steroids: The Truth About What They Can Do to Your Body

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. They can increase muscle mass and strength, accelerate recovery time, and help athletes train harder and longer. Anabolic steroids have many negative side effects, however. As with most substances taken to excess, they can cause accelerated hair loss, acne, contracting of the user’s growth plates in his bones (leading to a shrunken adult height if the user is still growing), increased cholesterol levels that may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (a risk factor for heart disease), and liver damage. In this article you will learn about anabolic steroid use among athletes, how they work inside the body, and the potential dangers associated with their use.

Who Uses Anabolic Steroids?

There is an inherent risk in making generalizations about any group of people, but the truth is that anabolic steroid use is common among a wide variety of athletes. Asian martial artists, weightlifters, football players, baseball players, and other athletes have been known to use anabolic steroids, but they are also prevalent in sports like NASCAR, BMX, and even extreme sports like skateboarding. Anabolic steroid use is also common in the world of competitive bodybuilding. Although many casual weightlifters use steroids as well, the prevalence of steroid use among competitive athletes is significantly higher. In general, competitive athletes with a great deal at stake are much more likely to use anabolic steroids. Winning a competition can mean a major payoff in terms of money, endorsements, and public recognition. There is also much more pressure on athletes in highly competitive sports to reach the top level of performance. Anabolic steroid use is not limited to professional athletes, however. In fact, steroid use is significantly more common in amateur sports than among the professionals. Steroid use is often associated with sports like bodybuilding that have a significant amateur following.

How Do Anabolic Steroids Work?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. They can increase muscle mass and strength, accelerate recovery time, and help athletes train harder and longer. Anabolic steroids have many negative side effects, however. As with most substances taken to excess, they can cause accelerated hair loss, acne, contracting of the user’s growth plates in his bones (leading to a shrunken adult height if the user is still growing), increased cholesterol levels that may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (a risk factor for heart disease), and liver damage. Anabolic steroids are taken orally, injected into the muscles, or applied to the skin as a gel. They are processed by the body and converted into testosterone, which is then distributed to the muscles.

The Dangers of Using Anabolic Steroids

As with any drug, anabolic steroids are not without their dangers. Bodybuilders who use steroids are especially at risk for contracting infections from unsterile needles and from other users. Anabolic steroid users are also at risk for heart disease and stroke, accelerated hair loss, acne, and mood swings. Anabolic steroids can also cause the user’s libido to rise and his fertility to decline. In extreme cases, steroid use can lead to shrinkage of the testicles and even their complete disappearance (infertility, shrinking penis size, impotence, baldness, and acne are all potential side effects of steroid use). Anabolic steroid use can also lead to liver damage, kidney damage, and even an increased risk of contracting cancer. And finally, anabolic steroids can cause the user to become more aggressive, more hostile, and more likely to engage in reckless and even violent behaviour.

Health Risks for Women

As with men, anabolic steroids can have negative effects on women’s health. The most common side effect of steroid use in women is accelerated facial hair growth. But anabolic steroids can also cause the user to develop a deepened voice and even reduced breast size. Anabolic steroids can also cause menstrual problems, infertility, and a higher risk of contracting breast cancer. Women who use anabolic steroids should be especially careful not to break down their bodies’ natural ability to produce estrogen, because estrogen helps protect against heart disease and osteoporosis. Anabolic steroids can lower estrogen levels in the body, so women who use anabolic steroids must take extra precautions.

The Psychological Effects of Using Anabolic Steroids

There is a growing amount of evidence that anabolic steroid use may cause changes in the brain. Anabolic steroids can cause a user to become more aggressive and more easily angered. It has been suggested that steroid use may lead to brain damage over time. Anabolic steroids can also lead to delusions about the self, including hallucinations about the body. Anabolic steroid users often see themselves as being far more attractive than they actually are, and they tend to overestimate their own level of skill in a given sport. Anabolic steroids can also cause the user to develop delusions of grandeur, as well as delusions of persecution.

Final Words

Anabolic steroids can have devastating effects on the body, both in the short-term and the long-term. Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. They can increase muscle mass and strength, accelerate recovery time, and help athletes train harder and longer. Anabolic steroids have many negative side effects, however. As with most substances taken to excess, they can cause accelerated hair loss, acne, contracting of the user’s growth plates in his bones (leading to a shrunken adult height if the user is still growing), increased cholesterol levels that may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (a risk factor for heart disease), and liver damage. Anabolic steroids can lead to brain damage and even changes to the user’s personality. Athletes at all levels of competition use anabolic steroids, but casual weightlifters are also at risk for using them.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.